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