Decoupling Responsible Management Education: Why Business Schools May Not Walk Their Talk

Andreas Rasche, Dirk Ulrich Gilbert

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    Business schools increasingly aim to embed corporate responsibility, sustainability, and ethics into their curricular and extracurricular activities. This paper examines under what conditions business schools may decouple the structural effects of their engagement in responsible management education from organizational practices. We argue that schools may be unable to match rising institutional pressures to publicly commit to responsible management education with their internal capacity for change. Our analysis proposes that decoupling is likely if schools (1) are exposed to resource stringency, (2) face overt or covert resistance against change processes, (3) are confronted with competing institutional pressures, and (4) perceive institutional demands as ambiguous. The discussion points to two implications. While decoupling may give rise to the illusion that responsible management education is progressing, it is also possible that an inconsistency between talk and action can help schools to articulate ambitions for responsible management education, which, over time, inspire recoupling effects.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2014
    Number of pages34
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2014: The Power of Words - Philadelphia, United States
    Duration: 1 Aug 20145 Aug 2014
    Conference number: 74


    ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2014
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
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