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Master of Science in Leadership

Degree Programs > Master of Science in Leadership Concentration Options > Sustainable Business Administration

Sustainable Business Administration

Concentration Focus

The Sustainable Business Administration concentration will empower students to lead in global business management, global marketing, supply chain management and trade finance.

Program Content

  • Develop sustainable business practices through managing risks (regulatory, reputation, litigation, and market), values-driven leadership, and recognizing market opportunities created by environmental and social challenges
  • Acquire cutting-edge environmental thinking strategies that will provide the ability to make difficult environmental management decisions and effectively respond to environmental issues
  • Understand needs not met effectively by current business practices and develop innovative, proactive and sustainable business strategies to address them
  • Understand and apply LEED regulations, recognitions and incentives and apply them to sustainable designs that will achieve LEED credit category goals


Learners will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to envision, design, and implement innovative, proactive, sustainable business practices in a variety of settings.

Who Should Pursue This Concentration?

  • Individuals who seek to expanded their understanding of the sustainable business practices
  • Project managers, building administrators, designers, site superintendents, developers, operations managers, entrepreneurs

career impact of This Concentration

Sustainable Business Administration supports the global sustainability initiative that is penetrating all facets of economic activity. Specifically in the areas of manufacturing, research, design, and administration, O*Net projects significant demand for visionary leadership in eco-efficient production and service activities, and the Pew Charitable Trust estimates growth in this sector to be twice that of overall jobs across the country.

In Indiana alone, growth of "green jobs" increased 17.9 percent between 1998 and 2007 (O*Net Online, 2010). However, Indiana is behind its neighbors in its adoption and promotion of the U.S. Green Building Council?s benchmark in sustainability, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which improves performance across energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions, indoor environmental quality and resource stewardship. According to Olson (2007), Indiana has only 57 projects seeking LEED certification, while Illinois has 202; Michigan, 148; and Ohio, 132. This disparity can be attributed to a combined lack of LEED certification training programs and legislative support, which is predicted to change as legislators at the federal level, and some at the state level are requiring all projects funded by state money to be LEED certified.

The need for LEED will increase, but individuals equipped to lead LEED initiatives is lagging. At present, only 963 individuals in Indiana are LEED accredited at any level (USGBC Indiana Chapter, 2010). The first level of LEED credentialing, LEED Green Associate, is a credential for professionals who support green building design, construction, and operations (USGBC, 2010), and demonstrates that an individual has current knowledge of green building technologies, best practices, and the LEED Rating Systems. In order to achieve this credential, individuals must have documented experience working on a LEED-certified project, be employed in a sustainable field of work, or engage in an education program that addresses green building principles.

The Sustainable Business Administration concentration is aligned with the green building principles assessed on the written test required for certification as a LEED Green Associate. Individuals who pursue this concentration will be prepared to take the test as part of their Capstone experience (USGBC, 2010).

Concentration Coursework (15 Credit Hours)

LDR 6603 Leading the Sustainable Business (3)
This course emphasizes the three aspects of sustainable business that improve a firm's long-term performance: managing risks (regulatory, reputation, litigation, and market), values-driven leadership, and recognizing market opportunities created by environmental and social challenges. Students will learn how to articulate the business case for sustainability, develop and lead internal and external coalitions needed to drive organizational change, and implement metrics for measuring progress and providing accountability.

LDR 6623 Business Management and Environmental Leadership (3)
In this course, students will gain expertise, enhance skills and broaden perspectives on environmental and natural resource management and leadership. As managerial effectiveness is central to environmental leadership, this course focuses on the development of management and leadership skills including decision-making, motivation, working in teams, organizational cultures, organizational design, and change management. Student will acquire cutting-edge environmental thinking providing them with the ability to make difficult environmental management decisions and effectively respond to environmental issues.

LDR 6643 Sustainability and Business Opportunity (3)
The primary objective of this course is to provide students with the skills, practical knowledge and experience in understanding needs not met effectively by current business practices and in developing innovative and proactive business strategies to address them. They will realize the sustainability challenges business and society are facing, how sustainability can be a business opportunity, and how businesses can increase their competitive advantage through sustainable strategies and innovation. The course emphasizes on the tools necessary to perform each business function (such as marketing, manufacturing, distribution, purchasing, HR R&D, information systems, finance, accounting) taking environmental and social implications into account.

LDR 6666 Sustainable Business Capstone (6)
The purpose of the integrative capstone course is to provide opportunities for students to apply the lessons learned in their previous courses to a real organization. Course instruction will center around a series of integrated modules that will focus on the practical implementation of all aspects of the curriculum. Under the direction of faculty, this capstone course engages the student to work with a business chosen by the student and the development of a plan to significantly improve its sustainable business practices. Students will explore interconnections between the strategic foundation of their client project and the cultural, sustainable and core purpose and goals of their client?s organization within a global business context.



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