1 Department of Management, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Department of Marketing and Statistics, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 Management of Innovation and Change, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University4 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University5 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
Education and training is generally recognised as one the most critical elements during major changes and/or transitions in corporations. Addressing the question of how to respond to the challenges of implementing environmentally more sustainable practises in industry is no exception. Implementing new practises that will put less pressure on the environment while at the same time earning money will require innovative approaches, which in turn will translate into new and/or further developed competencies and skills to ensure a successful implementation of such activities. The role of education and change is particularly evident in various sectors of economic activity where there is a need for improving environmental considerations in the future while at the same time remaining competitive. Some, notably large, enterprises in the manufacturing industry realised their environmental responsibility in the late 1980s and started to develop new strategic approaches to deal with environmental problems. Others, SMEs as well, followed suit in the 1990s. On these grounds a research project was initiated to further investigate the extent to which present training and education offered to managers at top-, middle and lower level reflected the needs of such managers. Data have been gathered from six European countries of all three managerial levels during 1993-98. An interesting and unexpected 'by-product' from this study is that the environmental topic, in many respects, seems to have resulted in some of the most innovative education and training models at the institutions visited (as compared to the other offers at the institution in question). Or differently put, courses in environmental management related topics generally seem to differentiate on a numbers of dimensions as compared to older and more traditional courses. The paper will examine and compare the responses of educational institutions to increasing industrial greening at university level, at college level and at vocational institution level.