The topics of ethics, responsibility, and sustainability (ERS) are finding increasing resonance in business school teaching and research worldwide.
In 2014, aware of the relevance of such issues, the Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability Hub (ERShub) was created within the LUISS Business School and the Business and Management Department to develop and to give value to all the activities related to such values.
As defined by the EQUIS Accreditation Standards:
- Ethics refer to the School’s behavior that should be based on the values of honesty, equity and integrity. These values imply a concern for people, society and the environment and the commitment to encourage and promote ethical behavior of its faculty, staff and students by identifying, stating and applying standards of ethical behavior in the School’s decisions and activities.
- The essential characteristic of responsibility is the willingness to incorporate broader social and environmental considerations into its decision-making and to be accountable for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment. Responsibility is closely linked to sustainability.
- Sustainability is about the social, environmental and economic challenges and goals common to society as a whole and the planet. It refers to issues such as sustainable resource use, sustainable consumption and developing a sustainable society and an economy.
ERSHub works on enriching LUISS ERS activities by fostering synergies and scaling up LUISS ERS initiatives within LUISS Department of Management and LUISS Business School. This is achieved through four groups of activities: ERSteaching, ERSresearch, ERSInside, and ERSOutside.
ERSHub teaching activities are directed both at business post-graduate students at the LUISS Business School and graduate students at the Department of Management. In our teaching, we focus on social and environmental impacts of business and work on development of a business mind-frame that enables our students to reconcile economic performance with creation of positive social and environmental impacts. We use diverse methodologies ranging from action learning and field work to problem-based teaching. The methodology used is adjusted to the nature of the master program, the typology of specialization, and the business sector.
ERSHub research activities incorporate work of LUISS professors, post-doctoral researchers, and doctoral students, reflecting diversity of the topics commonly grouped under the ERS label. For instance, we conduct research in areas such as sustainability, social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, integrated reporting, social innovation, inclusiveness and equality policy, consumer behavior, stakeholder governance, community engagement and community entrepreneurship, ethics & info systems, etc. We carry out our research in different contexts that vary by geography (e.g., Italy, EU, Latin America, India, Russia and China), by industry, by social sector, and by organizational form studied (from social enterprises to large multinational organizations). We rely on variety of methodologies, from qualitative research to large-scale panel surveys and experiments. Finally, ERSHub researchers have been participating in numerous collaborative projects within Italy and internationally, including European Commission funded projects within FP7 and H2020 frameworks.
ERSInside is based on the idea that our students and employees are seeds of positive social change. It encompasses activities that empower our students and employees to improve their awareness as human beings and future leaders through participation in LUISS ERS initiatives. Furthermore, through ERSInside activities we align our values and behaviors and we further motivate people by enabling them to realize their potential at their place of work and in the society. Our final goal is that everyone at LUISS Department of Management and LUISS Business School contribute to our overarching goal of becoming a true ERS university. Put it differently, ERSInside puts ERS lenses in front of everyone eyes.
ERSOutside aims at building strong network of likeminded individuals and organizations that would share best practices ad experiences, build synergies, and promote ERS ideas and ERSHub philosophy around the world. ERSOutside involves diverse activities such as organizations of research and practitioner conferences, presentations of research findings to academics, practitioners, and policy makers, influencing policy-making, creation of international networks, working with companies, etc.