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Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME)

The transformation into a sustainable society is one of the great challenges of the 21st century. Business schools are called on to contribute. They must ensure that their students understand the interrelationships between their actions and ecological and social challenges, and that they reflect on their responsibility as future specialists and managers. Moreover, their graduates will need to know the models and tools that enable companies to understand and implement sustainability and social responsibility as a success factor. At the ZHAW School of Management and Law, we are aware of this task. Our lecturers, researchers, and staff have been committed to it for years. The Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) are the ideal tool to develop our organization further in this respect. In 2014, the ZHAW School of Management and Law made a clear commitment by signing up to the PRME initiative.

6 Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME)

These are the six PRMEs that can support universities in the implementation of responsible management education:

Principle 1: Purpose
We will develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy.
Principle 2: Values
We will incorporate into our academic activities, curricula, and organizational practices the values of global social responsibility as portrayed in international initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact.
Principle 3: Method
We will create educational frameworks, materials, processes and environments that enable effective learning experiences for responsible leadership.
Principle 4: Research
We will engage in conceptual and empirical research that advances our understanding about the role, dynamics, and impact of corporations in the creation of sustainable social, environmental and economic value.
Principle 5: Partnership
We will interact with managers of business corporations to extend our knowledge of their challenges in meeting social and environmental responsibilities and to explore jointly effective approaches to meeting these challenges.
Principle 6: Dialogue
We will facilitate and support dialog and debate among educators, students, business, government, consumers, media, civil society organisations and other interested groups and stakeholders on critical issues related to global social responsibility and sustainability.

PRME Worldwide

PRME is a six-pronged, globally oriented initiative founded in 2007. PRME has the following objectives:

In the meantime, more than 800 universities from more than 85 countries have joined the initiative. It has one mission: "PRME is the UN Global Compact’s initiative to transform management education and develop the responsible decision-makers of tomorrow to advance sustainable development." And it has one vision: "To create a global movement and drive thought leadership on responsible management education."

The members of the initiative are organized in regional groups (“chapters”), which, as largely autonomous networks, look after the interests of the member universities in the various language regions. For the German-speaking countries of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, this is the PRME DACH Chapter. The DACH Chapter organizes regular events and other activities for its members and the interested public. These include DACH Chapter meetings, workshops for the DACH Working Panels, the PRME Research Conference, and the SDG Roadshows.

Some of the most experienced and dedicated universities are part of the PRME Champions Group for a period of two years. The mission of the Champions Group is to take a leadership role in thinking and acting in the context of responsible management education within the framework of the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development.

PRME at the SML

The ZHAW School of Management and Law joined the PRME initiative in August 2014. In the following, we present a selection of our activities to implement the six Principles.


PRME Sharing Information on Progress Report

Principles 1 and 2: Purpose and Values

The ZHAW School of Management and Law has firmly embedded PRME in its structures.


Video "PRME – Responsible Management Education at the ZHAW School of Management and Law"

Principle 3: Method

Education is a key prerequisite for implementing the SDGs. In order to become professionals and managers that act more responsibly, it is essential for our students, as part of their business management education, to acquire specialist knowledge of the interrelationships of business management in the sense of sustainable development and to be taught effective methods with which to use this knowledge in the business world. This applies to Bachelor's and Master's programs as well as to part-time, practically oriented continuing education programs.

Principle 4: Research

At the ZHAW School of Management and Law, researchers are involved in various projects dealing with aspects of a sustainable and future-oriented society. The ZHAW School of Management and Law has defined six main research areas since 2014:

Principle 5: Partnership

PRME sees itself as a learning platform on which universities can exchange information about their activities and experiences in the field of responsible management education.

Principle 6: Dialogue

The ZHAW School of Management and Law is involved in many initiatives to participate in a dialogue concerning issues related to global social responsibility and sustainability and to promote it to different stakeholders.

News and Events


PRME and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Sustainable development has been the guiding principle of the United Nations since 1987. The Brundtland Report defines it as follows: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." In September 2015, the United Nations adopted the "Agenda 2030" on Sustainable Development. This includes 17 goals – the Sustainable Development Goals.

Universities, as centers for innovation and as training centers for future decision-makers, play an essential role here. Management education, in particular, plays a decisive role. On the one hand, business schools educate the next generation of junior executives, who must be able actively to promote the transformation of companies. On the other hand, business schools not only impart knowledge and skills but also shape the attitudes and values of their graduates. Comprehensive integration of the Sustainable Development Goals in research and education is, therefore, essential for shaping sustainable development.

This is why the Sustainable Development Goals are at the heart of everything we do in the context of PRME. All future activities of our PRME initiative are geared towards supporting the Sustainable Development Goals.

'We the People' for The Global Goals