Environmental management education & research in Brazilian graduate courses of business administration

Maria Cristina Fogliatti de Sinay Marta Correa Dalbem Ione Andrade Loureiro Jezuel de Menezes Vieira About the authors

In Brazil, environmental education became mandatory for every level of the educational spectrum only from 1999 on, when Law 9795 established the National Policy for Environmental Education - PNEA. Nevertheless, courses in business administration - BA have lagged behind other courses in implementing environmental education, perhaps because business managers took longer to realize that sustainable businesses can also be more profitable. Only when managers realize that sustainable actions also promote innovation, do they understand that environmental protection and productivity are not antagonist forces. This article aims at identifying if the educational system and/or the academic research in BA have been helping widespread this understanding, by analyzing Brazilian BA graduate courses. One main conclusion, drawn from the data registered at the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development - CNPq, is that only 25% of research groups address topics related to sustainable management. 93% of research groups started activities from 2002 on, signaling that concrete measures at governmental level - such as the enforcement of Law 9795/1999 in 2002 - do help promote environmental education. Analyzing the content of the courses offered by graduate programs that have been recognized or recommended by the Coordination for the Qualification of Higher Education Personnel - Capes, we concluded that only 51% of those graduate programs address environmental topics and a mere 6% actually teach tools necessary for a sustainable business management. 25% of the recognized graduate programs neither have research groups nor courses that address environmental/sustainability issues, highlighting that additional effort at government's level - perhaps a change in the evaluation process of higher education institutions - might be necessary to induce the BA field to better contribute to the dissemination of a sustainability mindset in the corporate world. Finally, we concluded that 6.2% of the articles published in the six main Brazilian periodicals in BA in 2006-2012 were somehow related to environmental/sustainable management. This represents an improvement when compared to the 2.3% result obtained by Jabbour et al (2008) for the 1996-2005 period, but this percentage corroborates the overall conclusion that environmental education and research in Brazilian BA graduation programs, although in expansion, is still incipient.

Business Administration; Environmental Education & Research; Sustainability; Sustainable Management; Environmental Management


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