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Business Administration and Leadership for Sustainable Development: a case study of a cross functional candidate program
Gotland University, School of the Humanities and Social Science.
Gotland University, School of the Humanities and Social Science.
2010 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper analyses critically a three year candidate program for educating change leaders for Sustainable Development. The program was started in 2007 in co-operation between the departments of Quality Management and Business Administration in Gotland University. The analysis of the program is based on a review of learning outcomes, courses created, pedagogy applied, interviews of students, interviews of teachers and reflection on challenges in cross departmental co-operation.

The program was created in consultation with companies and organizations being potential employers of the students after their education. The overall idea of the program embodies thoughts from Liberal Education and System Thinking [1], [2]. The pedagogy used could be summarized in the continuous cycle of theory-practice-understanding. Sustainable Development has been dealt with in theory and practice using the Triple Bottom Line in combination with companywide process management.

Focus has been on describing components of change and change management. The theoretical foundations are found in structured methodologies for improvement such as Total Quality Management, Six Sigma, Lean Management, Project Management and in leadership theory with focus on group dynamics. Successful change seems to require, apart from a good solution, the willingness to implement the solution and the ability to manage change.

Working across departments is not easy in spite of the closeness typical for the small Gotland University with some 200 employees. Academia and universities could be seen as strong advocates of the old functional order where cross functional process thinking is not easy. Changing a curriculum fixed for many years and changing educational culture are formidable challenges. Not everything went according to plans which have provided some valuable learning experiences. The overall results are positive and many of the ideas of integrating theory and practice by using organizations including the campus as a study object have been successful.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. 1-10 p.
Keyword [en]
ESD, Sustainable Development, candidate program
National Category
Business Administration Pedagogy
Research subject
Quality Technology and Management
URN: urn:nbn:se:hgo:diva-1297OAI: diva2:475737
Engineering Education in Sustainable Development 2010
Available from: 2012-01-13 Created: 2012-01-11 Last updated: 2013-07-01Bibliographically approved

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