Business graduate skills in sustainability

Glyn Mather, Leanne Denby, Leigh N. Wood, Bronwen Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose - The paper reviews research and strategies in Australian business education that aim to foster graduate capabilities in sustainability concepts and practices. We also present a case study of teaching practice along with ideas for future development. Design/methodology/approach - We report on a research project by seven Australian universities, with financial support from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC), on how to develop and grade graduate capabilities with sustainability identified as a core graduate skill. We present an example from the Faculty of Business and Economics of a strategy in action – the use of a case study (centred on sustainability practices at our university) to enhance the skills of merit scholars. Findings - Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a well-established concept in business management theory, with sustainability principles emerging as a core feature. In the higher education sector the spirit may be willing, but training in the application of these principles has been implemented as an add-on rather than an embedded part of the curriculum. Although efforts are being made to find ways of nurturing graduate capabilities in sustainability practice, a significant obstacle is the lack of teaching models and materials. We offer findings from the ALTC graduate skills project as well as a case study of implementation. Originality/value - We report on practical innovations in fostering business graduate skills in implementing sustainability principles. We assess the utility of current education practice and present some suggestions for future learning and teaching strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-205
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of global responsibility
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Australia
  • Business education
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Graduate skills
  • Sustainability
  • Universities

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