Responsible management education as socialization: business students’ values, attitudes and intentions

Debbie Haski-Leventhal*, Mehrdokht Pournader, Jennifer S.A. Leigh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The growing interest in sustainable development in all sectors of the economy has fostered a noteworthy shift toward responsible management education (RME). This emerging view underscores that business schools provide students with more than just managerial knowledge as they also develop students toward responsible management. Based on socialization theory, we show how this development occurs by studying RME as a process that relates to students’ values, attitudes and behavioral intentions. With data from a large international survey of business students from 21 countries, our findings show that RME facilitates students’ self-transcendence, the development of conservation values and positive attitudes toward corporate social responsibility (CSR). Further, RME is positively related to students’ CSR behavioral intentions (willingness to sacrifice salary to work for a responsible employer) through the mediating role of values and attitudes. In sum, this study extends socialization theory to the higher education domain to show that business schools can affect students’ prosocial, ethical values and intentions, with implications for responsible management and RME.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Early online date4 Aug 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Aug 2020


  • Business students
  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
  • PRME
  • Responsible management education (RME)
  • Socialization

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