Journal of Business Ethics Education

Volume 15, 2018

Noha El-Bassiouny, Ehab K. A. Mohamed, Mohamed A. K. Basuony, Salma Kolkailah
Pages 49-74

An Exploratory Study of Ethics, CSR, and Sustainability in the Management Education of Top Universities in the Arab Region

This research aims at exploring the status of integrating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in higher management education in the Arab region. The universities in the Arab region have lately emphasized internationalization in their educational policies, aiming at improving their regional and global presence, as a major part of their national reforms. Such transformations will never take hold if education systems are not reformed to foster citizenship, ethics, and social responsibility. Therefore, the study adopted qualitative content analysis of the top 40 business schools that are ranked based on the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) University Rankings in the Arab Region in 2016, as well as schools acting as signatories of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME). To analyze the integration of ESD at all educational levels, the relevant literature commonly emphasized upon the adoption of Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Sustainability (ECSRS). Hence, the content analysis involved critical identification of pre-selected keywords under the ECSRS theme throughout the sampled universities’ online content and “Sharing Information on Progress” reports, in light of institutional, curricular, and instrumental levels, expanding the work of Setó-Pamies and Papaoikomomou (2016). The results revealed that ECSRS is outlined in the sampled universities’ strategies mainly through their mission statements. ECSRS is incorporated to a great extent in the curriculum of undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the form of obligatory and elective courses. Yet, student extracurricular activities did not receive equivalent devotion. As for ECSRS research, over half of sampled universities had dedicated research centers mainly focusing on environmental sustainability, in addition to issuing sporadic publications on various ECSRS topics. Integrating ECSRS in university outreach is still considered marginalized.