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UNDERSTANDING THE FINANCIAL SITUATION FROM THE CLASSROOM. EXPERIENCES TO INCREASE CRITICAL JUDGMENT

O. Blasco-Blasco, V. Liern

Universitat de València (SPAIN)
Companies and institutions are increasingly concerned with business ethics and social responsibility practices. One way to increase both practices is achieved through the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI). In this type of investment, in addition to the usual financial requirements (maximizing profitability and minimizing risk) they are required to have a positive social impact. Thus, for example, investment funds that participate in arms companies, polluters or that violate the fundamental rights of workers will not be considered socially responsible. At times, the investor may be reticent to select such funds, since, from a utilitarian point of view, he might think that the profitability will be less. However, this need not be so. In fact, for many companies to demand ethical values can generate a competitive advantage over their competitors.

If we want the classrooms preparing students to understand the society that surrounds them, concepts like the SRI should be incorporated in a transversal way in the classrooms of the Business schools. To contribute to this idea, we present a practice that shows how to select an investment fund. First, the profitability of an investment in socially responsible funds is calculated; Secondly, profitability is obtained in funds where social responsibility is not taken into account and; Finally, the profitability of an investment is obtained where all the funds of the two characteristics are taken into account. From here, the student has to choose the one that they consider better fulfills their expectations.

The main objectives of this practice are three: that the student is able to handle the quantitative tools necessary to address real world problems, that they can make decisions based on empirical data, and can also pass the arguments and the results to the rest of the classmates. In this way, the aim is to evaluate critical and self-critical capacity and increase the skill for decision making, competencies of great importance in the studies of Business Administration and Management.