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The Weekender: MBA Programs Focused on Creating a Better World

MBA programs featuring sustainability according to Corporate Knights

The Weekender features a longer form publication or multimedia production from a reputable source. We select articles or things to watch or listen to that discuss issues and opportunities we deem just off the radar for many business people, students, and faculty. We aim to expand the mind, broaden the heart, and sharpen the analysis. Have a great weekend!

My notes

Corporate Knights, a publication and news organization based in Canada, has published an annual ranking of MBA programs around the world that their methodology ranks along various social impact and environmental criteria. They use publicly available information and rely on schools to fill in the blanks. The methodology isn't flawless and Penn State Smeal has never ranked highly...but I always find it helpful to review the list, check out the methodology and take stock in how we are doing.

Schools are assessed in four areas and here is my quick take:

  • institutes and centers

  • Metric: # of institutes and centers focused on sustainability

  • Smeal: we have had a de facto "center" since 2008 and will have an official Center by 2020

  • curriculum

  • ​Metric: # of core courses focused on sustainability

  • Smeal: we have no core courses within the MBA program focused on sustainability; this is an area we are working on (in fact, the current class of 2nd year MBAs are finalizing many months of hard work on this as we speak)

  • faculty research

  • ​Metric: # of publications focused on sustainability

  • Smeal: we have 30 faculty who have or are publishing papers in sustainability; I don't currently have the no. of publications during the performance period covered by this ranking

  • female diversity and racial diversity

  • ​Metric: representation of females and minority groups among total number of faculty

  • Smeal: I don't currently have these numbers, I need to check with my colleague Jamie Campbell Smeal's office of Diversity and Inclusion

What do they mean by sustainability? They use these key words to do their search. Wanted to provide all the TBL readers with the same opportunity.

Making the Grade: The 2018 Better World MBA Results

"The 2018 Corporate Knights Better World MBA Ranking universe automatically includes all schools on the most recent FT100 MBA Ranking. All business schools accredited by the Association of MBAs, AACSB International and EQUIS, as well as all current champions in the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Management Education initiative, are invited to participate.

The schools were graded on five indicators: institutes and centres, curriculum, faculty research, female diversity and racial diversity. Data for these indicators was collected from publicly available sources. Outreach was conducted to reach the schools for verification and confirmation prior to completion of the ranking."

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