Integrating Sustainble Development into Operations Management Courses
Journal article, 2011
Purpose – It is widely acknowledged that aspects of sustainable development should be integrated into higher level operations management education. The aim of the paper is to outline the experiences gained at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden from integrating aspects of sustainable development into operations management courses.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on the authors’ experiences from teaching at Chalmers University of Technology, and the integration of sustainable development into operations management courses. The paper thus relies on an action research approach, similar in many ways to other papers in the field.
Findings – The paper outlines several similarities between the fields of sustainable development and operations management. Although the results show that several challenges must be overcome when integrating the fields in courses. The challenges – that are scrutinized through the use of existing literature – relate to the scope differences between the fields, lack of sustainable development aspects in operations management text books, and misfit between needs and teacher competence, support, and course structures.
Originality/value –The paper adds understanding by specifically addressing the integration of sustainable development into operations management courses. Universities and teachers within the field can consider the challenges outlined when integrating the two fields in courses.