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08 June 2023


Sustainable Business, Digital Transformation and Thriving Communities

Sustainable Business, Digital Transformation and Thriving Communities

Name of the research center:

Sustainable Business, Digital Transformation and Thriving Communities

Research Center contact:

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Trakic

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Manjeevan

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Grace

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

More than 15

Implementation of SDG-focused research centers

Established in 1998, Monash University Malaysia is the third-largest campus of Australia's largest university and the first foreign university campus in Malaysia. We are a premier research-intensive Australian university ranked among the top 50 universities in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and a member of Australia’s prestigious Group of Eight (Go8). Monash University is also ranked 57 in the QS 2023 World University Rankings.

The School of Business’s vision is to be recognised as an innovative, entrepreneurial, and culturally diverse Business School focused on developing excellence in research, teaching, and learning through a process of creating developmental opportunities for our (local, regional, and global) stakeholders. The mission of the School of Business is to have a meaningful impact on the way business is conducted in Asia through high-quality research, educational excellence, and extensive engagement with industry and the community. PRME and SDGs are important as it is a platform to equip business students to create changes and additionally business schools will be in tandem with the goals United Nations have.

The School of Business at Monash Malaysia is proud to be a Signatory of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME). Since becoming an advanced signatory in 2017, the Monash School of Business continues to champion the development of future business and community leaders, and to reflect on our commitment and opportunities to provide an education that promotes social and environmental responsibility.

We have a PRME Leadership Team with a Director and a Champion for each cluster i.e. Research, Curriculum, and Partnership. Support is provided by the University and the School of Business.

We have established research clusters in order to promote collaboration among researchers in the school. Research clusters are interdisciplinary groups of researchers working together in solving current and future problems. Discipline boundaries are blurred and traditional research collides in finding ways of understanding our world and its problems. The establishment of the clusters is to increase the research output, being publications, policy papers, and postgraduate students. Three research clusters are made up of Sustainable Business, Digital Transformation and Thriving Communities. Each cluster includes interdisciplinary approaches and coordinates research activities from different disciplines. There are various amounts of research rewards that are given at the school level, such as joint publication awards, top-tier publication awards, and also research excellence awards to the top researchers each year. One of the ways to achieve this is by providing skills training workshops to the members of the cluster. These workshops will equip the members with the necessary skills and knowledge to conduct research and analyse data effectively. This can give the researchers a chance to learn from experts in the field, talk to people who make policy, and get feedback on their research.

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

One of the ways to achieve this is by providing skills training workshops to the members of the cluster. These workshops will equip the members with the necessary skills and knowledge to conduct research and analyse data effectively. We invite experts in the field to facilitate the workshops or collaborate with Monash Australia to organize the training. Another way to foster research within the cluster is by organizing annual international conference on topics relating to sustainable development, in collaborating with the Centre for Development Economics and Sustainability from Monash Australia, World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank Institute. These conferences provide a platform for researchers from different parts of the world to share their research findings and discuss the latest trends and practices in sustainable development. This can help to raise the profile of the cluster, attract more researchers, and provide opportunities for collaboration and networking. One way to encourage and motivate research in the cluster is to work with the World Bank to set up research seminars. The research topics at these seminars were all about sustainable development. Furthermore, we established an atmosphere that stimulates, motivates, and rewards research efforts within the Thriving Communities research cluster by offering skill-building workshops, hosting an international conference, and collaborating with the World Bank to organise research seminars. This will result in improved research findings, more researchers joining the cluster, and a benefit to the area of sustainable development. The cluster "Thriving Communities" looks at seeking to shift marginalized communities towards becoming thriving communities.

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

As the School of Business became a signatory of PRME in 2017, much effort has been taken to ensure researchers are involved in PRME principles and SDG initiatives. The result can be seen by the fact that there are three (3) research clusters which involve more than 15 researchers. While we have not captured the exact information on the percentage of resources which are directed towards sustainability-oriented research, the output of the research is reflected via publications in journal articles, books, book chapters and conference proceedings. Essentially, 50% of the publications are in top journals which drive and strive for changes in ensuring that the SDG goals are achieved.

Main focus of the center's work

The clusters provide a platform to explore a wide range of issues that underpin how socially responsible business can be conducted. Specifically, emphasis is on the following areas of interest i.e. Socially Responsible Business, Energy Justice, and Responsible Education. Additionally, the clusters' work focuses on practical policy implications and recommendations based on our research findings.

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.

In 2023:

Peer reviewed - 77

  • Books and book chapters - 39

  • Conference proceedings - 7

  • Percent of publications in top journals focused on sustainability - 50%

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

The research carried out required the school to establish a new unit namely BEW3001 (Ethics & Sustainability in a Business Environment) that integrate the PRME principles to elevate our students' understanding of the global social responsibilities. Additionally, this unit provide an unique opportunity that enables students to engage in dialogue with leading change makers within and outside of Malaysia.

Student Experience - Sumaita Ahmed enrolled in a final year capstone unit to learn about ethical and sustainability issues in a business environment. Having founded a footwear company in her home of Bangladesh, Sumaita was eager to understand the opportunities and challenges of sustainable fashion to help her develop business and marketing plans that are geared towards sustainable consumption and that advances the SDGs.

According to Sumaita, "As an intern with Bluenumber Foundation, I managed the B#-SDG Scorecard Report which tracks and measures SDGs from a beneficiary-centric perspective. Bluenumber helped me develop the skill to be able to recognize and identify the different multidimensional perspectives that are used for social reporting using SDG’s as a benchmark. Such involvement enhanced my understanding of ethics and sustainability in a business environment and motivated me to pursue my honours research thesis in sustainability."


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