At the 1st EFMD Americas Conference in Sao Paulo, Howard Thomas began by praising the organisation of the conference and the quality of the speakers present. “At many conferences, you listen to things you have heard before, but not at this one.” He then outlined the challenges faced by business schools and how they should be addressed.
Business Schools fulfil a variety of roles like providing (executive) education, knowledge production or facilitating entrepreneurship. Are these roles changing and how do they look like in the future?
According to Fragueiro and Thomas, the world has gone through a state of semi-globalization. Though businesses are concerned by working globally, and many of their operations are handled on an international level, there still remain a lot of local idiosyncrasies, which include consumer habits and behaviors. Business schools have been under pressure to adapt to this by giving their students a global outlook, but also remaining schools that are directly involved with their communities. The financial crisis has added to criticism of what has been done in business schools, with one former Dean of a top business school even suggesting that the diploma should expire every 10 years, since clearly what was taught is no longer relevant. Increasingly, the business school curriculum is being asked to offer a value proposition way beyond status and salary. Continue reading
This book is a collection of essays written by some of the major names in management education (Eric Cornuel, Howard Thomas, Arnoud De Meyer, James Fleck, Kai Peters, David Wilson, and Peter Lorange).
It looks at the reasons behind business schools wishing to internationalize, how social media is having an impact on how business schools work, challenges some of the criticisms thrown at business schools and also looks at how sustainable the current model is within the industry. Like other books in this EFMD collection, it is a thought provoking read for all stakeholders in higher education. Continue reading
In their book, “Promises Fulfilled and Unfulfilled in Management Education”, Howard Thomas et al. (2013) quote a Dean saying that degree certificates should be written in invisible ink. It is an interesting idea. If 80% of products we use today did not exist 10 years ago as marketers tell us, then we should be constantly going back to formal education to relearn new methods and techniques. The usefulness of knowledge learn at the age of 20, may have ‘disappeared’ by the time we are 30 or 40.
Working in higher education means that you should constantly get the chance to challenge set logic. (Or have it challenged by bright colleagues and students.) Still, there is no reason that the same reasoning should not apply. I have therefore chosen to begin this semester by going back to school myself. For the next two months I will be studying Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Filed under Advanced Management Program, Boston, Business Schools, Harvard AMP, Harvard Business School, Higher Education, International studies, Leadership, Management, Strategy, USA
Commissioned by EFMD and Emerald, this book is an analysis of thirty-nine interviews of key stakeholders in management education. It sets out some of the major issues and talking points, taking the reader through the history of management education to ongoing challenges. Many of these issues are not new, such as the role and value of research, the relevance of teaching done in the classroom, and links to the corporate world. Criticisms of business schools have been ongoing over the past ten years, most notably from within the industry. In 2005, Chris Grey of Warwick Business School argued that they have become just finishing schools for elites to prepare them for well-paid positions in finance and consulting.