FUTURE OF THE BUSINESS SCHOOL

 

Tim Vorley of Sheffield University says: The intellectual capital of business and management schools around the world should not be underestimated. The interdisciplinary expertise of researchers and teachers represents a huge asset across a broad range of fields, from strategy to supply chains and from economics to entrepreneurship. However, the critical question facing business schools is whether they are truly unlocking and maximizing their potential, or whether much of the value they provide is being lost in translation—if it is translated at all.

 

 

The Magnificent Seven need no introduction. Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Columbia Business School, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management are the cream of the business school crop. M7 is the Holy Grail of the MBA Kingdom. Every year, thousands of applicants will apply to the M7 schools, and most will fail to crack the code, because these schools are the most selective in the B-school landscape. Two years at any of the M7 schools will set a student back about $250,000, but there are many scholarships from alumni and employers. M7 attracts the most talented students and faculty, and certainly the most corporate recruiters offering the most sought-after jobs. M7 also boasts highly achieving alumni and valuable networks in nearly every walk of life. But other business schools, such as IMD, Insead, IESE, Cambridge Judge, Oxford Said, LSE, London Business School, and Webster Athens, provide a similar education at a small fraction of the cost.

 

 

Patrick Cullen of AACSB says: Whether through undergraduate, graduate, or executive education, business schools aspire to excellence and innovation. Likewise, the emphasis on pursuing academic and applied research remains a defining feature of many business schools. If the potential of these core missions and values is to be realized, we must ensure that they continue to be developed.

A hidden factor in estimating the real MBA cost is the lost salary. Take Stanford for example. Most of the MBA Class of 2018, about 20%, came from the investment management/venture capital field, where the average salary is about $100,000 per annum. That’s $200,000 someone won’t be making while they’re getting their degree. Add that to the $250,000 official estimated cost of the MBA and you have a total cost of $450,000.

Webster University’s master of business administration program is designed for people on a fast track to success. It’s the perfect answer for professionals who want to shape their own destiny, upgrade their credentials, and be strategic players in the world of business. Trump’s rhetoric is channeling international MBA applicants to European branches of American colleges. Webster Athens has an excellent MBA program. Webster Athens is dedicated to fostering a campus culture that embraces and celebrates diversity and inclusion, and promotes international understanding and appreciation. Preparing students for effective, responsible and dynamic involvement in the modern societies in which they live and serve, and for excellence and leadership in their personal and professional lives. The campus is located in Athens, Greece – in the historic district of Plaka. Your Global Learning Experience begins in Webster Athens.

For a number of years business schools have pursued, to different degrees, what is known as an impact, service, outreach, or engagement mission. It is imperative that business schools do more than pay lip service to this agenda because, beyond generating research-based insights and developing the skills of learners, this mission will define the relevance of business schools in the future. The central question facing business schools, then, is how will they evolve to become more innovative, more engaged, and more impactful?

Vorley notes that now more than ever there is a need for business schools to walk the talk with respect to engagement, impact, and innovation. This means building on existing strengths in teaching and research to develop new ways of engaging with public, private, and third-sector (nonprofit, voluntary, nongovernmental) organizations to foster impact and innovation through relationships. The challenge here is in establishing new ways of working, such as co-design and co-production, which are fast becoming the new imperatives to which business schools must adhere.

As the world is becoming multipolar and knowledge is set to disperse throughout the globe, embedding oneself in its changes and evolution remains essential. Academic rigor will stay competitive by integrating new teaching methods, program designs, research methods and learning processes. If a school can generate knowledge in multiple locations around the world and blend it to create new insights, it can be assured of fostering a globally-compatible and creative student body.

Whether your interest is management, marketing, or communication, you will be an active learner at Webster Athens.  The classrooms give many hands-on experiences in various cases, and the location in the capital of Greece provides plenty of internship opportunities. With a low student-to-faculty ratio and average class size, Webster Athens makes business education personal. Faculty get to know students on a first-name basis and are readily available to help students when needed. Webster Athens is dedicated to excellence in business teaching, incorporating a global business perspective throughout the curriculum. Every step of the way, students receive the attention and support they need to thrive in business.

Webster Athens offers a fantastic MBA program in a flexible structure which promotes academic depth and encourages business graduate students to explore diverse business interests. At Webster Athens, students have opportunities to build skills and competencies through study trips, conferences, and internships. On the campus, students study in a culturally diverse environment that will create a life-long international network.

Vasilis Botopoulos, Chancellor of Webster Athens, points out: As we look to the future one thing is certain – knowledge will be a key resource and will be highly sought-after around the world. Our challenge is to help to generate ideas that will benefit society, and to educate and train people to work in fields where they will be valued both for their specialized knowledge, and for their ability to communicate and solve problems. To meet these challenges we need to build on the alliances and collaborative partnerships the University has established with business, government, and other institutions. It is equally important that we keep close to our wider communities of interest. This will help to ensure the on-going relevance of our academic programs and the continued excellence of our teaching and learning.

Cullen points out that the biggest challenge is changing mindsets. There is view among external organizations that business school are detached centers of teaching and research; business school leaders must invalidate this view by encouraging faculty to not only recognize the value of their expertise but articulate it to different audiences and engage with them. Through a growing portfolio of activity, by whatever name, business schools need to ensure that more than just our academic peers, our learners, and our partners recognize the value we have to offer. Business schools have the potential to be anchor institutions regionally, nationally, and internationally. However, if business schools fail to innovate, there is a danger of not realizing our potential, or worse, being left behind.

Botopoulos notes: The greater vision of Webster Athens is to build an excellent educational experience embodying mind, body and spirit through a variety of innovative undergraduate and graduate programs. We offer a solid intellectual foundation as well as an extraordinary opportunity for personal growth and thorough understanding of the subject matter. This is learning with ethos, authenticity, cultural understanding, ecological conscience, and service to others.

Botopoulos says: At Webster Athens we cultivate and build the leaders of tomorrow.  It is our hope that our students and alumni, with ethos and philotimo, will inspire others to live their lives with dignity, integrity and compassion. I invite you to come visit our campus. If you seek learning in a way that is challenging, personal, and meaningful, we would love to have you as part of our community. For more information, please refer to www.webster.edu.gr

There are, of course, a number business schools already engaged in aspects of this agenda, and who are breaking new ground. it is clear that any effort to increase the value of business school research and, we would argue, teaching, should address the challenge of knowledge production and knowledge transfer.
Vorley points out that every business school has its own strengths, and these should provide both the basis and catalyst for change. In seizing these and other opportunities, the business school of the future needs to evolve and adapt. Business school leaders now need to embrace this agenda and see it as a way to empower the teaching and research activities of colleagues. While most business schools have already stepped outside the ivory tower of the university, in order to address the big questions facing society, there is a need to truly work with different stakeholders from the public and private sectors as well as with colleagues from departments across the institution.

The ultimate benefit of internationalization for Webster University is to learn from the world, not just teach the world what Webster already knows in order to widen its global reach. Instilling a global learning mindset to their students will enable Webster to provide the globally competent talent that companies need. Since the turn of the century, many institutions have added international modules or programs to their curricula, importing faculty and students from elsewhere and exporting their students by offering them study abroad opportunities. Others have formed joint ventures or alliances whereby they export their curriculum to teach local students in distant geographies.

Some institutions have gone a step further than importers and exporters and extended their reach with a physical campus abroad. Business schools were early adopters of this model with the establishment of campuses in Asia and the Gulf countries, such as Carnegie Mellon University establishing a business school in Qatar, INSEAD in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, ESSEC in Singapore, and Webster University in Athens. The benefits of foreign campuses are numerous. First, an extra campus allows the school to attract high quality students who might not have applied to the home campus, and enrich diversity at the same time. Second, it enhances the school’s ability to hire high quality foreign faculty members who might wish to live in the region where the extra campus is located thus increasing the diversity and background of its faculty. Third, it increases the breadth of alumni and broadens the school’s network. Fourth, it improves the school’s visibility and gives it higher credibility as a global institution.

But these initiatives cannot be designed as independent add-ons to an institution’s home campus and core activities. Multi-location institutions must also internationalize their home campus by harmonizing diversity, admissions standards and student culture across their multiple sites. They should aim to create a seamless environment for students and faculty to interact and travel between campuses to maximize their global experience and learning.

The success of the multi-campus Webster University rests, among other things, on having an internationally recognized brand; seamless transfer of knowledge between campuses; local and foreign students meeting the same admissions standards; frequent travel of faculty and administrative staff across the campuses; and graduates who are able to find local and regional jobs that allow them to put into practice what they have learned.

There are different types of institutions with presences abroad. The multicampus institution is in essence an exporter of its home-grown programs. The multinational institution is a more structured student-exchange-led school. The transnational institution is an integrated collection of international campuses located around the world. In this configuration, students follow the same curriculum wherever they are, but are encouraged to spend time on the school’s different campuses, along with faculty and staff.

A truly global institution should go beyond these structures, free from a home campus bias and driven by a desire to learn from the world to create new knowledge. This is the metanational education institution. It should have at least three main campuses of roughly equal size, each in a major region of the world, that is, Europe, Asia and the Americas. To avoid assimilation traps, these campuses should be located in cosmopolitan cities and could have satellites in neighboring countries. In such a network, no campus should be perceived as inferior to the others. The network’s leadership must therefore foster a culture of cooperation among the sites and stimulate formal communication. The raison d’être of a metanational higher education institution is to generate knowledge in multiple locations with the objective of blending that knowledge to create new insights, and to instill a global learning mindset in its graduates. Webster University is a metanational higher education institution.

Cullen notes that to address this new reality, business schools need to find new ways of working. This involves a change of emphasis from working independently to becoming a facilitator and enabler in translating research insights to leverage socioeconomic impact. More than ever, engagement, impact, and innovation is about co-creation, and business schools are ideally placed to span disciplinary and organizational boundaries to lead activities in these areas. By doing things differently, business schools are redefining their relationships with organizations in the public, private, and third sectors, where the emphasis is on applying and translating academic expertise with partners to (co-)create new insights and value. Only in this way can the business schools of today realize their full potential tomorrow.

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