Individual engagement in business education: Promoting spiritual intelligence and values to create sustainable communities

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review


Sustainability has been defined as a construct that includes three pillars, i.e., economic, social and environmental (Bansal, 2005). According to the United Nations' Millenium Development goals (UN, 2006), higher education institutions have been asked to consider revising their curricula in order to better incorporate sustainability principles. Given the perceived need to emphasize undergraduate education, as well as the call for integrating "heads, hands and hearts" in promoting sustainable practices (Bloom et al., 1964, as cited in Calvert, 2011), the current paper introduces a holistic model to transform undergraduate business education. The conceptual model discussed in this paper proposes a major shift in the existing business education paradigm. The model introduces a broader, holistic approach to teaching and learning which goes beyond the fulfilment of traditional learning outcomes such as knowledge and competencies. Specifically, it proposes that the development of spiritual intelligence and values can significantly assist undergraduate students in creating the self-awareness that is so critical in developing engaged citizens and sustainable behaviours within industry and communities. The conceptual model offers a number of potential benefits, including increased self-reflection, greater creativity/innovation capacity and enhanced individual engagement towards sustainable communities. The paper concludes with suggestions on implementing this model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-115
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainability Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Holistic model
  • Individual engagement
  • Knowledge and competencies
  • Spiritual intelligence and values
  • Sustainable communities
  • Undergraduate business education


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