Business and Management INK

Responsible Management Education Week 2024: Sage Asks ‘What Does It Mean to You?’

June 19, 2024 649

In recognition and celebration of Responsible Management Education Week 2024, 17-21 June, Sage took part in the Network for Business Sustainability webinar, “Navigating the Ecosystem of Support for Teaching Business Sustainability;” sponsored the UN PRME Global Forum online with the stakeholder theme of “Accelerating our Common Agenda;” and partnered with the RRBM network for their Responsible Research Summit at the University of Cambridge, which focused on “Advancing Research Credibility and Relevance in a Multidisciplinary World.”

Given the week’s overall theme of responsible management, Sage (the parent of Social Science Space) used the opportunity to ask our authors, editors, and contacts what responsible management education means to them. Below are some of the fascinating and thought-provoking replies we received.

“Responsible management education involves teaching our students to solve problems that they encounter while making sure they carefully consider the varied consequences of their actions.”

Carolyn D. Davis, associate professor (business administration) in the Business Administration And Economics Division Faculty, Morehouse College, and Editor-in-Chief for Entrepreneurship of Sage Business: Business Foundations

“We have a duty of care as educators to ensure students are aware of the ethical issues surrounding management. For me, responsible management education means providing a balanced perspective on management which includes calling out ethical challenges and providing the context. In a world where students may miss mainstream news and gain knowledge of current affairs through social media, it’s important to highlight the implications of decisions that impact our wider society.”

Annmarie Hanlon, chartered marketer and senior llecturer in digital and social media marketing, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, and author of Digital Business: Strategy, Management & Transformation

“Responsible management education for me means both, to enable our students learning of responsible management practice and to engage in educational practices responsibly, to serve as role models for our students. The latter includes to showcase the most advanced best practice of ethical, responsible, and sustainable management in our business school management, from Dean to assessment office and recruitment. From what I have observed in many business schools, we have most to improve in that last area of responsible management, where we can rarely call ourselves perfect role models of responsible management and at times even compromise the great efforts in the classroom.”

Oliver Laasch, professor of responsible management, ESCP Business School Berlin, adjunct professor in social entrepreneurship at the University of Manchester, and founder of the Center for Responsible Management Education, and author of Principles of Business & Management: Practicing Ethics, Responsibility, Sustainability

“Responsible management is a powerful force to inspire positive action in business and society. Academic thought leadership and practical training on responsible management are some of the ways we as academics can be activists. We are privileged to reimagine disciplines of management for good, and more than that, we have an obligation to shape the imaginations and actions of next generations to use business as a force for good. I consider it my purpose and am proud to belong to an educational organization that promotes responsible leadership and business with impact.”

Julia Wolny, professor in responsible marketing and director of impact, Sustainability Hub, EADA Business School, Barcelona

“To me, responsible management education is in the ‘how’ I teach more than ‘what’ I teach. I do not like to add ‘responsible’ management content just to tick the box and capture the zeitgeist. Responsible management education lies in inviting students to reflect in an open way on the concept I teach and what are their societal and ethical implications.”

Benjamin Voyer, professor of entrepreneurship, ESCP Business School London, chairholder of the Cartier – ESCP – HEC Turning Points Research Chair, Visiting professor in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and contributor to The Sage Handbook of Luxury Brand Management & Marketing (forthcoming)


“Responsible management education means imparting to students an awareness of how the firm can align itself with opportunities in the environment outside the firm that would result in the enhancement of 1) environmental capital, 2) social capital, and 3) human capital. Importantly, responsible management would deliver value that investors in the firm and other stakeholders would appreciate. When the inevitable conflicts arise between competing stakeholder groups, responsible management would seek outcomes that enlightened investors would approve considering the context the firm finds itself at that time. Deferral of gratification for investors and management would likely be a recurring theme as the firm navigates a competitive marketplace influenced by macro factors, such as 1) the emergence of technologies, 2) new competitors from around the globe, 3) economic dynamism, and 4) government interventions in the marketplace.”

Mark Peterson, professor of marketing & sustainable business practices, College of Business, University of Wyoming, and author of Sustainable Marketing: A Holistic Approach

“Perhaps the most important obligation we have is educating and inspiring the next generation of organizational leaders! Responsible management education is the process of creating effective leaders who propel their organizations toward success in three key dimensions: economic prosperity, social justice, and environmental stewardship. Highly effective leaders use their critical thinking skills to anticipate shifts and opportunities in the external environment; they use their organizational and analytical skills to create solutions; and they use their deep understanding of context and consequences to deploy those solutions.”

Diane M. Phillips, professor of marketing at Saint Joseph’s University, guest professor at the Institute for Retail Management at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and author of Marketing Strategy & Management

“Responsible management education is about ensuring our students can, on graduation, understand how they can contribute to making the business world a better place and that our staff organize our teaching and research in such a way as to ensure we deliver the best research-informed teaching possible.”

Paul Baines, professor of political marketing, deputy dean (strategic projects), and director of executive education, School of Business, University of Leicester

“Responsible management education means responsible in both senses of the word: being responsible for management and acting responsibly in managing. Both are encapsulated in the Māori concept of Kaitiakitanga – Guardianship, which most kids are taught in primary school in Aotearoa New Zealand now. Instead of claiming (pretending?) that management is morally neutral because its aim is just increasing shareholder financial returns, we have to point out the social and environmental costs of this approach, provide alternatives, and think of ourselves not as owners but as guardians of the resources we manage for future generations.”

Stephen Cummings, professor of strategy & innovation, associate dean, international and accreditation, School of Management, Victoria University of Wellington, and co-author of Indigenous Management: Knowledges and Frameworks (forthcoming)

“In my opinion, responsible management education is a three-pronged term which entails: (1) Educating current and future managers to develop the mindset and skills required to manage sustainable, socially responsible, diverse, inclusive, and ethical workplaces; (2) Managing curricula and educational institutions in a sensible and sensitive manner that ensures that the education imparted is timely and responsive to the growing needs of the students as well as contemporary businesses and societies; and (3) Being open – to different perspectives, to new ways of doing things, to sharing ideas, and to being transparent.”

Lakshmi Balachandran Nair, senior assistant professor (research), Department of Business and Management, Luiss University, Rome, and editor-in-chief for business ethics of Sage Business: Business Foundations

We also invite you to reflect on the role and importance of responsible management education in achieving positive societal impact, shaping business and tomorrow’s leaders, and fostering sustainable futures for all. What does responsible management education mean to you?

Sage, the parent of Social Science Space, is a global academic publisher of books, journals, and library resources with a growing range of technologies to enable discovery, access, and engagement. Believing that research and education are critical in shaping society, 24-year-old Sara Miller McCune founded Sage in 1965. Today, we are controlled by a group of trustees charged with maintaining our independence and mission indefinitely. 

View all posts by Sage

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