Details for Massey University College of Business

Participant Status


Type of Organization

Business School

Type of Education

Undergraduate, Post Graduate, Doctoral, Executive

Institution is part of

Massey University, New Zealand


Palmerston North, New Zealand


Sign Up Date to PRME

30 Mar 2011

Current Sharing Information on Progress Report Submission

31 Jan 2018

Sharing Information on Progress (2017)

Massey University SIP report - View Report Page

Period Covered: Jan 2016 to Dec 2017

Massey University's 2017 SIP report outlines many of our PRME related initiatives since our last report. PRME provides a natural complement and a useful framework for much of the work that we are doing as business educators and researchers. We are particularly proud of MBS applied research initiatives many of which are PRME related and values driven in the areas of human rights, labour standards, environment and anti-corruption.

Achievements Curriculum Integration in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

Curriculum integration
• In pursuit of AACSB accreditation the College has modified its undergraduate degree programmes to ensure that business ethics is incorporated in core modules of the undergraduate programme. Specific learning objectives are set with respect to student’s ability to assess the ethical issues arising in different areas of business activity including those linked to sustainable development, environmental management and corporate social responsibility.

Specific modules/courses
• At undergraduate level, 152.392 Environmental Management for Business examines issues affecting natural environment and the concept of environmental management and how these issues relate to the business community. The question of how businesses can become a positive force in environmental sustainability and maintain profit levels at the same time are discussed and case studies presented. Major topics covered include: the “Green” Company Concept, legislation and regulations, strategic environmental management, ISO 14001 and a case study of monitoring progress towards sustainability in a specific New Zealand region.

• At postgraduate level, 152.704 Business and Sustainability examines the forces establishing the environment as an important issue for business, including the social, political and economic context; the nature of some of the key environmental threats to human populations in industrial societies; the theory, principles and practice of sustainable business development; the connection between the capacity to respond to environmental concerns and the attainment of business excellence. Major topics covered include: the meaning of sustainability; the business case for sustainability; environmental management systems; accountability and reporting; life cycle analysis and ecological footprint analysis.

• Within 152.270 Māori Management and 152.370 Te Whanaketanga o te Pakihi Maori - Advanced Māori Business Development and Management the topic of sustainable management of Māori businesses is discussed with a focus on providing ways of determining whether what businesses do is sustainable in the long term. What resources are being used in the business? Are they scarce resources? Are they renewable? Are there alternatives? what is the business doing to replenish those resources? Examples of Māori businesses that have considered the impact of their business on the environment are discussed (including Bio-farm Products and Tuaropaki Thermal Energy). Another topic within these modules is the social responsibility and accountability of businesses to communities and society at large in relationship to the environment. Some of this teaching revolves around customary Māori/indigenous concepts and how they can be applied in a contemporary context to help reduce the impact of business activities on the environment eg Tapu (not safe) noa (safe) and rahui (ban or prevention).

Other learning vehicles
• The College of Business led by Dr Gabriel Eweje (School of Management) has commenced an annual sustainability conference/workshop event starting in 2009. The 2009 event was a two day conference organising around the theme ‘The Sustainability Debate – The Way Forward’ and attracted delegates from across Australasia and internationally. The 2010 event was a one-day workshop targeting the business community. A highlight of this event was a practitioner panel in which five executives from business or industry organisations shared their approaches to sustainability.

• The College of Business has appointed a PRME Co-ordinator (Associate Professor Martin Perry) whose responsibilities include promoting the inclusion of CSR into undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and in promoting the College’s ability to provide executive training in sustainability and CSR topics.

• The College has been a co-sponsor of the Sustainability 60 programme that is designed to assist New Zealand companies and organisations develop a sustainability strategy that is aligned with their business. The Sustainable 60 programme is focused on ‘showcasing the progress of companies on their journey to sustainability, rewarding those that have made significant achievements, sharing their stories and celebrating excellence’. The annual Sustainable 60 awards are a key event in the programme: College of Business Albany students studying Business and Sustainability have providing the secretariat processing award applications in 2009 and 2010. This major exercise involving the assessment of over 100 detailed applications has been coordinated at Massey University by Dr Gabriel Eweje.

Planned learning developments
• In the past the MBA programme included specific electives in CSR and Sustainable Business. Discussion is currently underway about the feasibility of incorporating these topics across all papers contributing to the MBA rather than teaching these issues through dedicated electives.

• The College has held preliminary discussions with the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development Developing and delivering short courses and training in related topics (e.g. carbon accounting; law and environmental policy) within the Executive Development programme during the current academic year and beyond.

• The College is fully supporting Massey University’s 2020 strategy that includes the goal that the University will act “To enhance our reputation as New Zealand’s defining university by contributing to understanding of, and innovative responses to, social, economic, cultural, and environmental issues”. This goal signals the Vice Chancellor’s intention that the University’s contribution to building a sustainable New Zealand is to be a defining attribute of the University. College staff are actively engaged in initiatives to put this strategy into place, including participation in a University Steering Group on Sustainability.

Achievements Research Development in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

• The College of Business hosts a research centre in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Centre (SIERC). The Centre is directed by Professor Anne de Bruin (School of Economics and Finance) and has objectives aligned with the concerns of addressed by PRME. Associates of the Centre are in faculty in the various schools of the College of Business and are actively engaged in sustainability research.

Among the SIERC research associates, for example, Professor Jill Hooks (School of Accountancy) has developed disclosure indices to assess the extent and quality of reporting of New Zealand entities, including the reporting of social and environmental information. Publications from this work include:

Van Staden C. and Hooks, J. (2007). A comprehensive comparison of corporate environmental reporting and responsiveness. British Accounting Review, 39 (3), 197-210.

Hooks, J., Kearins, K., and Blake, M. (2003). Effective environmental disclosure” An evaluation of power generators’ reporting initiatives. NZ Journal of Applied Business Research, 2(2), 40-58.

Another research associate Dr Sue Cassels (School of Economics and Finance) has on ongoing research in the area of product stewardship and is working with another Centre associate (Dr Kate Lewis, School of management) on SMEs and environmental responsibility. Among other external appointments, Dr Sue Cassels is a member of the Zero Waste Academic Advisory group and a member of the New Zealand International Review Group of Standards New Zealand and has a particular involvement in the ISO environmental management standards.

• The research programme of the Centre for Ergonomics, Occupational Safety and Health (CErgOSH) in the School of Management includes work to highlight the contribution that ergonomics (‘human factors’) can make to implementing successful sustainable development and corporate social responsibility programmes. The Centre’s perspective is that since human wellbeing is a central purpose of sustainable development, ergonomics, which exists to optimise human well-being and optimise human-system performance (including the design of successful human-system interfaces), has much to offer in the transition to sustainability.

• Te Au Rangahau (The Māori Business Research Centre) has conducted research with a Māori community looking at the environmental health and wellbeing of a community drawing on information provided by community elders. It found that fish, animal and human life in this community are threatened because the river (their traditional food source) has been depleted by the need for energy companies to take water from the river. The main reason for this is that water levels are so low that even minor environmental shocks reduce the river’s capacity to sustain life. Other projects include Iwi Futures, an examination of how Māori landowners make decision about the use of their land; how they incorporate socio-cultural aspects, for example whānau aspirations and waahi tapu sites of significance into the business decisions, eco-tourism ventures.

• Dr Gabriel Eweje (School of Management) coordinates a Sustainability Research Group on the Albany campus of Massey University. This brings together researchers from the Schools of Accountancy and Management. It has been tracking corporate involvement in sustainability over the last decade.

• The intention is to hold an annual sustainability event that in alternate years either targets an academic or practitioner audience. This will continue the sustainability events held in 2009 and 2010. Part of their role will be to showcase the College’s research in the area of sustainability and CSR and to promote the College’s endorsement of PRME.
• Preliminary discussions have been with a view to developing a partnership with a specific business organisation or organisations to collaborate in the area of sustainability research. These discussions are being progressed partly through the network of sustainability managers that have participated in the studies led by Dr Gabriel Eweje. A role of the partnership would be to provide opportunities for student research projects in return for organisational co-sponsorship of the annual sustainability event.

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