Shaping a better future

From left: Dr. Laura Visser, Dr. Fahreen Alamgir, Assoc. Prof. Michelle Greenwood, Prof. Gavin Jack

Shaping a better future

A passionate team of Monash Business School lecturers is challenging students to think beyond performance and growth as the only measures of business success.

Dr Laura Visser and her colleagues share a common goal – to inspire students to appreciate the importance of responsible leadership.

“Performance and growth remain the primary focus of most management studies, but we know that focusing on these two things at the exclusion of wellbeing or the consideration of other outcomes creates a lot of issues - for example environmental issues and issues of inequality,” Dr Visser says.

“We encourage our students to think beyond the normal assumptions of how organisations should operate, to consider the negative impact of these practices on people and the environment, and to imagine radical alternatives.”

Dr Visser says their work exposes students to a range of alternative theories that explore the impact of organisational models on issues including gender, race, poverty, discrimination and the environment.

“Throughout our teaching is an emphasis on ethical accountability,” she says.

“We ask them to think about how current management methods may not serve what we want to achieve, or what we argue could be achieved.”

"If we can get students to question more radically, we can have a strong and positive impact on the future."

Their approach aligns with Monash Business School’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which underpin the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME).

Dr Visser says the team, including Dr Fahreen Alamgir, Associate Professor Michelle Greenwood, Professor Gavin Jack, Dr Susan Mayson, Professor Kathleen Riach, and Professor Julie Wolfram Cox, were honoured to receive a PRME Dean's Award for Education Excellence Award for the combined teaching and research.

“As a group, we’ve been doing this work relating to the PRME principles for a long time, so to bring that all together and showcase what we do has been great,” she says.

“We were heartened to gain the recognition for what we do.”

Senior Lecturer Dr Visser says the team is inspired by a passion to shine a light on people who are marginalised or forgotten.

“Our students are going to be the business leaders of the future, so if we can get them to question more radically, we can have a strong and positive impact on the future,” she says.

“We’re also exploring how we can harness our collective knowledge to inspire other educators to address these issues in their own practice.”