A Toolkit for embedding Anti-Corruption guidelines into MBA curriculum

Anti-Corruption Working Group Meeting in Rio 2012

The PRME Working Group on Anti-Corruption in Curriculum Change has developed an innovative new resource for integrating anti-corruption values into the core curricula of leading business schools. Launched at the 3rd Global Forum, the Anti-corruption guidelines for curriculum change, or Anti-Corruption “Toolkit,” is part of a four-year project dedicated to providing a teaching framework that prepares students for the ethical, moral, and practical challenges that they will face in the marketplace.

According to the project coordinators, Matthias Kleinhempel and Gabriel Cecchini of IAE Business School’s Center for Governance and Transparency in Argentina, “The toolkit provides guidance and step by step approaches on successful guidelines, methods, techniques, mechanisms and processes for effective changes in responsible management curricula. By drawing lessons and experiences from several sources around the world, the Toolkit describes various methodologies and strategies. The toolkit is easy to use, it is constantly being updated and can be adapted to local use.”

What will you find in the toolkit?

The toolkit utilizes a mix of core concept readings, detailed case discussions, primary sources and documents, and scenarios devised for class discussion. Each of the ten study modules includes a long list of resources that allow faculty of different countries to design a course that is appropriately suited to the necessities of his/her students. The modules include;

 (1)   Core Concepts: The recognition and framing of ethical dilemmas and social responsibility and their importance in strategic decision making.

(2)   Economics, Market Failure and Professional Dilemmas:Economics and market failure in its various forms and how it is manifested in corruption.

(3)   Legislation, Control by Law, Agency and Fiduciary Duty: Many questions of agency leading to corruption arise from improper gifts, side deals and conflicts of interest.

(4)   Why Corruption, Behavioral Science: This module addresses the question: What does Behavioral Science teach us about how to design a performance incentive system that encourages integrity as well as productivity?

(5)   Gifts, Side Deals and Conflicts of Interest: Legislation and cases to understand gifts, side deals, and conflicts of interest and thelying and obfuscation that is often used to conceal them.

(6)   International Standards and Supply Chain Issues: Frameworks and analytic methods for discussing the problems that companies face in the need to respect moral standards across borders, local customs (e.g., giving and receiving gifts) and bribery.

(7)   Managing Anti-Corruption Issues: Designing, implementing, and overseeing corporate ethics and compliance systems in response to local and global compliance regimes.

(8)   Functional Department and Collective Action Roles in Combating Corruption: The functional departments examined include human resources, marketing, accounting and finance.

(9)   Truth and Disclosure, Whistle blowing and Loyalty: These topics raise issues of timing and context as towhat point and under what circumstances an agent or employee is permitted to blow the whistle on corruption.

(10)   The Developing Global Anti corruption Compliance Regime: Topics include (a)global public policy principles and how are they promoted/enforced and (b) links between corruption and forms of state failure such as deprivation of human rights and environmental degradation.

How can others use this resource?

The basic idea of the Toolkit is to present a buffet of ideas and resources on how to take education on anti-corruption to the next level. It presents up-to-date content in a comprehensive way and supports its delivery in the classroom. Faculty can choose those elements deemed most useful in revising their curriculum or creating a new stand-alone course. The corresponding chapters outline their importance, define learning goals and questions, provide a listing of relevant literature, cases and dilemmas address.

Who is currently implementing this project?

More than ten schools are currently involved in the pilot phase of the Toolkit. Taking place in the second half of 2012 and first half of 2013, this process will enable adaptation of lesson for local use and improve core elements. The participating pilot schools include HSBA Hamburg School of Business Administration (Germany), University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur (Switzerland), Bangalore University (India), IAE Business School (Argentina), Copenhagen Business School (Denmark), AESE Business School (Portugal), Lagos Business School (Nigeria), Silesian University of Technology (Poland), Faculty of Business Management – Open University (Tanzania), and Audencia Nantes School of Management (France).

How can others get involved?

Once the pilot phase concludes in the first half of 2013 and the feedback from pilot schools has been received and processed, the Toolkit will be openly available to all interested institutions around the world through an online platform. In early 2013 we will post some further blogs with some of the lessons learnt from this process.

The toolkit will also be presented by Ron Berenbeim of NYU Stern and a member of the PRME working group at the upcoming International Anti-Corruption Conference.

You can access the toolkit online.

Sustainable Food on Campus (part 2)

Farmer’s Market, University of San Diego

Food is one of the 7 critical issues bring discussed at the upcoming Rio+20 summit taking place this June in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. As the Rio+20 site states, “It is time to rethink how we grow, share and consume our food,” and, in this two part blog, we will be looking at a range of ways that university campuses are doing just that throughout their operations.

Community Gardens

With the increased push to provide more locally produced food, some campuses are taking matters into their own hands by creating gardens where students and staff grow some of the vegetables and produce consumed in the cafeterias. Royal Holloway School of Management has launched its Campus Community Garden to encourage students to grow and eat their own fresh vegetables. With help from the College’s gardeners, an area of wasteland on campus, measuring 152 square meters, has been turned into vegetable patches ready for students to cultivate. SLUG (Student Led Unity Garden) at the University of Portland is an organic, sustainable garden started in 2006 by a small group of students. The University of Victoria Campus Community Garden provides a range of introductory gardening workshops. The school provides 90 plots at the gardens, including individual allotment gardens, communal gardens for volunteers and food bank donations and garden plots used by advocacy groups and classes.

Farmers Markets

A growing number of schools are also providing space for farmers markets, where local farmers and producers can sell their products. The University of San Diego started a market in 2009 that provides fresh fruit and vegetables and food cooked on site on Wednesdays from 11-2pm. The University of London  also has a certified organic farmers market on campus, where students can grab their lunch every Thursday.

Celebrating Progress made

Copenhagen Business School celebrates Sustainable Food Day on campus. The day gives students the opportunity to sample delicious sustainable foods while becoming better informed about the links between social entrepreneurship and sustainable food production. It also gives students and staff the opportunity to interact with innovators who have turned their passion for sustainable food into profitable businesses. EM Strasbourg has been organising annual eco-banquets for volunteers who had taken part in actions dedicated to sustainable development in the School through the year. Each participant is able to discover the regional specialties and chat over a glass of organic cider and fair trade apple juice. The banquet is also an opportunity to speak about progress made on sustainable development projects over the previous year.

Giving back to the community
Campuses are not just looking at food on campus, but how to help ensure food donations for local charities. Students from Marketing Institute of Singapore Training Center had a Food donation drive in support of a local charity called Food from the Heart. They also partnered with the Singapore Environment Council to deliver a talk on “Being a Responsible Consumer by Going Green” to enhance understanding of the impact of food choices. “Food Fight” is an annual tradition in which a number of MBA programs across the US, including the University of Michigan, compete to see who can raise the most food to donate to local communities in need. The school that collects the most food (total or per student) wins money to donate to the charity of their choice and a coveted trophy. Staff, faculty and students at Grenoble Ecole de Management worked with Danone, an international food company, on a humanitarian project to collect food for the Restaurants du Cœur, a nationwide association that distributes meals and food to those in need.


For more on the Rio+20 theme of Food, read the Issue Brief prepared by UN-DESA visit the Rio+20 site.

Getting Faculty on Board with Sustainability

Business Schools are increasingly looking at how to embed sustainability into their curricula and in particular core courses. How to get faculty on board is one of the most common questions/concerns relayed by schools as they work in this area. Here are a handful of examples from Denmark, France, Turkey, Germany and the US showing how schools are bringing their faculty together to look at these issues.

  • Euromed Management has created CSR faculty officers who are mandated to provide a link between Euromed Management’s CSR Department and their own departments, with at least on representative from each area. Their role is to transmit and disseminate the CSR strategy to their departments, but also to bring ideas and information that may affect the school’s strategy to the attention of management. The CSR Officers have become vectors of Sustainable Development throughout the school. Last year, their commitment resulted in the creation of a student well-being project and working groups on dematerialisation and responsible purchasing.
  • Istanbul Bilgi University Department of Business Administration formed a working team consisting of four faculty members from Operations Management, Statistics, Economics and Marketing to look at sustainability. The multi-disciplinary taskforce held various in-depth interviews with faculty members from all the subject areas of the Business Department. During these interviews, they explained the main principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and PRME. Afterwards, the faculty were encouraged to integrate these concepts into their courses.
  • At the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business, faculty created “primers” for each academic department to assist faculty with identifying ways to incorporate responsible leadership concepts (e.g. using case studies and readings) into academic frameworks and courses. They also conduct workshops for faculty to learn and discuss this very issue, present leading ideas and promising practices from other institution and firms, and share what others at Smith are already doing.
  • For several years now, HHL- Leipzig Graduate School of Management has been gradually expanding its institutional co-teaching (i.e. the joint teaching of courses by faculty from different areas of expertise). Students are very interested in understanding interfaces between different disciplines, such as the interaction between Ethics and Financial Management, Marketing Management, Strategic Management, Accounting, or Logistics Management. Examples include the incorporation of a session on ethical approaches in a marketing management module and the discussion of financial theory from a business ethics point of view.

An Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME: Placing sustainability at the heart of management education, which includes more great examples of how schools are engaging faculty and addressing other common questions/concerns related to embedding sustainability, will be launched at PRME’s 3rd Global Forum at Rio+20 in June.

Certificates in Sustainable Business

Queen's School of Business Certificate Graduates

A growing number of schools are putting in place certificate programmes that give their students the flexibility to pursue a traditional curriculum while specialising in the topic of sustainability. Below are a selection of such programmes from the US, France, Canada and Denmark.

Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management started offering their students the opportunity to pursue a Certificate in Socially, Environmentally and Ethically Responsible Business Practice in 2010. The certificate requires 8 units of course work, 6 units of elective choices and a capstone course on Responsible Business Practice. Students also need to be members of the campus Net Impact Club and get involved in events related to these topics. This programme is offered to all students enrolled in their business programmes.

The University of Georgia in the US has an Environmental Ethics Certificate programme that was founded in 1983. This interdisciplinary program incorporates coursework from the Odum School of Ecology, the law school and a diverse collection of departments across the campus, including philosophy, agricultural and applied economics, anthropology, history and political science.

Students at Queen’s School of Business in Canada can graduate with a Certificate in Socially Responsible Leadership in addition to their MBA. To receive this certificate, students must complete relevant courses, attend Responsible Leadership related conferences and speaker sessions, and engage in meaningful community volunteer work.  The certificate in the Commerce program started in 2004 and, in 2009, the certificate program was expanded to the School’s Accelerated MBA program.

In addition to their degree, Copenhagen Business School graduate students can choose to pursue a minor in sustainable business, which explores how innovative companies simultaneously attain social, environmental and economic business objectives. They also have access to a minor in Social Entrepreneurship and Not-for-Profit Management, which is intended to equip students with the instruments needed to develop earned-income strategies for charities and to launch social enterprises.

IESEG School of Management has recently set up a Certificate Programme in Sustainable Management. Students need to take a series of core courses and electives in the field to earn the certificate. They also need to do a work/study period of a minimum of 6 weeks at an NGO in Cape Town, South Africa.

Do you offer your students certificate programmes in sustainable business? Share your experiences in the comments area below.

Creating more sustainable campuses: Bikes on campus

Bikes are a common sight on business school campuses around the world and are very popular with both students and staff alike. In this edition of “creating more sustainable campuses,” we look at a variety of innovative ways that campuses and the cities that they are located in are becoming more bike friendly.

  • In 2011 the League of American Bicyclists awarded a range of campuses across the US Bike Friendly University Awards. University of California Davis, who was awarded gold, offers Summer Bicycle Storage and regular auctions on campus and on eBay to sell abandoned and unclaimed bicycles. Students also have access to courses on bike repair and maintenance on campus. Other winners included University of Wisconsin-Madison  University of Maryland, University of Colorado.
  • Stanford has over 12,000 bike racks on campus and maps showing bike paths on and off campus. Students also have access to a range of bike safety repair stands where they can make minor repairs and pump their tires for free as well as free rentals of folding bikes. All this is organized by Stanford’s campus bicycle coordinator.
  • The University of Oregon’s Outdoor Program’s Bike Program, which provides bike loans, a free shop, and education on campus, is entirely student funded and operated.
  • In a project designed to increase awareness about alternative modes of transportation, faculty and Staff at Grenoble Ecole de Management in France have access to electric bicycles 4 weeks each year (trial phase), which are reservable for a 24 hour period free of charge. The school also has over 100 covered car parking spaces that have been turned into bike parking for the growing number of bikes on campus.
  • A growing number of schools, including Winchester Business School, offer subsidies and/or interest free loans for staff interested in buying bicycles for their daily commute to campus.
  • Newcastle University in the UK has a self-service bike sharing system called WhipBikes. Faculty and students pay a one-time registration fee that enables them to use any of the 150 bikes scattered across campus. If they want to use a bike, they simply pick the one they want and text its number to WhipBikes, which replies with the lock code for that bike.
  • Cities around the world are putting in free public bike systems, which are being used extensively by students.  At John Molson School of Business, Concordia University students have access to Montreal’s extensive public bike system, which features over 5,000 bikes and 400 stations, many on/near campus. Similar systems can be found on campuses around the world, including in Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam and across Asia.
  • For students from Copenhagen Business School, Norwegian gas company Statoil has equipped five of its stations across the city with Cykelpleje centers dedicated to bicycle maintenance and repair. Students of Pamplin School of Business Administration, University of Portland travelling through Portland International Airport have a special bike repair section in the lower terminal, where they can take apart and reassemble their bikes, as well as several bike paths connecting the airport with the city.

Does your campus promote bike use in an innovative way? Please share your experiences and stories in the comments area below.

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