Business evolution in the lens of universities’ sustainable impact: Russian lessons in BRICS


  • Zhanna Belyaeva
  • Victoria Bentsion



university social responsibility; BRICS; non-financial reporting, sustainable impact


Purpose of the paper: Recent trends in education have brought universities to new qualitative levels of communicating education globally. The newly evolved roles of universities include sustainable mentoring and introducing socially responsible graduates to the global job market. University social responsibility is a fast growing theory derived from the general concept of corporate social responsibility, which considers special multistakeholder responsibility within higher education institutions (HEIs). The existent literature still lacks a consistent study of the necessary cultural context for the development of social impact and innovation sources in emerging economies universities. To fill in the gap this paper aims to analyze the heterogeneity of the intended social impacts of BRICS universities in terms of regional business evolution.

Methodology: The research design employs adjusted explorative methodology to justify USR application and casual methodology to study USR models applied to a stratified sample of 10 internationally ranked BRICS universities. We have analyzed the textual sources of internal and external communication of USR in accordance with a specifically predefined coding system.

Findings: The results of the research have revealed same knowledge drivers of USR in BRICS countries. Nevertheless, the cross-cultural context varies, so while some countries persuade ecological and strategic development by using sustainable management, Russian HEIs put more stress on classical educational roles and promotional activities.

Research limits: The size of the sample entails some limitations.

Practical implications: The authors suggest glocalised knowledge-management for future managers sustainable strategy choice. Moreover, some results may be applied as a guideline to modify sustainable development.

Originality of the paper: The novel framework of USR in BRICS universities represents a new category for further theoretical and practical implications.


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