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Sustainable Leadership Needed for Responsibility in a Growing World

Photo: Courtesy of Caleb Woods

A higher need for sustainability

Last year AMBA unveiled the findings of its Careers and Salary Survey of 3,355 MBA graduates in 120 countries, which revealed seven out of 10 MBA graduates agreed that their MBA had given them a solid understanding of the impact of sustainability issues on business performance.

Almost nine out of 10 (86 percent) agreed that working for a responsible and sustainable organization was as important to them as a high salary. Another AMBA survey of 2,000 of our student and graduate members found that 71 percent had received modules in ethical and sustainable leadership during their MBAs and 68 percent believe employers will be looking for these skills more and more in the future.

Students want an ethical MBA​​​​​​​

There is a growing trend among MBA graduates towards working together for a sustainable future and AMBA is committed to driving forward in this long-term approach to business and societal change. Many studies show that people are not motivated by money, but by emotion. I believe businesses can have the best of both worlds: establish more sustainable ways of working that don’t compromise profit and growth but build on them for the long term.

Sustainability is a core principle of AMBA-accreditation criteria. All AMBA-accredited MBA curricula must emphasize the impact of sustainability, ethics, and risk management on business decisions, performance, and society as a whole.

The diversity of sustainable MBAs

As more forward-thinking MBA graduates move into roles across business and society, they’re bringing with them ethical, responsible, sustainable leadership ideas and initiatives that are having a positive impact on our world.

A key element of my role as CEO is finding out the impact that the MBA is making to the world in terms of business, economics, poverty alleviation and social mobility.

In the past year alone my team and I have interviewed a wealth of MBA graduates who are making a difference across the world. One has set up an off-shore center that promotes business growth across West Africa. Another is promoting education for street children in Caracas. Another is a group of AMBA members in Bogota saving women from domestic violence through entrepreneurial projects. The last is one is restoring the engineering sector in Brazil by creating more opportunities for women.

And those are just a few of the stunning MBA stories we hear about in the AMBA office every week. In businesses across the world, MBAs are often putting purpose before profit and taking a long-term sustainable view. They are revolutionizing how companies run and take our economies forward in innovative and inspirational ways.

Andrew Main Wilson, CEO, Association of MBAs (AMBA), [email protected]

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