Details for University of Queensland Business School

Participant Status


Type of Organization

Business School

Type of Education

Undergraduate, Post Graduate, Doctoral, Executive

Institution is part of

The University of Queensland


St Lucia, QLD , Australia



Sign Up Date to PRME

10 Nov 2015

Current Sharing Information on Progress Report Submission

Not Available

Letter of ​Commitment (2015)

View Letter

Achievements Curriculum Integration in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

Integration of corporate responsibility, sustainability, ethics, and mindfulness in core courses and co-curricular offerings.

Throughout all programs there is an underlying philosophy of ethical and social responsibility. From an institutional point of view the ethical and social responsibilities of organisations, both at a national level and international level, are explicitly considered within the programs. At the same time the ethical and social issues underlying the business practices within specific disciplines such as marketing, accounting and finance are also examined within the context of the discipline.

UQBS has seven “clusters” differentiated by research disciplines. The Management Cluster has been undertaking considerable work in embedding the “Giving Voice to Values” program developed by Professor Mary Gentile (Senior Research Scholar, Babson College, Boston) into several courses. The embedding of this approach to teaching ethics has been incorporated into the organisational behaviour core course at undergraduate level and also a number of courses at the postgraduate level.

Within the Strategy Cluster, students are introduced to ethical decision-making, social entrepreneurship, sustainability and mindfulness in the compulsory core course at undergraduate level and also several courses at the postgraduate level. Introducing organisational examples of ethical and sustainable practice and social entrepreneurship supports students’ learning about possibilities to act responsibly while still operating business profitably. A particularly innovative educational approach successfully introduced in an UG course, introduces students to mindfulness
techniques that encourage introspection, self-reflection and their connectedness with fellow humans and the global issues faced on an emotional level. Students are also directly involved in problem solving issues of climate and community resilience in developing countries, with student projects having been run in India, Fiji, Colombia, Peru, Vietnam, Indonesia and East Timor.

The School actively promotes interaction with the not-for-profit and social
enterprise sector by offering not-for-profit executive education courses (at a significantly discounted rate) and co-curricular not-for-award offerings such as Social Economic Engagement Program (SEEP) and Community Engagement Program (CEP). Furthermore, many students participate in the School’s placement and internship courses undertaking their work with not-for-profit enterprises. The School’s MBA students can voluntarily participate in the SEEP Program. The CEP program provides undergraduate and master students with the co-curricular
opportunities to work on real-life projects within the community sector, engaging in an active learning environment with direct benefit to not-for-profit, social enterprise and charity organisations. Demand for the CEP program from both students and industry has been growing immensely with numbers doubling yearly and serving more than 400 students over the past three years.

UQBS expects that by graduation our students have an understanding of social and civic responsibility; an appreciation of the philosophical and social contexts of a discipline; knowledge and respect of ethics and ethical standards in relation to a major area of study; knowledge of other cultures and times and an appreciation of cultural diversity. Thus, an underlying philosophy of ethical and social responsibility has been built into the all programs’ objectives. Students are expected to identify ethical,
social, and corporate dilemmas, articulate the consequences of non-conducive behaviour, and provide courses of action that can potentially resolve identified issues. A variety of approaches are used to enable students to develop the necessary skills to be able to undertake these tasks a. Examples include: First case studies are used as a
mechanism for highlighting such issues and allow practice at resolving these issues within specific business contexts. Second, the Business School practice of inviting industry presenters provides an additional opportunity to explore ethical, social, and corporate responsibility. Third, the School has introduced courses and majors on
sustainability and social enterprise that employ problem-based situational learning where students study these issues in-depth and with a purpose to create change.

Offering course and majors in sustainability and social impact on undergraduate and postgraduate levels UQBS programs augment the issues of societal relevance in various ways. The most obvious approach is via the incorporation of sustainability majors in both the Master of Business and the Bachelor of Business Management programs. Discussion of sustainability is encouraged within the class room yet actions often speak louder than words. During the past few years, the School has promoted, through the use of Blackboard, the use of electronic submission of assignments and the non-printing of both course notes and course profiles. From 2016, online submission will be mandatory in all courses and transitioning to online marking of assignments to further reduce the requirement of printing.

Recognizing the growing need and students demand for courses in social
entrepreneurship and social enterprise, the School offers three postgraduate courses and one undergraduate course in this field. From 2016 the postgraduate offering will be integrated with the sustainability major to form a new major in sustainability and social impact.

The School is constantly scanning for further ways to incorporate the issues of ethics, responsibility and sustainability into its teaching and co-curricular educational offerings. We have built a strong reputation in our research in this field. This research provides the evidential foundation for quality courses that focus on contemporary social and environmental issues.

Executive Education
In 2013 the School provided financial and operational support to Dr. Ken Wiltshire, JD Story Professor of Public Administration, to develop and deliver a new Executive Education course designed specifically to foster the next generation of indigenous leaders. The week-long program was attended by 14 indigenous participants from diverse backgrounds including medicine, social work, nursing and professional sport.

The program provided attendees with critical knowledge in the areas including leadership style, engagement with media, financial models.
For a number of years the School has integrated and incorporated material related to ethics, responsibility and sustainability into its executive courses and programs. For example UQ’s Business School was the first Business School in the region to develop and run an executive program on corporate sustainability. This program ran until 2011 when market conditions reduced demand due to the global financial crisis. The program was also adapted and run in-house in a customised format for senior managers within a number of organisations including Laing O’Rourke and Energex.
The Executive Education’s approach is to include sustainability, ethics and
responsibility as a key part of courses and programs offered rather than developing specific courses or programs in these areas. This approach ensures the ethics and sustainability content is linked with the other course material which promotes both the context and importance. Specific examples include sustainability integrated in strategy and HR courses, and ethics and responsibility included in leadership, marketing, and finance courses.

Achievements Research Development in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

UQBS has an exciting and vibrant research culture that includes the multiple
dimensions of sustainability, ethics, responsibility and social entrepreneurship. UQBS was the first business school in Australia to appoint a Chair in Sustainability and Strategy, substantiating the School’s strong research area in sustainability. This research focus encompasses several strands including organisations and the natural environment, sustainable urban development and management and adaptation,
resilience and change. Researchers also study corporate social performance, sustainable tourism, investigating wisdom, ethics in action, trust and trust repair; justice and justice restoration; equity and diversity management, business government relations, and promoting corporate social responsibility. From the finance and accounting perspective, researchers study sustainable and socially responsible investing.

Industry demand, particularly influenced by the impact of the resources sector on rural parts of Queensland, has seen some of our researchers specialise in corporate social responsibility and trust, assuming leading roles in investigating industry and community responses to these areas. These staff have collaborated with other Centres at the University such as the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining investigating women in the mining sector and the Centre for Coal Seam Gas looking at trust, reputation and community engagement.

Researchers also work with the University’s Global Change Institute on large
programmes designed to address multidisciplinary issues such as the impact of sea level rise and the development of resilience communities in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Additionally researchers in accounting and finance have worked on the impact of environmental disclosure on company performance and the relationship between corporate social responsibility and financial performance.

A growing research area in the School has formed around social entrepreneurship and enterprising not for profits where researchers investigate strategic and marketing issues of social business such as sustainable funding and nonprofit brand equity, business models, growth and scaling strategies (such as franchising or licensing),
competitive advantage as well as leadership. Other researchers focus on exploring how entrepreneurship can contribute to global and local wellbeing through the development of a global wellbeing scale and measurement of global system performance including wellbeing, understanding alternative models of political, economic and social globalization and their relationship to wellbeing, critiques of the capitalist model through a world systems perspective and understanding opportunities for firm and institutional entrepreneurship in transforming the global system.

At doctoral level, the School has an active program in the area of sustainability with more than ten PhD students undertaking research into sustainability in professional firms through to topics on climate change adaptation.

A selected list of publications (books, book chapters and journal articles since 2010) shows research outputs in the area of sustainability, ethics, responsibility and social entrepreneurship is listed in an appendix (see Appendix XX).

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