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A dual challenge facing management education: Simulation-based learning and learning about CSR

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Purpose ‐ In anticipation of the demands of its constituents, management schools have to deal with the dual challenge facing management education: the challenge of relevance, in particular to integrate the subject of corporate social responsibility (CSR) into the management curriculum, and the challenge to develop and implement innovative learning methods for educating students. This article seeks to expound on these challenges. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The authors first reflect on the imminent and essential need to pay attention to CSR, as driven by general trends and developments in the corporate context as well as by recent business scandals. The uses, roles and functions of simulations are then reviewed, followed by a report of a project at Rotterdam University/HES, a Dutch university of professional education, that aimed to counter both identified challenges. This project involved two simulations in the field of CSR. Findings ‐ Recognizing the changes in this environment, opines that the school has to reconsider its approach to management education consequently if it wants to offer relevance to the communities the school serves. At the same time, the school has to explore new methods of learning that contribute to creating effective management learning environments. Simulations, particularly since they enable comprehensive learning, may offer a viable and fertile direction to achieving this objective. The conclusions drawn from this project and the project evaluations clearly support this. Originality/value ‐ Based on the experiences, the article identifies a number of conditions for the effective implementation of innovative educational projects, which include the school having a vision on CSR and displacing learning responsibilities.

Keywords: Business ethics; Corporate image; Educational innovation; Learning; Social responsibility

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2006-03-01

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