Bridge the global gap, business schools urged

Business schools are going through a "pivotal time" in their development, according to a US-based task force set up to address the challenges posed by globalisation.

February 17, 2011

A report released last week by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business says the changes facing business schools are "far-reaching and powerful", but warns that more needs to be done if business schools are to play a role in accelerating and helping to shape the globalisation process, rather than merely keeping pace with it.

"Globalization, many would argue, is at once the most visible opportunity and the most persistent challenge faced by business schools," the report says. "A frustratingly wide curriculum gap remains alongside large risks of misdirected and incoherent strategies."

A survey by the association of leading academics in the field found that 96 per cent believe business schools should do more to "globalise their outlook". The report says this global perspective is among 10 unmet needs and opportunities that are holding business schools back.

The task force concludes that "a gap has opened between expected educational outcomes and actual achievements", which it blames on the "misdirected" responses of schools to inconsistent demands from business leaders, university managers and students.

Despite lamenting the pace of change, the report says the growth and diversity of options available to business school students is to be praised, suggesting that the sector is on the verge of a new era in which national boundaries cease to matter.

"Students, alumni and businesses have surely benefited from burgeoning global networks of business schools," it says.

"We are witnessing the emergence of a global system of management education that transcends national systems.

"The connections and depth of interaction among institutions and individuals around the globe will become the most important defining characteristic of the new system."

sarah.cunnane@tsleducation.com.

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