International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
Emerald Publishing Limited
Purpose – This paper aims to learn how sustainability and the circular economy were being integrated into the curriculum of a Dutch university and to transfer that knowledge back to a US university business school curriculum. Given the resistance toward integrating sustainability into the US business school curriculum, the Dutch university served as a role model for education for sustainable development.
Design/methodology/approach – This case study used ethnographic methods of participant observation over a four-month residency at the Dutch university.
Findings – Themes observed are as follows: success in the current context relied upon sustainability being integrated into the culture and lifestyle, legislative enforcement, a focus on urban sustainability, use of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and collaboration as a key to success. The course proposal shifted to a class on the SDGs which is broader, more inclusive, and interdisciplinary. The proposal to integrate circular economy into the US business school curriculum shifted to a class on the SDGs. It was determined that the SDGs presented a more amenable approach to introduce sustainability into the business school curriculum and meet the objectives of education for sustainable development.
Research limitations/implications – This case study is based upon the author’s experience at one university in the Netherlands. Limitations include the generalizability of the findings to another university as well as the question of transferability across cultures.
Practical implications – This case study offers one suggestion for integrating sustainability into the business school curriculum.
Social implications – Integrating sustainability into the business school curriculum through the SDGs might help overcome resistance.
Originality/value – The findings offer an alternative approach for integrating sustainability into the business school curriculum that is aligned with AACSB standards and which might face less resistance. Keywords Sustainability, Management education, Sustainable Development Goals, Business education, Education for sustainable development, Circular economy Paper type Case study
Landrum, Nancy E.. The Global Goals: Bringing Education for Sustainable Development into U.S. Business Schools. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 22, 6: 1336-1350, 2021. Retrieved from Loyola eCommons, School of Environmental Sustainability: Faculty Publications and Other Works, http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-10-2020-0395
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