CSR, diversity and openness: a unique course on corporate values taught by Dr Magalie Marais to 1st year Bachelor students


Having taught at Montpellier BS for five years, Dr Magalie Marais is a member of the team of seven MBS teachers and researchers who have worked on the link between diversity and performance. Fully in line with her research field which is Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility, she has created and taught for three years a 15-hour course entitled "CSR, diversity and openness" intended for first year Bachelor students to familiarise them with the values of MBS. This is a theoretical and practical course which can be put into practice in any personal or professional environment.

"It's a course that I completely created for Montpellier BS and which can be transposed to any company", explains Dr Marais. "We first reflect on the notion of value itself, a notion that is often poorly assimilated, and then we discuss themes that particularly affect students, such as discrimination. The aim of the course is to have students work in small groups on cases of failure to respect the values promoted by a company. To do this, as an example we use the case of MBS and its values which are ethics, diversity, accountability and overall performance. In the context of the course, beyond the theoretical aspect, the students must develop a presentation of which they are free to decide the format (video, poster, comics etc.). The only thing I ask is that they make an impacting presentation, which makes an impression on the other students, provoking a reflection, delivered in 10-15 minutes on a topic of the failure to respect a value. Of course, this reflection must also provide clues to more open perspectives, or even solutions in terms of communication or management. It's a real task that requires openness, critical thinking and creativity of the students. In general, each group is very invested because I give them great freedom in choosing the case they will present".

Astou Gueye SEYDI is one of the students in Dr Marais' course. "It's an exciting course that specifically teaches us to tackle the challenge concerning key values and to be able to defend them in various situations that we face in a company. Values are fundamental elements in a person's life, but also in the life of a business, and we have understood the need to share them in order to be in harmony with the system or the organisation in which we are involved. Our teacher represents them perfectly and she is a kind mentor for our projects. We are a team of five students who have decided to highlight the importance of accountability and overall performance in a company. In a context where companies tend to seek profit at any price, we consider that human beings remain the essential element, and therefore, we focused on the importance of the choice of the staff and their training. We have not yet decided what format our presentation will have, but we want to present something original. By the way, this exercise is not so easy! It generates debate before we can find the ideal medium for what we want to show".

Each group's presentation will be given at the end of November and will be assigned a grade that will count towards the results of the students' first semester. Montpellier BS would like to thank Dr Magalie Marais for her ability to transmit one of the pillars of management.