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08 June 2023

Switzerland

PRME Business Integrity Action Centre (BIAC)

PRME Business Integrity Action Centre (BIAC)

Name of the research center:

PRME Business Integrity Action Centre (BIAC)

Research Center contact:

Christian Hauser

How many sustainability-focused researchers are part of the center (#)?

5 - 10

Implementation of SDG-focused research centers

The university executive board states one of its commitments in the mission of the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons (FH Graubünden) as: ‘Students at our university of applied sciences become highly qualified, responsible individuals thanks to the close link between practice-based teaching and research.’ The educational objective of the FH Graubünden can be considered to have been fulfilled if it trains its students to become successful management figures or prepares them for further studies. Our university executive board is convinced that this goal only represents a part of its obligations to society. In accordance with Principle 1 of the UN PRME programme, namely ‘Purpose’, FH Graubünden aims to support its students in developing into responsible decision makers who accept accountability for their actions.

The PRME programme facilitates an exchange of experiences between the involved universities and thus the advancement of the SDG. This is a key source of motivation for remaining a very active member of both the PRME Champions Group and the PRME Chapter DACH in future. The FH Graubünden is in its tenth year as a member of the UN PRME programme, which directly reflects the university’s commitment.

Since the introduction of the university strategy in 2017, the responsibility to include the SDG in the university development is incorporated in the university executive board: a member of the university management is officially responsible for the implementation of the SDG.

An important objective of Sustainability in teaching strategic initiative is to motivate FH Graubünden's management and teaching staff to integrate the SDG in their study programmes. To this end, lecturers have been given access to didactic support, expertise and an additional budget. The success of these measures is reflected in two selected examples: the participation of students at the International Tourism Student Conference (ITSC) since 2018, and the input of experienced guest speakers on the subject of ‘cruise tourism’ in the ‘Transportation & Mobility’ module.

In which ways is research fostered, motivated, or incentivized by leadership in the institution

A member of the university executive board is appointed as the main responsible for the implementation of STINE at the FH Graubünden.

  • An academic assistant has been assigned to coordinate the activities in regards to the SDG and sustainable development initiatives.

  • On top of the two positions, funds in total of an equivalent of 2’500 working hours were allocated by the university executive board to the sustainable development and implementation of the SDG.

Percentage of resources is directed toward sustainability-oriented research at your institution

In 2021, 139 research and service-oriented projects were Core-financed by the university with a volume of CHF10.4 million. 91 of these projects were keyword indexed at the application phase as targeting at least one SDG. This equated to 65% of all core funded research and service projects being sustainability-oriented.

Due to the way our systems are structured, we do not know the volume of funds allocated to sustainability-oriented research. However, based on the share of 65% of projects (91 of 139 projects) being classified as targeting sustainability-related topics, the volume spent funding sustainability related projects can be estimated at CHF 6.8 million.

Main focus of the center's work

In 2015, the FH Graubünden was invited by the PRME Secretariat in New York to establish Europe's first PRME Business Integrity Action Center (BIAC). Following a resolution by the University Executive Board, the BIAC was launched on 1 January 2016. With the establishment of the BIAC, FH Graubünden has consolidated its interdisciplinary activities relating to the issue of integrity and the SDG 16. The BIAC provides the FH Graubünden with the strategic opportunity to continually increase its national and international visibility and appeal with respect to potential partners from the worlds of business and politics, the media and other stakeholder groups.

How many sustainability/SDG-oriented publications are produced by the center(s) each year on average? Please separate your response into peer-reviewed articles and other publications.

With the way our systems are designed, we do not know the number of publications specifically within the scope of the BIAC. However, we would estimate around 6-7 peer reviewed articles per year, and around 18-20 articles published in practitioner oriented channels.

Explain briefly how research carried out in the center feeds into teaching, giving examples of modules/courses or related degree programmes.

As the name of the centre suggests, research conducted within the BIAC has a heavy focus on integrity. Knowledge transfer between the research conducted in the BIAC, and teaching therefore centres around integrity-related topics.

One of the best examples of this knowledge transfer relates to a serious game developed in a project called HONEST.

For the Swiss export industry, the current and future growth markets are in countries with a high risk of corruption. The project HONEST was driven by a considerable need for awareness-raising and training in the area of corruption prevention. This is a challenge not only for universities, but also for politics and companies. In order to improve the competitive position of companies in these markets, an innovative, marketable training toolkit for raising awareness and training junior staff on corruption prevention was developed. The training toolkit was designed to promote decision-making and action skills to deal with corrupt behaviour. It consists of a conceptual training curriculum and the associated methodological instruments including an online serious business game.

Most previous means of trainings dealing with corrupt behaviour had been in passive forms, such as through awareness-raising seminars or e-learnings. The developed business game, however, added a level of interactivity as well as elements of play to enhance the learning of the player. Whilst developed for the project partners, who are still using the business game today, the game is also used by students at the FHGR in the module ‘International Environment’.

The business game consists of realistic case studies and role play scenarios, which were based on situations experienced by the project partners. With the help of the business game, students learn more about their decision-making behaviour in complex situations with a risk of corruption. They learn to recognise their potential for seduction, which often remains hidden to the untrained eye. The advantage of the business game method is that the students can gain realistic insights into corrupt behaviour. From the experiences gained (e.g. the mistakes made), consequences can be derived for their own future actions in everyday work. In this way, the students can specifically build up action-oriented competences that are necessary to be able to move safely, in accordance with the rules and honourably in markets with a high risk of corruption.


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