Walking the talk: organising for social impact through performance management in European business schools

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


Universities, and business schools specifically, are experiencing a transformation of their societal mission. Similar to the STEM fields, business schools are nested in global competitive environments facing multiple competing pressures, one being the need to demonstrate their social impact (SI). While business schools signal their commitment to SI by addressing it in their mission and adjusting their curricula and research, whether and how they assess the SI of their core functions is less well known. This study thus investigates how business schools organise for SI through performance management (PM). The analysis includes 10 European business schools selected among members of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) network, and draws on reports and interviews with staff responsible for social responsibility reporting. Findings suggest that business schools are in early stages of organising for SI, and practices largely reflect compliance with coercive and normative factors. Performance management is mainly concerned with monitoring SI performance – i.e. providing performance indicators and assessment tools without appropriate rewards or sanctions. This study sheds light on practices for SI assessment in business schools, the influence of environmental dependencies on these practices, and aspects that could strengthen institutional accountability and commitment to social impact.
FachzeitschriftEuropean Journal of Higher Education
PublikationsstatusElektronische Veröffentlichung vor Drucklegung - 11 Sept. 2023