Sustainability and undergraduate management curricula: Changes over a 5-year period

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Journal Article

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Fisher, J., & Bonn, I. (2017). Sustainability and undergraduate management curricula: Changes over a 5-year period. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 33(1), 18-33.

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0814-0626 print, 2049-775X online


Global initiatives and a rapidly expanding academic literature identify the responsibility that universities have to incorporate sustainability education into their curricula. This study had two aims: first, to investigate the extent to which Australian undergraduate management curricula explicitly identified a focus on sustainability and, second, to examine the changes that had occurred between 2009 and 2014. A web-based content analysis was undertaken to gain a snapshot view of the emphasis placed on sustainability in all 40 Australian universities’ business/management courses. Our findings showed that in 2014, three-quarters of the courses identified failed to include even one subject that all students must study that mentioned sustainability. This finding was only marginally different from the 2009 findings, suggesting that there is a long way to go before sustainability education in Australian universities’ undergraduate management curricula could be claimed to be fulfilling the needs of students, businesses, and the broader society.

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