Preview Textbook: “Principles of Responsible Management”


After five years of work from idea to publication, the first United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) textbook, “Principles of Responsible Management,” will be published through Cengage end of 2013. The book, lead-authored by Oliver Laasch and Roger N. Conaway, answers the urgent need for an applied and comprehensive textbook for responsible management education.


The book´s first section explores the context of responsible management in two chapters and subsequently delves into the theory of sustainability, responsibility, and ethics in the next three chapters. The book’s second section takes a closer look at primary management functions, including strategic management, entrepreneurship, organization, operations, supply chain management, human resources, marketing and communication, international business, accounting, and financial management. Each topic is addressed in a complete chapter and provides concepts and tools which apply sustainability, responsibility, and ethics in their respective management functions. Important didactical design features of chapters include:

  • An integrated blend of outstanding “mainstream” management and responsible management concepts
  • An “word cloud” summary and end-of-chapter review questions
  • An introductory case and in-practice boxes written by international educators and practitioners
  • A practitioner interview and a topic-pioneer dialogue about the chapter topic
  • Complete power point presentation sets, instructor manual, and test bank 


The writing process in this publication was highly collaborative with over 50 contributors as chapter authors, case and box contributors, and interviewees. The book includes exclusive interviews with topic pioneers, such as Edward FreemanPhilip Kotler, John Elkington, Geert Hofstede, Robert Costanza, Björn Stigson, Simon Zadek, Sandra Waddock, Michael Braungart, Mark Kramer, Linda Treviño, Jonas Härtle, and Liz Maw. While two thirds of the total textbook chapters have been written by the primary authors, other outstanding specialized educators authored the following chapters:

Nick Tolhurst, author of many landmark publications in CSR, has been a driving force in the conceptual design of the book and in assuring pioneer interviews with outstanding individuals.


The book´s primary use is as a required textbook for business sustainability, responsibility, and ethics courses, as offered by many business schools. Secondly, business degree programs will find the book´s chapters on mainstream business functions, such as strategic management, accounting, and human resources, to provide valuable contents for a coverage of sustainability, responsibility, and ethics across the curriculum. Chapters will be available to be bought individually. A third possibility is to use the book as primary text for first year courses, such as “Introduction to Management”, as each chapter´s responsible management contents are structured around the logic of mainstream management concepts.

Even before its official publication, the book has been well received. Five out of six reviewers stated they were very likely to adopt the book. Positive points they highlighted were the conceptual rigor, practical application, and strong chapter structure. Several dozens of academic institutions have made firm commitments to use “Principles of Responsible Management Education” for their sustainable leadership, business ethics, and business and society courses. Educators interested in adopting the book are welcome to get in touch with the lead author and CRME founder Oliver Laasch, to discuss strategies for adoption of the book or to receive ancillary materials. The book will be pilot-tested in courses around the globe before its official launch.

For a more extensive description, please check the book outline available on the UN PRME homepage as part of the call for contribution. For reviews of the book, here, for access and pricing options here.

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