View from the World: Business School Deans Reflect on the Evolution of Their Industry

Administrators from nine schools offer their perspectives on a century of management education: how we got here, where we are now, where we’re going next.
View from the World: Business School Deans Reflect on the Evolution of Their Industry

AS AACSB INTERNATIONAL celebrates its centennial, BizEd wanted to take time to appreciate the rich, varied, and dynamic landscape of management education around the world. We invited administrators from nine schools to write essays that answered one or more of the following questions: How has management education developed in your region of the world? What has been the distinctive journey of your school? How has accreditation shaped your strategy? And, of course, What do you see ahead for the next 100 years of management education?

Their answers are thoughtful, surprising, and hopeful, as they take a close look at their schools’ situations or step back to survey the industry as a whole. One theme stands out: Management education always has evolved to reflect the business needs of the current moment—and it is already poised to adapt to changes on the horizon.

Among all these diverse observations, a few trends become clear. B-school leaders recognize the need for educational approaches that are cross-disciplinary, experiential, and customized—that take advantage of the efficiencies of today’s technology—and that provide students with desirable skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. Business educators also want to make sure that their schools are turning out the kinds of graduates who are needed by their particular regions and who understand the enormous impact that business can have on their communities. Business always has been deeply entwined with society, and that relationship will only grow closer and more complex in the decades to come.

Business is Our Classroom
By Srilata Zaheer of the University of Minnesota
At the Carlson School, we are about to celebrate our 100th anniversary. During that first century, our path to maintaining a successful business program was relatively clear: We would match high-quality students with high-quality faculty and house them in a high-quality facility. Everybody agreed that the higher the quality of these three components, the more successful the program. Continue Reading

Evolving with the Market
By Gustavo Roosen of the Instituto de Estudios Superiores
IESA was established in 1965 in the oil-producing nation of Venezuela. The school’s founders created the private, nonprofit institution to establish a source of business talent that would facilitate the country’s development as it profited from the oil industry. As oil prices rose, both the private and public sectors of Venezuela expanded, and the school’s growth followed the growth of the economy. Continue Reading

We Have Something to Say
By Piet Naude of the University of Stellenbosch
Africa is a large continent with widely different traditions and a huge variety in levels of business education. Therefore, it is almost impossible to predict what factors will have the most significant impact on the future of management education in this region. However, while cognizant of the dangers of oversimplification, I can still see a number of imperatives ahead as African business schools look to the future. Continue Reading

A Platform for Collaboration
By Jikyeong Kang of the Asian Institute of Management
Management education, once rooted in the 19th century and steeped in strict market capitalism, has undergone a paradigm shift—as has business itself. Following the 2008 financial crisis and the sensationalized media scandals on questionable leadership, business leaders have realized they can no longer be solely profit-driven. They also must ensure that their practices have a resoundingly positive effect on their communities. To that end, business leaders look for ethics, sound decision-making skills, and cultural sensitivity in their budding managers. Continue Reading

Stability and Impact
By Joseph Doucet of the University of Alberta
As we mark AACSB’s 100th anniversary, there couldn’t be a better time for me to reflect on the future opportunities for business education. In a happy coincidence, the Alberta School of Business also celebrates its centennial in 2016. We have reason to be proud of a 100-year-old business school in a province that celebrated its own centennial just 11 years ago. Like many other institutions, we evolved from a local and narrowly focused professional school to a globally competitive and research-intensive business school. Even so, I believe the most important century of business education in Alberta is the next one. Continue Reading

Strengthening Connections
By Wihana Kirana Jaya of the Universitas Gadjah Mada
Over the past 50 years, business schools have been among the most successful higher education institutions in Indonesia. In the fields of economics and business management, they have provided essential leadership preparation for Indonesia as a developing country. Moreover, management education has played a pivotal role in providing social uplift and triggering an entrepreneurial spirit in our society. Continue Reading

Training the Fire Brigade in the Midst of the Fire
By Andrezej K. Kozminski of Kozminski University
Prior to World War II, management education in Poland, as in other Central European countries, existed in two forms. The schools of engineering, also known as the polytechnics, focused on production management, while the schools of commerce focused on microeconomics and finance. Both were influenced by French and German schools of thought. Continue Reading

No Taillights to Follow
By Arafah Salleh and Suleyman Tan Eng Tong of the Putra Business School
Located in a tiny building within a vast 3,000-acre campus, Putra Business School (PBS) abides by its charter “to nurture leaders who subscribe to human governance as embedded in whole persons.” We believe that the recent proliferation of corporate scandals stems from the fact that companies have stopped focusing on the human elements of business, and we want to return business to its role of enabling societal well-being. All of us, from teachers to students, do our utmost to comply with this philosophy. We know there are no taillights to follow; we must go with what we feel is right. Continue Reading

Following a Double Trajectory
By Jean-Michel Blanquer of the ESSEC Business School
Throughout the 20th century, management education has been shaped by two major trends. The first is a progression toward increased academization—that is, the rapprochement of university operations and the growing importance of research. As academies, business schools can focus on more rigorous methodology and promote more transdisciplinary studies among the social sciences, hard sciences, and math. Provided this progression is controlled, increased academization is a positive development. Continue Reading