A web-based content analysis of the management education for sustainability-related curricula of 642 business schools from the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) and Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation system revealed drastic variations in curriculum design between European and American business schools. European schools favored an elective-oriented approach and placed more emphasis on the graduate level; whereas American business schools placed more sustainability-related courses at the undergraduate level, mandating them as compulsory. Additional differences were found between global regions including Asia and Oceania, and between national developmental stage and university ranking with regard to the overall level of sustainability-related curriculum offered, specific sustainability content, and teaching methods. Differences were noted as well in the distribution across undergraduate and graduate levels and in compulsory and elective offerings. Our findings suggest diverse differences in sustainability-related curriculum design from business schools of different backgrounds. If curriculum design is a reflection of local circumstances, we are cautious about an accreditation-led imposition of standards on business schools, since it is only at the local level where the best ideas regarding sustainability education tailored to surrounding situations can originate.
Academy of Management Learning Education 9(3), pp.520-531