Opportunities and Challenges in Integrating Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across research and curriculum
Special Issue Guest Editors:
- Fara Azmat, Deakin University, Australia.
- Michael Polonsky, Deakin University, Australia.
Integrating Sustainable Development Goals across curriculum and research
Fara Azmat and Michael Polonsky, (2018) Social Business, 8(4), 339-343
Graduate competencies and disposition for sustainable development: The nexus of curriculum and pedagogy
in business education
Swati Nagpal, Nicole El Haber and Suzanne Young, (2018) Social Business, 8(4), 345-368
Purpose The aim of this research is to advance our understanding of the interplay between business education the business education curriculum and pedagogy in developing graduate competencies for sustainable development. Scope There is growing scholarly interest and debate on what kinds of sustainability focused competencies and graduate attributes business students should develop during the course of their study. The literature appears to have converged on a set of five competencies, which are systems thinking, futures thinking, values thinking, strategic thinking and collaboration. Despite the growing emphasis on the sustainability-related competencies for business graduates, there is limited consideration in the literature on the alignment of the business curriculum, pedagogy and overall course design as antecedents to fostering these competencies. Methodology In this study, an ethnographic case methodology is used to examine the design and delivery of an undergraduate compulsory business subject in sustainability at the La Trobe Business School in Melbourne, Australia.
Transformational learning approach to embedding UN Sustainable Development Goal 1: No Poverty,
in business curricula
Ranjit Voola, Jessica Wyllie and Jamie Carlson, (2018) Social Business, 8(4), 369-385
Purpose This paper explores transformational learning (TL) via critical reflection in a novel Master’s course titled ‘Poverty Alleviation and Profitability’. This course, run at a leading university in Australia, explores how for-profit businesses can alleviate poverty (United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1) and obtain profits, simultaneously. A TL approach was adopted to challenge students’ worldviews, including their existing assumptions about poverty and profits, and then shifting these assumptions with the aim of changing their behaviour. Design/Methodology/Approach Critical reflections of students were evaluated to examine student engagement with TL. As part of their assessments, a cohort of students (50) was required to complete two reflections, one in the middle of the course and one at the end of the course. Findings An analysis of these reflections suggests that students recognised the importance of questioning their existing beliefs and values or “frames of reference”. Furthermore, there was some evidence that they engaged in TL, as the questioning of these assumptions led to changes in attitudes and behavioural intentions in career choices based on the argument that opportunities exist in alleviating poverty through business strategies.
An experiential learning activity for integrating the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into
Bonnie Amelia Dean, Belinda Gibbons and Stephanie Perkiss, (2018) Social Business, 8(4), 387-409
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to evaluate an initiative designed to introduce business students to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), through researching, reporting and reflecting on authentic corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. Through this initiative, business students develop first-hand experience with organisational sustainability efforts through examining CSR reporting against the SDGs. Students are prompted to analyse organisational behaviour to form their own judgements, and increase awareness of social, ethical and environmental organisational practices. Design/methodology/approach An experiential learning activity is introduced that was developed in partnership with the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) network, and WikiRate, an online CSR reporting platform, employing the SDGs as a framework. In this paper, we present a pilot study on the initiative in order to examine and evaluate student perceptions of the activity, and their post-activity reflections on CSR and the SDGs. Findings This paper offers educators a practical way to meet curriculum challenges for teaching students the theory and practical applications of sustainable business
Digital storytelling and sustainable development goals: Motivating business students to engage with SDGs
Vivek Venkiteswaran and Michael Cohen, (2018) Social Business, 8(4), 411-428
Purpose Motivating business students to engage in wider social issues is often difficult, especially when the issues are not aligned with some aspect of business education, or the academic progress of the student. This paper addresses one method of encouraging students to learn about Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) without compromising the traditional busine ss curriculum. Design/methodology/approach This paper develops and evaluates the application of a pedagogical strategy, digital storytelling, to motivate business students to become engaged in issues surrounding SDGs. Findings By describing a successful pedagogical strategy implemented to engage Master of Business Administration (MBA) students in SDGs, it is expected that when these students take up future leadership roles in important sectors of the economy, they will act purposefully to assist in enhancing human welfare. Limitations The model is fully developed, but applied only to a single group of post-graduate business students. Additional field work with different cohorts of student will enhance knowledge about the best method of implementation.
A bottom-up perspective on SDGs: The subsistence marketplaces approach
Roland Gau and Madhu Viswanathan, (2018) Social Business, 8(4), 429-444
Purpose This paper outlines the unique bottom-up perspective that the subsistence marketplaces stream of research provides on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as how the SDGs can influence future work in subsistence marketplaces. Approach We present an overview and commentary on the subsistence marketplaces stream of research, referring to people and communities who live on low incomes, and its implications for the SDGs. Findings In contrast to other approaches at the intersection of business and low income, the subsistence marketplaces stream of research employs a bottom-up perspective to understand life circumstances at a micro level. As a result, unique synergies connecting a diverse set of stakeholders have been developed across research, education, and social enterprise. The subsistence marketplaces perspective emphasises how the SDGs can be addressed while listening to the voices of subsistence consumers as sustainable solutions are developed for large challenges such as poverty, hunger, education, justice, and equality. In turn, the use of SDGs provides insight into future directions for stakeholders working in subsistence marketplaces.