Who is responsible for responsible business education? Insights into the dialectical inter-relations of dimensions of responsibility

Uzair Shah, Dermot O’Reilly, Bejan Analoui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One criticism of the globalisation of Business Schools is the propagation of an instrumentalist, functionalist and market-based approach to education. While programmes such as the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education initiative have attempted to promote more socially responsible practice and pedagogy within Business Schools, there is little evidence of significant change. Although the extant literature explores the response of educators to such initiatives, little is known about how management educators interpret and make sense of their and others’ responsibilities, particularly in the Global South. In this article, we critically explore the ways in which lecturers in a private Malaysian Business School locate social responsibility within their understanding of responsible business education. We identify dynamics of responsibilisation and elaborate the dialectical inter-relations of four dimensions of responsibility – individual, interactional, group and collective. Our findings reveal the limited impact of the disruptive potential of responsible business education in this instance. However, we argue that alternative theories of responsibility and responsibilisation, indicated in the dynamic inter-relations between the dimensions of responsibility, remain a potent source of inspiration for changes within business education. We offer suggestions to inform efforts towards transformatively oriented and socially responsible business education.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalManagement Learning
Early online date16 Feb 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).


  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Strategy and Management
  • General Decision Sciences


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