Student Perceptions of Pedagogical Approaches to Integrating the SDG 8 into Business School Education

Moataz Elmassri, María Luisa Pajuelo, Abdulhadi Ali Alahbabi, Ahmed Mohamed Alali, Moufak Alzitawi, Hamdan Hussain, Khaled Alnabhani, Tariq Elrazaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper aims to assess students’ perceptions regarding the extent of integration of the eighth principal Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 8) “promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment, and decent work for all” into an undergraduate business school (BS) course. We analyzed students’ perceptions with respect to three pedagogical themes: content/curriculum; knowledge and skills; and awareness and attitudes. Based on legitimacy theory, we conducted a survey of 124 students at a globally accredited business school that has been a pioneer in terms of integrating SDGs into business school education in the Middle East and particularly in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which we refer to as Alpha Business School (ABS). A Q-methodology approach was adopted by designing a concourse of 37 statements. Our research findings highlight that in response to institutional governmental pressure to implement the SDGs at all levels in the country, ABS has begun to integrate the SDGs into its practice, including undergraduate courses. However, after a more in-depth analysis, the findings suggest that traditional learning methods and a “business as usual” mentality continue to prevail as a management paradigm among students and that, therefore, ABS has only embedded SDG 8 symbolically without undergoing a full substantive change. In conclusion, further work is needed to incorporate the SDGs into all dimensions of the business school’s activities and to promote new methodologies, skills, and competencies. This paper is helpful for accounting educators and curriculum setters in the process of revamping accounting curricula to reflect the importance of sustainability education. The results of this study have professional, academic, and policy-making implications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14084
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • Q methodology
  • business school
  • higher education
  • legitimacy theory
  • principal component analysis
  • sustainable development goals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Student Perceptions of Pedagogical Approaches to Integrating the SDG 8 into Business School Education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this