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Sensemaking of sustainability in business education: The case of PRME in Swedish business schools and universities
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In this paper we explore what role business schools play when it comes to shifting the paradigm towards sustainability and generating responsible decision-makers. It has been suggested that certain mainstream management models and theories has had some significant and negative influence on the conduct of business or even at times contradict sustainable development. Thus the aim of the paper is to explore the views and experiences of academics as well as the challenges they face when working with integrating sustainability into the education. Seven business schools and universities in Sweden have recently signed the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative and therefore made a commitment to implement sustainability into their education as well as engage in a platform for responsible management education. This study is based on semi- structured interviews with people responsible for working with the schools’ commitment. Our main findings are that signing PRME is a logic of legitimacy and that most schools are in the beginning of implementing sustainability. The main challenges that the schools face in the process are related to the complexity of bringing a new concept into an academic organisation initially from the top management in a bottom up environment. In addition to this, there seem to be a detachment of how the respondents express the role of business education and the more general role of business in society, in relation to responsibility. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 61 p.
Keyword [en]
sustainability, business education, management education, business schools
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-301154OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-301154DiVA: diva2:953749
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Management
Available from: 2016-08-18 Created: 2016-08-18 Last updated: 2016-08-18Bibliographically approved

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