Plowing a Fertile Ground for Transformative Management Education

Plowing a Fertile Ground for Transformative Management Education

Sergio A. Castrillon-Orrego (EAFIT University, Medellín, Colombia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5345-9.ch018
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This article argues in favor of a holistic and ethically grounded educational framework for managers, oriented to fine-tune business with developmental requirements. Considering the multiple environmental, social, and economic challenges the world faces today, business goals are approached in terms of genuine humankind developmental obligations. Acknowledging the urgent need to prevent some eschatological scenarios, a critical and mindful methodology is used to diagnose, evaluate and reorient the role of business and management education. Sustainable development goals (SDGs) are proposed as beacons to channel and ethically assess the potential of business to contribute in concrete terms to integral development, using them as prisms through which comprehension, criticisms and transformations can be articulated.
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Usually, defined in very narrow terms, business continue making conventional decisions, disconnected from nature, and probably in the dark in terms of holistic effects and feedback loops. As in Plato’s cave, multiple dazzling impacts are ignored, although paradoxically they can enlighten new scenarios for transformative action. The pressing need to preserve breathable air, drinkable water, fertile lands; can shock and temporarily blind business. However, this daze can be dialectically shifted to help business avoid permanent stupefaction.

Popular business ideas are short of generating overall prosperity, of assuring food security, well-being and healthy lives. Indicators show that economic and social upheavals are eroding institutions all over the world, and that natural resources are increasingly polluted and depleted, with the consequent social tensions, effects on health, and quality of employment.

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