Max_P.jpgMax Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
The Aspen Institute has just released their “Where Will They Lead? 2008” survey of more than 1,900 MBA student’s attitudes about business and society. It is interesting when compared with the same surveys they’ve realized several years ago, which show interesting trends and a promising growth on the conversation, although it proves that we still have a long way to go in order to provide proper content in order to make the case in “value terms” in regards to business and society.
Where will they lead 2008.jpg
 Some key findings that deserve to be highlighted are that MBA programs definitively influence the way students think about the role of business and its relationship to society once they become managers and leaders.
 Business students in 2007 are thinking more broadly about the primary responsibilities of a company, considering “creating value for the communities in which they operate” as a primary business responsibility.
 MBA students express more interest in finding work that offers the potential of making a contribution to society. 26% of respondents say it is an important factor in their job selection compared with 15% in 2002.
 Yet, business schools and companies have not convinced them that environmental and social responsibility contribute to corporate financial success.
As Clear Admit Blog states, “In a broader sense, the most important finding is that students seem to be taking a more holistic view of the role of business in society,” Nancy McGaw, deputy director of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program, said in a statement announcing the report’s release. “But the findings also suggest that while students may have these values, many of them sense those beliefs are not valued by employers or linked to career opportunities.”
Here you can see the evolution of the survey, which proves a very positive evolution, but still, a long way to go.
Where will they lead 2003.jpg
Where Will They Lead? 2008 Survey
Where Will They Lead? 2003 Survey
Where Will They Lead? 2001 Survey.


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