Sustainability Vision and Practice: The Apparent Gap Between Corporate Leaders’ Pronouncements and the Perceptions of Polish and U.S. MBA Students from Three Universities.

Al Rosenbloom, Douglas N. Ross
June 1, 2017
Europe, North America
Ethics & Social Justice
38 pages
sustainability practices, sustainability advocacy, leadership, crosscultural management education, Education
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This study focuses on the CEO-asserted critical need for sustainability in corporate strategy and MBA student perceptions of the extent to which their respective programs prepare them to handle sustainability challenges successfully. Students in one Polish and two U.S. mid-tier MBA programs were surveyed regarding their perceptions of four issues:
1) the link between sustainability practices and corporate performance;
2) the barriers to embedding sustainability practices in their current job;
3) the effects of being a sustainability advocate on their careers; and 
4) the efficacy of their MBA programs in fostering leadership perspectives and skills related to sustainability. While students generally agreed on the positive link between sustainability practices and performance, they differed on the other issues. The study discusses the implications of these findings for faculty members who want to close the gap between what CEOs say they need from graduates related to sustainability vis-à-vis the ability of current MBA programs to fulfill that need.