Responsible Management Education at a Time of Crisis. Lucia Reisch Professor CBS Center for Corporate Social Responsibility (cbsCSR). Higher Education at a Time of Crisis 29 June 2009 Copenhagen Business School.
CBS Center for
Corporate Social Responsibility (cbsCSR)
Higher Education at a Time of Crisis
29 June 2009
Copenhagen Business School
Founding Partner of The European Academy of Business in Society (EABIS) in 2002
In the first half of the year we faced several global crises (energy and food), and the urgency concerning climate change was heightened.
These crises point out to a new important and crucial fact: as a result of economic growth and the incorporation to the international markets of the emerging countries (Russia, China, India and Brazil), we are now facing the certainty of scarcity in the supply of natural resources in the world – in the areas of food, energy, water and climate.
In the second half of the year, we witnessed the collapse of the credit system and a rapid spread of the biggest and most contagious economic recession in our lifetime.
This crisis has presented the international community with some needs: a) design and implement global recovery, b) reform of the IMF to cope with economic distress in the developing countries, c) international financial regulation, d) reform of the international monetary system, e) diverse calls to rethink global capitalism (with more questions than answers)
to initiatives like PRME
PRME:a global call to change the curriculum, research and learning methods of management education, incorporating at the core of the vision, the tools and the skills taught, the values of the United Nations Global Compact
a) Are responsible companies satisfied with the average professional going out of the business schools?
* 76% of senior executives say that it is important they have the knowledge and skills to respond to trends like resource scarcity, the low carbon economy and doing business in emerging markets
* Fewer than 8% believe these knowledge and skills are being developed very effectively by their own organizations or business schools
(Developing the Global Leader of Tomorrow, Survey - Matthew Grisham - PRME Global Forum)
Two key questions
b) Is it necessary to consolidate the legitimacy of management education?
1. At the end of the current crisis, CSR will probably be “upgraded” into something more holistic: a new definition of the nature and role of the private corporation(and its relationship to society and the common good).
This will mean a transition to a new theoretical model of the firm reflecting the practices already in place, - a move from short term profit maximization to profit maximization under the constraints of long term growth (sustainability not just as an attribute of the company’s operations, but as the core of the definition of the company itself).
Implications: new basic research on the theory of the firm and new applied research in the field of public regulation and social regulation of the firm.
2. In the aftermath of the current crisis,we will probably see the rise and demand for a new approach to management: Managerial capitalism.
Thus, while the agency theory and the share value theory (and the role they assign to managers) are being subjected to a revision, the role of management will crucially be to balance the interests of a diverse group of stakeholders, including workers, governments, shareholders and communities (New York Times, 3/29/09 “How Crisis Shapes the Corporate Model”).
Implications: new approached to strategic management, both in basic and applied research.
4. Integration of social and climate concerns: Finally, social and climate concerns will have to be integrated into one single new value proposition for responsible corporate behavior.
The environment is not any more an add-on to the economy but two dimensions of the same reality, the greening of the economy towards a low-carbon economic structure is not an add-on to economic recovery, but a crucial component of recovery itself, and the green corporation is not something different from the new role of the firm in society.
Implications: apart from some courses on sustainability, climate change has not been integrated into educational efforts in the curriculum of business schools.