Pursuing Tikkun Olam in Business Pedagogy: An Investigation of Business Faculty Perspectives of Social Justice in Business and Education

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Scott, Madeline
Social Justice , Business Pedagogy , Critical Pedagogy , Tikkun Olam , Business School
Starting with the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam and framed by Critical Theory, this paper investigates business faculty perspectives of social justice in Israel and Canada. Eight purposefully-selected participants were interviewed. Their narratives form the basis of this qualitative study. The research participants revealed that there were ideological and structural forces present in the business programmes investigated that appeared to prevent social justice motives from being realized in the culture of business schools. The participants suggested that the hegemonic forces driving business programs were: profit-driven business ideologies, the particular character of MBA programs, and business programs’ quantitative research bias. These forces were found to be affecting the way in which the participants made-meaning of social justice, and the way in which they could teach and research within their respective business schools. The results of this study illuminate the types of cultural and asymmetrical relations that are affecting business pedagogical constructs and the future for social justice within them. This is important as how university faculty make meaning of social justice within business paradigms will not only shape how curricula and ideological changes evolve in business schools, they will have a significant impact on how and what students learn (Fernandez & Stiehl, 1995). The paper concludes with recommendations for Critical Communication and Critical Management Education to be employed within business schools as a process-oriented approach to social justice based on critical dialogue and communication: thus pursuing a Tikkun Olam in business pedagogy.
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