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The revision of Business Sustainability concept to its implementation in the Business Administration Degree †. J. Tejedor-Núñez*, P. Fernández-Ferrín, M. A. Peña-Cerezo, O. García-Alonso, I. Etxano, J.C. Pérez de Mendiguren-Castresana INTED 2013

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The revision of Business Sustainability concept to its implementation in the Business Administration Degree†

J. Tejedor-Núñez*, P. Fernández-Ferrín, M. A. Peña-Cerezo, O. García-Alonso, I. Etxano, J.C. Pérez de Mendiguren-Castresana

INTED 2013

7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference

Valencia (Spain) – 4th–6th March, 2013

†Research financed within Educational Innovation Project 6400 (UPV / EHU)

Corresponding author:

jorge.tejedor@ehu.es

summary
Summary
  • Introduction
  • “Business Sustainability” (BS) approach
    • Sustainability approaches
    • BS previous definitions
    • BS lecturers’ definitions
  • Results
    • Quantitative analysis
  • Conclusions
introduction
Introduction
  • At the Business School of Vitoria-Gasteiz (University of the Basque Country – UPV/EHU) Business Sustainability (BS) has been a primary objective in the design of the Degree in Business Management and Administration (BMA).
  • The process of implementation of BMA has shown the absence of a clear definition of BS.
  • The aim of this piece of work is to reach a definition of BS, through 2 principal tools:
    • Literature review
    • Analysis of School lecturers’ perceptions
  • This piece of work is an in progress research; it is part of a larger research project looking at educational innovation.
bs definition approach sustainability approaches
BS definition approach – Sustainability approaches
  • Sustainable Development (SD) is so ambiguous that over 300 different explanatory definitions have been constructed.
    • Most of them are different from its genuine meaning.
  • The Brundtland Report (BR) adopts a number of premises which are necessary in the construction of the concept of sustainability.
  • The BR also calls to action.
  • SD requires a deep deflection aimed at the transformation of de current development model
bs definition approach sustainability approaches1
BS definition approach – Sustainability approaches
  • However, there are two main orthodox interpretations of the SD concept which are not coherent with the BR premises:
    • Theory of dematerialization:
    • Theory of dematerialization:
      • Why incoherent with BR? It defends unlimited growth and ignores the social dimension of meeting people’s basic needs.
    • Triple bottom line theory:
      • Why incoherent with BR? It defends that sustainability concerns not only the environment but also refers to economy and society.
      • Defended by the main international organizations.
      • Assumed by the main business lobbies and transnational corporations.
bs definition approach bs previous definitions
BS definition approach – BS previous definitions
  • There are many initiatives trying so:
    • United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)
    • Guides of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
    • Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME)
      • Advance corporate responsibility through the incorporation of universal values into curricula and research.
    • EFQM Model
      • For achieving sustainable excellence in any organization.
      • It outlines 8 fundamental concepts of excellence:
results obtained
Results obtained
  • Questionnaire: 20 respondents (lecturers)
    • All subject coordinators of the first two years.
    • BMA Degree: Business School of Vitoria-Gasteiz (University of the Basque Country – UPV/EHU).
  • Descriptive analysis divided in two:
    • Dimensions analysis
    • Development of competence analysis
  • Main finding of the qualitative analysis:
    • 75% of lecturers report being willing to work this competence jointly with other lecturers in the future;

those who were not willing give different reasons for not doing so (particularly lack of time).

results dimensions analysis
Results – Dimensions Analysis

Table. Mean (from 1 to 10) regarding the perceived relevance.

results dimensions analysis1
Results – Dimensions Analysis

Table. Perceived relevance by academic staff of different dimensions of BS.

results development of competence
Results – Development of competence

Table. Number of subjects where the competence is developed.

  • However, 35% of lecturers does not incorporate any of these dimensions
  • in their subjects.
results development of competence1
Results – Development of competence

Table. Number of subjects that cover BS extensively or in depth according to dimensions.

  • A certain degree of correlation (r=0.35) is detected between the mean relevance perceived and the average development in their subjects.
conclusions
Conclusions
  • It is not easy to apply the SD definition in a BMA Degree due to their different interpretations
  • The academic staff agrees with the use of a broad definition of BS
    • It is believed that given the different nature of the subjects taught in the BMA Degree, it can be implemented in a more appropriate way.
  • Within the educational innovation project, there are huge possibilities to implement a broad definition of BS in different subjects of the Degree.
    • 75% of the lecturers are willing to work the BS competence jointly with other lecturers even though the fact that is a time-consuming task.