United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME)
The United Nations PRME initiative was founded and officially launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in 2007. La Trobe Business School became a signatory to PRME in 2008 joining a powerful and growing movement by leading business schools and management-related academic institutions worldwide to implement the six PRME principles.
PRME provides a platform and advocates for responsible management education, research and thought leadership by higher education institutions globally.
One of our aims as a PRME signatory is to educate our students to become responsible leaders who are informed and capable of balancing the demands of business with economic, social and environmental sustainability. We do this by embedding principles of sustainability, ethics and responsibility across our curriculum and courses.
Another important aspect of PRME is focusing and building staff and student capacity in a deeper understanding of the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are part of the universal, integrated and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SDGs and the six PRME principles provide a framework for La Trobe Business School to engage our students in the critical issues of corporate responsibility and sustainability in three key areas: curriculum, research and partnerships.
Curriculum, Research & Partnerships
Academic institutions can contribute much to the achievement of the SDGs through curriculum design, focusing research efforts on SDG related challenges, raising awareness of the SDGs and taking up the opportunities the framework offers for building collaborative projects with other sectors.
La Trobe Business School is in a unique position as the entry point to student’s educational experience, early career path and professional growth. We believe this education is critical in developing students’ awareness of global issues and challenges, and to ensure they can enter the workplace fully equipped to advance and implement policies and practices that will contribute to responsible and sustainable business practice.
An example is Sustainability (BUS2SUS), a second year undergraduate compulsory core subject that teaches students to analyse and develop solutions to sustainability challenges. In addition, nine core undergraduate subjects across the Business School are currently being reviewed and evaluated to further embed teaching about corporate responsibility, sustainability and the SDGs through the careful design of:
- graduate capabilities
- intended learning outcomes
- delivery of subjects
- relevant and comprehensive assessments
The La Trobe Masters of Business Administration provides another pillar for integrating responsible management into our curriculum with the two core subject Values, Ethics and Diversity in Organisations (BUA5VED) and Responsible Leadership (BUA5RL).
La Trobe Business School has four cross-disciplinary research centres and units that also work with private sector organisations, government bodies, non-governmental organisations and community groups:
- Centre for Public Sector Governance, Accountability and Performance (CPSGAP)
- Centre for Research in Data Analytics and Cognition lab
- Centre for Sport and Social Impact (CSSI)
- Research Centre for Computers, Communication and Social Innovation (RECSSI)
We have an impressive research output across a range of disciplines, with corporate responsibility and sustainability a unifying theme across research fields with staff specialising in research related to:
- Corporate social responsibility, governance and business ethics
- Critical, social and sustainability accounting
- Corporations and corporate governance
- Environmental and resource economics
In addition, the Yunus Social Business Centre (YBSC), established in 2014 by a Memorandum of Understanding between the Yunus Centre, Dhaka, Bangladesh and La Trobe Business School, focuses on enhancing responsible business and leadership values and strengthening links with students and the wider community through a variety of programs and research that focus on innovation and social enterprise.
Our partnerships with industry include working alongside private sector organisations, government bodies, non-governmental organisations and community groups. Developing and supporting strong links with industry is essential for La Trobe Business School to be an outward looking institution and to ensure our graduates develop responsible theoretical and practical skills, and to apply these in the workplace. Our Internships and Work Integrated Learning programs provide opportunities for students to engage with industry and most importantly to apply their responsible leadership and sustainability mindsets in the workplace.
Our partnerships with associations and international bodies have evolved into strong relationships and collaborative work. Some of our significant projects have been initiated as a result of being nominated as PRME Champion from 2016 to 2020.
La Trobe Business School was honoured to be appointed as a PRME Champion in Australia in 2016 with the position recently extended to 2020. Champions are recognised as ambassadors of the United Nations PRME initiative. We engage with and support local businesses and peer institutions, including playing a visible role in PRME Chapters, PRME Regional Meetings and with Global Compact Local Networks.
PRME Champions undertake advanced tasks and innovative projects that respond to systemic challenges faced by the PRME community including:
- Working collaboratively to achieve higher levels of performance in transforming business and management education in five key areas: curricula, research, educational frameworks, sustainability-based partnerships, and thought leadership.
- Serving the broader PRME community through active engagement with existing PRME Chapters, PRME Working Groups, Global Compact LEAD, and other global opportunities, as well as to support broader and deeper implementation of sustainability principles in the institutional context of the PRME initiative.
- Contributing to broader UN goals and issues, particularly helping to realize the Sustainable Development Goals.
CR3+ is a unique partnership and international collaborative effort between four PRME Champions to exchange ideas, pedagogy, curriculum and research in the area of corporate responsibility.
One of the challenges being undertaken by the CR3+ network is to investigate the complex factors interfering with navigating the path toward Corporate Responsibility, and the implications for teaching, practice and research by higher education institutions worldwide.
As a PRME member, we are required to regularly share information on the progress made in implementing PRME through a Sharing Information on Progress (SIP) report. The report is shared amongst the PRME community so that PRME signatories can learn about La Trobe Business School’s achievements and programs that advocate the six PRME principles. The report submission can be downloaded below.
For more information about the School's involvement in the UN PRME, please contact Professor Suzanne Young or Dr Swati Nagpal.