What on Earth Should Managers Learn About Corporate Sustainability? A Threshold Concept Approach

Journal of Business Ethics 162 (4):857-880 (2020)
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Abstract

The Earth is facing pressing societal grand challenges that require urgent managerial action. Responsible management learning has emerged as a discipline to prepare managers to act as responsible leaders that can effectively address such pressing challenges. This article aims to extend current knowledge on RML in the domain of corporate sustainability through the application of threshold concepts, novel ideas which provide a doorway to new knowledge and transform a learner’s mindset. Specifically, after conducting a systematic review of the management literature, we identify 33 CS threshold concepts that are useful for mainstream managers and practitioners in their RML process. We group them into six CS threshold concept themes that can help managers understand the complexities and interconnectedness that characterize CS. Finally, we map CS threshold concepts with key competences for effective RML. Therefore, our contribution relies on translating existing CS theoretical frameworks into transformative, specific, understandable and applicable pieces of knowledge that might help mainstream managers to embed CS principles in their daily management practices.

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