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Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative Launched


New York, 18 October 2005 (efmd/The Global Compact Office) – Following a year of intensive preparations, twenty-one business schools, companies and centers of leadership learning from five continents have recently launched the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative. The Initiative, formed under the leadership of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) with the support of the United Nations Global Compact, aims to promote understanding of globally responsible leadership and to develop its practice.

“It is our aim to establish the norms and expectations of business behaviour for the 21st century and ensure that the emerging generation of business leaders live by them”, said Anders Aspling, EFMD board member and chair of the Initiative. “It is about the need to overhaul business education worldwide to provide a foundation of global responsibility in every area of learning.”

Taking Action and Raising Awareness

The Initiative is developing a body of knowledge on globally responsible leadership and encouraging its practice in companies worldwide.

Specific action targets include:

  • Making global responsibility a foundational requirement within the accreditation systems for business schools.
  • Piloting new best practice approaches to learning within leading business schools and companies so that business leaders not only know what is expected of them, but also practise it.
  • Developing self assessment tools for individual and corporate performance, measured against clear and explicit concepts of global responsibility.
  • Advocacy to enable globally responsible leaders to flourish and become role models of business behaviour.

The Report

On behalf of the Initiative, the EFMD has published “Globally Responsible Leadership – A Call for Engagement”. This new report outlines both fundamental conceptual issues of global responsibility and is an invitation to companies, business schools and other learning organisations to become involved in the work.

Its contents include a re-definition of the purpose of business, ethics for global responsibility and practical proposals on transforming business education.

The report addresses the substantial changes required in the way business schools prepare the next generation of leaders. It identifies not only curriculum issues but also recognises that engendering global responsibility within leaders will require a much broader approach to learning which goes beyond the cognitive acquisition of knowledge. 

How to Support the Initiative

The Initiative is now presenting its work to businesses, business schools, other learning institutions and business-related organisations around the world and is seeking their engagement.

For all who are interested, the Initiative will provide updates on its work and access to the body of knowledge on Global Responsibility as well as the tools it develops. It will also invite a limited number of organisations to join the founding members in the next phase of work.

Background Information

The 21 companies, business schools and centres for leadership learning from around the world whose senior representatives have worked together over the past year and, as a result of that partnership, founded the Initiative are:

Aviva (UK)
Barloworld Limited (South Africa)
Bordeaux Business School (France)
Groupe Caisse d’Epargne (France)
China Europe International Business School – CEIBS (China)
ESSEC Business School (France)
Fundação Dom Cabral (Brazil)
IESE Business School (Spain)
INSEAD (France and Singapore)
Instituto de Empresa (Spain)
Lafarge (France)
London Business School (UK)
Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management (USA)
Petróleo Brasileiro SA - PETROBRAS (Brazil)
Queen’s University School of Business (Canada)
Responsible Business Initiatives (Pakistan)
Telefonica (Spain)
The Oasis School of Human Relations (UK)
University of Management and Technology (Pakistan)
University of South Africa, Centre for Corporate Citizenship (South Africa)
The European Foundation for Management Development (www.efmd.org) is an international network with more than 500 member organisations from academia, business, public service and consultancy in 65 countries across the world. EFMD provides a unique forum for information, research, networking and debate on innovation and best practice in management development. EFMD runs the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), which is one of the leading international systems of quality assessment, quality improvement and accreditation of higher education institutions in management and business administration. EQUIS has so far accredited 87 schools on all continents.


For further information on the launch of the initiative please contact:

Anders Aspling, Chair of the Initiative, EFMD (anders.aspling@aspling.net; +46 706223204)
Mark Drewell Group Executive, Barloworld Limited (mdrewell@barloworld.com; +27 11 4451204)

For background information on the Initiative and an on-line copy of the report “Globally Responsible Leadership – A Call for Engagement” visit:

To order physical copies of the report and for further information on EFMD contact
Matthew Wood – Communications Director, EFMD (matthew.wood@efmd.org; + 32 2 626 95 42)