by Michael Connor

Social and environmental impact is increasingly being integrated into the curricula of leading international MBA programs, according to the latest Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey by Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program.

Haas School of Business_Feature Crop“The core curriculum is changing,” reports the biennial survey. “There is a striking increase in content on social, ethical and environmental issues in required courses across departments.”

Between the 2009 and 2011 survey cycles, Aspen said, there was a 38 percent increase in the number of relevant core courses in finance departments across schools, a 41 percent increase in marketing departments, a 22 percent increase in Accounting departments, 57 percent increase in Operations and Productions Management offerings, and a 22 percent increase in relevant core IT / MIS offerings.

The survey also ranked the top 100 MBA programs for their focus on environmental and social impact.  Here’s the top 10:

1.    Stanford Graduate School of Business

2.    York University, Schulich School of Business (Canada)

3.    IE University (Spain)

4.    Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

5.    Yale School of Management

6.    Northwestern, Kellogg School of Management

7.    University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

8.    Cornell University, Johnson

9.    University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler

10.  UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business

Aspen said its rankings were based on “blind” ratings by a team of Ph.D. candidates who examined data submitted by 149 schools regarding courses, faculty research and institutional support. Nearly 600 schools were invited to participate in the survey.

Among other findings, Aspen noted an increase in the percentage of schools requiring students to take a course “dedicated to business & society issues.” The percent of schools surveyed requiring students to take a course on business & society issues: 34% in 2001, 63% in 2007, 69% in 2009, 79% in 2011

Courses on social entrepreneurship are also gaining far greater prominence across MBA programs, the survey found. “Importantly, most of these courses focus NOT on non-profit, mission based organizations BUT on how business models can be adapted in ways that produce companies that intentionally strive to achieve positive financial, social and environmental results,” Aspen said.  “Between 2007 and 2011, we saw 60% more schools in the survey offering courses being on social entrepreneurship.”

Photo by Yanec, via Flickr

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