Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Sustainability (ECSRS) in higher education : hospitality management students’ perceptions

Zizka, Laura (Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland) ; Varga, Peter (Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland)

One of the main responsibilities of higher education (HE) institutions is to prepare their future graduates for a successful transition into the global workplace in an uncertain world. Recent negative events initiated by unethical behavior and unsustainable practices toward people and the environment have confirmed the importance of addressing these issues in HE curriculum. This quantitative study examines how 300 first semester students just starting their studies at an international hospitality management school in Switzerland perceive ethics, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and sustainability with regard to their academic program and future professional career. Previous literature has examined the opportunities and challenges for HE institutions when implementing ethics, CSR, and sustainability (ECSRS) topics into their curriculum. The students derive from over 100 different nationalities and choose to study in either English or French. The study also examines their perceived level of knowledge regarding these topics and where this knowledge derived. The findings show that students’ prior knowledge about ECSRS predominately emanates from their previous schooling, followed by the media, through television or websites. They rated their existing knowledge of ethics and sustainability as much higher than their knowledge of CSR. Overall, the findings have shown encouraging results as the vast majority of the first semester students in this study rate the importance of ECSRS as extremely important for both the academic program and their future professional careers. From the students’ perspective, there is a clear need and expectation that courses on ECSRS will be taught at some point throughout their academic program to better prepare them for the global workplace and the future of the planet. These results can be used to spark discussion in HE institutions as how to best implement ECSRS in their programs.

Conference Type:
full paper
Economie et Services
Aucun institut
Seville, Spain, 11-13 November 2019
Seville, Spain
11-13 November 2019
7 p.
Published in:
Proceedings of 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI 2019)
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Note: The status of this file is: restricted

 Record created 2020-05-19, last modified 2020-10-27

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