The Business School’s Right to Operate: Responsibilization and Resistance

David Murillo, Steen Vallentin

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    The current crisis has come at a cost not only for big business but also for business schools. Business schools have been deemed largely responsible for developing and teaching socially dysfunctional curricula that, if anything, has served to promote and accelerate the kind of ruthless behavior and lack of self-restraint and social irresponsibility among top executives that have been seen as causing the crisis. As a result, many calls have been made for business schools to accept their responsibilities as social institutions and to work toward becoming more socially embedded and better attuned to public interests. In this paper, however, we point to some of the barriers there may be in the way of business schools developing into responsible organizational citizens proper. We argue that there are lines of resistance against responsibilization operating at epistemological, institutional, and organization levels and that we need to take account of barriers on all these levels in order to properly capture the challenges that are involved in making the modern business school amenable to demands for more social responsibility. In terms of working toward overcoming such barriers, we discuss how business education can become more socially embedded via the inclusion of ethical reflection and critical thinking
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Business Ethics
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)743-757
    Number of pages15
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Business ethics
    • Business schools
    • Corporate social responsibility
    • Critical management education
    • Management education
    • Management paradigms
    • Right to operate

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