In partnership with the UK’s national body for higher education, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, the project responds directly to recent headlines in The Times Higher Education which questions the relevance of business and management research to society.
However, benefiting from the ‘world leading’ and applied research in each of the business schools, this collaborative enhancement project will deliver a practice toolkit and community of practice to enhance the wider scale impact of work-based learners on global issues.
Leading the project is a world-leading specialist in management learning and education for sustainable development, Professor Tony Wall at Liverpool Business School. He says: “Business entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial people inside organisations (‘intrapreneurs’) are skilled at creating all sorts of value. Our project will reveal specifically how business schools are promoting the abilities and mindsets to develop social and environmental value - not just profit.”
Co-lead at Oxford Brookes University Business School, Principal Lecturer Dr Simon M Smith, said: “We know that management learning has many subtle practices which promote certain ways of thinking – some of which are destructive and some promote real societal and environmental change. We want to pin them down and promote them nationally.”
The project specifically examines how practitioners studying part-time are supported through their business school education to drive change within and beyond their organisations. The toolkit will help business Schools in (and beyond the UK) enhance their practices and boost societal impact through their teaching and learning.
The co-lead at Chester Business School, Associate Professor Lisa Rowe, said: “Part time and work based learning can often be seen as just technical learning, but research shows us it can be much more than that – it can change attitudes and mindsets towards people and planet”.
The project combines and creates synergies between each of the three business schools, which are all signatories of the United Nations’ Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative:
- Liverpool Business School’s latest PRME report is accessible here and recently hosted the PRME UK and Ireland Chapter’s 10 year anniversary in Liverpool.
- Chester Business School is a founding member of PRME and its reports are available online here. Through the University of Chester, it is associated with the HyNet (hydrogen energy) project. The lead at Chester is Associate Professor Lisa Rowe.
- Oxford Brookes University Business School’s latest report is here, and founded the national PRME writing competition almost a decade ago. The lead at Oxford Brookes is Principal Lecturer Dr Simon M Smith.
This project follows Liverpool Business School’s recent international policy and practice guidance for social value in universities showcased by the Higher Education Policy Institute (the report is available here) and its European Symposium for Sustainability in Business Education.
Business educators wanting to get involved with the project should use this form to log your expression of interest for future events.