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Teaching the Virtues of Sustainability as Flourishing to Undergraduate Business Students

Author: PETER MCGHEE and PATRICIA GRANT
Published in GVER, Vol. 7 No. 2

Business leaders have a major influence over the achievement of a truly sustainable world; however to do this such leaders need knowledge, which can provide them with convictions that alter both their individual behaviour and their approach to business. Unfortunately in most business schools sustainability is presented as just another strategy for maximising profits. This article describes an undergraduate sustainability course for business students which has transformative potential. Students are exposed to the neo-classical worldview underlying business-as-usual and are challenged to examine what needs to change to reach the goal of sustainability-as-flourishing. More importantly students are helped to draw their own conclusions about the implications of this change for them personally. The uniqueness of this course lies in the fact that students are given the means and tools to action change by introducing them to a virtue ethics framework. This framework provides a blueprint for how individuals can contribute to achieving sustainability as flourishing through the daily practice of virtue and the inspiration of moral exemplars.

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