Decoupling Responsible Management Education: Why Business Schools May Not Walk Their Talk

Journal of Management Inquiry, Vol. 24, No. 3, DOI 10.1177/1056492614567315, Forthcoming

Humanistic Management Network, Research Paper Series No. 04/15

39 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2015 Last revised: 28 Feb 2015

Andreas Rasche

Copenhagen Business School

Dirk Ulrich Gilbert

University of Hamburg

Date Written: January 20, 2015

Abstract

This article examines under what conditions business schools may decouple the structural effects of their engagement in responsible management education from actual organizational practices. We argue that schools may be unable to match rising institutional pressures to publicly commit to responsible management education with their limited internal capacity for change. Our analysis proposes that decoupling is likely if schools (a) are exposed to resource stringency, (b) face overt or covert resistance against change processes, (c) are confronted with competing institutional pressures, and (d) perceive institutional demands as ambiguous. We discuss two implications of this proposition. On one hand, decoupling can cause dissonant legitimacy perceptions, leading to cynicism around responsible management education within business schools. On the other hand, a temporary inconsistency between talk and action may help schools to articulate future ambitions for responsible management education, which, over time, could inspire recoupling effects.

Keywords: responsible management education, corporate social responsibility, Principles for Responsible Management Edcuation

Suggested Citation

Rasche, Andreas and Gilbert, Dirk Ulrich, Decoupling Responsible Management Education: Why Business Schools May Not Walk Their Talk (January 20, 2015). Journal of Management Inquiry, Vol. 24, No. 3, DOI 10.1177/1056492614567315, Forthcoming; Humanistic Management Network, Research Paper Series No. 04/15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2552516

Andreas Rasche

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

Dirk Ulrich Gilbert (Contact Author)

University of Hamburg ( email )

Allende-Platz 1
Hamburg, 20146
Germany

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