A Framework for Integrating Sustainability Themes into Global Value Chain Coursework of an Industrial Technology Management Program

  • Jeanne-Marie Lawrence (East Carolina University)


Over the past decade, there has been a shift in corporate commitment toward embracing sustainability as a core value. Companies are rapidly developing guiding principles and implementing strategic initiatives to meet regulatory requirements, satisfy customer demands, augment company reputation, solicit business opportunities, compete for financial investment, and preserve the earth’s environment and resources for future generations. To achieve these goals, management and leadership of the environmental, economic, and societal dimensions of an enterprise’s operations are critical. The value chain, which consists of primary and supporting supply chain activities, has been identified as a major area for sustainability action by organizations such as the United Nations Global Compact, international regulatory bodies, and multinational corporations. While mandatory reporting is not required in every country, companies conducting global business will face increasing pressure to embrace sustainability values as trading partners around the world demand compliance with national and regional regulations. Even without regulatory constraints, companies will continue to implement improvements to reduce operational costs, strengthen competitive advantage, and raise corporate perception ratings through metrics such as sustainability indices. These trends point to a need for students in industrial technology management programs, who take value chain coursework, to gain deeper insight into the analysis, leadership, and management of sustainability initiatives to prepare them for future roles in the workforce. However, a literature review on the topic indicates a dearth of articles pertaining to the type and level of sustainability content required in industrial technology management programs to prepare students for these future roles. This paper presents a framework for integrating sustainability concepts into value chain coursework to engage students in thinking more deeply about sustainability issues. Using the example of an industrial distribution and logistics curriculum, content is recommended and Bloom’s taxonomy is applied to suggest evaluation approaches. The paper provides a guide for academics who wish to incorporate sustainability as a continuous theme with a global perspective in value chain coursework of industrial technology management programs.

Keywords: sustainability|value chain|sustainability pedagogy|industrial technology management

How to Cite:

Lawrence, J., (2019) “A Framework for Integrating Sustainability Themes into Global Value Chain Coursework of an Industrial Technology Management Program”, The Journal of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering 35(4).

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Published on
01 Oct 2019