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PRME Working Group on Humanistic Management

Necessary Conversation with Dr. Mette Morsing

Please join the International Humanistic Management Association (IHMA) for a Necessary Conversation with Dr. Mette Morsing, Head of PRME Principles for Responsible Management Education, United Nations Global Compact, discussing Management Education.

If you want to change management practice, you want to change how management is taught.

Date: Friday, April 14, 2023

Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm (ET)

Location: Web conferencing, details will be sent before the event once your RSVP is received.

This Necessary Conversation is sponsored by the Donahue Center for Business Ethics & Social Responsibility in the Manning School of Business at University of Massachusetts Lowell.

The topic for this Conversation is "If you want to change management practice, you want to change how management is taught."

“Indeed the world is run by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences are usually the slaves of some defunct economist . . . It is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil”. (Keynes, Economist, Professor, Cambridge University, 1953, p. 306).

Management schools are one of the most significant global forces for shaping the ‘ideas’ that transform the world. A few years ago, Dean of Harvard Business School, Nithin Nohria, again reminded us about the huge responsibility upon us as a educators of the future generation of the world’s leaders to set a tone for those ‘ideas’. He said that “today’s business school students who don’t identify and correct what they are doing wrong are tomorrow’s chief executives making the same mistakes with a large company” (Nohria, 2019). There is much evidence that there is still a scarcity of leaders in the world who are sufficiently knowledgeable, competent and willing to move corporate decision-making towards progressing societal betterment at the pace and direction needed. A recent report on ‘CEO Success’ revealed that today for the first time since 2007 “more CEOs had to leave their job due to ethical lapses and misconduct (39%) than due to poor financial performance (35%) or conflicts with the board (13%).” (Rasche, 2019). Through education, profound norm-setting, and ways of analytical framing of problems and solutions, and not least role-modelling, thousands of business schools around the world educate future business leaders every day how to navigate in the global and local markets: how to manage, what to decide, and whom to impact.

We are in the midst of a context of some of the historically most dire global challenges where international businesses and global business associations are urging us a management educators to transform our programs to deliver the kind of leadership that the world needs. Business is expressing a need for leaders who are able to generate purpose, ethics, system-thinking, trans-disciplinary innovations, and societal impact. Yet, business schools seem slow to transform curriculum, pedagogies and incentive structures to develop those leaders. The basic assumption in the business school programs is still one of market growth, shareholder supremacy and short-termism. One of the most important criteria for ranking our own institution, the business school, is the pace with which our alumni’s salary increases a few years after graduation. It is bound to create what some have labelled a ‘me-first’ attitude.

PRME is the United Nation’s largest initiative on responsible leadership education, established in 2007 with a mandate from Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to transform management education. In this talk, I will focus on the urgent need for leadership education all around the world to reform its curricula, skillset training, practical relevance and global impact.

Register here