The Business Case and Barriers for Responsible Management Education in Business schools

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this research is to gain a greater depth of understanding of both the pressures and barriers for embedding RME within business and management schools.

Design/methodology :
This article utilizes a longitudinal case study design centering on six business/management schools based in the United Kingdom.

This research identifies a set of institutional pressures and barriers for RME in the business schools selected. Firstly, the pressures appear to come from a number of external business school sources and the barriers from a series of organisational resource and individual factors.

Research Implications:
The results clearly show these market pressures are no passing fad. Failure to respond in a systemic way will mean business schools will run into serious problems with legitimacy.

Practical implications:
RME cannot be seen as just a bolt on. The orientation needs to change to view RME as requiring a shift in culture/purpose/identity. Due to the barriers this will require systemic organizational change at all levels and a systemic change process to bring about implementation.

Social Implications:
This systemic change process will require both top down and bottom-up stakeholder involvement.

This paper fulfils a need for an in depth study of a number of business schools to identify the barriers to RME. This is now a critical issue for schools and the research has provided a number of practical recommendations which can be implemented to help schools overcome the identified barriers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Management Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Institutional theory
  • Business schools
  • Education for sustainable development (ESD)
  • Higher education (HE)
  • Responsible management education (RME)

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