The sustainable management
vision for excellence: implications
for business education
Loukas N. Anninos and Leonidas S. Chytiris
Department of Business Administration, University of Piraeus, Piraeus, Greece
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to: analyze the meaning of sustainability and its relation to
excellence, in an era of management transformation, integration and evolution; to present the global
challenges for sustainable management of the future; and to examine how sustainability should be
approached by business schools.
Design/methodology/approach – The approach of this paper is theoretical and has been based on
scholarly literature regarding sustainability and its integration in business education, for which
critical issues are presented.
Findings – The ﬁndings of the paper suggest that sustainability and excellence are two interrelated
concepts (under certain conditions). The post crisis management vision includes the reﬁnement of
management practice through the integration of speciﬁc factors in business strategy, which allows
sustainable corporate growth. Hence, the role of business education becomes crucial. While a steady
progress regarding the incorporation of the sustainability concept in business education is being made,
further improvements can be achieved. Business education should be considered as an odyssey
towards personal advancement that will allow systemic, multidisciplinary and innovative business
thinking for sustainable management and excellence.
Practical implications – The paper suggests some critical issues for business education, so that
future managers have a wider and diversiﬁed knowledge repository that will allow them to practise
management in ways which are scientiﬁcally and ethically correct.
Originality/value – The paper presents the relation of sustainability to excellence and emphasizes
certain future sustainable management challenges. In addition, it gives an overview of how
sustainability in business education should be approached.
Keywords Business studies, Business excellence, Sustainability, Strategic management,
Paper type General review
Introduction and paper objectives
The recent global multifaceted crisis is a direct consequence of the dominant paradigm
of economic growth that followed the industrialization era, an argument highlighted by
Marschall et al. (2010) in the recent Academy of Management Learning and Education
special issue on sustainability in business education. This paradigm (model of
thinking, philosophical/theoretical framework) has been focusing on the self referent
corporate unit that neglected its impact in the wider context and the right of future
generations to meet their own needs by utilizing natural, social and human resources.
The scientiﬁc over-fragmentation and relevant technocratic education, the centralized
power structures and the unilateral economic growth mentality were responsible for
the development of a consciousness trap that determined to a great extent the course of
global and corporate action for many years. This means that managers’ perception was
constrained into a discipline speciﬁc, organizational and cultural self referent mental
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
International Journal of Quality and
Vol. 4 No. 1, 2012
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited