CREATING A NEW GREEN MANAGEMENT COURSE

blusharmenianManagement

Nov 9, 2013 (4 years and 1 day ago)

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1

CREATING A NEW GREEN MANAGEMENT COURSE


Dr. Constance Bates, Florida International University, Miami, FL

Dr. Ronnie Silverblatt, Florida International University, Miami, FL

Professor Jack Kleban
,
Florida International University, Miami FL



ABSTRACT



Just

as firms are increasingly recognizing the value of green programs, so, too, are Colleges of Business. Green
or sustainability courses are beginning to appear in university business curriculums. This article describes how a
new green management course wa
s developed and how it is structured to meet current AACSB requirements. It
includes Learning Objectives and describes an experiential learning assignment: proposing green programs to
area businesses. It also presents a detailed examination of all the c
ourse elements, such as homework, textbooks,
and oral report. Additionally, a survey of green courses at AACSB institutions is presented. This outline could be
used as a guide for others developing new courses in the area of sustainability.




GOING GREEN


MAKING MANAGEMENT CURRICULUM CURRENT


Making the Management Curriculum Current


In terms of going green, business is ahead of the business schools. There are many cases of firms implementing
green projects, from cleaner energy to vertical farming.
One
of the most commonly used definitions of
sustainability comes from the UN.
Sustainable development is development that “meets the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (UN, 1987).
There are fe
wer cases
where business colleges are offering green courses. A sampling of b
usiness schools shows only 31
% offer at least
one green course. Yet, green has become a mainstream goal for many business organizations.


Teaching What Firms are Already Doing


It is the responsibility of business schools to prepare students for careers in organizations. In this case, business
schools need to prepare students for green
-
collar jobs. Just as firms do sustainability audits, looking for
opportunities to go green,

business schools can examine their curriculum for opportunities to add green content.




The Management Department in our school did just that and focused on an existing Environmental Management
track. While this track has existed for sometime, the focus

was on issues like ethics, waste, and pollution. In the
process of updating this track, we developed a new course specifically called Green Management. The goal of this
course is to give students experience with sustainability audits and green project f
ormation.


Question: Design New Course or Green
-
up Existing Course?


In the beginning of the course review, our curriculum committee faced this question. After some discussion and
consideration of many variables, we decided to both update an existing cour
se and add a new course. The first
course is called Environmental Management and was updated to cover sustainability throughout the organization.
The new course was developed to be an experiential learning course in which students study local businesses.




The purpose of this article is to explain our process in developing a new green course and share lessons learned
and recommendations.


WHAT OTHER SCHOOLS ARE DOING


Undergraduate Green Courses


AACSB has conferred business accreditation on 560 institut
ions; 42 of these institutions have only
undergraduate programs and 44 have only graduate programs

(AACSB)
.

Approximately five percent of the
undergraduate institutions (26) and five percent of the graduate institutions (26) were surveyed
by the authors

to

determine the extent member schools were creating courses in sustainability, green issues, or natural
resources/environment.
The institutions
chosen represent

(a) public and private, (b) small, medium and large sized,
and

(c) northern,

southern, west and

mid
-
western
, and (d) urban and rural

institutions.

The results of the
undergraduate survey
are in Table 1

below. Only 8

out of 26,
almost 1/3, of
t
he undergraduate business schools
have a minimum of one green co
urse
.

Schools offering green courses incl
ude
University of Arizona, University of

2

Colorado


Boulder,
Elon University, Indiana
University

-

Bloo
m
i
ngto
n, Loyola University


Chicago,

University
of Pennsylvania,

University of Virginia, and University of Wisconsin. As one might anticipate, larger
schools tend
to offer more courses
than smaller schools. Table 2

shows the titles of the green courses. Most of the courses
offered focus on the economic and policy side of the discipline. The Management Departments seem to offer more
courses than other

business departments.
The presence of an Economics Department in the business school
influences the number and type of courses offered.


Table 1. Number of Green Undergraduate Courses Offered in Sample


Number of Courses

Number of Sc
hools

% of Total Schools

0

18

69
.2

1

2

7.7

2

3

11.5

3

2

7.7

4

1
1

3.8


26

100





1.

At
this

institution,
these
4

course
s

are
open to both undergraduate and graduate students



Table 2.
Undergraduate
Green
Course Titles Offered in Sample






























Graduate Green Courses


Although more graduate business sch
ools offer green courses than
undergraduate,
the survey revealed onl
y 10

out of 26 schools,
38
%
, offer a green course; see Table 3.
The
University of Arizona, University of Colorado


Boulder,
Loyola University


Chicago
, Ohio State University,

University

of Pennsylvania
, and University of
Wisconsin

are the leaders in the sample. Schools with more green courses on the graduate level tend to have more
green courses on the undergraduate level. Furthermore, among the institutions that offer a green course,

graduate
programs have a wider breadth of courses than their underg
raduate counterparts. Table 4

shows the titles of the
green courses. Titles with the word
s

“environmental” or
“sustainability” were more prevalent. Again, Management
Departments and large
r schools seem to offer more courses than other departments.



Course
Tit
les

Business Economics and Public Policy: Sustainable Enterprise

Business of Saving Nature

Economics of the Natural Environment

Energy Economics

Environmental Choices in the 21
st

Century

Environmental Economics

Environmental Management Law and Poli
cy

Environmental Operation

Environmental Strategy and Sustainability

Law and the Environment

Managing Sustainability in the Developing World


Resources and Environmental Economics

Risk Analysis and Environmental Management

Sustainability: Busines
s and the Environment

Sustainable Enterprise: The 21
st

Century Corporation

Sustainability, Environment
al

and Social Risk

Systems Thinking and Sustainable Business


3


It s
hould be pointed out that some green courses may

be offered in schools other than the business school and
available to business school students as an elective. Environmental studies, eco
nomics and public policy were some
of the departments also offering sustainability courses. Unless listed in the business school catalogue, these courses
are not included in the

Tables. Additionally, this survey sampled only schools accredited by AACSB.

Non
-
accredited schools such as Antioch in New England, Presidio School of Management in San Francisco, Bainbridge
Graduate Institute in Washington and Dominican University of California offer courses in sustainability but were
not included in the sample.


Table 3: Number of Green Graduate Courses Offered in Sample


Number of Courses

Number of Schools

% of Total Schools

0

1
6

62

1

2

8

2

2

8

3

3

12

4

2

8

5

1
1

4

Total

26

100

1.
At this institution, 4 of the 5 courses are open to both undergraduates and

graduate students



Table 4: Green Graduate Course Titles Offered in Sample


Course Title

Advanced Topics in the Economics of Environmental Regulation

Business and Nature

Business and the Environment: Strategies for Sustainability

Business Environment

and Strategy

Energy and the Environment

Energy Economics

Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Natural Systems

Environmental and Natural Resource Environment

Environmental Law Business Managers

Environmental Management: Law and Policy

Environmental Mana
gement Systems for Business

Environmental Strategy and Sustainability

Environmental Sustainability and Value Creation

Ethics, Values and Sustainability

Global Environmental Ethics

Global Marketing and Sustainability

Leading Sustainable Enterprises

N
atural Resource Law and Economics

Projects in Enterprise Sustainability

Risk Analysis and Environmental Management

Sustainability, Environmental and Social Risk Management

Sustainable Business

Sustainable Growth Management

Sustainable Innovation and
Entrepreneurship

Sustainable Marketing and Business Development

Sustainable Venturing

Systems Thinking and Sustainable Business




4

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPERATIVE TO GO GREEN


Why Green Course Makes Sense: The Southeastern U.S. Example.



Our school is unde
r pressure from our environment to add green content to our business curriculum. As a
school located in the Southeastern U.S., some environmental concerns affecting local busi
nesses and our economy
include green

topics such as beach erosion, salt water in
cursions into drinking wells, and foreign plants and animals
that disrupt and/or displace local species. There also exists several opportunities to add to our economy eco
-
projects
that can utilize our abundance of sun for solar power, and a constant breez
e and tidal action to convert to alternative
fuel sources.



Florida’s largest economic sector is tourism. Green areas of concern that have an effect on our economy center
on the ocean, rivers, and reefs. Pollution, red tides, and rising water temperature
s are destroying reefs and the life it
supports, reducing visitors who enjoy scuba diving and fishing. The Florida Everglades, which attracts tourists, is
under extreme ecological strain from the residential development and the sugar industry. The health

of this river
-
of
-
grass affects our drinking water supply as well as the process of salt
-
water intrusion of our aquifers.



Southeast Florida is also experiencing an intrusion of foreign plant and wildlife, such as the pythons from South
America that are

eating alligators and the lionfish from Asia that are poisoning local fish. Several species face
extinction in the area: the Manatee, the Panther, and Mangroves.



Florida has other green concerns affecting its economy. For example, the second largest
economic sector is
agriculture, which includes citrus fruit groves, sugar production, and cattle ranching. Agricultural run
-
off is
polluting our rivers, the Everglades, and our water supply, especially one of the world’s largest man
-
made lakes in
Central
Florida, Lake Okeechobee. This pollution is also endangering sea grasses and flora that are needed to
maintain a balanced eco
-
system.






When we take a look at our alumni we find that approximately 70% take local jobs. This means we are
preparing our
students for the local economy and environment. With all the interest and need locally to go green,
we feel it is appropriate to significantly green
-
up our curriculum.



President Obama’s recovery package is estimated to produce over 5 million new green j
obs over the next few
years with an estimated 120,000 of them located here in Florida
. We feel

that it is in the best interests of our
graduating business majors to be introduced to the many opportunities that exist in our rapidly changing local
marketpla
ce and to prepare them with the tools needed to promote their careers in a socially responsible workplace.


DESIGNING NEW GREEN COURSE


Where It Fits in Business Curriculum


At our school, the Management Department has an existing
Business
Environment

Mana
gement track. This is
not a major or minor, but a collection of courses within the Management major. Specifically, the student takes
seven courses in the
Business
Environmental Management area. Courses are in groups such as social, global,
political and

legal, and economic environment. After review of this track, and keeping in mind the goals of AACSB
and our college, we added an experiential learning course that is built solely around green management.


Green Management: a Project
Course


The new cours
e is devoted to green activities in an organization. It is a project course, requiring students to visit
and evaluate local firms. After conducting a sustainability audit in their firm, each group of students looks for
opportunities to recommend improvem
ents in sustainability. Students write up their recommendations and present
them to the managers of their selected firms. They then experience the resistance to change, concern about costs,
and possible failure of something unique and untried.




The pro
ject aspect of this course helps us meet AACSB and college goals. With the increased interest in
improving learning, the AACSB has urged colleges to expand the mode of teaching beyond lecture in the classroom.
Our Assurance of Learning goals also recomme
nd adding experiential learning activities to our teaching modes.
The interface between our students and local organizations enhances community relations with both sides
benefitting.


Learning Objectives


5


A key consideration in

designing

the new course wa
s to take into account guidelines from AACSB, our
accrediting organization.
Six
Learning Objectives
were developed for the new course.

LO1: Students learn the rationale behind green projects: green strategies can protect the environment and
the bottom li
ne.

LO2: Students analyze real life green projects to understand elements of success and failure.

LO3: Students search Internet for examples of green projects around the world.

LO4: Students conduct sustainability audit in existing firm.

LO5: Students
develop green strategy for existing organization.

LO6: Students recognize ethical issues of impact of firm’s operations on the environment.

Also, the course was designed to fulfill
some of the
Management major Learning Objectives as well:

LO1 = Demonstrat
e understanding of how to carry out the planning function of management.

LO2 = Demonstrate understanding of how to carry out the organizing function of management.

LO4 = Identify ways to fulfill the leadership function of management.


LO5: = Explain how li
nking the organizational social practices to the community is ultimately
advantageous.




In addition, the course fulfills College Learning Objectives.

Curricular and Technology Learning Objectives:


Communication Learning Objectives


Researching, organi
zing, supporting, and orally delivering business presentations adapted to diverse audiences.

Technology Learning Objectives


Using the web to find information and/or create web pages
.

Global Learning Objectives


Apply knowledge on political, legal, economi
c, and cultural country differences to develop competitive
strategies in foreign, regional, and global markets.

Critical Thinking Learning Objectives


Analyzing complex business problems, particularly ill
-
structured ones.


Identifying and evaluating releva
nt issues and information
.


Generating and evaluating possible solutions to the problems
.

Recommending solutions based on a well
-
reasoned rationale.


Communicating your thought processes to others.

Ethics Learning Objectives


Recognizing ethical dilemmas
.


Evaluating how stakeholders will be affected by various possible solutions to ethical dilemmas.


Making ethical decisions.



Textbooks


Three books guide students in their efforts to analyze a firm. The basic textbook is Esty and Winston’s
Green to
Gold:

How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive
Advantage
.

Some chapters are “Inspiring an Eco
-
Advantage Culture,” “Why Environmental Initiatives Fail,” and
“Taking Action and Eco
-
Advantage Strategy.” This

book present
s

many real life examples, describing success and
failures in analyzing firms and implementing green solutions. This book can help students create new solutions and
overcome problems. The second book is a collection of readings that present
a variety of viewpoints and
experiences of those developing green strategies. The
Harvard Business Review on Green Business Strategy

is a
source book for students looking for successful strategies and problems to avoid. The third book is by Gary
Hirshber
g called
Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World
. This is an extended case of a single real
life company and its many attempts to develop green programs. The value of this book is to show 1) that one can
apply green thinking though out an or
ganization, and 2) going green is an extended experiment


a continual search
for creative ways to save resources, energy, and dollars.


Class time


Class time is divided into 3 parts: 1) lecture and in
-
class exercises on basic activities in student projec
t, 2)
student discussion of readings text, and 3) student sharing information with other groups about their progress

in
working with their local firms
.



Homework Notebook


There are 8 homework assignments that fill a notebook. Each group of students has
a different firm and does
homework about that firm. The assignments guide students step
-
by
-
step through the sustainability audit and project

6

design. At the end of the semester, students have their homework assignments all in one notebook and this forms
t
he material for their oral report.


Notebook Assignments
:


1. With your group, identify a
local organization

that will work with you on a green p
roject. Describe this firm.
1)
industry, 2) size, 3) where headquartered, 4) how old, 5) how many divisions,
6) operations performed, 7)
products/services, 8) customer niche, 9) price level, and 10) main competitors.




2. Find
10 articles

on green projects for this type of firm. Do not turn in the articles. Instead, summarize each
one with a short paragraph.

Number the paragraphs 1
-
10. These articles are a guideline for you to know where to
start looking for green opportunities.





3.
Product/Service
:

describe what the company produces.


a. Name of product or service


b. What is product made of?

or wh
o delivers the service?


c. Are there better substitute materials for making this product?


d. How long does the product last?


e. Is the product usually repaired, recycled, or disposed?




4.
Operations:

describe what operations the firm performs.


a. What operations does your firm perform?



b. Identify areas of inefficiencies.



c. Can production flow, material storage or use, or assembly be more efficient?



d. Can resources be reduced in the production process?



e. Should some of the operat
ions be performed by someone else?





5. Describe the
suppliers and consumers

for your firm.



a. What are the names of suppliers? Where are they located?



b. How are supplies delivered to firm?



c. How are supplies packaged?



d. How is product
/service consumed?




6. Describe how the firm handles
energy and waste
.



a. What kind of energy does this firm use?



b. Identify areas of probable waste in energy.



c. How could the firm reduce its energy needs? How could it recapture or

recycl
e energy?



d. What waste is produced by this firm?



e. What can be done to with this waste?






7. Develop a
Green Plan

for this firm.



a. Describe what areas you think management should address.



b. Describe what you are recommending to manageme
nt.



c. List the resources and funds needed.



d. Present the costs and benefits of implementing your Green Plan.



e. Mention the expected problems that will arise.




8.
Present Green Plan.

Get reaction from firm.



a. Who did you present plan to?

What did they say?



b. What were their questions?



c. How did they say they would use the Green Plan?



d. What were their objections?



e. What do you think will happen to your Green Plan?



Oral Report


At the end of the semester, each group is re
quired to give an oral report on their firm. They describe their firm,
the audit, the project, and management response to their recommendation. The purpose of this assignment is twofold:
1) students learn about the other projects, and 2) students observ
e the resistance to change for going green.



7

Getting Administrative Support



Far from being a burden, sustainable development is an exceptional opportunity
-

economically, to build
markets and create jobs; socially, to bring people in from the margins; an
d politically, to give every man and woman
a voice, and a choice, in deciding the
ir own future
” (A
n
n
an).



Bo
th t
he chair of the department and the college dean need to support a green curriculum. Schools may have
administrators who are current in their t
hinking and realize the value of having a current curriculum. In other
schools, administrators may view going green as a passing fad. They may feel it is tangential to business and costs
outweigh benefits. When that is the case, professors have to convi
nce administrators of the size and importance of
the green movement. They have to show that sustainability doesn’t just cost more, it can reduce costs. This is a
difficult task during a slow
economy. It should be noted that
the
AACSB is active in the ar
ea of sustainability as
evidenced by the inclusion of sustainability topics as well as links on their website and sponsorship/participation in
sustainable conferences.


Passionate Professors


Professors can take the lead role in developing a green curricul
um. Even those who don’t have a particular
interest in going green often recognize the importance of adding it to the curriculum. In fact, passionate professors
can work together to develop interest in going green. With research and presentations, they
can influence
recalcitrant administrators to support green content.




Attracting Students


Some students who are traditional have no more interest in going green than some administrators. Most
students, however, are well acquainted with the green point
of view. They may, however, wonder how green
courses relate to getting jobs. Passionate professors can assist by talking about green
-
collar jobs. At this point in
the global greening process,
few are

s
pecifically trained to manage green. Students with
green courses have a
competitive edge in job
-
hunting.



MAKING CONNECTIONS TO OTHER ORGANIZATIONS



Experiential learning is a key component to this course. An effort has been made to offer the student a starting
-
point to identify and meet businesses that

can be called upon to enhance both the knowledge base
of students
and

their

managerial skills needed for green management.



Support can come
from
within the university and from a number of outside sources. Internally,

at our school,
partnering with the G
lobal Entrepreneurship Center or the College of Engineering’s Green Project
was very
beneficial.



Students can also seek outside support from local government
sources.
S
ources such as
the City of North
Miami’s “Green North Miami” program and Miami’s “Eco
-
Zone” model
,
that has grown to national acclaim
,

provide

continual opportunities for our students.



Local and state chapters affiliated with national organizations such as the Sierra Club, National Geographic, the
American Solar Energy Society, and Green

for All, which focuses on state
-
level job training for youth
-
at
-
risk, are
also potential partnering sources.



Business interests in the Miami area are beginning to promote and develop green mentality endeavors which are
demonstrated by CBS Corporation’s

partnership with Miami City Hall, citizens groups, and Eco Media. Local
banks such as Union Credit an
d JP Chase are offering green financing

to homeowners. Office Depot is looking at
entry into the carbon credit business and Mercy Hospital found financi
ng for a Green Lighting Project that they
expect will result in lower operating

costs.
If administrators and professors look around their own geographical
area,

mo
re than likely
they
will find similar projects
being
developed
.




Looking for potential gro
wth and university affiliation with the community, the con
cept of creating a local/state
discussion
forum

can be established with both a face
-
to
-
face and electronic component whose purpose is to share
ideas on how to improve course content and to possibly
act as a green coordinating hub. The creation of this forum
can also act as a networking source for all involved and promote contacts with local businesses.



8


We can also learn from existing green projects that address the creation of green jobs and invo
lvement of state
and local government and business leaders. Opportunities exist to enhance the local environment and economies by
seeking hard to get capital being offered by President’s Obama’s economic stimulus package. This packages’
estimated $150 bi
llion for development

of green projects and related green

jobs

provides abundant career
possibilities.



Several innovative green projects/partnerships that may be utilized as a model include Toledo
-
Lucas County,
Ohio’s “Toledo
-
Lucas County Green Jobs Pa
rtnership,” and Middlesex County New Jersey’s plan to create green
economic development zones similar to urban enterprise zones found in many cities.
New York’s South Bronx has
developed a plan to use gr
een dollars focused on helping teens
-
at
-
risk

find me
aningful work. All of these related
programs need managers that possess a green mentality
that can be
fostered by this course.


SUMMARY


Following the lead of firms, schools should develop competency in green man
agement and should infuse green

thinking in
to the business curriculum.
B
usiness schools now have the opportunity to become leaders in this area by
introducing green courses into their curricula. This article showed by a small survey, that only about
one
-
third

of
schools actually have green course
s. This is surely an opportunity for a school to become a leading edge educator,
making a difference by offering timely courses and addressing current issues.



By designing and offering green courses, we are informing future business leaders of possibili
ties to develop
sustainable policies. We are creating students who are prepared to work in green
-
collar jobs. By producing
graduates who understand the need for green, we are increasing the number of managers who are capable of
implementing green policie
s and thus save our natural resources, provide clean energy, and create sustainable
connections between humans and their earth.

"Education that supports principles of sustainability enables all people
to become effective, engaged, global citizens by empow
ering them with the knowledge, values & skills to promote a
future that is socially just, and humane, economically viable, ecologically sound, supporting healthy quality of life
and holistic w
ell
-
being


(Peralta, 2006).


REFERENCES


Annan, Kofi
,

The United

Nations Division for Sustainable Development., Department of Social and Economic Affairs
.

http://www.un.org/esa/desa/aboutus/dsd.html
.

Retrieved Feb. 1, 2009
.

The Association to Advance
Collegia
te Schools of Business,
Accredited Schools
.
http://AACSB.edu/accreditation/accreditedmembers.asp
.

Retrieved Feb. 1, 2009.

Brinkman, Paul (2008, Nov. 28). Options for financing green pr
ojects continue to increase.
South Florida Business Journal.

CBS
Broadcasting
(2008, June 19).

CBS Unveils Nationwide Green Partnership Program.
http://www.un.org/esa/desa/aboutus/dsd.html
.

Duke
University (2008, Nov. 18). Potential ‘Green Collar’ Job Growth In US.
Science Daily.

Greenhouse, Steven (2008, Mar. 26). Millions of jobs of a different collar.
New York Times.

Loder, Asyjlyn (2008, Sep. 9). Group predicts 120,000 green jobs in Florida.
S
t. Petersburg Times.

Peralta Colleges (2006
, Nov. 7
). Sustainable Peralta Gree
n Curriculum Subcommittee
.
www.peralta.edu/apps/comm.asp?$1=397.

Sustainable South Bronx., New Generation of Green Collar Workers
.
http://www.ssbx.org/best.html.

Retrieved Jan.
21, 2009
.

Tarsi, Kika, (2009, Jan. 18). Obama, Humboldt and the green collar job.
The Times
-
Standard.

UN World Commission on Environment and Development,
O
ur Common Future, 1987.

http://www.un
-
docume
nts.net/ocf
-
ov.htm#I

.

Retrieved Feb 10, 2009
.