Publication Date

2013

Abstract

Purpose – Business schools increasingly have come into the spotlight following a range of corporate scandals, challenged to find a new approach to business education that goes beyond financial bottom lines, and results in the responsible corporate leadership. This article seeks to address the area of “how a Catholic university deepens and revitalises its culture and institutionalises its mission and identity in business education.” It aims to do so by focussing on the marketing for and nature of the student body in a postgraduate Master of Business Administration (Executive) (MBAE) program offered intensively by the Australian Catholic University, through an analysis of scholarship applications.

Design/methodology/approach – This qualitative study used latent coding which reflected its interpretative nature and was based on the classic content analysis sensitive not only to the explicit, manifest content, but also to the implicit, not obviously present content. To arrive at a trustworthy interpretation of the latent content, the method required familiarity with the contexts of the researched. In the case of the study, the analysed applications of the scholarships were placed in the larger context of the in‐depth interviews with the prospective students. As a result, a number of themes were induced from these texts.

Findings – The findings demonstrate that candidates enter the program with a balance of self and social interest, and a different focus of self‐interest, moving beyond negative greed as excessive materialism or career pursuit for money's sake. There emerged a picture of the MBAE applicant as a caring and skilled global citizen, wishing to make a positive difference to society and characterised by a sense of humility, a heightened sense of awareness, personal transformation and a sense of interconnectedness with others.

Originality/value – This small study and approach suggests that individuals are seeking more meaning not only in their workplaces, but also from their business education. It depicts the intent of the Business Faculty staff to move beyond the cultural biases of self‐centred and unrestrained individualism in order that a sole self‐interest is transcended into benefits for the organisation and broader society, including the sustainability of the natural world.

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

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