Ethics, Responsibility, and Sustainability in MBAs. Understanding the Motivations for the Incorporation of ERS in Less Traditional Markets

Gaston E Fornes, Abel Monfort, Camelia Ilie, Chun Kwong (Tony) Koo, Guillermo Cardoza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
96 Downloads (Pure)


This study of Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs in regions with different history, background, legacies, and trajectories than those in the Global North aims at having an alternative view of how Ethics, Responsibility, and Sustainability (ERS) are incorporated in management education. To this end, the research uses case studies, analyzes in-depth interviews, and adopts an inductive stakeholder theory approach to identify and understand the motivations for the incorporation of the broad area of ERS in management education in relation to the schools’ main stakeholders, mainly students and their employers. The analysis of the data shows that individual motivations (individual level) and an articulated and embedded mission that incorporates different stakeholders (organizational/curriculum level) are strong predictors. Local regulations and legislation, along with the requirements from international accreditation agencies (institutions/environment level) are also predictors, although not that strong to go beyond the incorporation of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)-related course in the curriculum of programs. Nevertheless, these CSR-related courses (organizational/curriculum level) are powerful mediators that create, as a minimum, awareness of ERS in MBA graduates who as a consequence modify their employment objectives. The data also show that the process leading to international accreditations (institutions/environment level), the expectation by employers that MBA graduates should have an ERS mindset/skills toolkit (institutions/environment level), and a hands-on, practice-based teaching methodology (organizational/curriculum level) can act as moderators. These findings show that business schools can become ERS predictors themselves, and to achieve this they need to have a better understanding of the different roles played by the different variables.
This publication is based upon work from COST Action CA18215 – China in Europe Research Network, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology),
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2019

Structured keywords

  • Education and Pedagogy
  • BILT
  • SoE Centre for Comparative and International Research in Education
  • Perspectives on Work


  • MBA
  • management education
  • Ethics
  • Responsibility
  • sustainability
  • CSR


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