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Looking at the Future of Business Education

Posted By Guy Pfeffermann, Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Guy PfeffermannTen days ago I enjoyed watching a most stimulating GBSN webinar presentation by Andrew Crip’s (of www.carringtoncrisp.com) about the future of business education. Published in conjunction with our partner organization, EFMD, the presentation was based on a survey of nearly 5,400 prospective students, current students, alumni and employers from 137 countries. The survey touched on a broad array of issues: the role of ethics in business education and the societal responsibility of business schools; their image in the media; perceptions of the role of schools and of the value of business education; internationalization; and the future impact of technology.

While the Carrington survey responses were normative – what respondents thought business schools should be doing – webinar participants, mostly business school academics, had the opportunity to say what their respective business schools were actually doing.

I was struck by some of the responses.

Only one in ten survey respondents think schools should help people start their own business. Why then are a growing number of business schools teaching entrepreneurship ? In the same vein, fewer than 10 percent of corporate officers think the value of a business education is to help reduce youth unemployment.

Perhaps even more surprising, only one fifth think the role of schools is to develop business leaders with a strong awareness of other cultures.

In contrast, responses during the webinar – about what business schools are actually doing - suggest that business schools are way ahead of the game. Students of nearly sixty percent of business school respondents take part in projects that support local, national or international charities, social enterprises or other third sector organizations. About eighty percent of the schools mix international and domestic students in project groups and the same high proportion include case studies from companies in international markets.

Granted, webinar participants were far fewer than survey respondents, yet I see a great opportunity for research on the apparent divergence between normative and positive views of business schools’ roles, and between the views of business school academics on the one hand and of prospective students, current students, alumni and employers on the other.

For a video of the webinar and a digest of the main points, click here

 

Guy Pfeffermann is the founder and CEO of the Global Business School Network

Tags:  Business Education  Entrepreneurship  Management Education 

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