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Dean’s Dialogue: Best Practices from the Positive Impact Rating for Business Schools

Business schools should create positive impact, a new rating system argues. Four Deans describe how their schools are achieving that goal.

This session was part of the NBS Sustainability Centres Community (SCC) Workshop 2021. The SCC connects business school sustainability centres worldwide.  

Business school rankings are criticized for being out of touch with demands for business to address sustainability and social impact. The Positive Impact Rating (PIR) takes a different approach. It’s a business school rating conducted by and for students, reflecting the positive impact of the school as seen and evaluated by students.

In this Workshop session hosted by Katrin Muff (Institute for Business Sustainability) four Deans of high-ranking business schools explain how they create positive impact. The Deans are Ajit Parulekar (Goa Institute of Management), Varun Nagaraj (S P Jain Institute of Management and Research), Percy Marquina (EADA) and Jordi Diaz (Centrum PUCP).

How the Positive Impact Rating Works

The PIR is in its second year. The 2021 edition rates 46 schools, in four continents and 21 countries. For the first time, business schools have reached the top Level 5 (Pioneering Schools). At Level 4 (Transforming Schools), the report features 24 schools, up from 9 schools last year. Level 3 (Progressing Schools) has a similar number of schools as last year (18 in 2021 versus 19 in 2021). The PIR seeks to be a tool for continually improving the business school.

Listen to the Conversation

Deans’ Lessons for Impact

Session Leader Katrin Muff reported these insights from the session:

Ajit Parulekar, Goa Institute of Management, India

  • Practice what you preach

  • Measure before you manage

  • Articulate the values of the institution: Inspire and educate

Jordi Diaz, EADA Business School, Spain           

  • Partner with practitioners

  • Build community

Varun Nagaraj, SP JAIN Institute of Management and Research, India

  • Catalyze value-based growth

  • Align programs with the goals of the SDGs

Percy Marquina, Centrum PUCP Business School, Peru

  • Teach “business for a better world”

  • Focus on personal development

About the SCC Workshop 2021

Every two years, the NBS Sustainability Centres Community Workshop connects leaders of business school sustainability centres for learning and action. This session was a part of the most recent Workshop in July 2021: “Designing the Business School Sustainability Centre of the Future.” See the main Workshop page for an overview and to access additional sessions.

The 2021 Workshop was hosted by the Center for Sustainability Transformation and Responsibility (STaR) at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and the Institute for Business Ethics and Sustainable Strategy (IBES) at the FH Wien University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication.

See the Sustainability Centres Community homepage for additional information and to join the group.

Banner photo is taken by Marius Brand of WU Vienna, who gave us a great sense of what our conference would have felt like in Vienna, had it not been virtual.

About the Session Leaders

Katrin Muff, Institute for Business Sustainability

Katrin Muff is Director of the Institute for Business Sustainability in Lucerne, Switzerland, and Professor of Practice at LUISS Business School, Rome, Italy. She consults leaders and boards in business sustainability and strategic transformation and runs an executive program on Business Sustainability together with Thomas Dyllick. Her book “Five Superpowers for Co-creators” provides insights about issue-centered multi-stakeholder processes. She brings 20 years of international strategic and general management experience in Europe, Australia, North America and Russia and a decade of leadership in business education. www.katrinmuff.com

Jordi Diaz, EADA Business School

Jordi Diaz is currently the Dean of EADA Business School in Barcelona, Spain and Director of the Executive Academy of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD Global). Mr. Diaz serves on Advisory Boards at several business schools, including Burgundy School of Business and Graduate School of Management St Petersburg University, and Editorial Review Board of International Journal of Technology-Enhanced Learning. Mr. Diaz holds a Master’s in Human Resources Management from EADA Business School, is a candidate in the Executive Doctor of Business Administration program at Ecole des Ponts Business School (France), and professional certificates from Harvard Business school in Authentic Leadership Development and Disruptive Strategy.

Percy Marquina, Centrum PUCP

Percy Marquina is a researcher and professor distinguished for his academic excellence and intellectual production. Percy holds a doctorate in Business Administration from the Maastricht School of Management, the Netherlands, a doctorate in Strategic Business Administration from the Pontificial Catholic University of Perú, a Master ́s in Philosophy from the Maastricht School of Management, a master ́s degree in Business Administration from the Universidad del Pacífico, and a bachelor ́s degree in Economics from the Universidad del Pacífico. He has completed the Executive Development Program at Wharton School of Business, Business Leadership Program at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, and the Colloquium on Participant-Centered Learning at Harvard Business School.

Ajit Parulekar, Goa Institute of Management

Ajit Parulekar, Director of the Goa Institute of Management, India has been with GIM for over 2 decades. He is passionate about the Future of Learning, Universal Health Care access and Sustainable business models. In his role, he has introduced 3 new cutting-edge degree granting academic programs, has established a Centre for Excellence in Sustainable Development, has nurtured the growth of the Centre for Social Sensitivity & Action at the institute, aggressively led Sustainability initiatives at the institute and in the communities around the institute, and founded an Incubation Centre funded by the Central Government. GIM is a front-runner among Indian business schools in adopting & promoting responsible & sustainability as part of all its learning, research & outreach programs.

Varun Nagaraj, S P Jain Institute of Management and Research

Dr. Varun Nagaraj, dean-designate at SPJIMR, is a practitioner scholar with 30 years of industry experience leading digital product and service innovation. Most recently, he was the COO of Bidgely, an AI-based SaaS company enabling digital transformation in the utility sector. Varun was also a partner at PRTM Management Consulting (now part of PwC). Varun’s work on how teams learn and innovate in unfamiliar contexts has been published in leading journals. Varun holds a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the Indian institute of Technology Bombay, a Masters in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University, and an MBA from Boston University. He obtained his PhD from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.

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