Individual Engagement in Business Education: Promoting Spiritual Intelligence and Values to Create Sustainable Communities

By Ana Azevedo and Kam Jugdev.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Education

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Sustainability has been defined as a construct that includes three pillars, i.e., economic, social and environmental (Bansal, 2005). According to the United Nations’ Millenium Development goals (UN, 2006), higher education institutions have been asked to consider revising their curricula in order to better incorporate sustainability principles. Given the perceived need to emphasize undergraduate education, as well as the call for integrating “heads, hands and hearts” in promoting sustainable practices (Bloom et al., 1964, as cited in Calvert, 2011), the current paper introduces a holistic model to transform undergraduate business education. The conceptual model discussed in this paper proposes a major shift in the existing business education paradigm. The model introduces a broader, holistic approach to teaching and learning which goes beyond the fulfilment of traditional learning outcomes such as knowledge and competencies. Specifically, it proposes that the development of spiritual intelligence and values can significantly assist undergraduate students in creating the self-awareness that is so critical in developing engaged citizens and sustainable behaviours within industry and communities. The conceptual model offers a number of potential benefits, including increased self-reflection, greater creativity/innovation capacity and enhanced individual engagement towards sustainable communities. The paper concludes with suggestions on implementing this model.

Keywords: Individual Engagement, Sustainable Communities, Spiritual Intelligence and Values, Knowledge and Competencies, Undergraduate Business Education, Holistic Model

International Journal of Sustainability Education, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.101-115. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 269.504KB).

Dr. Ana Azevedo

Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, Faculty of Business, Athabasca University, St. Albert, Canada

Ana Azevedo is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Faculty of Business at Athabasca University, in Alberta, Canada. Prior to her relocation to Canada, Dr. Azevedo taught at Florida International University (during her doctoral studies), the University of Texas in El Paso, Florida A&M University and the University of Applied Sciences FH Joanneum (in Austria). Over the last twenty years, Dr. Azevedo has consulted for small and mid-size businesses in the US and Austria and has published case studies and research articles in scientific journals. Ana’s research interests include management education, international entrepreneurship and cross-cultural management.

Dr. Kam Jugdev

Associate Professor of Project Management and Strategy, Faculty of Business, Athabasca University, Canada

Kam Jugdev is an Professor in the Faculty of Business at Athabasca University, in Alberta, Canada. Kam enjoys writing and teaching courses and is experienced in both online and face-to-face formats. She has taught project management professional (PMP) certification courses, and provides both consulting services and customized courses in project management to industry. Kam’s research interests include project management as a source of competitive advantage, workplace learning as applied to project lessons learned, project success/ failure, and faculty development.