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Visión de futuro

versão impressa ISSN 1668-8708versão On-line ISSN 1669-7634

Vis. futuro vol.21 no.1 Miguel Lanus jun. 2017


Socially responsible training of the future leaders the socially responsible formation of the future enterprise leaders: analysis of the perception of one of the interested parties Spain – Argentina

(*) Corral, Silvia Luján;(**) Sandoval Hamón, Leyla Angélica; (***) Ferreyra, Agustín

(*) Facultad de Ciencias Económicas
Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Prov. de Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires-Argentina

(**) Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Madrid - España

(***) Facultad de Ciencias Económicas
Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Prov. de Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires-Argentina

Reception Date: 08/12/2016 – Approbal Date: 12/02/2016


In this paper a study has been carried out on the perceptions and attitudes of the students from a Spanish and an Argentine university, on social enterprise responsibility. The methodology used was a qualitative approach through the focus group technique, which was attended by undergraduate business administration students from the two different university contexts. This technique allowed deepen to perceptions of future business leaders about the social responsibility of the enterprises as from the content and practices they have received and experienced in their process of university education. The results show that future professionals are positive about the importance of social, enterprise and university responsibility and, while recognizing the efforts of their universities in this line, it also highlight the need for improvements, not only in the study plans in the implementation in the daily life of the university but even from a greater involvement of all community staff.

KEYWORDS: Perceptions; Social Responsibility; Higher Education.


The current society has corroborated how the lack of ethical values ​​are one of the factors that have contributed to the most recent global economic crisis. In part this situation has led to rethinking the training received by university students with respect to social responsibility in organizations. Thus it is like the role that institutions of higher education in the transmission of ethical principles to the students - that is to say, future professionals - can help to make them aware that the decisions within the business world have repercussions in multiple areas including environmental and social.
Corporate Social Responsibility from here on (CSR) is one of the ways postulated as an integrating tool to achieve the profitability of the company, satisfy internal and external interest groups and improve the social environment where the company develops its activity. However, it is necessary that future generations of leaders understand the meaning of CSR and develop ways to apply it. At present, however, prior research in this field reveals that, although there is already a concern for University Social Responsibility, there is still a long way to go in universities to incorporate the principles of sustainability and social responsibility be it in management, research, transfer, as in the teaching they do, and in a specific way the formation in CSR to students who will become future society leaders.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is called to play a relevant role as a catalyst for development efforts in Latin-America (and in particular, one of those 3 countries that has maintained a close relationship with Spain over the years which is Argentina), where Spanish multinational companies have a leading role. The Growth of strong business ties, both between the Latin American nations as with the rest of the world requires adapting business conducts to certain social requirements (community development, protection of the environment, promotion of harmonious and ethical relations, promotion of culture and creation of effective equality between men and women, among others). In the near future those who occupy at present the Latin-American university classrooms will manage companies whose legitimacy and sustainability will be renewed day by day.
This context was the starting point for this work, derived from a broader title -Higher education as a driver of social responsibility: a comparative study among future business Leaders in Latin- America- presented to the call of the Center for Latin American Studies (CEAL) of the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and financed by the Banco de Santander with the participation of the Faculty of Economics of the National University of Centro Buenos Aires (UNICEN) in Argentina, the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés de Bolivia, the Universidad Externado de Colombia, the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica (UNA) and the Universidad del Cono Sur de las  Americas (UCSA) of Paraguay, in the period 2013-2014.
In general, the project was framed in analyzing the perception towards (CSR) of students from different participant educational institutions. The research cited sought to identify how this perception is affected by variables such as gender, age, academic background or professional experience. In short, the study showed that the students' perception of CSR is seen conditioned by the political, social, economic and cultural context in which they live, focused on the perceptions of university students towards CSR – reflecting that these assessments are affected by cultural aspects and, therefore, register differences according to the student's nationality and gender (González-Rodríguez, M. R., Díaz- Fernández, M.C., Pawlak, M., and Simonetti, B., 2013).
Consequently, and considering the manifest need for greater research, qualitative or quantitative - to reflect on processes involved in the actions and in the potential of higher educational institutions for learning in relation to Social Responsibility which is related to it, (Ceulemans, K., Molderez, I., and Van Liedekerke, L., 2015), this work aims at analyzing the problem of the negative perception of participating institutions for Argentina and Spain in relation to the preparation rendered by the   university training to resolve conflict situations that arise between values ​​and activities in the business world. Indeed, in the previous study, a large number of participants from the countries cited consider that university studies are preparing them little or nothing for this (compared to students from Bolivia, Paraguay, Colombia and Costa Rica). The low level of assimilation of the theory and practice of CSR in the formation of future professionals, in relation to the impacts that are generated from the particular role of the University.
Considering the activity carried out in a sustained way in matters of Corporate Social Responsibility and University as well as from the Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (UNICEN), the results obtained evidenced the need to reflect on - what - is being done and - how – it is being done, so that the pupils visualize a low formation in social responsibility. Therefore, with the idea of ​​delineating and implementing future lines of action as well as improving and strengthening existing ones, this paper will seek to answer the following question: how can a greater impact be promoted in the students of the Faculty of Economic Sciences of UNICEN and the Faculty of Economics and Business of the UAM, future business leaders, as from practices and contents that promote corporate social responsibility?
The structure of the work is presented in the following sections. After the introduction, section two presents a review of the literature. In the third, the methodology of the qualitative analysis is presented, highlighting the focus groups that were made to students of higher education in Argentina and Spain on the perception of the training they receive on corporate social responsibility (CSR) with regard to their professional future. Section four has as its central axis the presentation of the main aspects - based on what the respondents perceive - such as: recognizing the practices of transference, contents and type of knowledge that is transmitted in relation to Social Responsibility (RS), identify the causes of low assimilation of contents from the same RS area, interpret possible relationships between the projects generated, the practices implemented, the assessments made by the students and amplify the theoretical understanding of the phenomenon, all from the context of two universities: one Argentine and another Spanish. The fifth section presents the conclusions, the limitations of the study and the future lines of research.


Social Responsibility: possible interpretations

The analysis about what is considered a socially responsible action by the organizations can present different interpretations. Larran Jorge and Andrades Peña (2015), have tried to explain these possible meanings from different approaches or perspectives. Thus, the aforementioned authors argue that, from the Theory of Legitimacy, organizations will seek to respond to social expectations with the sole purpose of legitimizing their actions and ensuring their long-term survival. In the framework of Institutional Theory - and given that organizations need to have some approval for action - they will tend to do so in accordance with the policies, rules and norms in SR matters that prevail in the context. From the Theory of Resources, the organization will focus on those internal and distinctive factors that constitute the source of its competitive advantage, and in this framework, the values ​​and practices that reflect its Social Responsibility is conceived as a strategic pillar. Whereas, if socially responsible actions are analyzed in the light of Agency Theory, it could be admitted that owners or managers will always adopt that pattern of behavior that allows them to achieve their personal interests; thus, applied to the social responsibility of the educational institution, it could be put into practice in the pursuit of dissimilar objectives, possibly to the detriment of the organizational ones and, consequently, the accountability appears as an indispensable and irreplaceable practice. Finally, from the stakeholder approach, the active role of the different stakeholders - and involved in the institution - is highlighted in the decision making process.
The previous analysis of the four possible approaches could be framed in what Guédez (2010) The Why - and why the why - of Social Responsibility (SR). While referring to private enterprise, the author argues that in order to understand the actions and perspectives in SR, it is first necessary to think about the reasons that drive them and the origin on which they are based. Only then will it be possible to explain the politics, strategy and ways of doing so.
The concept that (SR) has obtained  a greater number of initiatives in relation to the enterprise context, although it is not only of the enterprises, as each organization is responsible for the impacts generated as from their activity   (Vallaeys, 2009). Thus, in the case of university institutions, it must be acknowledged that their mission has ceased to be limited to the functions of teaching and research, since it cannot be disregarded those that it has in relation to the community of which it forms part, The return of knowledge and contribute to its economic and social development (Aldanueva Fernández, I. and Jiménez Quintero, JA, 2013).

University Social Responsibility: concept and interpretation

Larrán Jorge and Andrades Peña (2015) refer to University Social Responsibility as voluntary commitment (teaching, research, management, knowledge transfer and corporate governance), for which they need to incorporate these concerns into their actions and consider the demands of their interested groups. From this conception, these values ​​and principles are recognized as those distinctive resources that constitute an institutional foundation; however, in the particular case of higher education institutions that form future business leaders, they acquire a particular role in society due to their potential to raise awareness and transmit knowledge, where socially responsible training is fundamental both for undergraduate and postgraduate students who are the interested parties, who need to get closer to the concept and practice of SR, understand their meaning and know how to apply it in their professional future (Alonso Almeida, M. del M., Casani Fernández de Navarrete, F., Rodríguez Pomeda, J. 2011, and Ceulemans et al., 2015).
In agreement with the previous point, it has been possible to identify non-homogeneous, pratice varieties, according to the meaning given to their responsibility by higher education institutions. They coincide, in the first place, in the incorporation of the contents to the curricula. Then, from a humanistic approach, students are to promote well-being (e.g., trying to reduce transport costs, actions to improve the climate, favoring green spaces and their improvement ...). Under a perspective focused on the pedagogical aspect, the emphasis will be on impact on learning and training in student practice, tackling aspects such as sustainable development, citizen training, environmental management, and others from theory and practice. Finally, from an ethical perspective, the university defends its institutional rationale, and will support its management in values ​​oriented to the satisfaction of the interests of all its interested parties (Olarte Mejía., And Ríos Osorio, 2015). The review made by these authors provides a light on the different conceptions, and the coincidence between these and the actions of these institutions. SR in the field of higher education requires both responsible management and redefining its social function as a development agent. In this sense - and in order to form integral professionals - it must build networks for the transmission of knowledge, thus streamlining the processes of management, teaching, research and extension (Vallaeys, 2008).
In addition, it is possible to reflect that, although Social Responsibility of companies is accepted as voluntary, it should not be an option for these educational institutions, just because it is intrinsic to its nature and be contemplated in education and in the values ​​of university education (Casani et al., 2015). Vallaeys (2009) emphasizes that the vision centered on the fact that a university is essentially responsible, implies that it is not aware that the impacts it generates - very different and often known to companies - may also be unwanted. Just as the private company is confronted with a dual rationality that is its own and that needs to find the point of interaction between ethical rationality and economic rationality to ensure its sustainability in a framework of human development (Bruni. and Calvo. The university sphere, actions must be based on an ethical rationality. The university's perspective cannot be an economist one, even if it adapts from the private enterprise those tools that allow it to optimize its efficiency and transparency and help it to improve, since it cannot lose sight of the objectives associated with its raison d'être (Casani et al. 2007).

Stakeholders interested in the University

The stakeholder approach provides an ethical framework for the performance of an organization, guided by the principle that each group retains the right not to be treated as a means for a specific purpose (Bruni and Calvo, 2009). It is based on the need to understand expectations of those groups that can influence the organization as well as be influenced by it; and consequently, the search involves how to reconcile these expectations, to produce and optimize results without trying to favor one of the interested parties (Ceulemans et al., 2014). Based on the configuration of the dialogue with the different public or interested parties, this approach is seen as necessary to channel socially responsible management in the university field. This is a fundamental pillar for the development of the URS, since it is based on listening and commitment to the satisfaction of needs, and the fulfillment of the expectations of these stakeholders in each of its functions: teaching, research, extension and management (Larran J., Andrades Peña, 2015 and Vallaeys.,, 2009).
Stanislavská, LK, Kvasnička, R., Kuralová, K., & Margarisová, K. (2014) summarize relevant groups of university institutions Students, teachers and the university government. Vallaeys et al. (2009), carried out a broader analysis, considering the different groups -internal and external- that interact with the University:

1.- People working in functional areas (non-teaching group);
2.- People working in areas;
3.- The people in charge of the management and the administration and management of the resources (group authorities);
4.- The people who benefit from the actions of the people of the group 2.;
5.- People who, although they do not belong to the University, contribute products, services and jobs (group suppliers);
6.- Those who have graduated from the institution, obtaining a professional title (graduated group);
7.- Educational institutions of the upper level that complement or diversify the educational offer (group competitors);
8.- Associations or communities with which the university interacts through projects and programs (a group that includes the community);
9.- The entities with which the university interacts through agreements and / or contracts (group of social organizations);
10.-The legal framework in which the university carries out its activities (municipalities, municipal organizations, etc.).

As the author points out, other groups could be considered with which the university does not directly interact, although through the intermediary of the primary groups, such as he parents of the students, the professional schools, the family of the personnel in relation of dependency and even the generations to come, from the premise that underwent it is related to what is currently researched and taught. These different groups show a particular interest in the actions of the university, according to their scope of action. Thus, students have an interest in what the university re-creates in relation to the training it provides, which ultimately reflects a way of interpreting the world; teachers, non-teachers and suppliers are interested in the way the daily work is organized and the impacts they receive from the organization, although teachers and/or researchers also express an interest in how the university guides the production of knowledge, since what it considers as a priority cognitive deficit will define the scientific agenda; the other groups -external actors- will be interested in the participation generated and made possible by the university, as a promoter of the progress of the community and axis in the formation of social capital.
From the perspective of the University, stakeholder consideration allows the visualization of a pluralist organization with a variety of objectives and groups interested in thinking about the possible difficulties to channel their action in a determined direction and in function of the basic competences that are their own, since each one of the agents that interacts has its own objectives, which it hopes to reach through its activity in the same (Casani et al., 2007). Integrating the stakeholder approach into decisions focuses on the concept of sustainability, the organization's ability to stay in the long term without neglecting short-term results, listening to stakeholders as part of the process (Casani et al., 2007, Ceulemans, et al., 2014).
As well as the types of impacts expected and considered from the different groups, somehow define the four axes or pillars of the RSU (Vallaeys, 2008):

1.- In education: promote training professional and citizen, based on oriented and learning instances that contemplate specific problems;
2.- In organization: promote the achievement of a campus responsible (as labor acclimation, care of resources, democratic processes, ...);
3.- In knowledge management: articulating the production of knowledge including the problem Social development and including other social actors and contemplating the transdisciplinarity;
4.- In social participation: implement projects that allow to reach the community but also mutual learning.


In relation to the problem formulated in point 1.- it is necessary to apply a qualitative focus - of empirical nature that allows the understanding of the phenomenon from the point of view of its actors, since it will try to explain personal assessments arising from the experiences of the students. The qualitative design is justified by proposing the study of a contemporary event, within its context and from which it is not possible to control behavior (Yin, 2003). The basic selection criteria were the career stage and the heterogeneous composition of the group (gender). The instrument used was a questionnaire elaborated based on the guide proposed by Valleys et al (2009), which covers the four (4) axes of university activity, in order to understand the image of the students about it, to delve into their reasons and to obtain their possible suggestions.

Data Collection Technique

As data collection technique, the focus group method was used, considered as appropriate to obtain perceptions, feelings, attitudes and ideas of a group of people on a specific topic in the framework of an exploratory which allows "informal discussion in relation to specific issues, between individuals selected from a situation in question" (Beck, Trombetta and Share, 1986, p.73). They defined a group of between 6 (six) and 12 (twelve) members - considered the number with special attention to the recruitment criterion, as well as a distribution of the intra-group equation, moderation and the spatial context in which the activity would be carried out (Santiago and Roussos, 2010).
The sessions were held in Madrid (Spain) and Tandil (Argentina) with students degree in Business Administration from the initial years, with a total duration of 1 (one) hour, in each case, in which the moderator (in both sessions of at least one of the authors of the document was present) applied the following protocol, from:

Table Nº1: Overview of the moderator's guide

Source: Own Elaboration from Vaughn, et al. (1996)

The design of the questions to ask during the course of the session is crucial and, in that sense, attention was paid to the introduction of those introductory texts (which identification of common characteristics of participants as well as focus on the theme to be studied), transition to channel the debate to the issues fundamental, decisive or central in relation to the object of study and those that (Stanislavská, L. K., et al., 2014).

Unit of analysis: profile of the universities of the study and its relation with the social responsability

The boom achieved by the voluntary assumption of the principles of responsibility in business, both internationally and in Spain, these principles tend to be extended to other types of organizations such as institutions public or non-profit organizations. Although apparently this type of Institutions already have as their main mission a social purpose, the introduction of management in public bodies has resulted in concepts of corporate social responsibility have been incorporated into the activities of these bodies. In the case of the university, different public and of the institutions themselves are generating the development of the concept of university responsibility (RSU) with contributions from different fields such as environmental, ethical or business management.
In Spain, the concept of corporate social responsibility has gone introducing them in the university environment through teaching and research on the issues related to business ethics and philanthropy, with the interest and the need to generate specific information for them and not only for the shareholder of the company, and with environmental sustainability. In this way, from different disciplines it has promoted the introduction of aspects of social responsibility and sustainability in the university curriculum. At the same time, interest in research on these issues, covering very broad fields from the companies to the environmental sciences. At the same time it has been to promote environmental sustainability policies in the management of university campuses (greeningthe campus) as a sign of the university's commitment to the struggle against climate change and with the care of the environment. Finally, these actions have been completed in many cases with the elaboration of sustainability reports and social responsibility of the universities themselves to communicate to society the contribution they make in the economic, social and environmental field.
The movement for the social and environmental commitment of universities has been impulsed in Spain from different perspectives and institutional initiatives: from the universities themselves with particular initiatives, since the Conference of Rectors of Universities (CRUE) in the field of sustainability, from the Ministry of Education through the University Coordination Council and from the Social Councils of Public Universities, first of Andalusia and later from all over Spain. Each of these institutions has fostered collaboration between the different areas of the University System (SUE) to achieve social responsibility among its main priorities.
The Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) is a public institution focused on academic excellence, with approximately 26,000 students and 2,600 employees. The university is organized in eight schools: Philosophy and Letters, Psychology, Law, Sciences, Business and Economics, Education, Engineering and Medicine, offering a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Since its creation in 1968, the UAM has had a strong research focus: 11 research institutes are on the Campus, as well as the Madrid Science Park, with the growth of university-enterprise collaboration (contracts and practices). UAM has a great international vocation, with agreements with more than 500 international institutions and about 2000 exchange students every year from around the world. The aforementioned university is classified as one of the three best universities in Spain (depending on the classification itself) within them the best 200 institutions in the world and the number 12 in the QS Top fifty for less than fifty years.
Among the priorities of the university one finds the academic and research level, but at the same time, the issues related to social responsibility have not been neglected (this research line is integrated in both the undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the subjects of various degrees). In addition, the university promotes some initiatives in favor of environmental sustainability with the creation of an eco-camp that includes issues such as: waste, mobility, energy, biodiversity, green areas, and water, among others. On the other hand, social responsibility in the UAM is also fostered through other bodies such as: Alumni UAM (it is a service that aims to promote and maintain the links that unite the UAM with its graduates and titled), ethics committee of the university, social council, employment observatory, office of solidarity action and cooperation, office for student participation, health care service and risk prevention and unity of equality.
In the particular case of the Faculty of Economics and Business, students have different Channels of training and information on the area of ​​the RSE. In fact, as mentioned above, there is not only an offer of specific CSR courses (some are compulsory and others optional) for some undergraduate and postgraduate studies, but some courses, seminars and meetings are held in the context of the training of College extension. The faculty also disseminates by e-mail weekly a short newsletter that brings together all activities focused on students, for example related to: general information of the faculty, training, library, scholarships and grants, practices and employment, environmental awareness campaigns and others. This medium is a direct source for students to keep abreast of what can be offered not only at the university but institutions that work with topics that interest them. The newsletter has encouraged the students to receive updated information on all activities that are working (directly or indirectly) in the institution regarding CSR.
As in Spain, in Argentina initially the concept of corporate social responsibility has been approached from the University through teaching and research. Thus, the theme was introduced in the curriculum of core subjects as well as optional subjects, depending on curricula.
It is important to emphasize the role of the Secretariat for University Policies (SPU), dependent on the Ministry of Education of the Argentine Republic, from where the opening of proposals for the presentation of projects - and their financing - will allow the implementation of University Social Responsibility Programs such as volunteering and training, thus promoting various initiatives to promote awareness and the development of content, as well as practice in RSU. In recent years, it has received much attention in the framework of the Extension Secretariats, through the promotion of different projects that allow in-service learning through activities that link students and teachers with different organizations of the community.
As from this framework there will be analyzed what was done by the Universidad del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (UNICEN), a public institution located in the central area of ​​the Province of Buenos Aires, which has 3 (three) regional offices - plus the subsection of Quequén -  which distributes approximately 14,000 students:
-central, located in the city of Tandil; is the seat of Rector and of the Faculties of Economic Sciences, Human Sciences, Art, Veterinary Sciences and Exact Sciences. This last one offers the degree of Degree in Technology of the Environment, to train professionals able to respond to present and new environmental problems.
-in the locality of Azul, where they are 2 (two) academic units: Agronomy and Law; the city of Olavarría, the Faculties of Engineering and Social Sciences, and the Higher School of Health Sciences.
In the different academic units, both in degrees and in postgraduates, they carry out activities that seek to favor the formation of a graduate more sensitive to current problems and, at university level, actions have focused on the development and implementation of Extension Programs and Projects that are organized in an Integrated System, seek to contribute to problems and needs of the city, the region of influence and the country. These Programs and Projects include, among others, the following areas: University and Family, Social Economy, Environmental Commitment, Health Equity, University in Prison, Arts and Letters, Work and Employment, Community-Opened Workshops. Considering the problem related to education for work in which subjects and organizations linked to vulnerable groups are involved, a strong link is proposed with the formal and non-formal educational system of the different levels of education with a presence in the region and, from the Knowledge and practices to improve different components of the training The Secretariat for Extension has also promoted the creation of the Commission on Disability, made up of referents from different academic units, from which it works to guarantee equal rights in the physical, academic and communicational access of persons with disabilities who study and work in the University.
In its activities, the Faculty of Economic Sciences of UNICEN develops different activities with the various sectors of society, with the aim of establishing a channel for communication, integration and social appropriation of academic knowledge. Amongst others, the variety of free-choice activities (ALE) for the students of the Faculty is highlighted, although they are of an optional nature, they are linked to their academic training and are included in the Curriculum. In general, they focus on the specific professional activities of the economic sciences, and from the recognition of the evident needs of NGOs - who often have problems in the management and administration of their organizations - most of the proposals, called -solidarity practices-, are framed in volunteering and in-service learning. In addition, other activities of solidarity services are carried out on time, such as school support, collaboration in solidarity events and the teaching of computer classes. Through the Professional Development Program (PDP) of the Faculty, various organizations request and channel the search for students for different tasks, which contribute to the comprehensive training of the student by combining training workshops with field work, delivering reports on what was done and tutoring to position of teachers of the FCE. On the other hand, the tutor teacher allows him to link his teaching role with that of researcher.
The contents of CSR and RSU, although not contemplated from a specific subject, are approached transversally from different subjects in relation to their specificity, as well as in the Framework of the above-mentioned optional activities. For example, from workshops, conferences, courses, or in a specific way in the Open Chair in Organizational Social Responsibility (implemented in 2014). Regarding the care of the environment, awareness and education campaigns have been carried out towards the interior of the Faculty (respect for smoke-free zones, re-use of paper, care of common spaces, inclusion of people with disabilities ...), while other projects with great impact on the community have developed from other academic units, in relation to their professional training and expertise .
It should be mentioned that the Faculty has a Social Responsibility Program (approved by RCA 193/07) which, among other actions, includes: to offer solidarity practices for students, train teachers in CSR, support research projects that focus on community issues, participate in public programs to promote the RSU. In this regard, and in relation to the training of young graduates - as well as those close to completing their career -in 2008 the implementation of the AmartyaSen Program- which was approved, sponsored by the Ministry of Economy and Public Finance and Education of the Argentine- With the aim of training professionals in the area of ​​economic sciences, committed to responsible management in the world of the public and private company.
The communication of all these actions is carried out mainly through the web page and social networks of the FCE, although the offer of ALE`s are also informed by the mobile application and the blog of the Extension Secretariat. Recently, this secretariat has incorporated a monthly newsletter, which informs the different activities and programs that are being developed and implemented.

Population object of study

In the context of the participating institutions and in accordance with the criterion of accessibility, we selected for this work he students of the first courses of Business Administration of the UAM and UNICEN, appreciating its relevance since the intent is to understand the expectations and assessments of future business leaders - decision makers - in their training, and to understand that the acquisition of the teaching superiority is conditioned to a previous complementarity procedure, which not only allows the individual to increase his knowledge but also to preserve and disseminate social values ​​(Espi Martínez, J, 1981).
In the case of the Faculty of Economics and Business of the UAM, summoned students of the first year, within the framework of a class of the subject "Fundaments of business administration" of the business administration degree. The students participating in the Faculty of Economics of UNICEN belong to the second year of the Bachelor's Degree in Administration, and were studying the subject -General Administration II-, a space in which the information could be collected for further analysis.

Analysis Technique

The analysis of the data requires the qualitative interpretation of the interviewer / moderator for the development of an iterative process of conceptualization and codification (Strauss., And Corbin, 2002). To that effect, the record of the meeting in audio and video was taken and field notes were taken in relation to central ideas. Then, the recording was repeated repeatedly to delimit the concepts that were emerging, to then group them according to the categories or nuclei taking into account the bibliographic bibliography.


Beyond the framework of action in RSU of the institutions participating in this work, the initiatives since The public sphere that drives them and the different modalities that reveal socially responsible practices in the previous study, quantitative nature (Casani F .; Sánchez, F .; Rodríguez - Pomeda J .; (2015), everything for improvement implies the realization of the perception of a group of actors that compose the interested parties, in an attempt to understand why people -think as they think- and to collect their possible suggestions (Vallaeys et al. In the particular case of this study, and in relation to the problem posed in the introduction It is interesting to know the perceptions that the group of students has about the performance of their faculty / university in relation to the four axes of social responsibility.
Perception is understood by the meaning given by individuals to the objective reality, which they construct from their sensorial impressions about it (and that may not coincide with that reality). Then behavior will be a reaction or consequence of individual perception (Robbins, 1998). Thus, from the perspective of stakeholders or interested parties, the study tries to try to understand what they see or think to see, what meaning they attribute to the people that make up the target group of university education, to what was done from their Faculty / University in the field of RS with the purpose of establishing relationships about the training provided and the desired formation.
We first turned the discourses of the students participating in the group into analyzable data, and they were ordered in relation to the emergent categories of the revision of theory, which constitute the pillars of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The following tables reflect not only the information recorded from the group's video recordings but also the qualitative interpretation of the moderators (Santiago and Roussos, 2010).
So, if we analyze the voices of the students of the FCEyE of the UAM:

Table Nº 2: Analysis of the intervention of the focus group UAM

Source: Own Elaboration

While the discourse of the pupils of the FEC of the UNICEN, have been placed in the following table:

Table Nº3: Analysis of the interventions of the UNICEN focus group

Source: Own Elaboration

The similitudes and differences between what analyzed by both groups objects of this study appear in the following chart.

Table Nº 4: Analysis of the interventions of “focus groups” UAM-UNICEN

Source: Own Elaboration


Through this collaborative work and the application of a qualitative technique (Focus Group) we tried to analyze the meaning that they give to the teaching in theory and practice of the CSR, the students of the first years of the career of Administration of companies, of universities of Spain and Argentina.
No doubt the perception of the students is conditioned by the context - political, social, economic and cultural - in which they have grown and have been formed; therefore, it is understood that their assessments are affected by cultural aspects, influencing nationality as the gender of the participants. Divergent views are expected. Thus, while one group recognizes -and stands out- already having a high level of training, the other does not express it in such a way, although it does admit a greater impetus from awareness and practice in recent years.
As for shared visions, it is noteworthy that both groups highlight the importance of the teacher in the attitude: in the care of the environment (highlighted by students of the Faculty of Economics and Business of the UAM) and how to achieve an adequate organizational climate (observed by the students of the Faculty of Business Sciences -UNICEN); That is, in the proper use of resources, and in the treatment with the student. But in both cases, they put examples based on the behavior of the teacher.
The study also points out that this negative assessment - which is already apparent from previous research - may be the result of the need for a change in the way in which what is being done is being communicated. The analysis of the speeches would allow to deduce that although the awareness as the practices seek to arrive in different ways (e-mail, web page, mobile application), verbal communication and face-to-face communication is a modality required by students, in how much it would allow to know benefits that it is proposed to include, as a greater interaction between the informant and the target public.
In short, although both students from the Spanish and Argentine universities in a previous research reflected negative perceptions regarding the RSU, they start from a different background that is accentuated in their formative stage in the. However, this study allowed an approximation to their perceptions and the interpretation of them. It is possible to conclude, therefore, that although the students of Economic Sciences have a positive valuation towards the importance of the formation in corporate and university social responsibility and that both institutions of higher education have realized concrete actions of interrupted form in relation to the offer content and practices in order to raise awareness and prepare future decision makers, the diagnosis made reveals a clear challenge: how to achieve a greater visualization of what has been accomplished and the involvement of the actors who in the future will become the vehicle to implement the CSR in the organizations of which they will be part.


1. To mention some example, the Faculty of Engineering of UNICEN works in the construction and continuity of projects that point to the Sustainable development and the care of the environment, assuming the commitment to inform and raise awareness of society on issues of environmental pollution, alternative energy and renewable materials.


Please refer to articles Spanish Biographical abstract.


Please refer to articles in Spanish Bibliography.


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