ABIS-EFMD Global Deans and Faculty Survey

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Environment, Social, Governance and Economic (ESGE) issues are claimed to have become a priority for management education. In 2013, ABIS and EFMD analysed the results of a first online survey targeted at Deans of business schools (183 respondents) and a second survey targeted at Faculty Members (119 respondents) to understand their perceptions of (1) global trends impacting business, (2) strategic outlook and personal leadership, (3) corporate skills and knowledge needs, and (4) managing implementation related to ESGE. Due to samples’ characteristics, cross-sample comparisons are not feasible. A slide-based report with a synthesis of all answers is also available for you. deanssurvey cover

Global trends: Main results indicate that most deans (82%) and faculty (61%) agree that ESGE issues have moved to mainstream in management research and education. However, only a minority of deans (42%) and faculty (37%) support the idea that business schools and universities are close enough to the corporate ESGE agenda to formulate an appropriate response. Interestingly, respondents tend mostly to believe nevertheless that their institution is close enough to bring an appropriate response. While deans (55%) believe that accreditation agencies and industry associations for business schools and universities are providing leadership for a ESGE based agenda, only 38% of faculty have the same opinion.

Strategic outlook and personal leadership: Deans (72%) and half of faculty (52%) claim that ESGE agenda is fully integrated into their institution’s mission, values, and sense of purpose. For both deans and faculty, Ph.D. programmes represent the weakest organizational sub-unit dedicated to ESGE-related research in their institution. Finally, deans have mostly encountered resistance to internal change around ESGE issues from faculty, whereas faculty perceive most resistance from Trustees and governors, alumni, external donors and administration.

Corporate skills and knowledge needs: Most deans (65%) and a minority of faculty (45%) believe their institution is proactive in helping companies to define sustainability issues and dilemmas. However, only 50% of Deans and 36% of faculty claim that their institution’s corporate partners and clients provide clear messages about their sustainability related priorities for executive and management education. In addition, the direct collaboration with senior executives to define research priorities is recognized only by 48% of deans and 41% of faculty. Hence, collaboration with companies seems to have area for improvement.

Managing implementation: Deans (74%) and faculty (48%) members agree that “Director of MBA Programmes” provide the most leadership for their institution’s sustainability-related agenda. Faculty consider the top three significant blockages that prevent full integration of sustainability issues into business school and university agendas are (1) journal rankings and editorial policy, (2) faculty interest, (3) research funding. 

Far more detailed survey findings are available from the 50-page slide-based report.