Title

How academics in undergraduate business programs at an Australian University view sustainability

Document Type

Article

Publication details

von der Heidt, T 2014, 'How academics in undergraduate business programs at an Australian University view sustainability', Australian Journal of Environmental Education, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 215-238.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/aee.2015.7

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

This article explores conceptualisations of sustainability and perceptions of its importance in curriculum held by business subject and program leaders. Results are reported from an empirical study of the first-year Bachelor of Business program at an Australian university. Research data was collected in 16 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with subject and program leaders over two teaching periods in 2011. Interview transcripts were analysed through the identification of key themes. The results reveal that teaching academics believe sustainability is something more dynamic and complex than they are able to feature in their subjects, reflecting the difficulty in appropriately conceptualising sustainability, as well as differences between the academics’ beliefs, intentions and actions. Few studies explore the conceptualisations of sustainability held by subject and program leaders. If business schools are to produce sustainability-savvy graduates, the teaching academics need to have a clear and, ideally, shared view of sustainability.