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Teaching and Learning

We disseminate best practices to a broader audience of trainers and teachers beyond Nottingham Business School.


Led by Professor Mollie Painter and Dr Elmé Vivier, the teaching and learning stream integrates research on ethical organizational culture, ethical decision-making and leadership, with the design and delivery of executive development programmes. Research in the stream focuses on enabling managers and employees to speak up in the face of ethical wrongdoing, and to find responsible and systemic solutions to ethical dilemmas. Research priorities include:

  • Understanding moral behaviour and decision-making
  • Giving voice to values in everyday business practice
  • Speaking-out and whistleblowing
  • Ethical leadership in the African context
  • Finding ways to collaborate across organisations and sectors
  • Talent Management

Research led by Professor Petra Molthan-Hill links to this stream, on the foundations and strategies that are used in business schools and universities when teaching students about values-driven, responsible and sustainable business.  This includes leading initiatives that prepare students to deal with the dilemmas that managers and employees face in making choices that are technically sound, ethically responsible, sustainable, and culturally sensitive. See also the Green Academy.

As people learn that climate change is anthropogenic, they realise they hold the key to mitigate it by embedding the right high-impact climate solutions and institutional policies addressing all SDGs and creating economic, social and environmental benefits. Addressing this gap in the provision of climate change mitigation education, Carbon Literacy Training for Educators, Communities, Organizations and Students  (CLT-ECOS) – a virtual Train-the-Trainer has been developed and upscaled by NBS, in collaboration with the UN Global Compact PRME Working Group on Climate Change in order to empower people to embed high-impact climate solutions in their personal, professional and community life. NBS’s CLT-ECOS has been awarded Gold for Sustainability at the 2022 QS Reimagine Education awards. Find out more about Carbon Literacy Training for business schools.

Examples of current projects include:

° Values-driven Leadership (VDL) and the REAL Network

Research on Ethical African Leadership Network (REAL-Network), is a maturing partnership between academics and practitioners in African DAC countries committed to combating ethical failures that can undermine service-delivery in various sectors. A key activity of the network is the delivery of the  VDL executive leadership training programme, which addresses the problem of systemic ethical failure in low and middle income (LMIC) economies.

The VDL programme is the result of collaborations between academic and non-academic partners (business, government and NGOs) in South Africa, Kenya and the UK and it seeks to empower leaders to give ‘voice to their values’ (GVV) when confronted with systemic pressures to act unethically.  (It draws upon Mary Gentile’s novel GVV pedagogical approach that equips leaders to develop levers of influence, persuasive responses, and alternative scripts that help them counter the rationalisations of unethical behaviour that they may face).

External collaborators include:

Find out more about our upcoming training opportunities here:

º WE-DARE! (Women’s Equality: Digital Access and the Right to Expression)

The network-building project, titled WE-DARE explores the intersection of women’s rights and digital innovation in Africa. The RSB Lab launched the project in June 2020, in partnership with the Gordon institute of Business Science, University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch Business School and Lagos Business School, alongside several civic and tech organisations including:

The main goal of the research is to explore how access to digital platforms and innovation can protect and further basic women’s rights in Africa, focusing on addressing violence against women in the South African context. The main goal of the research will be achieved by reaching the following objectives:

O1. understanding the role of digital rights in addressing the effects of gender intersectionality
O2. enabling the employment of digital innovation to enhance participation and access for women across societal institutions
O3. protecting women’s rights to safety and equality
O4. enabling participation in civic life and access to democratic institutions
O5. improving women’s quality of life

The RSB Lab have been building the network and running engagements online, but plan to run some ‘in person’ community focus groups in South Africa and Nigeria though their NGO partner networks. (Project led by Professor Painter, Anna Ozolina, Dr Vivier and Dr Abubakre)

° Speaking-out against ethical failures: whistle-blowing practices and support structures in developing country contexts

The RSB Lab (Professor Painter and Dr Vivier) and the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in South Africa collaborated on a critical research project: Speaking out against ethical failures. The project sought to better understand the experiences of people who have challenged ethical failures in their organisations. It aimed to develop practical insights and recommendations, identifying how to more effectively enable and encourage employees to speak out. The project emerged out of a cross-sectoral roundtable as part of the Values-Driven Leadership programme outreach in South Africa, co-hosted by the RSB Lab and the Ethics and Governance Think Tank at GIBS.

° Integrated Care System: Senior Leadership Programme


In 2019-20, Nottingham Business School and the RSB Lab (Professor Painter, Dr Vivier, Dr Wendy Chapple and Paul Caulfield) delivered a leadership development programme for the NHS East Midlands Leadership Academy. The programme brought together senior leaders from across the Nottinghamshire Integrated Care System. The programme aimed to develop systems leaders, support collaborative leadership across health and social care, provide a platform for multi-professional engagement and relationship-building, and facilitate organisational development support. The offering included seminars, workshops, individual coaching, as well as action learning.

° The Green Academy
Research led by Professor Petra Molthan-Hill leads links to this stream, on the conceptual foundations and practical strategies that are used in business schools and universities when teaching students about values-driven, responsible and sustainable business.  This includes leading initiatives that prepare students to deal with the dilemmas that managers and employees face in making choices that are technically sound, ethically responsible, sustainable, and culturally sensitive.

The most recent book authored by Petra can be found HERE . This book demonstrates how stories and storytelling can be consciously embedded into the curricula of any academic discipline in Higher Education to co-create a better future.


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