Currently, the design of courses for responsible business and management is a priority at many business schools, be it in the form of new courses, or as redesign of existing courses. In this post, we will highlight main challenges in the design of such courses and then, in a second post, present four course designs templates where these challenges have been addressed.
A first challenge is the integration of the three topics of sustainability, responsibility, and ethics (SRE). Traditionally, these topics were either isolated in separate courses titled, for instance, “Business and society”, “Business Ethics” or “Sustainable Business”. However, the close relatedness of these three topics makes any separation artificial. Sustainability, responsibility, and ethics have to be taught together to be understood wholly.
A second challenge is how we bring conventional business thinking together with SRE thinking? The courses described in the next post aim at close integration by presenting conventional and SRE business concepts, tools, and practices together and in union. Interestingly, an increasing number of business schools teaches their introduction to business or management as a mixture of conventional business and SRE business.
A third challenge is how to create a strong connection between theory and practice, aspiration and application. The urgent and impactfull social, environmental, and ethical issues related to irresponsible business and management make the translation of content into behavior and real-life change even more important than in most other subjects.
A fourth challenge of very practical nature is the availability of materials such as textbooks, cases, power point presentations, test banks, and instructor manuals. For the course designs below we made sure to provide access opportunities to all these materials.
If you are interested in concrete course templates and materials, in which we believe to have coped well with these challenges, please have a look at the blog post including four basic templates for responsible management and business courses.