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Business School to introduce “inclusive leadership” units reflecting commitment to leadership for good

09 Feb 2016

The Business School is to add core “inclusive leadership” units to its undergraduate Bachelor of Commerce degree program which will reflect its commitment to “leadership for good”.

The Dean of the Business School, Professor Greg Whitwell, says the units, to be offered from 2017, will ensure active in-class discussion and debate on the nature and purpose of business and the way in which leadership can be exercised to make people’s lives better”.

“I believe that, through our research, teaching and participation in the national debate on public policy, we should act as advocates of social change,” Professor Whitwell said. “I want our students to learn firsthand that you can do well by doing good.”

Professor Whitwell explained that the School’s commitment to leadership for good was driven by the concerns and values of its staff and of its students.

Pointing to the results of a United States survey, Professor Whitwell said that millennials, or people born between 1980 and 2000, were as interested in doing good as they were in making money.

“It is safe to say that millennials studying in our universities and entering the workforce are significantly more purpose-driven than members of their parents’ generation,” he said.

Professor Whitwell went on to detail Business School initiatives aimed at addressing social issues and at giving students “first-hand experience of making people’s lives better”.

The Remote and Rural Enterprise (RARE) program, he said, provides undergraduate and postgraduate students with an opportunity to test skills gained in the classroom against ‘real world’ business challenges – “challenges often amplified by isolation”.

“The Entrepreneurship Development Network Asia is an initiative to educate entrepreneurs in rural Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia,” Professor Whitwell explained. “We have a core focus on women entrepreneurs, around 80% of what we do is with women, and most recently with people with disabilities.”

“Our Community Placement Program,” he continued, “entails a range of significant partnerships focussed on community development, including refugee and indigenous communities in Sydney. CPP also has an international dimension.”

Professor Whitwell said that he was particularly proud of a Master of Management unit called, Poverty Alleviation and Profitability offered by Associate Professor Ranjit Voola.

“This unit encourages students to radically rethink traditional business,” he said. “Ranjit seeks to demonstrate that companies can profit when they invest in poverty-alleviating enterprises that benefit the four billion people who currently survive on less than USD5 dollars a day.”

“Ranjit’s unit is not just about the broad notion of making people’s lives better, but has a focus on the concept of shared value.”

“As Dean, my goals are to ensure that the School is recognised for its commitment to making people’s lives better and for providing students with opportunities to reflect critically on the role of business in modern society,” Professor Whitwell concluded. “I also want students to experience directly the satisfaction and intrinsic rewards that come from using their knowledge and skills to help others.” 

Further information

Dean of the Business School, Professor Greg Whitwell, spoke with ABC News Radio about the addition of  'inclusive leadership' units to its undergraduate Bachelor of Commerce degree and the Business School's commitment to leadership for good. Listen now on ABC News Radio.