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Objective 

CSR Teaching and Education in Business Schools:

There is growing criticism that business schools globally are no more than brainwashing institutions educating their students only on relatively narrow shareholder value ideology, particularly in the wake of the recent corporate scandals. (Emiliani, 2006, Ghoshal & Moran, 2005). The need has been felt to incorporate themes like ethics, social responsibility and business society interlinkages. In response to this, some solutions like adding a course in business ethics in the business school curriculum, greater emphasis on ethical dimensions in the regular courses, mainstreaming CSR education have been proposed (AACSB,2004, Eabis, 2006). There is increasing recognition that in grooming leaders for the future, business schools need to address and integrate the notion of responsibility of business in to their curriculum. 
A review of the courses offered by the US and European business schools reveal that there are four categories of courses currently being offered:

  • Business ethics:
    The focus of this course has been on ethical decision making in managerial roles. It is positioned at the level of the individual. Understanding of the ethical theories with tools for analysing ethical dilemmas constitutes a dominant part of the course. The objectives of the course are to stimulate moral imagination of students, help students recognize moral issues, concepts and principles and help them deal with moral dilemmas through critical reflection and reasoning.
  • Corporate Social responsibility
    Most courses on CSR focus on stakeholder management as the core of the course. Businesses exist in a larger societal context and there is mutual interdependence between business and society. There are two points of view that teaching faculty adopt: the first being the corporation as a Citizen - with rights and responsibilities to their various stakeholders. The second view is the social responsibility as a process of strategic intent within organizations. Teaching faculty who adopt the environments in which businesses operate consisting of related market and non market components. The market environment is captured by competition while the non market environment is characterized by the social, legal and political arrangements in which the firm is embedded (Baron, 2003). Just as firms compete in market environments, they also compete in non-market environments, but this is more complex because of multiple stakeholders and their interests. In both the cases, the key framework, which drives the discourse in the classroom, is the stakeholder framework.
  • Corporate Governance
    Courses in corporate governance intend to sensitize the students to the theory and practice of governance in organizations. The focus of the course is on the nature of corporate governance, corporate board structure, government regulation, executive remuneration and mergers and acquisitions.
  • Business & Society
    This course often attempts to combine the business ethics and corporate social responsibility courses. It covers the ethical decision making at the individual level and also the stakeholder framework at the level of the firm.

In addition to these, other popular courses include social entrepreneurship Environment and sustainability.

CSR Education in Indian Business Schools

In 2005, Partners in Change (PiC) and the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) conducted a scoping survey of corporate social responsibility education in Indian business schools. The survey sample was small and the responses limited, but they revealed some interesting results:

  1. While the corporate responsibility teaching is currently limited in India, there is considerable interest in the subject
  2. In the institutions where courses on Business Ethics or CSR were offered, they were often the initiative of individual faculty members who were interested in the area.
  3. Faculty face significant obstacles in incorporating corporate responsibility in to business education.

Individual faculty in management schools have been offering courses on business ethics, CSR, Corporate Governance, Business and Society, Environment and Sustainability and social entrepreneurship.

The need to create a greater awareness among the business school students on the social issues in India becomes increasingly relevant. It is well recognized that in the fast pace of economic development, benefits of globalization in emerging countries like India have not translated in terms of commensurate performance in the Human Development Indicators like mortality, health, education and gender. Such a process of economic growth is likely to aggravate the already existing inequity in society. Confederation of Indian Industry, which is an apex industry federation, was urged to play its role as a partner to the Government. (Manmohan Singh's speech at CII, 2007). As future business leaders, MBA students need to be aware of the larger socio economic political context in which businesses operate.

The integrative course on "Responsible business" intends to plug this gap in the management education.

References:

Emiliani M L (2006) Improving Management Education . Quality Assurance in Education Vol 14 (4) 363-384 Emerald Publishing

Ghoshal S & Moran P (2005) Towards a Good theory of Management in Sumantra Ghoshal on Management ed. Birkinshaw J & Piramal G Prentice Hall

Baron. D P (2003) Business and its Environment 4 th edition Prentice Hall

Eabis 
http://www.gfme.org/

 

 

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