Conference Proceedings: 6th PRME Asia Forum

The 6th PRME Asia Forum was organized by Goa Institute of Management at Goa, India on 27-28 November, 2015. It was preceded by a one-day workshop on Teaching Responsible Management. The Forum was focussed on the theme of integrating Responsible Management Education into the curriculum of B-Schools. It was an opportunity for B-Schools to sharethe various curricular and co-curricular interventions introducedto promote responsible management education. The Forum was supported by the following sponsors: ABB India, Ambuja Cement, Britannia, Emerson India and TVS Group. It attracted speakers and delegates from several countries in addition to India, including Philippines, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, U.S. and New Zealand.

The Workshop

The purpose of the workshop was to provide teachers from Asian business schools with ideas about how they could inculcate a sensitivity to society and the environment. Some key learnings from the Workshop were as follows:

1. To convince students of the importance of responsible management, help them discover the kind of world they want to live in and the capabilities and values they would need to make that happen. Also, toquantify the ecological and social costs of business decisions.

2. To promote more responsible decisions andexpose students to practical managerial situations. Help them analyze the impact of managerial decisions and actions on various stakeholders. Help them understand the non-obvious ethical dilemmas in each situation and develop action plans to address them.

 

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  • The Forum

The Forum explored why and how responsible management education could be integrated into the curriculum of B-Schools. Some key learnings at the Forum were as follows:

1. Future economic growth was likely to be concentrated in India and China,which wouldresult in these countries monopolizing energy and water usage. However, the region was likely to experience extreme weather conditions, rising sea levels and increasing energy and water scarcity due to climate change. Given this, Asia needed to focus on certain sustainable development goals, such as sustainable water management, energy management and establishing global partnerships to deal with the climate crisis.

2. Organizations in Asia need to embed sustainability into their business strategies in order to help achieve the Sustainable Development goals. However, a recent Ethical Corporation Survey in 2012 indicated that only 33% of CEO respondents made any effort to embed sustainability in their business strategy.

3. B-Schools needed to inculcate a “sustainability mind-set” among students. Several types of competencies – cognitive, affective, moral and behavioural – had to be inculcated through a variety of pedagogies. Mr Nasser Munjee, Chairman, Board of Governors at GIM, delivered the keynote speech and said that B-school students need to learn to be human – toCare for others and to be Creative – while executing projects with both scale and speed. This would ensure that students have a meaningful impact on the natural environment and society.

4. B-Schools in Asia have respondedto this need in the following ways: (a) Customized programs on Sustainability; (b) Centres of Corporate Governance/Social Responsibility to do research, develop learning materials and lead curriculum development(c) Core and elective courses on sustainability and (e) summer internships with NGOs. Less frequently, a sustainability module was included in functional courses such as Accounting, Marketing & Human Resources.

Responsible management was integrated into co-curricular activitiesthrough social work, interaction with leaders of civil society and workshops by eminent social workers. It was integrated into extra-curricular activities through student participation in Business Ethics case writing competitions, participation in teaching street vendors about management and UNGC Chinese, Korean and Japanese Youth CSR programs and debates.

5. Some B-Schools reported positive student reactions to the curriculum changes. Besides this, research and publications in the area of Sustainability, Ethics, Governance and Social Responsibility have steadily increased. More could be achieved if there was a buy-in from the top management of B-Schools and from the faculty members offering functional courses.

The Forum concluded with the setting up of an emergent PRME chapter in India. The host of the seventh PRME Asia Forum was Hong Kong Polytechnic University at Hong Kong. Prof Pamsy Hui gave the acceptance speech.

 

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