Crane And Matten Blog

It’s time again for the beginning of the new school year in colleges across a lot of the globe. For us, this implies upgrading course outlines typically, relaxing our teaching materials and on the point of hopefully participate and excite a fresh cohort of students looking to learn about corporate and business responsibility. There are numerous ways to instruct courses on CSR or business ethics.

Some techniques suit particular professors or sets of students better. But over the full years, we’ve discovered that, so far as teaching in business schools can be involved, there are some fairly common do’s and don’ts that can make teaching in this field far better. Not everyone shall trust many of these, but here’s our set of the 10 best ways to ensure an optimistic learning experience in ethics and CSR.

1. Be clear and reasonable in what you can perform. All good courses start with a clear group of learning objectives. That is especially important in corporate and business responsibility classes because there are a wide variety of types of result that an instructor might be aiming for. Do you want to make your students more moral managers?

Do you want to improve their decision making? Would you like them to be able to practice CSR, or even to have a far more critical perspective on it? Think about not only what’s most important to you, but, most of all, what you think your students wish t learn. But beware of planning on too much – you’re never going to improve your students’ values in a couple of months of teaching. 2. Use current occasions to engage students. Teaching ethics and CSR isn’t easy, but one thing we do have an advantage in is that there is hardly each day that goes by without our subject matter being in the news headlines.

In our experience, business school students respond best when they understand which problem to be fixed and then you provide them with some ideas or concepts to help them do this. So start with a problem – whether an incident study, a news tale, or your own experience – and then use this to connect them on why theory issues – not the other way round! Starting with the idea and then showing how it is applicable runs the chance of shedding the students’ interest prematurily .. It could work for some, but it’s a risky strategy. 4. Students’ own experience is valuable course material – don’t waste it!

We are constantly amazed by the rich variety of experience and opinion that our students have had in corporate and business responsibility, without ever creating a formal CR position even. This is a real treasure chest for teachable moments, when you’re able to flip what you’re teaching in the classroom to help students make sense of their own past or current experience. And the rest of the class can learn so much from this too. It brings everything into such clear concentrate about the here and now rather than some abstract case in a textbook.

In our opinion it’s important to avoid imposing a single theoretical position or group of beliefs on students, whatever your own perspective on corporate and business responsibility might be. A couple of few unequivocal right or wrong answers in this field. Therefore the goal ought to be to help students understand the breadth of perspectives on the issues at hand and enable them to find their own position not to impose one to them.

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The professor’s job should be more like that of a coach when compared to a preacher. 6. Don’t confuse ‘there are no right and incorrect answers’ with ‘there are no better and worse answers’. The first declaration holds true generally. The second the first is not. Among our most significant careers is to enable students to make better decisions, and also to come up with better answers than just simple moral relativism : “my opinion is simply as valid as anyone else’s”.

A valid opinion, or a good answer, is one backed by reality, reason, logic and evidence. This might not mean that the answer is right from any universal moral perspective, but is should mean that it gets an A when you’re doing your grading – even though you don’t buy into the answer!

Rightly or wrongly, the business case is the most powerful tool for any corporate and business responsibility advocate in the workplace. If you can show what sort of CR initiative will generate business opportunities or reduce risks, it has a far greater potential for getting approved. So teaching the business case is an essential part of any course.