Educating Responsible Leaders Through Adding a Sustainability Dimension to Business Courses
Anne H. Reilly, Ph.D.
July 1, 2013
Ethics & Social Justice
Leadership, Ethics, Sustainability, Business, Education, Higher Education
Journal of Jesuit Business Education (JJBE)
Sustainability is an important challenge facing today’s global organizations. A company’s sustainability performance may be measured in many ways, including the “triple bottom line” of environmental, economic, and social outcomes. Given their goal of educating committed leaders in the service of society, Jesuit business schools play an important role in moving forward the sustainability agenda through emphasizing corporate social responsibility and the principle of the common good. Asking business faculty with minimal training in environmental science to teach sustainability is not unlike the challenge of asking them to incorporate Jesuit philosophy in their business courses. Fortunately, the broad scope of sustainability and its triple bottom line permits multiple approaches towards student learning, and there are many ways to add a sustainability dimension to business school coursework. This paper discusses how subject matter non-experts may integrate a sustainability dimension in their research and teaching while also fostering student engagement. Specific recommendations are provided, including a set of classroom resources to supplement the instructor’s teaching portfolio. Addressing sustainability issues in business school classes provides an opportunity for students to make a difference, clearly supporting the Jesuit aim of service to others.