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Sustainability segmentation of business students: Toward self-regulated development of critical and interpretational competences in a post-truth era
- Lambrechts, Wim, Ghijsen, Paul W.Th., Jacques, Ann, Walravens, Hilde, Van Liedekerke, Luc, Van Petegem, Peter
- Journal of cleaner production 2018 v.202 pp. 561-570
- attitudes and opinions, business enterprises, business management, higher education, learning, marketing, students, surveys, sustainable development, uncertainty
- This article adds insights in students' attitudes toward sustainability, with specific focus on students in business management/marketing. It builds upon a number of conceptual interpretations and barriers for change in higher education for sustainable development, followed by the concept of sustainability competences and the students’ perspectives. A segmentation study is developed in order to frame the variety of student dispositions of sustainability attitudes, based on a survey among 458 students in business management/marketing. Four different segments of students are discovered, according to their attitudes toward sustainability issues: moderate problem solvers; pessimistic non-believers; optimistic realists; and convinced individualists. The results of the segmentation study reveal that a one-fit-for-all approach in acquiring sustainability competences is not feasible. This calls for a diversity in approaches to prepare students in dealing with the complexity and uncertainty of sustainability issues, oriented toward more self-regulated learning, and developing critical and interpretational competences.