Promoting corporate social responsibility and sustainable development through management development: What can be learned from international service learning programs?

Günter Stahl, N. Pless, T. Maak

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In this article we discuss how the human resource development (HRD) function can support corporate sustainability strategy by designing and implementing leadership development programs incorporating international service learning assignments. We describe "Project Ulysses", an integrated service learning program that involves sending participants in teams to developing countries to work in cross-sector partnerships with NGOs and social entrepreneurs, supporting them in their fight against pressing global problems. We present the findings of a narrative analysis of learning stories produced by Ulysses participants. Understanding how participants make sense of, and learn from, their experiences abroad provides us with insights into how service learning programs can help managers to develop the knowledge, skills and mindset that will enable them to successfully support a company's global sustainability and CSR efforts. We conclude by discussing the implications for leadership development, specifically how organizations can incorporate a responsibility and sustainability focus in their management development programs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Resource Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012

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