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Lecturers' attitudes and perceptions on change: Incorporation of sustainability to the discipline of Business Administration
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


Sustainability involves progressing economic, social and environmental goals together in an attempt to meet current needs without compromising with the needs of future generations. Universities can play an important role in educating young people in sustainability. Many future managers study at business schools which makes this discipline particularly interesting in terms of creating sustainability across society. Swedish universities are by law encouraged to embed sustainability which requires significant changes at all levels including the work of lecturers.


The purpose of this study is to examine lecturers’ attitudes and perceptions on making changes to embed sustainability into the courses they teach.


A qualitative research method with semi-structured interviews was applied. An interview guideline was developed and eight lecturers from basic and intermediate education programmes at Umeå Business School and Economics (UBSE) were recruited. Data was transcribed and analysed in relation to the theoretical framework of change models.


Eight lecturers were interviewed and overall they reported positive attitudes towards making changes to incorporate sustainability into their courses but many of them found it difficult to do so in practice. Obstacles to make such changes included being limited in the decision-making of changes to the syllabus, limited knowledge, time constraints and motivation. Findings show that management plays an essential role in making changes and that a number of key persons (change agents) who want to implement more sustainability to the courses already exist in the organisation.

ConclusionsLecturers are important to fulfil changes to their existing courses to incorporate sustainability but in need of more time and training in this subject. A sustainable approach at UBSE positively affects lecturers’ attitudes to incorporate sustainability to their teaching. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 49 p.
Keyword [en]
Lecturers’ attitudes, Change Management, Educational change, Sustainability in education, Syllabus, Incorporate sustainability
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-100327OAI: diva2:791548
Educational program
Study Programme in Business Administration and Economics
Available from: 2015-03-02 Created: 2015-03-01 Last updated: 2015-03-02Bibliographically approved

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