"Ignorance was bliss, now I'm ignorant and that is far more difficult":transdisciplinary learning and reflexivity in responsible management education

Abstract

Purpose – The collapse of world economic systems brought the interconnectedness between business and global events sharply into focus. As Starkey points out: “leading business schools need to overcome their fascination with a particular form of finance and economics […] to broaden their intellectual horizons […] (and to) look at the lessons of history and other disciplines”. The purpose of this paper is to provide evidence from three years of research on the Aston MBA suggesting that an emphasis on developing capabilities within a far broader, connected and reflexive business curriculum is what business students and practitioners now recognise as an essential way forward for responsible management education. Design/methodology/approach – This research paper examines the reflective accounts of 300 MBA students undertaking a transdisciplinary Business Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability core module. Findings – As Klein argues, transdisciplinarity is simultaneously an attitude and a form of action. The student reflections provide powerful discourses of individual learning and report a range of outcomes from finding “the vocabulary or the confidence” to raise issues to acting as “change agents” in the workplace. Originality/value – As responsibility and sustainability requires learners, researchers and educators to engage with real world complexity, uncertainty and risk, conventional disciplinary study, especially within business, often proves inadequate and partial. This paper demonstrates that creative and exploratory frames need to be developed to facilitate the development of more connected knowledge – informed by multiple stakeholders, able to contribute heterogeneous skills, perspectives and expertise.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/20412561111166058
Divisions: Aston Business School > Work & Organisational Psychology
Aston Business School
Additional Information: This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here (please insert the web address here). Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: responsible management education,United Kingdom,transdisciplinarity reflection,sustainability,learning,ethics
Full Text Link: http://www.emer ... ticleid=1954081
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PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2011
Authors: Parkes, Carole
Blewitt, John

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