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Jesuit Values, Environmental Sustainability and Businesses Core Curriculum

Kevin E. Henrickson, Erica H. Johnson
July 1, 2015
North America
Ethics & Social Justice
15 pages
business schools, ethics, jesuit ideals, curriculum, environmental sustainability
Student Price: 
$3.50 (€3.22)
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Business Schools have typically approached ethical and/or sustainability aspects of their curriculum as complements to the traditional business disciplines. That is, coverage of these topics is typically handled through specialized courses or programs, with additional coverage by individual faculty members who choose to incorporate these topics into their courses. However, this leads to an academic environment in which student exposure to these central tenets of Jesuit ideology may vary greatly. In this essay, we argue that Jesuit values should be incorporated into foundational, required, business courses at Jesuit Universities. In addition, we articulate a meth- odology for incorporating these values into foundational business courses by linking content already covered within the course with Jesuit values. We illustrate this approach by describing how to incorporate one aspect of Catholic Social Teaching, care for the planet, into introduc- tory economics courses. By incorporating Jesuit values into what is already being taught, there is no additional material to be introduced, but rather the existing material is framed around the mission at Jesuit Universities, distinguishing Jesuit Business Education from traditional busi- ness education. Furthermore, this approach can be applied to other aspects of Catholic Social Teaching, as well as foundational business courses in other disciplines. Presenting these concepts in foundational business courses teaches students that these Jesuit ideals are central to busi- ness instead of stand-alone topics. Indeed, if we are to argue that Jesuit Business Education is different from traditional business education, it is imperative that this incorporation of Jesuit values is done systematically and consistently throughout the curriculum.