Market demand for sustainability in management education

Matthew Gitsham, Timothy S. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose-This paper aims to contribute to the ongoing debate about the relevance of sustainability in management education through exploration of the needs and expectations of a key group of business schools’ stakeholders-senior executives of leading corporations. Design/methodology/approach-The paper presents findings from a survey regarding sustainability within management education returned by executives from a wide span of global companies. The study includes 194 survey responses by senior executives from companies that are signatories of the United Nations Global Compact. Findings-Results from a survey of executives from leading multinational enterprises reveal widespread recognition that sustainability issues are increasingly important for effective management, thus that managers must be appropriately trained for these emerging challenges. Survey results also indicate the kinds of skills and qualities seen as valuable by corporate leaders. Research limitations/implications-It is not possible to extrapolate from this study the aggregate sentiment of all senior business executives, but the sample of 194 respondents is significant. Practical implications-The expressed demand from business leaders provides context for business school faculty and administrators involved in the development of appropriately trained professionals. Originality/value-The study provides indication of demand from a significant subset of influential executives, providing support for the on-going progress of the integration of sustainability topics and training in the curricula of business and other fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-303
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2014


  • Business schools
  • Executive survey
  • Management education
  • PRME (principles for responsible management education)
  • Stakeholder
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Education


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