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Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability in management master programs: A qualitative study on the EQUIS-accredited business schools in four Nordic countries
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

With today’s public debates concerning the environmental and social issues there is a need to educate the future business leaders how to run a business in a way that can contribute to sustainability and the protection of the world’s natural resources. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate to what extent management master programs at the EQUIS-accredited business schools in the Nordic countries include courses which address the concepts of Business Ethics, CSR and Sustainability. This is interesting to study since existing theories suggest that there is a possibility that higher education could be a resource for sustainability since it will increase the students’ awareness about global sustainability issues, such as environmental, economical and social issues. Also since the world’s business schools educate management students how to manage businesses in the best possible way in order to maximize profit and shareholder value, and may not focus on the ethical part of the business governance.

For this study a qualitative research strategy has been used to investigate the content of several descriptions for programs and courses offered to management master students. By doing this we found which programs and courses that included the concepts Business Ethics, CSR and Sustainability or concepts resembling to these and which programs that did not include any of the concepts. The empirical findings facilitated our possibility to understand and analyze the content of the investigated management master programs. The study is based on secondary data collected from nine Nordic EQUIS-accredited business schools’ websites. The findings suggest that programs and courses including one or more of the concepts Business Ethics, CSR and Sustainability are available at all of the investigated business schools to a varying extent. Out of 40 investigated management master programs we found 19 programs that specifically mentioned one or more of the concepts Business Ethics, CSR and Sustainability in their program descriptions. The reasons why barely 50 percent of the programs include one or more of the concepts might be due to low demand from applicants, prioritization of other subjects and courses or that the schools do not consider these concepts to be important.

Key words: Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Consumption, Management Master Programs

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 75 p.
Keyword [en]
Business ethics, CSR, Sustainable consumption, Sustainable development, business education
Keyword [sv]
Företagsetik, hållbar utveckling, hållbar konsumtion
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-24847OAI: diva2:227862
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2009-07-27 Created: 2009-07-20 Last updated: 2012-10-02Bibliographically approved

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Larsson, LinnéaMassart, Catherine
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Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE)
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