Fostering sustainable innovation thinking in Australian and Chinese business students

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von der Heidt, T 2017, 'Fostering sustainable innovation thinking in Australian and Chinese business students', Asian Journal of Business Research, vol. 7, no. 2.

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Innovation is widely regarded as a driver of growth. To achieve innovation, people need particular skills, such as creative problem solving, collaboration, planning, as well as the ability to think and act sustainably. These skills sets fit within the scope of the university business education. Therefore, business educators have a key responsibility to help foster these skills in students. This paper outlines a study in which undergraduate business students of a Marketing Principles course undertake a major collaborative project assessment to develop and plan a sustainable market offering. The aim was to determine which sub skills within creative problem solving, collaboration, marketing planning and sustainability skills were present at the outset and which were developed during the project. Data was collected in the form written reflections provided by 110 Australian and Chinese students’. The pre- and postproject reflections for each student were analysed thematically. The results indicate that through experiential, collaborative project-based assessment first-year business students can develop many of the requisite skills for innovation, as well as for more sustainable organisational performance.

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