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Embedding a Sustainability Module Into Quantitative Business Courses

Author

Listed:
  • Susan Cholette

    () (San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California 94132)

  • Theresa Roeder

    () (San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California 94132)

Abstract

Business schools face pressure to incorporate sustainability and ethics into curricula, not only by offering single-themed classes but also by including these topics in existing classes. We embed a stand-alone module, sustainability and supply chain management, into two quantitative courses, the graduate core operations class and an undergraduate concentration class in management science. We develop this module to provide students the background and tools to analyze energy usage and resultant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for a product or process. Students research a supply chain, use carbon auditing software, and make recommendations for improvement. To answer the research question of whether students perceive the module as useful and objective we perform an exploratory survey ( N = 76). We find that students are engaged and consider delivery as unbiased. In short, this module adds value to the learning experience and can be integrated into classes without extensive instructor preparation. Readers may freely download all supporting materials for use in their own courses. More generally, our approach could prove useful in developing modules on other sustainability subtopics to place into quantitative courses, so as to support the relationship between analytical and qualitative approaches to decision making, especially when those decisions involve ethical or environmental issues.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Cholette & Theresa Roeder, 2012. "Embedding a Sustainability Module Into Quantitative Business Courses," INFORMS Transactions on Education, INFORMS, vol. 13(1), pages 44-56, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:orited:v:13:y:2012:i:1:p:44-56
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/ited.1120.0087
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