From OUR EDITORIAL STAFF, as usual in our articles that pretend to be information and dissemination at the same time, we have gone out there this time (to the most powerful network that exists) in search of the collective thinking of those responsible for the sector of the postgraduate training to solve our contribution today.
What we describe below is not the opinion of any person in training in particular, but rather what we have drawn as a conclusion to the current state of the business schools on this issue of social responsibility.
The questions that circulate out there are diverse and interesting, such as what actions could business schools take to make them more socially responsible?
Apparently, when we begin to investigate this issue, we can go in the sense of a social responsibility with very simple things in terms of policies that business schools must establish, like any other economic activity (this is ultimately, high-level training, but it is still a business at the end) and it seems good to us, because in this way it will be guaranteed (having to take care of its corporate image) that they come in line with the organizations that are more socially responsible.
For example, you can start by preserving both aesthetic and sanitary conditions, in addition to comfort, the facilities. Keep the school building clean and contribute to the surrounding neighborhood, so that garbage does not accumulate, take care of the green that surrounds it, from trees and plants at entrances, walkways, entrances, etc. At the same time, the reduction of water and energy consumption can be controlled, and this is the responsibility of the school to say, for example, taking care not to leave taps open, or lights on unnecessarily in classrooms that have no activity and a long etcetera.
Beyond the scope of the physical structure itself, we find the actions of social responsibility, for example, donating money, products or services to social causes and non-profit organizations.
It is common for large organizations with abundant resources to benefit local charities and community programs, and for the community in which a certain business school operates, this involvement and concern for local issues and problems is a way of showing social responsibility, not only in an aesthetic way, but in a committed way, because it must necessarily be involved in actions that are in line with the improvement of social and economic conditions, etc. of that region.
Some ways to make a school more socially aware can be done with the following actions:
– Establish beyond its original training activity, a social mission.
– For this, the goals to be proposed have to be realistic.
– For it to be successful and continuous, there must be social awareness in the corporate culture of the business school and the staff must be educated
– It is necessary to have an internal team that fulfills the functions of corporate social responsibility, which will surely be made up of two or more people from different departments, or on the contrary it is an ad-hoc department.
– Direct contributions can be made.
– Volunteering that has implications for social actions in the region can be encouraged.
– Must agree with local companies agreements that enter into the exercise of ethical and socially responsible labor practices.
– It is necessary to train in sustainable thinking, so that socially responsible action is not considered a chimera, but an ordinary operational action that must be carried out as part of a responsible global activity.
Therefore, we believe it is necessary to highlight some factors to take into account for the socially responsible policies that business schools are going to implement:
1º) Business schools must promote social responsibility together with profits, they must not be separate entities. Benefits obtained in such a way that social responsibility actions have always been included, are those that count in the medium and long term for society and institutions, but will also have insurance for investors, shareholders, etc., which are increasingly demanding with the socially responsible policies made by the organizations in which they participate.
2º) Although corporate executives, business school students and opinion leaders are beginning to look at business through a new lens, one of corporate social responsibility, sustainability and even spirituality, we continue to witness a sharp increase in inequality and the front pages of major national and international newspapers are time and again plagued by questionable business practices and grossly unethical behavior.
3rd) Millennials and generation Z hope that corporations go beyond philanthropy to feel good, and implement their actions towards the integration of social responsibility in their strategic thinking. This is where good business schools matter.
4th) The UN Principles for Responsible Management Education are a step in this direction, emphasizing the need to achieve a balance between monetary and sustainability objectives. Encourages institutions to innovate and advance teaching on topics relevant to business, society, and the environment. Obviously, at this point only one institution fits in: business schools in postgraduate training with socially responsible criteria.
5º) Academics are defending a new vision driven by a purpose through general and specialized courses on ethical business, as well as how to make business models contribute to the orderly spread of projects (more companies) sustainable over time and with criteria of social responsibility that are integrated in postgraduate training programs and in the mentality of teachers, therefore, in the new corporate culture of business schools.
Through such curricula, business schools invite existential reflection on the purpose and effectiveness of business organizations to improve human well-being in tangible ways.
6th) By incorporating this broader perspective into their curricula and promoting awareness that whatever goals their students adopt will also be reflected in the schools themselves, this is the time when business schools have the opportunity to hone their character of its future graduates turning ethical responsibility into moral identity.
7º) We are witnessing a time in which society as a whole demands an economy of greater responsibility, which has been called “responsible capitalism” since the end of the 20th century. Therefore, the role that business schools should pursue is to seek to redefine success in terms of the degree of intellectual challenge and support they provide, measuring the general satisfaction with the lives of their former students and tracing their professional careers in social and responsable organizations, such as charities or startups that create social value.
8º) The growing economic pressures derived from the increase in tuition costs, the decrease in the supply of state funds in the granting of scholarships and an increasingly consumer-oriented culture, have created an instrumental mentality in many, if not in the most of the university students who enter to carry out their postgraduate studies, which has impacted the ethics of education in the 21st century. Securing a high-paying executive job is often mistaken for the purpose of any college and graduate education.
9th) For business schools, the key functional purpose of the education they seek is, in fact, the development of critical vision, problem-solving powers, and leadership skills required to establish and achieve a broad set of organizational goals and social.
This is not to say that entrepreneurship education should be reconsidered as a form of social services training or that there is no place for financial incentives. Only these incentives should not be framed as final goals in themselves, but as economic means to achieve greater compliance. In other words, the personal contribution that each postgraduate makes to the community in which they have studied, or in society in general, because if they have set their corporate mentality on fire with a brand of social responsibility inseparable from any business action, society as a whole will benefit and the business school that formed it will have more than fulfilled its current purpose of training new managers and leaders with sensitivity to the great challenges facing society.
10th) Essentially, good business schools must reframe the promise of future financial reward simply as a means to greater personal and social ends rather than as an end in itself.