Educating Change Agents for Sustainability: Learnings from the First Sustainability Management Master of Business Administration

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In recent years knowledge and capabilities to manage corporate sustainability have become a significant component of different career paths in companies, consultancies, and even in non-profit and public institutions. As an answer to this worldwide trend of a new profession ever more universities and business schools have taken the initiative to increase their teaching activities in corporate social responsibility and sustainability management. As most courses do not have a long track record and as only a limited number of management-oriented continuous education studies exists so far we still know little about how managers could be educated most effectively to become change agents for corporate sustainability. This paper examines a case study and provides insight into ten years of MBA education for sustainability management at the Centre for Sustainability Management, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany. Based on data from a recent alumni survey we analyze the corporate practice experiences of the first 85 successful MBA students and the medium term effects of the first master program in sustainability management. Based on the analysis we propose a competence matrix to structure basic components of postgraduate education in sustainability management. The paper unveils that extant research is needed to consider the practical experiences MBA graduates make when applying acquired knowledge and to link these insights to curriculum development.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)24-36
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2014

    Research areas

  • Sustainability sciences, Management & Economics - Alumni survey, MBA program in sustainability management, Higher education for sustainability management, Curriculum development, Competence profile of "change agents for Sustainability"