Sustainability in the Business and Public Administration Curriculum

By Beate Klingenberg and Susan Kochanowski.

Published by The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability: Annual Review

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: November 11, 2015 $US5.00

Sustainability is recognized as an important strategic challenge for businesses in the 21st century. Nevertheless, the academic literature has identified two critical deficiencies. First, the actual meaning of sustainability and pathways for implementation are often not well understood. Second, improving the knowledge base around sustainability will require various efforts, as it is currently not well integrated in business and related curricula at institution of higher learning. To further explore these deficiencies and to find ways to mitigate them, this study assessed both the knowledge base and expectations in curriculum content of MBA and MPA students at a medium-sized liberal arts institution in the US. The survey results confirm literature findings that the concept of sustainability is not well understood. In particular, the systemic and interdisciplinary character of sustainability is not recognized. Although students in general consider sustainability to be important, there is an absence of desire and lack of recognition for the need to learn more about it. In view of these findings, educators are challenged to develop education formats that will succeed in enabling much needed learning of the concept and applications of sustainability. The outcomes of this study will be of interest for guidance with the development of curricula or programs that address the critical need for better education in sustainability.

Keywords: Sustainability Education, Master of Business Administration Curriculum, Master of Public Administration Curriculum, Student Survey

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability: Annual Review, Volume 10, pp.27-39. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: November 11, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 611.118KB)).

Dr. Beate Klingenberg

Associate Professor, School of Management, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York, USA

Dr. Susan Kochanowski

Senior Lecturer, Peabody College of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA