Business / Economy

Schools ranked on leadership, corporate ideals

By Yang Ziman (China Daily) Updated: 2014-08-20 07:18

Responsible leadership has become increasingly valued by Chinese business schools as shown by their growing efforts in initiating research, conferences and projects, according to a report released by SynTao, a corporate social responsibility consultancy company in Beijing.

SynTao has published the first ranking of domestic business schools in terms of their awareness of responsible leadership in their MBA programs.

The report covers 20 business schools assessed by four criteria: the school's vision statement; curriculum; cultivation; and opportunities for students to engage in relevant initiatives.

The top four business schools on the list are Guanghua Management School at Peking University, Antai College of Economics and Management at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Cheong Kong Graduate School of Business and China Europe International Business School.

Nine of the 20 schools have set up research centers on social responsibility and sustainable development - among them, Guanghua Management School, International Business School at the University of International Business and Economics, and the School of Management at Fudan University.

Guanghua Management School is the first business school in China to offer a master's degree in corporate social responsibility. The two-year full-time postgraduate program launched in June plans to recruit candidates aged between 25 and 35 with three to five years of work experience in management.

Cai Hongbin, dean of Guanghua Management School, said that the global financial crisis in 2008, which was thought to be caused by reckless sales of increasingly risky financial products, sounded an alarm for the business education system.

"It is thought-provoking that so much has been devoted to cultivating business talents who would eventually wreak havoc in the industry," said Cai. "One day, the students who have graduated from our school will compete with their peers from other countries. They are going to be valued not only by their expertise but also their responsibility to their nation, the Earth and human beings."

Seminars and forums are an important part of CSR initiatives at business schools and they feature at 19 of the 20 business schools.

CEIBS has been holding the Being Globally Responsible Conference since 2006. The conference is the largest one that centers on responsible leadership initiated by business school students in Asia Pacific.

"Large companies are the main culprit of environmental deterioration," said Rui Meng, a professor of finance and accounting at CEIBS, "Now, people look up to the United States as the exemplar of their China Dream. Unfortunately, if everyone on Earth lives like an American, we are going to need four Earths."

A report by the United Nations Environment Programme said that the largest 3,000 listed companies generated environmental damage of $2.15 trillion in 2008. It predicts that by 2050, the environmental cost will stand at $28 trillion, accounting for 17.18 percent of GDP, compared with 11 percent in 2008, which means that net global GDP is actually decreasing.

The purpose of a company used to be maximizing the interest of its shareholders, said Rui. Now, the view has changed to include other stakeholders as well, including the employees, the environment and the society.

"A company's sense of responsibility has become a more significant factor that affects its profitability," Rui added. "Some businessmen told me that they lost business opportunities with European countries because they believe Chinese companies earn money at the expense of the environment. Chinese companies, if they want to go global, need to work on their CSR to improve their image."

According to the report, 14 of the 20 business schools surveyed have projects for the students to have firsthand experience to strengthen their CSR awareness.

For instance, Guanghua Business School initiated a program in January that aims to help migrant workers' children to gain some insights into the business field. The students are guided by the professors from the business school to produce a consultancy report for the companies included in the project.

The report concluded that Chinese business schools have room for improvement when it comes to CSR education.

Schools ranked on leadership, corporate ideals

Schools ranked on leadership, corporate ideals

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