It is that time again for PRiMEtime’s year-end review. 2014 was another exciting year with a lot of innovative new initiatives and approaches at business schools around the world embedding responsible leadership and sustainability into their programmes. More than 60 articles were posted over the year on responsible management education, featuring over 200 examples from more than 100 schools in 37 countries. In this 2-part year-end post we review what happened this year and what we have to look forward to next year.
Principle 1: Purpose
As the international community is preparing the post-2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, a growing focus of PRiMEtime and the wider PRME community has been how business schools can get engaged in the process and be a part of reaching the goals once they are put in place. The Post-2015 process provided an overview of how the goals are being put together through international consultations, and in particular about the business sector contributions to the process through the UN Global Compact (part 1 and part 2). In July we looked at the thoughts of a panel of distinguished guests at the PRME Champions meeting in NYC around what role business schools have in the Sustainable Development Goals. More recently, an overview of resources available for business schools was presented related to the UN Climate Summit and Private Sector Forum—the largest climate meeting yet—bringing together more than 125 heads of state as well as business leaders. We also looked at the discussions happening around Carbon Pricing, one of the main themes of the Private Sector Forum, as well as the growing number of resources available through the Global Compact for faculty and students in particular around Human Rights and Business for Peace.
2014 celebrated a number of International Days (Jan-May) organised by the United Nations, aimed at raising awareness about different sustainability topics, that provide numerous ways to engage students and staff. On World Food Day we took a look at what business schools are doing to raise awareness about food issues at a local level (Part 1 and Part 2). The 2014 International Year of Small Island Developing States gave us a chance to celebrate the approaches taken by Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business (Trinidad and Tobago), Lee Kong Chian School of Business (Singapore) and Barna Business School (Dominican Republic). In recognition of International Anti-Corruption Day on the 9th of December, two posts focused on engaging students in this topic, the first, Ten ways to bring anti-corruption discussions into the classroom and then a second, ten more ways to bring anti-corruption discussions into the classroom.
Principle 2: Values
KU Leuven Faculty of Economics and Business shared their experiences aligning sustainability efforts across numerous campuses after a merger, and described how they created their joint Sharing Information on Progress Reports (SIP) report. We also had the chance to learn about how Hanken School of Economics put together their Sharing Information on Progress (SIP) report and what tips they have for others.
Soegljapranata Catholic University, in Indonesia, and Management College of South Africa, are both developing their own “Green” and “Ethics” strategies for their students while UASM-Universidad de los Andes, in Colombia, is currently exploring the impact of internalising PRME and exploring the extent to which academic programmes and research in this area influence students. EMFD shared information about their Business School Impact Survey launched this past year.
Schools continue to organise several special events for students and staff to engage in sustainability related topics. Louvain School of Management (Belgium) organised the “LSM Cup: Ethics in Business,” an inter-faculty, multidisciplinary business game focused on CSR. San Francisco State University College of Business (USA) reported on their Business Ethics Week with ethics related modules and speakers. Universidad del Cono Sur de las Americas (Paraguay) has an annual event called “Contest of Crazy Ideas,” which invites students to develop creative ideas focused around social responsibility. Lviv Business School (Ukraine) five-day interdisciplinary retreat brings together faculty, entrepreneurs, religious leaders, artists and other individuals to discuss and explore leadership, ethics, values and trust. Cameron School of Business (USA) and ESIC (Spain) have both created microcredit lending programmes. IE Business School (Spain) Venture Lab incubates the development and consolidation of social and responsible startups.
Principle 3: Method
Several schools engage their students in thinking about business in different ways, right from the first day on campus. The University of Guelph College of Business and Economics (Canada) runs a student competition where students are given 1$ of seed capital and challenged to take their ideas, develop and operate a business, and generate as much real wealth as possible within a month. At Gustavson School of Business (Canada), “MIIISsion Impossible” is an innovative one-day programme that engages students to build a social responsible business idea in teams.
Schools continue to develop a range of different ways to teach students about responsible management topics. Several MOOCs were run quite successfully between September and December (part 1 and part 2). Otto Beisheim School of Management (Germany) shared their approach to using online tools to engage students in sustainability through their Sustainability Lab. HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management (Germany) is using co-teaching as a better way to communicate responsibility and ethics to students. Stephanie Bertels from Beedie School of Business (Canada) shared with us an example of an assignment she uses in the classroom focused on sustainability.
Several schools continue to provide more structured options for students to get hands on experience. “Humacite Service Learning Mission,” at La Rochelle Business School (France), is a mandatory three-month service learning mission for students. University of Victoria Gustavson School of Business (Canada) has 3 four-month work terms through its Co-op Programme, giving students the opportunity to try out different jobs, build competencies and earn income. Auckland University of Technology Business School (New Zealand) requires students to reflect on ethical decision-making during their nine-week work placement.
Principle 4: Research
Schools continue to conduct a number of important research projects around the topic of sustainability, ethics and responsible management focused on their particular regions, including Nova School of Business and Economics’ (Portugal) research on business and economic development in Africa. Management Center Innsbruck (Austria) focuses on social responsibility in eastern Austria and the University of New England (Australia) focuses research around carbon taxes. ESCI (Spain) has been exploring how to improve the recycling of clothing and fabric in collaboration with Spanish company Mango. Universidad del Norte (Colombia) is creating a database of case studies focused on sustainability in collaboration with the Global Compact Local Network. Gordon Institute of Business Sciences (South Africa) launched the GIBS Dynamic Market Index, and is the new host of the Network for Business South Africa in partnership with the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town.
Milgard School of Business (USA) shared their experiences in creating the effective Centre for Leadership & Social Responsibility and the impact it has had on the University and beyond. European College of Economics and Management (Bulgaria) created a new peer-reviewed journal for students called Science and Business. The Benedictine University’s College (USA) has created new innovative PhD programme focused on ethics. Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg students work with the German Development Agency (GIZ) to analyse projects carried out by the organisation.
Copenhagen Business School (Denmark) has launched a collection of cases around responsible management available for free through their website.
Part 2 will be posted on January 1st, 2015.