Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME – launch of the 2nd Edition

IG2-Cover_ImageIn collaboration with the 2013 PRME Summit – 5th Annual Assembly, case story contributions were invited for the Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME, Second Edition: Learning to Go Beyond, which continues where the first edition, released at Rio+20 last year, left off. It contains a range of case stories around how business schools are putting sustainability principles into practice.

The multiple examples within the Guides have shown us the many different ways of implementing responsible management education and research. They show that the Six Principles of PRME are interrelated and often inseparable and that, often, all it takes is a group of committed individuals who champion these efforts to get started.

The case stories can be a source of inspiration for new projects, or they may help you further develop existing projects. Over the upcoming months, we will feature some of the examples from the Guides in more detail. Here we start with an overview of the Second Edition:

Part 1 – Beyond knowledge-only: Creating new competencies explores the range of competencies needed for responsible managers, including domain competencies, self-competencies, social competencies, and procedural competencies. Examples include Aalto University School of Business Master’s Programme in Management and Creative Sustainability, Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame signature course Foresight in Business and Society, Milgard School of Business innovative course on Board Governance and Babson College‘s work with a social enterprise in Italy. It also looks at a range of teaching approaches, such as Copenhagen Business School’s Responsibility Day, ESPOL-ESPAE Graduate School of Management’s use of diverse study teams, Nottingham University Business School‘s intercultural approach to leadership education, and the University of Auckland student projects focused on inspiring positive change.

Part 2 – Beyond the classroom: Scaling experiential learning explores how learning through experience can be a powerful educational method for creating the competencies mentioned in Part 1. Examples include Leeds University Business School’s module in Volunteering and Enterprise, University of West of England Faculty of Business and Law’s Annual MBA Sustainability Study, Bentley University’s innovative social enterprise, Rotterdam School of Management’s course on Companies in Ecologies, Course, The American University in Cairo’s extracurricular student clubs, Externado University of Columbia First Steps in CSR programme, and Lagos Business School’s module on sustainable management.

Part 3 – Beyond the business school: Mainstreaming PRME across HEIs explores how to embed PRME in an interdisciplinary and larger institutional context. Examples include Aston University’s 2020 Strategy and Ethical Framework, Coventry University Business School, Faculty of Business, Environment and Society’s work to connect sustainability with the work of their research centres, and ESADE Business School’s mission to be a centre for social debate for society.

Part 4 – Beyond campus introspection: Making an impact through networks explores how academic institutions work in greater networks to scale their impact. Examples include the Ethos Initiatives, supported by IEDC-Bled School of Management, IAE Business School’s Center for Governance and Transparency, Ivey Business School’s 39 Country Initiative, Sabanci University School of Management’s Independent Women Directors Project, and ISAE/FGV’s work to strengthen the sustainability movement in Brazil. 

Part 5 – Beyond education-only: Harnessing research and publications explores how education and research can move sustainability discussion forward.  Examples include Glasgow Caledonian University’s Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health and the Center for Responsible Management Education research projects.

For more information on the Inspirational Guide, and to access the case stories, visit the PRME website.

The Buying in Argument – Engaging your Faculty

Regardless of whether you are just starting out to mainstream sustainability into your school and curriculum or have been doing so for some time already, one of the major challenges is how to engage your faculty. The experience by many schools has been that, at the beginning, these topics are usually accepted by a few actors. The challenge is both how to turn these first few interested individuals into active participants and how to get all staff more engaged.

Launched atPRME’s 3rd Global Forum at Rio+20 in June, the Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME: Placing sustainability at the heart of management education provides a range of case studies showing how schools are embedding sustainability into their schools and curricula, including how to actively engage faculty.

Bentley University in the US began by preaching to the choir, starting with those faculty across the institutions who were already committed to sustainability and responsible leadership. The basic strategy employed began with one-on-one conversations with key players across campus and gradually built to one-on-two, one-on-three, two-on-two, and so forth. Finally, the school focused on developing and supporting faculty with the intent of “seeding” every department on campus with faculty who would develop material for their courses and encourage their colleagues to do the same.

At Deusto Business School in Spain, the dean brought all faculty together to discuss the importance of these issues for the school moving forward and to provide them with a space to voice any concerns, opinions, or interest in these topics. From there, they were provided with a range of faculty development programmes and seminars on the topics of sustainability, organised by department, to provide them with the tools and knowledge to be able to incorporate sustainability and responsible leadership into their individual courses.

The University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur in Switzerland noted in their case study that a major step for them in the serious implementation of these topics was the installation of an open group of committed faculty and staff. Around twelve members, representing all University departments in equal measure, elected a steering committee consisting of four faculty members. This team has since gained formal appreciation from the University’s board, including the necessary financial resources for the next three years to continue to roll out PRME-related activities.

Ashridge Business School in the UK recognised the need to connect interested faculty and wider staff into an informal learning network, which includes guest speakers and sharing each other’s experiences of innovation. This informal work has been possible because of the recruitment and development of faculty and staff sustainability specialists and designing their roles to give them time to develop and coach others.

The University of Dubai in the UAE created awareness among students and staff by posting permanent posters with the Six Principles of PRME in the reception lobby of both of their campuses. This is part of an awareness campaign conducted every semester with their students and faculty to ensure not only their awareness of PRME but the importance of these issues to the schools.

The advice from Consuelo Garcíía de la Torre, Professor of Management and Marketing, at EGADE in Mexico is to, “show both professors and students how responsible and ethical management can create value for business and can make them achieve sustainability. If you can achieve that, the students and the faculty will believe in the management principles, not just as an ethical behavior, but as an enhancer for performance.”

The Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME: Placing sustainability at the heart of management education, is available online.

Promoting Research around Sustainability: Examples from the UK, France, Belgium and Canada

During the 3rd PRME Global Forum at Rio+20 in June, one of the discussion topics revolved around research and how to promote research on sustainability topics. How can we facilitate faculty need for research publications on sustainability? What type of change strategy can be developed that will shift the emphasis in research toward rigorous, yet practical, theoretically informed research?

An Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME: Placing sustainability at the heart of management education, which launched at the 3rd Global Forum, provides answers to the most frequently asked questions concerning how to move forward in embedding sustainability into management education. In putting together the Guide, many schools shared projects and initiatives around promoting sustainability research on campus. Here are some examples from the UK, France, Belgium and Canada.

Ashridge Business Schoolwanted to understand the proportion of faculty engaged in research that related in some way to sustainability. The thinking was that, if a member of faculty was researching how sustainability related to their core area of expertise, then that could be a good indicator as to whether new thinking on sustainable business might also be coming into his/her educational work. As a result, the school measured, over an 18 month period, that 25% of faculty had either published some kind of research or thought leadership, or had spoken or played a facilitative role in an event where there was a connection with the theme of sustainable business.

At Euromed Management, over 30% of academic activities and publications are linked to corporate social responsibility (CSR) or sustainability issues, and the number of publications continues to rise. These results are due to various initiatives, including the creation of projects, networks and research chairs. However, the deciding factor lies in the school’s decision to structure research into five priority groups, one of which is dedicated to the CSR.

Louvain School of Managementorganises the CSR Research Seminar, which aims to bring together researchers, PhD candidates and prominent professors from around the world to discuss their respective research projects. Participants come from various disciplines and fields, including, but not limited to, management, law, sociology, philosophy, economics, political science, and social psychology, but sharing a common interest for CSR and business and society issues. The goal is to explore the diverse dimensions of these questions, and special attention is given to research projects that involve strong linkages with industry participants.

The University of Western Ontario Richard Ivey School of Business’s Building Sustainable Value Research Center has a Research Network for Sustainability that connects researchers, teachers and practitioners to better facilitate the creation and dissemination of evidence-based research in business sustainability. The network, which includes more than 2,700 managers, academics and students, maintains a website with an online database. There is a section specifically for researchers that includes both recent articles focused on sustainability in a range of academic journals as well as journals that are looking for contributions for special sustainability editions.

The Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME: Placing sustainability at the heart of management education, is available online at

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