Teaching for Tomorrow: Preparing Responsible Citizens

  • Martin BruecknerEmail author
  • Rochelle Spencer
  • Megan Paull
Part of the CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance book series (CSEG)


The complicity of business schools in corporate wrong-doing has long been receiving public attention (Orr 1994), especially in more recent years following the collapse of companies like Enron, Tyco and WorldCom and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (Crane and Matten 2016). Perceptions of widespread corporate malfeasance have triggered growing calls—inter alia—for a greater emphasis on ethics in management education (Swanson and Frederick 2003; Alsop 2006; Crane 2004; Cornelius et al. 2007). Further compounding the moral dilemma of business schools are mounting socio-ecological problems globally, which have at their core the very economic model enshrined in business curricula world-wide (Willard 2004; Hart 2007; von der Heidt and Lamberton 2011; Godemann et al. 2014). Thus, places of higher education, and business schools in particular (especially since they attract the largest student numbers) are called upon not only to help students build their ethical identities (Swanson and Dahler-Larsen 2008), but also to equip them with the requisite tools to become earth-literate future leaders (after Martin and Jucker 2005) able to navigate and manage the complex challenges that have come to characterise this era (Lozano et al. 2015) we tellingly call the Anthropocene (see Steffen et al. 2011). It is considered a moral imperative but also a question of social relevance that business schools uphold their identity as places of learning with a conscience and purpose; driving positive social change by way of informing and shaping managerial and professional attitudes and practices (Adams et al. 2011; José Chiappetta Jabbour 2010; Tilbury et al. 2004; Green et al. 2017). As suggested by Setó-Pamies and Papaoikonomou (2016: 524):

Academic institutions help shape the attitudes and behaviour of business leaders through business education, research, management development programs, training, and other pervasive, but less tangible, activities, such as the spread and advocacy of new values and ideas. Through these means, academic institutions have the potential to generate a wave of positive change, thereby helping to ensure a world where both enterprises and societies can flourish.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Brueckner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rochelle Spencer
    • 1
  • Megan Paull
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Responsible Citizenship and SustainabilityMurdoch UniversityPerthAustralia

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