Business Newsroom

La Trobe Business School

Tag: La Trobe Business School (page 1 of 16)

Highered helps LBS students, graduates and alumni get hired

La Trobe Business School is a member of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), a global accreditation network of 488 top business and management schools. The La Trobe MBA and the Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality) are both accredited by EFMD through the prestigious EFMD Programme Accreditation System (EPAS).  The EFMD network has a Global Career Service called Highered, only offered to member schools,which provides a platform on which organisations can post employment, trainee and internship positions for students, graduates and alumni.

 

Only those studying at or who have graduated from an EFMD member institution have access. All La Trobe students and graduates can now take advantage of the LBS school accreditation and join others within the EFMD network, linking with employment and internship organisations around the world.

 

Globally there are more than 50,000 students using Highered-EFMD Global Career Services, with approximately 1,500 new members joining each week. Just in the last three months, there have been more than 100,000 views of positions at over 100 companies.

 

 

How does it work?

Once an account is made, you can login to your personal homepage to find internship, trainee positions, and graduate positions that are relevant to you from companies around the world.

 

Online assessment

There is also the opportunity to complete a complimentary online assessment, focused on work-related behaviour, numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and motivation. This is a useful tool as there is an increase in corporations using online assessment solutions in their hiring practices. The online assessment can help to prepare for interviews and thereby gain a competitive advantage in the recruitment process. The resulting report is for personal use and is not shared with or accessible by companies or La Trobe Business School. The tests are delivered by cut-e, the world leader in online assessment, and are only accessed via your personal account.

 

Join today to get Highered!

Why risk management is so crucial for entrepreneurs and the start-up economy

Traditionally business risk management has been used to reduce and better understand the likelihood and uncertainty various ‘events’ can have on businesses achieving their objectives e.g. financial uncertainty, legal liabilities, strategic management decisions, cyber threats, accidents, natural disasters and business continuity etc. Increasingly, however, business risk methods are being incorporated into new start-up sciences, business design and prototype testing for new ideas, products and services well before firms go to market. Application of these risk based start-up sciences is also a key strategy to help new start-ups attract potential investors by minimising investor risk.

 

The global business environment is being driven by new digital technologies and disruption. This includes 3D printing, quantum computing, blockchain, artificial intelligence and new platform economics led by Facebook, Google, Uber, and Alibaba etc. (see Klaus Schwab, 2016, The Fourth Industrial Revolution). It continues to be a problem, however, that a lot of entrepreneurs and start-ups fail because they do not clearly understand the ‘risks’ associated with their business proposition from the start. In this context they waste time, money, resources and effort building the wrong product or service for the wrong market at the wrong time.

 

So increasingly building a successful product and business is essentially about risk mitigation and systematically de-risking your business model overtime by identifying and testing the problem your product or service is attempting to solve. Applying more rigorous start-up scientist helps reduce the ‘risk ‘of business failure. The approach requires you to develop a feasible solution and prototypes and to try out on consumers to give feedback before launching the final product to the market. Start-up sciences include Design Thinking, Lean Canvas and Innovator’s Method etc. to reduce risks and manage uncertainty across the key end-to-end start-up design process.

For example, in 2012, Ash Maurya redesigned Osterwalder’s earlier Business Model Canvas to develop his Lean Canvas idea.  The Business Model Canvas provided a template describing nine essential elements of an existing business: customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, resources, activities, partnerships, and costs. Maurya’s Lean Canvas is a one-page business modelling tool that helps increase the probability of success by starting with the customer and using information or data derived from business-model hypotheses to lower risk and reduce uncertainty.

 

At the La Trobe Business School/NORTH Link National Innovation Forum held in September 2017 a number of business leaders, consulting firms and academics came together to discuss Australia’s innovation system and how to increase innovation particularly for start-ups and SMEs. Several of the presentations chose to focus on the use of start-up science as a means to reduce business risk and manage business uncertainty.

For example, Antonio Palanca, CEO and Co-Founder of the HiveXchange presented a case study on his business, which has created a new form of business-to-business e-commerce called trust-based e-commerce, which is designed specifically to meet the challenges in perishable produce supply chains. Palanca described the company’s journey and how the use of Lean Canvas methodology shaped field experiments and prototypes to reveal problems early that became the foundation of HiveXchange’s trust based e-commerce software. Palanca explained that the benefit of this approach was that as you go through the stages you reduce risk and therefore become more attractive to investors and you can drive more commercial innovation on a global scale.

Similarly, Christine Axton, Director in Monitor Deloitte’s strategy practice, presented a short overview the innovator’s method and illustrated its application in a case study. Based on the work of Nathan Furr and Jeff Dyer (2014) the innovator’s method is designed to help firms to specifically manage uncertainty in the innovation process. The innovator’s method offers a set of tools and methods to consider and test uncertainty at each of the end-to-end innovation process steps.

Several other presenters at the Forum referenced Eric Ries’ book The Lean Start-up: Creating Growth through Innovation, as a major influence on their business or teaching practice. The thrust of Ries’ book is that start-ups tend to be much higher-risk endeavours than they need to be because they build elaborate products before testing them with consumers. Applying Ries’ build, measure lean-loop, allows firms to reduce waste, optimise production processes and find out what their customers really want before they go to market.

 

What the above illustrates is that the traditional application of business risk methods and tools are changing. The future of business risk management is no longer just seen as a method to identify, assess and control threats to an existing firm’s systems, people, capital and earnings.  It is increasingly used as a key part of the start-up science that is nurturing a new generation of start-up businesses and de-risk businesses overtime.

This Blog is written by Dr Mark Cloney and originally published in Risk Management Institute of Australasia (RMIA), The Risk Magazine, No.3, March 2018, p.20. Read the full magazine here.

Mark is Professor of Practice in Economics at the LBS. Prior to joining La Trobe University, Mark was the senior executive officer responsible for enterprises’ risk management, business planning, audit and protective security in the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water. Mark teaches in the economics discipline and risk management practice.

MBA becoming a pre-requisite for career advancement

La Trobe alumnus Marcus Guthrie completed his Master of Business Administration (MBA) in late 2015, studying night classes while working full-time. He’s now the CEO of Mildura Health Private Hospital, where he oversees 130 staff, three theatres, 29 in-patients beds, a day procedure unit and an oncology unit. Guthrie shares his insights on why you need an MBA to progress your career, and the benefits of studying at a regional Victorian campus.

 

La Trobe alumnus Marcus Guthrie, CEO of Mildura Health Private Hospital

From the hotel business to CEO of Mildura Health Private Hospital

I’ve been in management roles since 2000, albeit in a different career, as a director in luxury hotels around the world. My career path was from the Whitsundays, through the Caribbean, to the Seychelles and in the Maldives. There I was tasked with converting two islands from three star to five star. We mobilised 750 multinational staff and the project was quite successful. Along the way I had a family developing, so we decided to come home to Mildura. Initially, I was appointed General Manager of the Mildura Golf Resort. Then, I was awarded a position as Business Manager at the Mildura Base Hospital. That progressed to Patient Services Manager, looking after four departments and around 100 staff. And then Medical Administration Manager, taking care of all the senior specialists in the hospital, as well as Ramsay Healthcare Specialist clinic. In late 2017, I became the CEO of Mildura Health Private Hospital. As I was progressing in the healthcare industry, I realised I needed an MBA for three reasons. The first was the learning and growth opportunity; the second reason was that it’s really becoming a prerequisite to have an MBA on your file; and thirdly, largely, for career advancement. An MBA is fast becoming a prerequisite for career advancement.

 

Doing an MBA

Starting an MBA offers a fantastic learning and growth opportunity and a network of professional friendships. A lot of businesses require their middle to upper management cohort to have an MBA, for the value it brings to an organisation.

First, it cements the management fundamentals that you already know. What I found interesting was that management fundamentals haven’t really changed since the 1700 and 1800s, so it’s about learning to apply those theories to your everyday practice. It’s a good opportunity to reflect on those management fundamentals and prune them to suit the current business landscape. Second, there’s a large focus on sustainability and responsible, ethical leadership. I really enjoyed that aspect of the MBA – it ensured that I was on the right path within the work environment.

What I enjoyed the most was the networking. When I started my MBA there were 66 people in my cohort, many of whom I still keep in contact with – they’re from all different industries around Victoria and Australia. I learnt about their careers, about their professional challenges and professional opportunities, and the ideas they are trying to implement in their own careers. That was a really rich learning experience for me. Marcus was also drawn to the La Trobe MBA’s flexibility: “I could spend time with my family, handle my work commitments, but also have class time.”

 

La Trobe’s Mildura campus

La Trobe’s campus in Mildura was a significant factor for me starting my MBA, because I could complete the MBA from my home base. My job was really busy, but so was my personal life. We have three very young children, so I needed to support to my wife and children at home. At the time I spoke at length with the MBA Director and it was quite clear that the La Trobe MBA was a great opportunity for me. I could spend time with my family, handle my work commitments, but also have class time. There was great flexibility.

I was able to complete work, race home to see the family and then go to La Trobe to study one or two nights a week, from 6–9pm. I really enjoyed the night classes because they suited my lifestyle – they didn’t affect my work schedule. As well as that, there was the option of intensives from Fridays through to Mondays. You could pick various intensives on your calendar throughout the year and take off a significant amount of study time by doing that. And if I wanted to travel to Melbourne or the other regional campuses to complete my studies, I could.

 

Clear vision

My vision was to become CEO of this hospital one day. It still feels quite strange to have achieved my goal, although I’ve had a really clear vision for five or six years now. I remember saying to one of the Board members five years ago that, ‘Ultimately this is where I see myself and this is where I’d like to be’. It’s good to have a clear vision, but there’s a lot of hard work and also an element of luck involved – quite easily I could have gone in another direction. So that’s been a bizarre realisation, that I’ve actually got here – all the while knowing that the hard work has only just started.

There are many service moments in a patient’s journey that can have a positive effect on their overall care, says Mildura Health Private Hospital CEO Marcus Guthrie. You can draw a lot of parallels between hospitality and hospitals. Patient treatment should be viewed holistically, inclusive of all interactions a patient has throughout their journey of care. We look at a patient’s journey through a hospital as opportunities to care, and our interactions with family and friends of the patient are important contributions in the journey of care. It’s not just about treating the patient and the patient gets better, it’s also about the other contributions along the way: the quality of food and the friendliness of staff that deliver the food, the cleanliness of the hospital, or saying hello to a family member as you pass in the corridor. There are a significant amount of service moments in a patient’s journey that can have a positive effect on the overall care of the patient.

My vision for Mildura Private Hospital has always been to provide safe, quality healthcare. If the management team and I continue to have that goal, then I’m sure we’ll be very successful. The hospital’s a fantastic resource for Mildura. We service 70 per cent of Mildura Health Fund members and we also service a catchment area of Broken Hill, Renmark and Robinvale. It’s a really important hospital for the local community, especially because we’re co-located with the Mildura Base Hospital. There’s plans for expansion in the future, which will benefit the local community and members. Hopefully in the future, both hospitals can work together even further to improve service to the community.

 

Marcus Guthrie graduating from his MBA at La Trobe in 2015

 

I talk to people about La Trobe’s MBA all the time because I really believe in it. Don’t be worried about the workload. You should treat it similar to a sport, where you have to train two nights a week and then you generally have one day on the weekend that you’re committing to that sport. If you can commit that as the bare minimum, you should be able to navigate through an MBA quite easily.

 

This blog post was originally published on NEST. Read the original article.

Take home lessons from the ball tampering scandal

The ball tampering scandal is both simple and complex.  Simple in its conception and implementation. Complex in terms of its repercussions.

 

Ignominy.  Public shame or disgrace. That’s what I felt last week.  I was asked by ABC radio to comment on the suggestion that Australia needed to look to the New Zealand cricket team for guidance about how to develop a team culture that also embraced sportsmanship.  I lived in New Zealand from 2004 to January 2018.  For fourteen years, I had relied on the Australian Cricket team to mask the horrors of only two Rugby test match wins against New Zealand during my time in New Zealand. I was an expert in turning any conversation about New Zealand’s dominance of Australian rugby into a conversation about cricket.  The Australian Cricket team had been my cultural defence. On some days, it was my cultural attack.  My bouncer! And now I was acknowledging that “Maybe yes, the Australian Cricket team should look towards New Zealand for some inspiration and guidance”.  I should have added that the Cricket Australia hierarchy could contact any junior cricket coach should they be unsure about what is right or wrong in the context of a game of cricket. I am blaming the ignominy for being so forgetful.

 

Two weeks on, two issues stand out for me.

Ten seconds. Maybe less. That is about all it took for Australian Cricket captain to process the information in front of him and fail to intervene. The rest, as they say, is history. In uttering the words “I don’t want to know about it”, Steve Smith committed a leadership faux pas of some magnitude. Taking no action is an action.  His silence provided tacit approval.  Or more eloquently, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke, the 18th century Irish political philosopher seemed to know more about 21st century Australian cricket than what he could have ever imagined. The take home lessons are: 1) The phrase “Hang on a second…” might be one the most useful phrases for the ethical leader, 2) Ethics are not just 24-7; ethics are also 60-60, as in minutes and seconds. Ten seconds. Maybe less.

 

The sanctions meted out to the “Cape Town Three” (i.e. Smith, Warner and Bancroft) are different from what have been handed to other miscreant players.  There is no better example than Faf De Plessis. Twice sanctioned for ball tampering, he has not been forced to miss a single game of cricket. One month after his second transgression, he was made captain of the South African cricket team. One tenet of natural justice is that the punishment must fit the crime. My argument here is not whether the punishment does or does not fit the crime. My argument is that the 9-month and 12-month suspensions are demonstrably different from that applied to other cricketers found guilty of the same rules violation.  Take home lesson is that there is natural justice and then there is cricket justice. And cricket justice is not concerned with benchmarking.

 

Ten seconds and sanctions without precedent. It’s just not cricket… as we knew it.

 

 

This blog is written by Dr Geoff Dickson, Associate Professor within the Department of Management Sport and Tourism. His teaching and research interests include governance, interorganisational networks, leadership, strategy, risk and law in the sport industry. 

Meet the new Head of Department of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Marketing

Simon Pervan is the new Head of the Department of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Marketing (EIM) in LBS.  Business Newsroom sat down with him to ask him some questions about who he is, what made him come to La Trobe and other interesting facts about him.

 

Head of EIM Department: Professor Simon Pervan

 

Welcome to the La Trobe Business School Simon! Where do you come from and what brings you to La Trobe University? And could you tell a bit more about your history with La Trobe University?

My most recent university was Swinburne where I was Head of Department of Management and Marketing. Previous to that I have worked in many places including Deakin here in Vic, Southern Cross University in Northern NSW, Auckland University of Technology in NZ and the University of Bath in the UK. My history with La Trobe dates back to 1997 as an Associate Lecturer! While here, I did my PhD at Uni Melb and then left for Deakin in 2002. So it has been 15 years since I have worked here. I had been waiting for the DWB upgrade!

 

How will you be approaching your new role as Head of Department?

I think it is important as a Head of Department to be available to colleagues, to understand their hopes and aspirations and importantly their achievements. We all have different strengths in an academic group but we have the same need to feel valued – that is important to me that colleagues feel valued and supported in the achievement of that. I also want EIM to have an identity in the school. We can do that by knowing each other well and sharing a common vision for our success. We can also be noisy –strategic intent backed up by action is very important.

 

What do you know now that you wished you knew when you were a student at university?

At all times, ask questions if you do not understand – do not be afraid to do that. Always seek clarity. At postgraduate (PhD), while you should be continually managing your own work and motivation, it is OK to challenge and evaluate your supervision relationship. Be clear on expectations and understand it is your path to independent scholarship, which is very important in that process. Finally, do not have had a three-month-old son when starting a PhD!

 

What do you do to get rid of stress?

I run. Not very far but 3-4 times a week 6km or so. There is always a good reason not to go, but I know to just head out the door. Music and reading too.

 

Lastly, if people come across you at the coffee-machine, what’s a good conversation starter?

Why Tom Waits is possibly the greatest songwriter on the planet. How Everton faired in the EPL that weekend. The research you are working on.  Not necessarily in that order.

 

Simon is Professor of Marketing and his research focuses on service workers and consumer behaviour with a particular interest in the expectations that customers bring to marketing exchange. He has analytical competences in structural equation modelling and scale development. His work has been widely published in recognised international journals including the Journal of Business Research, Industrial Marketing Management, Marketing Letters, Journal of Marketing Communications, and International Journal of Advertising. He was Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Consumer Behaviour (2009-2015) and was a principal investigator on a $220K, two-year OLT (Category 1) grant, examining the resource requirements of professional doctoral candidates in Australian business schools. Simon was an elected member of Executive Committee of the Australia and New Zealand Marketing Academy (ANZMAC) 2012-2015. He currently sits on the Editorial Board of Industrial Marketing Management and Engaged Management Review.  Simon has also written three monographs published by Oxford University Press.

La Trobe Business School’s Entrepreneurship Research Excellence Award

Recently the 2018 Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange (ACERE) took place at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. The research study, “Bricolage, Speed to Market, and Internationalisation: The Contradictory Role of Hierarchy in Entrepreneurial Ventures” by Prof. Tobias Kollman, Dr. Christoph Stochmann and M.Sc. Simon Hensellek was awarded the “La Trobe Business School’s Best Paper on International Entrepreneurship”. The paper examines the relationship between the way start-ups use their scarce resources in the course of internationalisation as well as the influence of their internal structure on this relationship. The recipients are from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.

Best Paper on International Entrepreneurship award

 

ACERE is the leading Australian Research Exchange, and attracted International Keynotes including Johan Wiklund, Dean Shepherd, Ted Baker, Sam Gosling, Michal Kosinski and Andres Schwab. LBS Professor of Entrepreneurship, Alex Maritz, is a foundation committee member of ACERE. At the 2018 event, it was announced that Associate Professor Martin Obshonka takes over the reigns as Director of the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship, a position previously held by renowned Professor Per Davidson. Martin has a close association with LBS, and is an External Supervisor for LBS Entrepreneurship PhD student, Ana Amisardari.

 

Professor Alex Maritz presenting the best paper award to Simon Hensellek

LBS in support of International Women’s Day

Last week, on the 8th of March, it was International Women’s Day. La Trobe Business School took part in several events that day.

ATEM Breakfast Series

The Association for Tertiary Education Management (ATEM) organised an International Women’s Day Breakfast with guest speaker Freda Miriklis.

Freda spoke about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and specifically Women’s Empowerment Principles, which relates to SDG number 5: Achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls.

The Women’s Empowerment Principles are:

  1. Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality
  2. Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination
  3. Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers
  4. Promote education, training and professional development for women
  5. Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women
  6. Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy
  7. Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality
LBS staff members attending ATEM’s  International Women’s Day Breakfast

IPAA International Women’s Day event

Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) organised an IWD Dinner to celebrate the contribution that women make to the public sector and to commit to the actions that will build greater gender equity in the sector.

Special guest speaker was Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission from 2012-2017.

As head of the Australian Human Rights Commission, she led a number of high profile inquiries, including an examination of the impact of prolonged immigration detention on children, and consistently championed the need for a system of checks and balances to protect the most vulnerable people in our community.

Professor Gillian Triggs giving her keynote speech

 

Gillian was the keynote speaker to the event and talked about her time in the Human Rights Commission. Specifically, how she was able to be resilient in a male dominated environment whilst having the media constantly mocking her. The event also included a panel discussion on each Woman’s career and obstacles faced along with life lessons and the next generation of women entering the workforce.

The panel facilitator was Penny Burke, CEO of Essence Communication. Penny is an accomplished public speaker who has worked in the field of marketing and advertising for over 20 years and has worked on many inspiring and well-known advertising campaigns. Penny’s experience has led her to become a thought leader and an expert in Commitment.

Inala Cooper, Lifelong Fellowship Lead, Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity, University of Melbourne, was a panellist. Inala is a Yawuru woman from Broome in The Kimberley, WA. Born in Victoria, she grew up in the South West on Gunditjmara land and has lived on the land of the Kulin Nations here in Melbourne for over 20 years.
Inala has a Masters in Human Rights Law and is an advocate for Indigenous rights and social justice. She encourages young Indigenous people to connect with their culture and find strength in their identities.

Gill Callister, Secretary of the Department of Education and Training, hosted the event. Gill is directly responsible for management of the Department to deliver and improve early childhood, school education, and vocational and higher education services across Victoria. Gill is also President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria).

LBS staff members attending IPAA’s International Women’s day event
 

Top tips for women in leadership

Today is International Women’s Day and four of La Trobe University’s experts were asked to give their own top tips for a career as a leader. Three of them are currently connected to the La Trobe Business School.

 

Hone your emotional intelligence

Professor Suzanne Young, Head of the Department of Management, Sport and Tourism at the La Trobe Business School, gives these tips for women in business:

  • Continually work on improving your emotional intelligence. This is not a static characteristic, but can be learnt and improved upon.
  • Think strategically in terms of work priorities and activities you put your hand up for. Be proactive rather than reactive and move away from focusing on the details as you move up the career ladder.
  • Expand your circle of influence through external and internal networks.

Professor Suzanne Young advises women striving for leadership roles to hone their EI.

 

Lead by doing what you love

Dr Susan Inglis is a Professor of Practice in Management and Director of Executive Education at La Trobe Business School, where she teaches leadership. Her career spans more than 20 years as a management consultant, coupled with 10 years of postgraduate study in organisational learning, leadership and management.

Susan offers the following tips for women in leadership roles:

  • Don’t be afraid to take up space – you have a unique range of gifts to offer the world, so share those gifts!
  • Surround yourself with people who believe and support you and remind you of your strengths.
  • It’s easier to lead when doing what you love. Reflect on what brings you joy and then go for it – create an opportunity to inspire others!

‘Surround yourself with people who remind you of your strengths,’ says La Trobe’s Dr Susan Inglis.

 

Make complacency your enemy

Former CEO of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria), Dr Geraldine Kennett, applies her business and collaboration skills to manage La Trobe Business School’s MBA Program. Her tips for women in leadership are:

  • Play to your strengths – empower yourself by understanding your strengths and using them to overcome your weaknesses.
  • Engage others – seek advice from those senior to you, motivate your peers and coach your staff for success.
  • Make complacency your enemy – apply passion, performance and persistence instead.

Dr Geraldine Kennett encourages passion, performance and persistence.

 

Develop your self-confidence

La Trobe’s Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor of Academic Partnerships and co-author of Women and Money in Australia: Across the generations, Professor Amalia Di Iorio gives her own advice trifecta:

  • Believe in yourself and have confidencein your abilities.
  • Actively seek opportunities to continuously improve your skills, knowledge and visibility in the organisation.
  • Get to know your team and their capabilities, and provide team members with opportunities to maximise their potential.

Professor Amalia Di Iorio recommends confidence, self-belief and a team focus.

 

Perhaps these points can be distilled into three:

  1. Know and trust in your knowledge and abilities.
  2. Look for opportunities to build your self-knowledge, skills and networks.
  3. Support and motivate your team to reach their potential.

As a woman in leadership, you don’t have to change the world single-handedly – but you can be part of the change. With passion, awareness and a drive to bring your team with you on the journey, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.

 

This blog post was originally published on NEST. Read the original article.

Disruptive Innovation – What is it all about?

La Trobe Business School recently had the pleasure of hosting Prof Dr Markus Münter from Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (htw saar), Saarbrücken, Germany. Professor Münter is the Chair of Microeconomics, Strategy and Entrepreneurship at htw saar, and built on previous collaboration initiatives between Dr Alex Maritz, Professor of Entrepreneurship at LBS. The duo has previously hosted Google Start-up weekends in Europe, together with initiatives at various start-up incubators and accelerators.

 

Prof Dr Alex Maritz and Prof Dr Markus Münter

 

During his visit, Professor Münter enhanced research and engagement activities at La Trobe Business School, and in particular, presented his internationally renowned work on Disruptive Innovation to LTU’s PhD students, MBA students and Accelerator participants. He informed that disruptive theory is in danger of becoming a victim of its own success. Despite broad dissemination, theory’s core concepts have been widely misunderstood and its basic tenants misapplied. He demystified this by providing inferences from an economics of disruption perspective. He explained disruption from the context of technology regimes, origins of new knowledge and impact of firms and market structures. From a pragmatic perspective, he provided a galley of disruptive technologies, such as mobile internet, advanced robotics, automation of knowledge, AI, and next generation genomics. He specifically demonstrated disruptive innovation nuances applicable to entrepreneurs and start-ups, identifying disruptors such as airbnb, spotify, UBER, Netflix, WhatsApp and Alibaba.

Professor Münter has kindly made one of his presentations available here

 

Developing a Sustainability Disposition

In 2008, La Trobe Business School (LBS) was one of the first schools to become a Signatory to PRME. LBS has been actively engaged in both embedding responsible management within its school as well as contributing to the PRME network. LBS is starting their second term as a PRME Champion. Ten years on, LBS was selected to be a PRME Champion along with 38 other business schools from across the world who are taking transformative action on integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into three key areas: curriculum, research and partnerships.

 

In 2015, LBS put in place a second year subject focused on Sustainability which is mandatory for all students enrolled in any Business Degree at La Trobe University. Because of its focus on developing a sustainability disposition in students rather than just educating them about the issues, the course has been very well received by students and continues to be an exemplar of cross-disciplinary subject content within the School.  Dr Swati Nagpal  was interviewed about this innovative course.

 

Dr Swati Nagpal receiving the LBS Award in recognition of her continual support of the PRME initiative

 

What is La Trobe Business School’s approach to sustainability in the classroom?

LBS understands the obligation as an institution to advocate for responsible management education throughout the school; in its four departments and its research centres, and by advocating and supporting responsible management initiatives and operations across the university.

A patchwork of subjects addressing Sustainability Education in Business degree courses at La Trobe was replaced in 2015 by a core second year subject entitled ‘BUS2SUS – Sustainability’, for all students enrolled in any Business degree. More than 2,500 students are now enrolled in this compulsory subject every year.

The subject is based on a blended learning design that allows for greater scalability across the entire portfolio of majors within Business and across all our campuses in Australia and abroad. With sustainability as the lens or context for change, students are introduced to systems thinking, tools for solving wicked problems, and the role of advocacy in managing change for sustainability.

 

How have you approached the design and delivery of this core course?

The process of embedding sustainability thinking into the core business curriculum presented a number of challenges, including distinguishing sustainability from related streams of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and non-financial measurement and reporting. The curriculum design was ultimately guided by the need for a future set of skills, rather than by identifying disciplinary content that business graduates might require. These skills include critical thinking, creative problem solving, ethical awareness and teamwork. For example, by working in small groups in class, and engaging with ‘wicked’ global sustainability issues such as climate change, global poverty and renewable energy, students are required to apply a systems lens to examining the true nature of the issues and potential solutions.

There is also an emphasis on creating a ‘safe space’ in classes to tackle often controversial social and environmental issues such as indigenous disadvantage in Australia, the refugee crisis and the potential for a sugar tax. This has required class teachers to be briefed and trained in pedagogical techniques that require reflexive practice and approaches to manage conflict.

 

The course puts a focus on developing a sustainability disposition. Why do you think this is important?

Research on education for sustainability, student surveys and teaching feedback have taught us that developing graduate skills for sustainability is not enough to create the impetus required for students to be change agents for sustainability, there also needs to be an emphasis on creating a ‘mindset’ change. This is enabled in the subject through use of a range of pedagogical design elements to create a learning environment that seeks to bring about this change. For example, through the use of case studies, examples and problem-based scenarios that require students to reflect on their underlying values base and question the status quo in management thought. As such, this subject places a focus on both generic graduate skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, while also creating the disposition towards sustainability and ethical decision-making.

 

How are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) embedded into this course?

Using the SDGs as a guide, students are introduced to the interplay between the social, environmental and economic pillars of sustainability, and the implications for ethically complex decision-making. Ultimately, educating students new to the SDGs places us in a unique position as the entry point in their educational experience. We believe this is critical in developing their awareness of global issues and challenges so that they can enter the workplace fully equipped to advance and implement policies and practices that will contribute to sustainable business.

 

What advice would you have for other schools thinking of putting something similar into place?

The question of whether business schools should approach embedding sustainability into core curriculum or as an elective has not been resolved to date. Our experience at LBS in taking the ‘core subject’ approach has been positive since we have the institutional support in terms of the University’s focus on sustainability and our historical emphasis and ethos of social justice. Therefore, gaining institutional support for furthering the sustainability agenda is key, along with the resources to make it happen.

The challenge in any modern business subject in sustainably is an emphasis on both the development of graduate skills and students’ disposition towards sustainability and ethical decision-making. This requires modern educators to span the boundary of the classroom and identify opportunities to engage with industry partners and other stakeholders to continuously produce innovative teaching materials and approaches that inspire and motivate students to pursue business ideas that align with the SDGs.

 

 

What other initiatives at your school you are particularly proud of in this area especially in relation to the SDGs.

In 2017, LBS embarked on a series of workshops that brought together delegates from business, local government, education, not for profit and community sectors to discuss what the SDGs mean for them, and create opportunities for collaboration among the sectors towards implementation of the goals.

This outreach project on the SDGs is an international effort by our CR3+ network which includes LBS and PRME Champions Audencia Nantes School of Management (Nantes, France), ISAE/FGV (Curitiba, Brazil) and Hanken School of Economics (Helsinki, Finland). All four business schools have committed to hosting similar workshops in their countries.

Two Australian workshops were held in Wollongong and Albury-Wodonga on 15/11/17 and 29/11/17 respectively. In addition to the original aims as set out in the project proposal, the choice to focus on regional areas was two-fold; firstly, to develop our regional campus’ capacity to build and sustain cross-sector engagement and partnerships on the theme of the SDGs, and secondly, to focus on areas where UN Global Compact Network Australia presence is limited.

 

This post is part of a special feature throughout the month of February focused on schools in Australia and New Zealand. This blog post was originally published on PRIMEtime. Read the original article.

 

Older posts

© 2018 Business Newsroom

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑