Digitalising management education: Exploring the possible

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The EFMD Business Magazine | Iss2 Vol.16 | www.efmd.org

Digitalising management education: Exploring the possible


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Contents Global Focus The EFMD Business Magazine Iss.2 Vol.16 | 2022

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Digitalising management education: Exploring the possible Read three perspectives, from Arnoud De Meyer, Thomas Bieger and Robina Xavier, that describe the opportunities and challenges of the digital transformation for business schools. All argue that having a sound strategy is essential.

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A zero-based cultural perspective on dealing with the hybrid reality of teaching in business schools Susan Fournier and Howard Thomas explore a new business school future, question existing approaches and identify and examine five core issues.

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Executive Editor Matthew Wood / matthew.wood@efmdglobal.org Advisory Board Eric Cornuel Howard Thomas John Peters Design & Art Direction Jebens Design / www.jebensdesign.co.uk Photographs & Illustrations © Jebens Design Ltd / EFMD unless otherwise stated Editorial & Advertising Matthew Wood / matthew.wood@efmdglobal.org Telephone: +32 2 629 0810 www.globalfocusmagazine.com www.efmd.org EFMD Rue Gachard 88 – Box 3, 1050 Brussels, Belgium ©

More ways to read Global Focus You can read Global Focus in print, online and on the move, in English, Chinese, Russian or Spanish Go to globalfocusmagazine.com to access the online library of past issues Your say We are always pleased to hear your thoughts on Global Focus, and ideas on what you would like to see in future issues. Please address comments and ideas to Matthew Wood at EFMD: matthew.wood@efmdglobal.org 2

Are we really Never Going Back to the old ways of working? Peter Thomson and Mark Thomas revisit the assumptions they made a year ago about the impact of the pandemic.

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Business school collaboration: Embracing our responsibility towards our planet Concepción Galdón, Knut Haanaes, Daniel Halbheer, Jennifer Howard-Grenville, Katell Le Goulven, Mike Rosenberg, Peter Tufano, and Amelia Whitelaw discuss the importance of making knowledge available to the business community through various shared initiatives.

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Whether (or wither) academic journal guides? Angus Laing considers the place, the limits and the future development of academic journal guides.

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Are the world’s business schools walking the walk? David Grayson, Chris Coulter and Mark Lee introduce The Sustainable Business Handbook.

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What socially responsible leadership looks like when it makes a difference Maury Peiperl investigates the principles for making responsible business leadership effective.

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How has Covid-19 changed business school candidate preferences? Matt Hazenbush shares insights from a survey of 6,500 global prospective students.


Contents | Global Focus

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Women Courageous Michael Page, Madeleine van der Steege and Diane Coetzer discuss the importance, and progress, of embedding gender equality into business education.

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Never waste a good crisis: going for the management moonshots Richard Straub explains that extreme shocks can be the impetus for progress and a stimulus for accelerated innovation.

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Accepting refugees raises income per capita and wages in the long term, finds new research A study by economists Antonio Ciccone and Jan Nimczik examines the long-term economic consequences of the inflow of refugees in Germany after World War II.

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The changing nature of organisations David Asch discusses the implications for business schools in challenging, complex and ambiguous environments.

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How a new study-abroad scheme points the way for European business schools The potential of technology, broadening cooperation and accessibility, and tearing down barriers, by Josep Franch.

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Bridging divides: Turf, Truth and Trust Jan-Christian Sorensen introduces the Victoria Forum, a global platform for building consensus toward common goals.

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This is what we mean by a double whammy! The impact of Brexit and the pandemic on UK business schools and economists, by James Walker, Chris Brewster, Rita Fontinha, Washika Haak-Shaheem, and Fabio Lamperti.

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Building the world’s most relevant business school: The Hult Ashridge story By Dina Dommett and Roger Delves.

The MBA and the value of practitioner engagement Sarah Hardcastle discusses the vast advisory ecosystem that enables programme teams to better understand the fast-changing business environment and improve the business relevance of the MBA.

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Creating a green school Reducing the carbon footprint of a modern-day university, by Debdutta Choudhury.

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Working with influence: Nine (sometimes surprising) principles for persuading others at work Amanda Nimon-Peters outlines her multi-disciplined approach to increasing personal influence in real and virtual workplaces.

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Student reviews as an applicant decision factor: what can business schools learn? Jordi Robert-Ribes, discusses the growth of student reviews, their impact on business school rankings and the importance of school alumni.

Tell us: What are you doing? Improving how you communicate your academic research, relevance and expertise The Australian Business Deans Council has launched a book to boost skills in translating academic research for wide audiences. Leslie Falkiner-Rose explains its importance and summarises its content.

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Shifts in student interest before and after the pandemic Cara Skikne outlines a new report from Studyportals that presents insights into lasting shifts brought on by the pandemic.

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Hidden in plain sight: the easiest leverage for change Isabel Rimanoczy discusses the 'Sustainability Mindset' and the path to an accelerated mindset transformation. 3


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.2 Vol.16 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Digitalising management education: Exploring the possible

Read three perspectives, from Arnoud De Meyer, Thomas Bieger and Robina Xavier, that describe the opportunities and challenges of the digital transformation for business schools. All argue that having a sound strategy is essential

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Digitalising management education: Exploring the possible | Arnoud De Meyer, Thomas Bieger and Robina Xavier

Some of the major 'edtech' companies have come up with excellent products and have raised ample financial resources to continue developing their platforms

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urrent graduates have to be equipped with the future skills needed in a world full of data and analytics. Many jobs that today's learners will be doing in 2030 haven't been invented yet. This may be a scary thought for some, while others may have already embraced the concept of lifelong learning and prepared themselves for ongoing professional and personal development. In other words, we can observe that the future seems uncertain but is still full of prospects. In a broader sense, this is also true for business schools. The digital transformation is the challenge of the 21st century and will no doubt have a significant impact on management education and the, perhaps underestimated, possibilities for the schools. Reinventing the business school Arnoud De Meyer Technology has played a role in management education since the early nineties. I was an active supporter of the use of videos in management education, and then of the early development of online course modules that enabled the hybrid delivery of programmes around the turn of the century. I closely observed the development of massive open online courses (MOOCs) from 2010 onwards. And now I have actively participated in the complete switch to online delivery of courses and project work, forced upon us by the pandemic. At each development stage, pundits predicted that management education would radically change. In the first three waves there were some interesting experiments, but that radical change within business schools didn't happen. What did change, however, was the programme organisation, with a succession of

learning management systems (LMSs) that supported faculty and students in face-to-face course delivery and evaluation. Will this last wave of technological change, with a complete online delivery of undergraduate and graduate programmes, create that lasting change? My answer is yes, for at least three reasons. First, over the last two years, faculty all over the world had no choice but to develop online delivery of their courses and have been actively sharing best practice. As an academic community we have been creating a common knowledge base on how to take advantage of digital technology to improve our programmes and courses. This common good makes a big difference in convincing faculty of the value of at least hybrid delivery of programmes. Second, platform technologies have become more standardised and powerful. We may not yet have a dominant design of what a learning platform is, but we are far beyond the experimentation and tinkering that some leading business schools did with their in-house developed platforms. Some of the major 'edtech' companies have come up with excellent products and have raised ample financial resources to continue developing their platforms. Business schools will be able to enter into a series of partnerships with such companies. They can leave it to them to develop the technology, while focusing themselves on content development and pedagogical innovation. Third, we now see in our classrooms students who cannot remember the time when

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there were no smartphones or social media. They are used to learning and developing through their access to rich media. The time of written case studies, textbooks and lectures in front of a large hall is behind us. Therefore, I am certain that a business school without a clear and ambitious digital strategy in education and research risks losing out. The opportunities offered by a good digital strategy are ample. One of the major advantages that I see is that we can be a lot more flexible in programme design and organisation. Students get the opportunity to organise their programmes in a far more flexible way, for example, by combining courses from different schools. Faculty also have more flexibility and can use a combination of online modules with in-class discussions. I know several schools where faculty have the ability to deliver up to half of their classes online in the future. While I suspect that some business schools will stick to the traditional face-to-face interactive delivery, in particular for shorter postgraduate programmes where social networking remains a prime objective, I am also convinced that the opportunities offered by the current generation of digital technology will enable some of us to reinvent what a business school is all about. There will be challenges. First, I suspect that many business schools will have to enter into partnerships with commercial organisations that provide and develop learning platforms, so they will have to share some of the revenues with them. I observe that for some asynchronous certificate courses these companies can take up to 60% of the revenues. That will reduce the schools' margins. Theoretically, one can compensate for this with higher volumes, but that changes the business model of the schools even more: their certificates and degrees lose some of their exclusivity and they risk becoming a commodity supplier. Second, I have seen a significant change in the role of the student. Before the digital revolution a student was, well, a student, subordinate to the faculty. Over the years I have

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seen that role gradually evolve into that of a partner: faculty and students interact with each other as partners to create the best learning environment. With digital technology the students get an even stronger influence on, if not control over, the programme design and organisation: they may determine when and how to study, what courses from different institutions to combine, which platforms to use, etc. Personally, I find this an enriching experience but it does raise major issues for business schools about how to organise quality control, degree certification, the measurement of the learning progress of individual students, etc. Third, we will have to invest in constant digital upskilling of the faculty. Technology is still evolving rapidly: widespread applications of AI, machine learning, virtual reality, etc. are around the corner. Faculty whose main preoccupation is to continue researching in their own disciplines may not have the time or incentive to keep themselves technologically up to date. We will need to find methods to keep faculty abreast of the technological evolution.

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Many jobs that today's learners will be doing in 2030 haven't been invented yet


Digitalising management education: Exploring the possible | Arnoud De Meyer, Thomas Bieger and Robina Xavier

Learning platforms provide new learning instruments, like additional documents, assignments, quizzes, video clips explaining complex content, or recorded lectures and blogs

Business schools need a clear and ambitious digital strategy incorporating these opportunities and mitigating some of the risks, and with ultimate accountability with the school leadership. But it has to be a flexible strategy. As I wrote elsewhere, about the management of projects that are confronted with a high level of uncertainty, there are two major ways to cope with uncertainty in strategy development: with an agile learning approach or by launching several projects in parallel and applying some kind of 'survival of the fittest' approach to those projects. My advice is to invest in a manageable portfolio of digital experiments and projects, and ensure that you consolidate and share your learning from each of these projects across the whole school. Do not commit to a fixed, immovable strategy but keep flexibility, commit to learning and maintain a degree of freedom in the portfolio of partners with whom you will need to work. Strategic positioning of programmes Thomas Bieger Programmes are affected by digitalisation in three dimensions. Firstly, the programme curriculum must cover the competencies necessary for professional work in a digital age. Existing professions and careers require additional competencies. For example, a marketing programme has to include business analytics. Additionally, programmes have to prepare students for new professions, data

analysis, for example, or even include new disciplines, like neuromarketing. Secondly, new forms of work and new life patterns ask for new personal skills and even attitudes. Examples include the ability to cope with affluent information and ambiguity, self-organisation, in-home working settings, collaborative online working and critical thinking, together with the increasing challenges of the social web. We have to see this development in a lifelong learning setting. Thirdly, the far more striking and, to an extent, even disruptive changes for schools come in programme delivery as new digital technologies induce them. Learning platforms provide new learning instruments, like additional documents, assignments, quizzes, video clips explaining complex content, or recorded lectures and blogs. IT-based communication tools, like video conferencing technologies, enable the disconnection of place and time of teaching and learning. In addition, IT-based applications, like gamification and simulation, allow for new dimensions of learning experiences. Using these instruments and tools, students create data that schools could analyse with big data and AI. Schools could gain new insights into students' learning behaviour with teaching and learning analytics, allowing for evidence-based programme development and renewal.

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Schools might operate as international online institutions with a maximum fragmentation of the value chain, for example, focusing on the pure development of IT-based learning tools or serving as a platform for online programmes

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PICTURE COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF ST GALLEN

ICT not only enables new forms of courses. In addition, it facilitates complete online delivery of whole programmes. Altogether, I am sure that the variety of learning designs increases. Thereby, a categorical differentiation can be made between synchronous or asynchronous delivery. This not only impacts students learning behaviours and experiences. It also has a major impact on target markets and a school's core competencies in terms of research focus areas and the pedagogical skills of its faculty. All this requires significant resources. Additionally, how a school applies technology affects its positioning in the academic value chain. Therefore, a school's approach to digitalising its programmes has to be led by strategy. A school's innovation efforts have to include faculty, their moderation and coaching skills, investments in learning support technologies, development of specialised support infrastructure, and dedicated technical staff in a third space between academia and administration. Hence, programmes cannot only be managed to ensure suitable curricula content and teaching quality. Schools have to make deliberate decisions on using technology and related innovation processes in programme delivery as a new or more emphasised dimension. As with any strategic issue, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Nevertheless, consistency is required, for example, regarding the school's vision, the markets a school wants to serve, the type of programmes it offers, and the investments it makes in technology or pedagogical innovations. Inconsistences might lead to dilemmas that will affect a university's quality and strategic positioning.

It seems clear that there will be no one, dominant model for using technology in programme delivery and structure. But I think there will be a shift of mere knowledge learning from the classroom to flipped classroom concepts. Most probably, we will still see face-toface-only teaching institutions in the future. They bring together international students and international, research strong faculty anchored in their regions, and act on an integrated academic value chain. Other schools might operate as international online institutions with a maximum fragmentation of the value chain, for example, focusing on the pure development of IT-based learning tools or serving as a platform for online programmes. Thereby, they could rely on the research results of others. Taken all together, it seems evident that schools need a clear stance on their digital learning positioning as a basis for decisions on their programmes. Otherwise, a school's position in the market will be blurred, resources will be wasted and quality will be reduced over time.


Digitalising management education: Exploring the possible | Arnoud De Meyer, Thomas Bieger and Robina Xavier

The example of the University of St. Gallen (HSG), Switzerland, might inspire and trigger some thoughts on crucial aspects of a consistent strategy and programme delivery. The university is a leading European business university and a mid-sized research university. Also, it has strong ties to practice thanks to a wellestablished physical campus and its location in a very thriving business and university ecosystem in Switzerland. Furthermore, as a public university owned by the canton/state, it wants to positively impact its immediate regional environment. Therefore, it has taken the strategic decision to be a campus university and focus on student value based primarily on on-campus interaction. As a result, pure online programmes are not included in the school’s programme portfolio. Nevertheless, the university developed online courses to increase faculty competencies in digital learning that can help them move to blended learning. In addition, the school uses digital learning to support the acquisition of knowledge. For example, a gamification app has been developed for the Introduction to Management course to allow students to learn theoretical course content in cheerful competition. The university also uses technology to enhance classroom experience in blended learning approaches. For example, for the master course in Marketing Management, a management simulation allows students to reflect and apply learned content. Accordingly, the university invests in the pedagogical capacities of its faculty. Therefore, it operates a Centre for Didactical Development (Hochschuldidaktisches Zentrum) and offers technical support to faculty with its Teaching Innovation Lab. The primary strategic investments are in improving the students-faculty ratio by, firstly, employing additional faculty and, secondly, investing in the physical campus with new campus buildings and infrastructure, eg, a new learning centre, the “SQUARE”. In addition, the school employs learning analytics to develop the delivery quality further. For example, for the Introduction to Management course, a sample of students is monitored based on a learning diary approach linking learning strategies to students’ success. Together with these efforts, the strengthening of research guarantees that front end content is delivered that holds an advantage compared to standardised and commoditised offers of global online teaching platforms. Further good practice examples include schools focusing on online programmes and, thereby, expanding their market reach and leveraging their specific research focus with a clear positioning strategy and top-quality cooperation partners around the globe. Other schools may also focus on on-campus delivery with a clear investment strategy in technology tools like simulations that enhance students’ learning experiences. Schools can potentially leverage their simulations by selling them as a service to other schools.

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Enriching the internationalisation agenda Robina Xavier Being free to explore the possible in a world where some things recently became impossible, albeit for a limited period of time depending on where in the world you are based, has seen innovative business schools fully embrace opportunities to enrich their internationalisation agenda with digital technology, and I believe this will continue at speed. Digitalisation opens up a wealth of opportunities for schools and their partners to connect across borders, time zones and social networks. Innovation can occur within all parts of the internationalisation considerations for schools: policy, context, content and networks. Geography, social or political pressures often limit the engagement of international faculty in many of our schools. Technology allows richer engagement with international faculty regardless of their home location, from expert lectures through to longer-term engagements for digitally-visiting professors. While maybe still second best to being there in person, technology advances are making these experiences richer by the day and often provide the opportunity to engage with an expert in their field who could never invest the time needed for an in-person engagement. Similarly, home faculty can engage more fully with international partner schools on research projects or teaching programmes where direct engagement may be limited by financial and personal constraints. International mentors can be established to support faculty development, particularly for schools where the international experience of existing faculty is limited. Schools can leverage both their internationalisation and impact agendas through enhanced digital engagement for students. Student projects can be enriched by engaging with clients or other student groups outside a home country or by having drop-in sessions with high-profile international executives including alumni. Live case studies can bring together international

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participants to guide and challenge students on cultural implications of different ideas tested in real time in multiple markets. Students can provide direct support to vulnerable communities in other countries or help lift the aspirations of the next generation of international leaders through international buddy programmes. Where the cost of travel is too high or caring responsibilities too great, schools can expand their international student profile through offering online learning to students in their home country. This could be for pathway programmes or full programmes or something in the middle. Not only does this provide opportunities for those who could never take up in-country study, it also has the potential to enrich the experiences of on-campus students as they are more directly exposed to the experiences of others. The digitalisation of a school's internationalisation agenda should always start with the school's strategy. Whatever is planned needs to make sense within the strategy and must always be deliverable at the level of quality expected of other activities in the school. Using digital technology is not an excuse to do things in a substandard way; to the contrary, it is the


Digitalising management education: Exploring the possible | Arnoud De Meyer, Thomas Bieger and Robina Xavier

PICTURE COURTESY OF SINAGPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY

PICTURE COURTESY OF QUT

opportunity to do things differently to bring greater benefits to the school and its stakeholders. It is worth investing time upfront to be clear about the benefits and risks. This can concern all aspects of operations including the student body, faculty profile, partnerships, research and connections to the world of practice. The key benefit as described above is one of access. One of the key risks is that schools may stop investing in in-person experiences and see the digitalisation agenda as an 'or' rather than an 'and' within their overall internationalisation strategy. This could be particularly true for schools struggling with their faculty profiles, international student cohorts or student exchange programmes, or for those trying to spread their financial resources further in challenging times. There are many studies that suggest an online experience may not be as rich

as an in-person experience for particular activities so the quality of engagement and interaction always needs to be considered. As with all things, we will learn through doing, so experimenting in this space and sharing those experiences will benefit the entire EFMD network. Digital technology is underpinning much of our everyday life so it makes sense to see it as also playing a key part in our schools' internationalisation agendas. I believe the integration of a school's physical and virtual internationalisation activities opens up opportunities to enhance the experiences of both our students and faculty and enables richer engagement with a wider set of stakeholders. Schools have the opportunity to distinguish their offerings through this agenda or form collaborations with like-minded schools or other partners. Digital technologies can help overcome the tyranny of distance and bring our increasingly diverse network of international schools closer together. Conclusion As the worlds of work and life are changing, management education is changing. Consequently, schools with the ambition to be among the best globally need to keep up with these developments. We should all embrace technological change as an opportunity to connect across time and borders, enrich experiences and gain valuable insights. Collaboration in the framework of EFMD Global will support schools on this journey.

About the Authors Thomas Bieger, Professor of Management and Former President, University of St. Gallen, CH Antonia Lütgens, Consultant Higher Education and Accreditations, D Arnoud De Meyer, Professor Emeritus and Former President, Singapore Management University, SG Martin Schader, Professor of Information Systems and Former Dean, University of Mannheim Business School, D Robina Xavier, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education) and Former Executive Dean, QUT Business School, Queensland University of Technology, AU

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EFMD Global Focus_Iss.2 Vol.16 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

A zero-based cultural perspective on dealing with the hybrid reality of teaching in business schools Susan Fournier and Howard Thomas explore a new business school future, question existing approaches and identify and examine five core issues

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A zero-based cultural perspective on dealing with the hybrid reality of teaching in business schools | Susan Fournier and Howard Thomas

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nvironmental, political and social disturbances large and small shape the history of the world and the conduct and evolution of business schools operating in that world. The imposition of business school rankings in the 1980s created a competitive, planning-oriented structure focused on KPI improvements in student quality, career outcomes and overall perceptions among peers. The global financial crisis of 2008 exposed risky and unethical managerial behaviours that served as a wake-up call for an ethics-centred business curriculum. Increased pay inequities and social disparities highlighted in the wake of recent political and social unrest have called into question foundational notions of capitalism, competition and free markets, mandating shifts in the primacy of shareholders versus stakeholders as well as collaborations with governments and societies when driving value creation at the hands of businesses. While these forces impacted, disrupted and influenced the strategic thinking and decisions of business schools and their deans, none have had the tectonic, disruptive jolt on the processes and practices of management education like the Covid-19 pandemic. In the grips of the Covid-19 crisis, the design of radically innovative strategies for curricular design and delivery became an essential requirement for management educators.

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Taken to the extreme, we risk losing our very identities as vibrant residential hubs for teaching, research and learning

What became apparent very quickly was that existing models of face-to-face, residential learning would need to be aligned with and augmented by models of online technologyenabled learning. In the first wave, business professors and their universities shifted to 100% remote learning to protect the health of their populations. With public health protocols, vaccinations and testing eventually in place, universities then brought their faculty and students back to campus, and the opportunity for blended, hybrid learning was born. Hybrid teaching models offered the opportunity for deans to examine and reevaluate their assumptions about the place and form of learning. The focal concern quickly became one of identifying the optimal balance between online technology-enabled and face-toface learning models to fulfil learning goals and inspire students across the range of business school educational programmes, from undergraduates through to practising managers. It is clear that management educators have accepted the mandate that both online and hybrid forms of instruction will be required as management education moves forward. The critical implementation question is how we, as leaders, confront and solve the complex set of managerial issues and challenges associated with students and faculty adapting to new, redesigned business school models and organisational cultures as we proceed forward into that future.

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Zero-based culture It is important to examine these new existential realities using the concept of a ‘zero-based culture’ for reshaping management education. This means exploring a new business school future without being encumbered by incremental changes to existing knowledge, practices and approaches: in essence, a ‘clean slate’ approach. The zerobased culture allows deans and senior managers to reinvent and rethink their frameworks with a new set of refreshing insights and with an openness to question existing approaches. Given the background landscape of where management education might be heading and the canvas of opportunity offered by our concept of ‘zero-based culture’, we identify and examine five core issues, some larger in their existential impact than others, but all important in moving forward into the hybrid reality that our world of higher education has become.


A zero-based cultural perspective on dealing with the hybrid reality of teaching in business schools | Susan Fournier and Howard Thomas

Culture of the business school The quote attributed to Peter Drucker, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”, highlights the problems brought on by the new hybrid reality and its attendant need for cultural re-examination. The shift of faculty to online learning and the increased opportunities of delivering programme experiences remotely by definition changes, and potentially degrades, the residential culture on which virtually all business schools have been historically based. Taken to the extreme, we risk losing our very identities as vibrant residential hubs for teaching, research and learning. Will the business school simply become a ‘technology platform’ organisation without need any longer for well-endowed and furnished buildings? Evidence already exists of newly emergent habits that dilute known positives from ‘water cooler’ conversations, individual and group lunches and serendipitous coffee meetings on collaboration, relationships and innovation. In Zoom, we now subsist with ‘appointment-only TV’ (and we know what happened to that!). The Zoom culture, with highlighted yellow squares for every star, the perilous ‘leave button’ at everyone’s fingertips and active side-bar chats erodes the collective identity that binds us together. Multitasking has risen to new heights in the ‘video-off’ world of Zoom; meetings have become podcasts that serve as background for other, more important goings-on. As research productivity rises, we see faculty increasingly ‘absent’ from servicing collective activities in, for example, doctoral student mentorship, faculty meetings, student events and work groups. Teaching faculty, more likely to be in their offices for reasons of increased teaching loads, and the staff who are mandated to be there, confront daily the visible status signals of empty tenure-track offices. The cultural divide widens.

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The result? Transactional cultures. The prioritisation of the individual over the collective. The rise of the ‘egosystem’ (the omnipotent, entitled) among faculty in place of communal cultures that orient us towards service, the collective, a team-oriented, shared vision and culture, the overall greater, common good. The cultural problem exacerbates when hiring for online teaching shifts to part-time professionals who have less, and maybe, little, connection to the school. Building a strong culture in this hybrid environment won’t work via zoom games, virtual cocktail hours, and ‘Wednesdays in the Office’. Good business schools rely on steady staff-student interactions, hands-on project-based learning and the inspirational moments that occur in a serendipitous fashion in face-to-face interaction. Academic integrity and learning assessments Online teaching has clearly disrupted our traditional approaches for controlling integrity and providing feedback to students on their attainment of learning goals and skills development. The system is failing, or at least challenged significantly, particularly as we move to online learning models at scale where competencies cannot easily be assessed. The key question is whether online learning can ever come close to the benefits of one-to-one interactions that occur from immersive learning via case discussion and experiential project collaborations. These interaction-based benefits are also enhanced by students’ participation in extracurricular activities such as case competitions, finance investment clubs and career treks. Can we validate that online programmes achieve the same learning goals? Do we see the same grade distributions in online and residential degree environments? Is cheating more rampant in online environments (the answer is yes)? How do we achieve grading at scale while remaining true to the value of depth and application and context? It is not yet clear that online programmes deliver the same learning as their full-time residential degree counterparts. Are we bold enough to find out the truth?

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A zero-based cultural perspective on dealing with the hybrid reality of teaching in business schools | Susan Fournier and Howard Thomas

The MBA degree is arguably the most coveted postgraduate degree in the world, and demand for it, while counter-cyclical, remains very strong

$24k The cost to develop, produce and launch a fully online MBA (OMBA), in partnership with edX

Market segmentation particularly in the MBA market (and the erosion of the part-time market) The Boston University Questrom School of Business has a proud history in reimagining management education. Iterations of the Questrom Jam (Jam 1.0, 2015) with a Global Remote Learning Jam, and Jam 2.0 (2015-2019), which focused on critical issues in ten developing/ emerging market locations, highlighted ongoing challenges and generated clear ideas from crowdsourcing (Global Focus, Freeman et al., Volume 9, 2015) and Open Innovation (Global Focus, Carlile et al., Volume 14, 2020).

In 2019/2020, before the pandemic, and using insights drawn from the BU Jams and as well as market evidence from Questrom’s MicroMastersTM programmes, Dean Susan Fournier and Senior Associate Dean Paul Carlile worked with colleagues to develop, produce and launch a fully online MBA (OMBA) at a cost of $24,000, in partnership with edX. Demand was so strong (in a segment with an average age of 37, and 12 years’ working experience) and the programme of such quality (Chronicle of Higher Ed 2019) that aggressive enrolment targets were doubled. Subsequent cohorts also overdelivered (with current enrolment at over 1700). The underlying programme design was innovative, high-quality, carefully designed and powerful: a hybrid-learning model delivered jointly at scale by edX and BU. According to sound marketing logic, all products – academic programmes included – should address defined segments with tailored value propositions, and managers should draw meaningful and sharp lines between these segments in terms of the products and augmented services provided. This was the clear logic that guided BU’s development of the Questrom OMBA. The MBA degree is arguably the most coveted postgraduate degree in the world, and demand for it, while counter-cyclical, remains very strong. Online MBAs added to the portfolio can help hedge these risks. How should a dean analyse the facts when even though there exists latent pent-up demand for the MBA degree, portfolio management challenges arise in relation to other segments of the MBA market, namely, the full-time MBA (FT MBA) and the part-time MBA (PT MBA, offered in the evening or weekends for working professionals) when lower-priced online MBAs are in play.

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Technology-enabled learning can undoubtedly advance global society by developing low-cost learning models

These challenges become most stark where online MBAs challenge the PT MBA in the MBA portfolio of degrees. Exacerbated by Covid-19 and a migration to online teaching in part-time residential programmes, flexibility and cost benefits for busy part-time professionals have become more recognised, salient, and coveted. As online MBAs derive more credibility and cost advantages, the fundamental value proposition of the PT MBA weakens. While cannibalisation of PEMBA at the hands of OMBA has been held at bay at BU through careful product and service differentiation, at what point does the PT market collapse and migrate to flexible and cheaper online degrees? There are, in some schools, clear signs that the PT MBA market may be shrinking as students migrate online. This can also sound the death knell for the FT MBA offering. In most business schools, such as those in thriving urban areas, PT MBAs are typically built on the backs of healthy FT MBA programmes, with students merged in year-two night time electives that can be run at scale. FT MBA programmes are already under tremendous pressure, with heightened competition, threats from declining international enrolments and the mandate to offer students sizeable scholarship stipends. Further, with the pandemic’s dictate for companies to offer employees remote work options, PT MBA students are likely not only to lose their strong connections to their full-time employers, but also the habits that get them out of their homes and into the business school to engage in their evening PT MBA classes. The ‘house of cards’ may be crumbling. Some schools have already shuttered their FT MBA programmes and with them, their associated part-time cohorts. The challenge is how to craft these market segments creatively so that they coexist with the online MBA.

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Degree programmes as a core product Again, following from the Jam experience, Questrom explored and launched in 2017 with edX a MicroMastersTM programme in digital business. The programme involves completion of four online modules with an exam structure that leads to the award of an online credential and credits toward residential degree programmes. This early exploration, together with the entry of other players from the world of tech into the market, such as Coursera, Google and LinkedIn, opened our eyes to look beyond formal degree programmes as the core product of business schools. New attention focuses on so-called badges, micro-credentials and ‘stackables’. The new model is one of lifelong learning via bite-sized, online continuing education modules for adult learners; content delivered as and when needed to inform the career journey over time.


A zero-based cultural perspective on dealing with the hybrid reality of teaching in business schools | Susan Fournier and Howard Thomas

Two problems linger. One is the tendency to remain driven by degree thinking despite a shift to a new model of learning. Despite the embrace of new product offerings, the degree remains the ultimate credential, as with the concept of ‘stackables’ that can add up to a degree. Some degree territory has been identified as sacred ground but maybe it should not be. Lifelong learning micro-credentials have barely taken hold in the undergraduate space, where the majority of business school students are found. Is the undergraduate degree as ‘rite of passage’ needed by and relevant to everyone, or is there significant growth potential in a certificate approach to this hallmark of higher education?

The second problem is the current failure to identify a profitable business model for lifelong learning and continuing adult education in general. What strategies are needed to fill this gap – a gap which is particularly relevant to the development of management education in emerging markets in Africa and Asia. Technology-enabled learning can undoubtedly advance global society by developing low-cost learning models. Skills-mapping platforms – the Air BnBs of higher education – comprehensive learner records and alumnibased models that live not in the university’s development office but rather in continuing adult education, are needed if we are to achieve these goals. A majority of US business schools have dismantled their executive education arms for lack of enrolment. How do we pivot these practices to embrace lifelong learning goals?

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Education costs and the ‘tuition bubble’ Management education is largely a premium product, and tuition and fees remain the dominant funding source for most business schools. This funding model presents major risks and remains a central challenge to the sustainability of our business models in business schools. Business schools claim an advantage versus many other colleges at the university: the robust popularity and demonstrated ROI of business degrees remains strong. Indeed, well-ranked business schools are currently experiencing increased demand for both undergraduate and masters programmes. However, at the same time, there exists growing pressure from students, parents and policy makers about the unsustainable cost of business education and escalating levels of student debt. Cultural critique about the magnitude and nature of costs in higher education is at all-time highs. Student dissatisfaction with the career outcomes derived from their significant investments is not inconsequential and increased disconnects from business partners at research intensive universities exacerbates this charge. Still, tuition and fees continue to rise to cover increased costs, even in challenging global economic environments, and the premium price of college tuition deserves a reckoning. The tuition calculation should of course be based on the ‘customers’ willingness to pay’ for the programme. A business school’s competitive advantage relative to another school occurs when the value spread between the ‘willingness to sell’ (i.e. the lowest point at which the school can offer a programme) and the ‘willingness to pay’ is large. Moves to online programmes at scale provide solid economic logic for lower tuition fees. It remains unclear, however, whether business schools are willing to invest the significant funds required to build the technological, human and marketing infrastructures required to deliver ‘online@scale’.

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A wave of hundreds of class action lawsuits requesting refunds of tuition dollars in US schools and colleges that shifted to online and hybrid education during the pandemic presents strong evidence of a changing perception of the value of the business school product and consumers’ willingness to pay. One question begs an answer: is the product simply the business degree credential, or does the residential experience provide tangible and significant value beyond the credential? Concluding Thoughts In this paper, we have outlined how technological changes, notably those that involve hybrid (blended) technologically-enabled learning, present real, ongoing, fundamental challenges for business schools as they emerge from Covid-19. However, there exist other forces of change that confront business schools today and which require careful consideration and immediate action. Indeed, for the first time in our history, five macro-economic and geopolitical factors are colliding, creating a ripe environment for transformative change: the digital transformation of business and the rise of data as competitive advantage; the global pandemic and consequential changes in the future of work and the workplace; calls for social justice in relation to movements such as Black Lives Matter and general societal unrest, including a mandate for social impact and; political and geopolitical unrest, exemplified in the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the attempted takeover of the US Capitol Building and entrenched in increased nationalism and de-globalisation in the world economy. Add to this various microcultural challenges to the higher education landscape, including student access to and affordability of education, anti-business sentiment and charges to reimagine capitalism, pressures against free speech on college campuses, and questions about the relevancy and impact of our academic research. Serious questions have been posed about the purpose of business and the quality/value of higher education and these questions deserve answers.


A zero-based cultural perspective on dealing with the hybrid reality of teaching in business schools | Susan Fournier and Howard Thomas

Business schools claim an advantage versus many other colleges at the university: the robust popularity and demonstrated ROI of business degrees remains strong

The siloed nature of the business school landscape and the inherently interdisciplinary nature of our problems and the business/ governmental ecosystems that can solve them require us to collaborate and interact more closely as business school leaders. This will inevitably change our missions, values, purposes and responsibilities to society and our key stakeholders. There is little doubt that these are interesting, exciting and challenging times. It is a privilege to lead business schools in such relentless, high-pressure environments.

About the Authors Susan Fournier is Allen Questrom Dean and Professor of Business at Boston University Howard Thomas is an Emeritus Professor of Strategic Management and former business school Dean at Singapore Management University

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Are we really Never Going Back to the old ways of working?

Peter Thomson and Mark Thomas revisit the assumptions they made a year ago about the impact of the pandemic

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Are we really Never Going Back to the old ways of working? | Peter Thomson and Mark Thomas

Never Going Back, we called it. That is the title of our ground-breaking book, published in May 2021, about how Covid-19 would transform the world of work. We forecast that the overnight shift to home and hybrid working forced on millions of workers across the globe would never be reversed. We also argued that the change would prove to be a good thing, focusing management on outcome rather than presenteeism, boosting workers’ wellbeing, and that the wider impacts would ultimately lead to more rounded communities and a greener globe. With Covid-19 restrictions lifted in most parts of the world, including the dropping of ‘work-from-home’ directives, now is a good time to reflect on that forecast. We can start to answer two key questions: Were we right? Is hybrid working proving to be a good thing?

An Ipsos survey for the World Economic Forum of 12,500 employed people in 29 countries found that a majority want flexible working to become the norm

Work will never be the same So far, the answer to question one is irrefutably ‘yes’. The evidence to support this conclusion has continued to mount since the book was published. One of the largest, most comprehensive and up-to-date studies, the Microsoft Work Trend Index of 31,000 people in 31 countries concludes: “One thing is clear: we’re not the same people that went home to work in early 2020. The collective experience of the past two years has left a lasting imprint, fundamentally changing how we define the role of work in our lives.” In an article, published at about the same time to mark the two year anniversary of the WHO declaring Covid-19 a pandemic, the global management consultancy McKinsey list of 10 lessons states: “Work will never be the same. The pandemic’s first year proved … most knowledge workers can do the job from home … employees and employers see the world differently.” An Ipsos survey for the World Economic Forum of 12,500 employed people in 29 countries found that a majority want flexible working to become the norm. And almost a third (30 percent) said they would consider looking for another job if they were forced to go back to the office full time. In the UK, a report from the influential Chartered Management Institute and

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the Work Foundation found that almost nine in ten workers don’t want to return to pre-Covid working patterns. Based on a poll of 964 managers and 1,000 remote workers they found that the majority of workers would prefer to spend their working week combining days on site and working from home. A good thing? Next question: Is hybrid working proving to be a good thing? This is more complex and the answer very much depends on who you ask, which some would argue closely relates to who benefits. A culture war has been brewing in the UK for most of the last year with the perceived poor performance of many organisations being blamed on home working. This has been a particular feature in the reporting about public sector services. One article in Britain’s biggest selling quality newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, best encapsulates the stance taken by many right-leaning commentators. “How the ‘HR Blob’ took over the workplace – and put the brakes on Britain”, by Associate Editor Gordon Rayner, makes the case that HR departments and their focus on wellbeing are negatively impacting on productivity and customer service. “HR departments tell bosses they have to allow home working, bosses roll over, and staff end up working from home whether they want to or not – or whether it works for the business or not. Nobody has to take responsibility for anything, and everyone hides behind the HR handbook of being told what to do. And, more than two weeks after the Government’s work from home guidance was scrapped with the ending of Plan B Covid restrictions, data suggests that at least 6.5 million people, or one in five workers, are still working from home all or part of the week, with a potentially catastrophic knock-on effect for the economy. Because while HR departments turn their attention to wellbeing, exercise and the work-life balance, the home working revolution is now costing the country an estimated £20 billion to £30 billion per year. The laptop classes might be saving money by living in their slippers, but in the long-term they, too, will pay the price for the handbrake they have put on economic recovery.”

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30%

almost a third said they would consider looking for another job if they were forced to go back to the office full time

Media backlash The media’s anti-home working agenda has put otherwise little-known public sector managers in the firing line. Sarah Healey, who combines her role as the Civil Service’s Health and Wellbeing Champion with her day job as permanent secretary at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, became a figure of fun to some in the media when she wrote in a blog about the benefits of being able to hop on her Peloton exercise bike “whenever I have a teeny bit of time”. More recently Paul Fotheringham, the newly-elected President of the Police Superintendents' Association (PSA), became the subject of much merriment when he suggested that the future of the police could see more officers working from home and choosing their own hours in a bid to improve diversity. He said such arrangements would especially help women with young children to reach senior ranks, rather than making them feel they had to bow out of the force due to shift patterns that are unworkable with family life. He added that the pandemic had hastened the adoption of new technology, with remote working now becoming the norm and that flexible working would benefit non-emergency response officers, who make up more than half of the police workforce. There would, however, continue to be frontline officers working around the clock to respond to emergencies. This seems perfectly reasonable to us and yet he was ridiculed across large parts of the British media. These kinds of stories ignore the fact that hybrid working has been adopted by many private sector businesses, including some of the world’s largest and most successful, pretty effectively.


Are we really Never Going Back to the old ways of working? | Peter Thomson and Mark Thomas

Productivity impact What though of productivity? The world economy has had to recover from Covid-19 and is now being impacted by the devastating war in Ukraine and yet here in the UK, our economy grew above its pre-pandemic size for the first time as long ago as November 2021. What does the research show about the productivity impact of home/hybrid working? A reduced commute, fewer workplace distractions and lower rates of absenteeism are often cited as reasons why someone who works from home may be more productive than those who work away from home. However, increased opportunity for shirking due to a lack of supervision and the intrusion of home responsibilities, such as caring, may contribute to a productivity penalty associated with working from home. Of the limited research on the productivity impacts of home working, Bloom et al. is the most widely reported. This study found a positive effect of working from home on hours worked, employee productivity and retention. Dutcher (2012) also found positive effects of working from home on productivity, but only for more engaging creative tasks. Data from the Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) suggests that some industries had a much more positive experience of home working in 2020 than others. Surveys in early 2021 suggested that increased home working had been negative for productivity in around a third of businesses, positive in around 10 percent, and the remainder saw no change. IDC research of employees in Asia/Pacific shows that more than 70 percent of the employees said their productivity was higher or at least at the same level compared to pre-pandemic. Bearing in mind that for many employers and employees home working is a new phenomenon, these studies are relatively encouraging to those of us who support hybrid working. The truth is that productivity has held up in a great many workplaces despite the disruption and challenges of the pandemic and the lockdowns. It is our contention, therefore,

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that the hybrid working backlash is not driven by any perceived or indeed real fall in productivity. Instead, it is partly based on humanity’s innate desire to get back to what we perceive as normal life. This feeling has been exacerbated by the sense that the country is no longer working as efficiently as before, with fuel shortages and cost of living increases being examples. Most commentators agree, though, that these have been primarily caused by the post-Covid recovery and, in the UK, by Brexit challenges. Additionally, we would argue that those organisations perceived to be providing the poorest service are often within the public sector. We believe that these failings are more likely to do with the poor customer service culture that has been ushered in under the excuse of Covid-19 and the lockdowns.

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One example is the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, renamed ‘Doing Very Little Actually’ by those who blame the home working programme for the long delays in issuing licences. A Times Newspaper investigation into the agency’s poor performance concluded: "The answer turned out to be pretty simple: for most of the past two years a sizeable chunk of its workforce has been at home watching re-runs of Columbo and comparing the dunkability of Rich Teas to digestives. While a million drivers were hit by delays, thousands of those tasked with keeping us on the road were on ‘special leave’: no work and full pay. It is easy to blame home working, or hybrid working for poor performance and for organisations to hide behind the Covid excuse.” The Times article concludes: “Whoever is to blame, the fact that a sod-the-public attitude has persisted at the DVLA for so long highlights a widespread problem: ‘because of Covid’ has become a justification for slackness, a blanket excuse for poor service, a cover for laziness, a defence for mediocre performance.”

This feeling has been exacerbated by the sense that the country is no longer working as efficiently as before


Are we really Never Going Back to the old ways of working? | Peter Thomson and Mark Thomas

A new mindset We think this proves our central point that the perceived poor performance of some public sector organisations is really to do with culture and management and little to do with where people work. All of these negative noises about home working, the ‘Never Going Backlash’ as it could be framed, risk losing the other benefits of hybrid working that we talk about in the book if public sector policy makers overreact and force workers back to the office. Those in the public or private sector that are struggling to make home/hybrid working a success could do worse than follow Microsoft’s advice, a thriving company that is making hybrid working a success. That Microsoft Work Trend Index we referred to at the beginning of this article concludes with this advice, which echoes one of the key themes of Never Going Back: “Employees value flexibility and wellbeing, and these great expectations create an opportunity for every organisation to reimagine work-life integration as a win-win. Giving people agency to do their best work is not only in their best interest – it’s good for business. To make hybrid work work, leaders need to empower managers to be the culture keepers, rethink the role of the office, rebuild social capital for a digital-first workforce, and create new practices for sustainable flexible work. Technology plays a key role, but this moment calls for a new mindset. As the world continues to evolve, organisations that take a culture-first, learn-it-all approach will come out ahead.” Buy the book: https://amzn.to/3v4k5sd www.nevergoingbackbook.com

About the Authors Peter Thomson is a speaker, author and consultant on the future of work Mark Thomas is a global business consultant, author and speaker specializing in leadership, organisation development and human resource management

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Business school collaboration: Embracing our responsibility towards our planet

Concepción Galdón, Knut Haanaes, Daniel Halbheer, Jennifer Howard-Grenville, Katell Le Goulven, Mike Rosenberg, Peter Tufano, and Amelia Whitelaw discuss the importance of making knowledge available to the business community through various shared initiatives

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Business school collaboration: Embracing our responsibility towards our planet | Concepción Galdón et al

As business schools, we must embrace our responsibility urgently, meaningfully and publicly

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or over half a century, evidence about climate change has been mounting. Growing numbers of citizens, governments, civil society organisations and companies have come around to embrace their responsibility towards our planet. In particular, business has been singled out for an important role in slowing and reversing the production of greenhouse gases, along with broader planetary responsibilities. As business schools, we must embrace our responsibility urgently, meaningfully and publicly. Of course, we acknowledge the challenges of doing so since so few of us are climate experts, and we must still deliver excellent teaching and research across the full range of business topics. However, inaction is itself a decision, and failure to act would fly in the face of the very purpose of our existence as knowledge-based institutions. We believe that every business leader must be versed in the science-based evidence around climate change – and the solutions toolkit. As management scholars, we believe that this shared understanding should inform the many decisions that business leaders take, whether in their organisations, in their dealings with communities and governments, or in their private lives where they lead in many related sectors. We must convey what we know to our constituents in business. That is our nature and, in delaying it, we would be acting against who we are.

Climate affects everything, from lives to livelihoods. Environmental issues are inextricably linked to economic and social matters, and, thus, to business matters. For example, on the positive side, data suggests that transitioning to a carbon neutral economy could generate up to $10 trillion in economic value and close to 400 million new jobs. Soberingly, the cost of net zero has been estimated by McKinsey to equal one half of global profits over the next quarter century. Failure to act will be even more costly. The transition will entail complex social, economic and governance issues. Executives need to be equipped with rigorous knowledge and develop the expertise to lead business through a completely new operational context. We must embrace complexity and have the ability to understand everything as a single interconnected system. Thus, the knowledge needed to confront this crisis is not exclusively about the science of climate. Management brings enormous value to the conversation. We generate timely knowledge about business transformation, measurement and capital, operations, organisational leadership and governance – all necessary to produce a zero-carbon future.

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Climate change is a global problem, a systems problem. It cannot be addressed by any actor in isolation, only collectively and by changing the rules of the game by which the economic activity of all actors is conducted. In addition, therefore, to recognising that business action on climate change requires urgent acceleration, we also recognise the imperative for collaboration and a collective voice. With this conviction in mind, we founded Business Schools for Climate Leadership (BS4CL), a group of eight leading European business schools, coming from the UK, Spain, France, Switzerland and beyond. As BS4CL, we collaborate to develop and amplify research-grounded actionable insights for business leaders, students and educators combatting the climate crisis. Readers familiar with the dynamics of business schools will appreciate that collaboration isn’t always evident or easy among us. We compete for students, faculty and funding, and we are in a permanent race to improve our respective rankings. While we commonly engage in small co-authoring collaborations, we differ from some of our colleagues in the sciences, where it is common to find large-group collaborations across universities, geographic boundaries and knowledge realm barriers. There are some meaningful examples that prove we can do better than this. The Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), founded at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School, is one such example. It consists of ten schools across North America and Western Europe, working jointly to accelerate the progress of “massively scalable, seed-stage, science- and technology-based companies” in a variety of industries: artificial intelligence, health, space, fintech – and climate. This is an example, but we need many more if we are going to tackle climate change. None of us can achieve sufficient impact by acting in isolation. Notwithstanding the strengths of our

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respective schools’ faculty, research, teaching, and student and alumni engagement, the scale and inter-disciplinarity of the challenge of climate change points directly to the potential gains from synergy. There is both a symbolic case – demonstrating collaboration among our own schools – and a substantive case – achieving together what none of us can achieve alone – underpinning our purpose and joint ambitions. Collaboration defines BS4CL. Each of our schools is successfully doing its own activities to address climate change, yet collaboration allows for additional impact. Collaboration not only defines the cross-school nature of BS4CL, but also our model for catalysing activity within our schools and between academics in our networks. Through our own collaboration, we hope to model a path for collaboration among competitors in various industries. We hope that our individual work and our collaboration – encompassing research, teaching and outreach – will ensure that all business leaders are equipped to bridge competitive boundaries, partner with their customers and suppliers, and work across sectors to address the climate emergency. The stakes are high globally. Ultimately, our goal is to inspire leaders to provide products and services that are not only profitable, but that also provide solutions to problems of people and the planet.


Business school collaboration: Embracing our responsibility towards our planet | Concepción Galdón et al

Each of our schools is successfully doing its own activities to address climate change, yet collaboration allows for additional impact

Since the beginning of our joint effort, we have assembled a core team of faculty and staff across our schools and benefitted from the support of many of our colleagues, students and alumni. We have defined a workplan, delivered on a toolkit that is available for free on our website, hosted a series of webinars (also available free of charge), presented our group at COP26, and published articles in various media and specialised outlets. The main topics we have covered so far are: • Climate change and Inequality (INSEAD) • Climate change and Nature: What Business Needs to Know (Cambridge Judge Business School) • Climate change and Geopolitics (IESE Business School) • Climate change and Technology (IE Business School) • Climate change and Business Transformation (International Institute for Management Development, IMD) • Climate change and Decarbonising Business (HEC Paris) • Climate change and Risk Management (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford) • Climate change, Standards and Business Value (London Business School (LBS)) Going forward, we plan to continue to work together, making knowledge available to the business community through various shared initiatives. In doing so, we hope to make a strong statement in front of our students, alumni, faculty and staff and the broader business world. We know what our responsibility is. We are ready to embrace it. We hope that the knowledge we make available will help our many stakeholders escalate their own commitment towards building thriving carbon neutral companies. The task at hand is as complex as it is timely and the business world – including business schools – has a paramount role to play.

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Whether (or wither) academic journal guides? Angus Laing considers the place, the limits and the future development of academic journal guides

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Whether (or wither) academic journal guides? | Angus Laing

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ike league tables, academic journal guides have become a ubiquitous feature of the business school landscape. The Chartered ABS Academic Journal Guide, the FT50, the ABDC, the UT Dallas together with national and institutional guides litter that landscape. As with league-tables opinion on journal guides is divided, ranging from, “they are inevitable given the breadth of the field” through, “they assist early career academics and others unfamiliar with the field” to, “they distort behaviour and damage research”. All are to varying degrees correct but equally all are to varying degrees wrong. Nuance is required in considering the place and future development of such guides. This lack of nuance and the retreat to fortified soundbite positions all too often limits the real debates we should be having over the nature and role of guides, specifically around the robustness and transparency of the methodology as well as how they contribute to enhancing research in a changing research environment. The growing emphasis on practical impact, the increasing prominence of DORA (the San Francisco Declaration on Research Access), the move to open access publishing, among multiple other developments, necessitate that nuanced debate about journal guides. Critically they demand that we ask searching questions about the future shape of guides and how we improve them in order to serve the community better. In promoting that nuanced debate at the EFMD Deans Conference a panel comprising Arnoud De Meyer (former President of SMU), Ansgar Richter (Dean of RSM), Katy Mason (Chair of the British Academy of Management), Angus Laing (former Dean of LUMS) and chaired by Barbara Sporn (Vienna University of Economics and Business) was convened to explore some of these issues. Given the diversity of backgrounds and roles of the panel, while the panellists had distinctive positions on guides, there were a number of common themes that emerged from the discussion and which provide a basis for moving the debate on guides forward.

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The future of journal guides rests not only on their relevance but on their continuing use by business school academics and leaders

Emerging themes around guides While the multiplicity of guides, with differing methodologies and degrees of transparency, was recognised with many schools using multiple lists, there was an acknowledgement that fundamentally all the guides only recognise and hence promote one type of output, namely academic journal publications. In the context of policy makers and research funders globally demanding evidence of the impact of academic research on society, the need to broaden the portfolio of research outputs beyond journal publications was a recuring theme, with the British Academy of Management, for example, vigorously promoting diversity in what is understood to be constitutive high quality research output in the business and management domain. It was also stressed that the business and management field is distinctive in emphasising, to the point of fetishising, journal publications over other outputs. Other fast moving and applied fields such as engineering and computing have a far broader approach to defining quality research outputs. Across the majority of guides this narrow focus on academic journals was compounded by a focus on English language journals published in the US or Britain. There has been a recurring concern over recent years about the de facto preferencing of American journals over

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European journals, including British, in the majority of such guides. In part this has been seen as reflecting the different research traditions in Europe and the US with a perceived inbuilt bias in the methodology of guides, which rates journals anchored in the positivistic American tradition more highly than those emanating from the more interpretivist European management research tradition. Such regional tensions were viewed as likely to be magnified by the rapid emergence of journals, including many in English, being published in Asia in response to the dramatic growth of business schools across China and other Asian countries. This development begs the question as to whether existing guides will be able to evolve to encompass, and treat fairly, such new journals or whether this will trigger the development of new guides serving this market as part of the emergence of a new tradition of Asian management research.


Whether (or wither) academic journal guides? | Angus Laing

The future of journal guides rests not only on their relevance but on their continuing use by business school academics and leaders. There was a widespread appreciation that guides, and one should stress the emphasis on the use of multiple guides, played an important role in supporting the development of business schools. Two vectors of usage predominated: Firstly, the use in appraisal and promotion processes. Not as a blunt metric but rather as a point of orientation in guiding early career academics and in assessing their progress. By using such a point of orientation, guides can assist developing business schools in raising the performance bar across the academic community. Equally, in more developed schools they can provide a counterbalance to self-serving narratives of senior academics promoting journals with which they are associated. Secondly, the use in building the profile of business schools. Journal guides provide an easily communicable way of promoting the research performance and visibility of schools to student and corporate markets. Linked to this within many national contexts they provide a means of benchmarking performance and influencing the standard setting by policy makers around research performance.

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Ultimately, guides are a means to achieving ends. If they are to serve those evolving ends, they themselves need to evolve both to demonstrate their validity and to reflect the changing environment within which business schools operate. In this they are again like league tables, an integral part of the business school landscape. Progressing the development of guides Business schools inhabit an environment where responsibility is increasingly being seen as central to what business schools are about, central to our research. We need to extend that responsibility to the domain of journal guides. It is about responsible design and development of guides as well as the responsible usage of guides. In this, ownership matters, governance matters. Among the dominant guides we have those which are community owned (the Chartered ABS Academic Journal Guide and the ABDC list), owned by a single university (the UT Dallas) and by a private company (the FT50). Given their ubiquity and impact there is an overwhelming case that guides should be viewed as part of the social commons of the business school community, and be community owned. As with land reform, community ownership offers the opportunity for the voice of the community to be heard, unfettered by private or sectional interest. In itself, however, community ownership is insufficient in ensuring that voice, however incoherently expressed, is heard. To be effective the governance arrangements should be transparent and representative of the community. While guides such as the ABDC and in particular the Chartered ABS Academic Journal Guide have made significant strides on this front, there remains much to be done in ensuring the full diversity of the community is reflected in the composition of editorial teams, scientific committees and management boards. As an example of responding to community

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demands, the management board and the editorial team of the Chartered ABS Academic Journal Guide have committed to radically extending the Guide over the next two publication cycles (2024 and 2027), extending the range of information available on journals in terms of a range of key metrics. It is anticipated that this, subject to the availability of data, will likely include: • Editorial board composition (including diversity characteristics) • Policy on number of reviewers • Acceptance rates • Average time from submission to acceptance • Author nationality/author gender/institution nationality of accepted papers • Whether the journal invites/publishes interdisciplinary research • Average % of non-business school authors published in the journal • Charging structure of journal and open access policy • PlumX Metrics or Altmerics (data on downloads, press/social media coverage)


Whether (or wither) academic journal guides? | Angus Laing

It is about providing qualitative information alongside the established quantitative ratings to assist academics in deciding where to publish. Given the truism that “what is measured matters”, a parallel objective is to nudge editorial boards and publishers to consider key aspects of how they operate. It is about encouraging responsibility on the part of the publishers. Responsibility, however, also lies with the users of guides; from early career researchers learning about the field through to Deans using guides as part of reward and evaluation processes. The danger of guides lies partly in the methodology, hence the importance of transparency, but also in how they are used. It can be argued that where harm arises it is substantively from inappropriate usage of guides. Recognising the limits of guides, the strengths and weaknesses of the

methodologies employed are critical to responsible usage. Yet drawing on data from the Chartered ABS Academic Journal Guide website it is clear that despite consistent and visible prompting, the vast majority of users overlook the methodology and head straight for the journal ratings. One is struck by the analogy of taking horses to water! It should be clear to everyone in the business school community that journal guides are not going to miraculously disappear, they are an integral part of the landscape. We need to understand how to live with them and engage with them to enhance their quality and ensure they serve the community to support the ongoing improvement of business school research in what is a dynamic environment.

About the Author Professor Angus Laing FRSA, Lancaster University

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Are the world’s business schools walking the walk? David Grayson, Chris Coulter and Mark Lee introduce The Sustainable Business Handbook

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he last edition of Global Focus had a fascinating but sobering analysis by Lars Moratis and Frans Melissen titled “Are business schools talking the walk?” The article described their analysis of the websites of 680 business schools which are signatories of the UN Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME). They examined how well the schools’ commitments to responsible management education are reflected on the front pages of their websites.

Hopefully, the article’s analysis will be a stimulus to deans and their heads of communications to refresh their websites and key promotional literature

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Some might quibble with individual metrics used by Moratis and Melissen. Specifically, the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), whilst important for governments, civil society, and leaders in sustainable business as an extra lens for assessing their sustainability strategy, may be less important as a sustainability starting point for the mass of businesses, and, therefore, for business schools. Nevertheless, the underlying point of the Moratis-Melissen article is important, as they found that supposedly committed business schools aren’t emphasising their sustainability credentials at the front of their websites. Quite likely, many of those PRME signatories are underselling what they are already doing – hence the title of the MoratisMelissen article. Hopefully, the article’s analysis will be a stimulus to deans and their heads of communications to refresh their websites and key promotional literature and to ensure they deliver quality courses around sustainable business, lest they be accused of greenwashing.


Are the world’s business schools walking the walk? | David Grayson, Chris Coulter and Mark Lee

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value enhancement from sustainability. And we were targeting family-owned businesses which now want to adapt traditional ideas of stewardship and responsibility to the scale of the challenges in the 2020s and beyond. It is fair to say, therefore, that in writing The Sustainable Business Handbook, we did not have in mind business schools and their customers. You won’t find any theory in the 300 pages. It is intensely practical. Each of the thirteen chapters follows a standard format including: what the chapter is about, why it is important, a step-by-step approach to how to do it, profiles of two companies doing it well, an action summary and further resources. The Handbook also contains a “jargon-buster”. The thirteen chapters each cover what in our combined experience as advisers to businesses and business organisations over several decades comprise the essentials. It is certainly not a conventional student textbook. Nevertheless, now that the Handbook has been published, we have been intrigued by the number of inquiries and feedback that we have received from colleagues in management education, leading us to consider how The Sustainable Business Handbook might help business schools accelerate their sustainability journeys.

PICTURE COURTESY OF CRANFIELD SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT

There is, however, a deeper question behind the Moratis-Melissen work. Namely, are the mass of the world’s business schools walking the walk? That is to say, are they preparing the next generation of business leaders and managers for the scale and complexity of the sustainability challenges they will face? One of us (David) teaches in a tripleaccredited business school (Cranfield, UK). All three of us are regularly invited as guest speakers to business schools, and Mark has taught a course at the Haas School of Business at Cal Berkeley. We all experience the interest and hunger of students who want to know how they can make a positive difference. In writing our latest book, The Sustainable Business Handbook, we were very clear that our primary target readers are board members and managers of businesses which are not yet sustainability business leaders. We see many of these businesses being in global supply chains where (usually bigger) business customers have made ambitious sustainability commitments – commitments which will only be achieved if their suppliers embrace sustainability too. We wrote too for private equity-owned businesses, where the owners are now “getting sustainability” and want their portfolio companies to professionalise quickly and find


Are the world’s business schools walking the walk? | David Grayson, Chris Coulter and Mark Lee

For starters, business schools and their parent universities are significant enterprises in their own right. The Handbook can be a resource for the Finance Director, the People Director, the Head of Facilities and other key executives of a business school to help improve their own understanding and application of sustainability. The MBA – full-time, part-time, or Executive – is a mainstay of business schools globally. Many MBA course directors have already championed the introduction of modules about embedding sustainability. This may be an optional module, but, increasingly, it is a required component of the MBA. At Cranfield, Executive MBA students take an intense two-day, required module on Leading Sustainable Business early in their first term. A substantial part of this module is now based on the Handbook, which adds applied insights to complement theory. Module leaders teaching sustainability on MBA programmes might review their syllabus against the contents of The Sustainable Business Handbook. For schools planning to introduce such modules, we have outline teaching notes. It is our hope that faculty everywhere will contribute to further development and refinement of these. More business schools are now offering a range of Masters (MSc) in Management, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Supply Chains & Logistics, etc. As with the classic MBA, there are compelling arguments for ensuring that sustainability is incorporated into these MScs. This should not just be with a standalone module (either framing the programme at the beginning or a summation “capstone” module at the end), but also by challenging faculty to consider how global challenges like climate, bio-diversity loss, inequality, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and human rights change business strategy, marketing, supply chains and logistics, and so on. Similarly,

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PICTURE COURTESY OF CRANFIELD SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT

faculty must consider how developments such as active citizens, open source intelligence monitoring of possible war crimes and human rights abuses, and the ESG investor movement, fundamentally change the environment in which businesses operate. We know that business school students like “war-stories” relating the practical experiences and dilemmas confronted by business people, in this case relating to the challenges of embedding sustainability. While business schools are not our primary target audience, we are issuing over the next few months a series of free podcasts. In these podcasts, we interview representatives of some of the businesses featured in the Handbook and other sustainability experts. We look at the practicalities of, for example: • Identifying the most material social, environmental and economic (or ESG) impacts for a business • Making the business case for sustainability – broadly and for a specific set of investments • Uncovering societal purpose to become a purpose-led business • Building up a sustainability strategy and operationalising it • Creating and maintaining a sustainable culture • Ensuring effective board oversight of sustainability commitments and performance. This forthcoming series of the All In: Sustainable Business Podcast will extend the existing library of our first season, which featured interviews with Chief Sustainability Officers at companies such as Citi, IKEA, Natura, Unilever and Walmart. These podcasts are ideal as preparatory work for class or as further resources for students who want to drill down further on particular issues after class. As we finalised The Sustainable Business Handbook, we asked experienced senior figures in leading sustainable businesses around the world to review chapters where they had

particular knowledge and experience. These reviews greatly improved our text. It was also a very tangible demonstration of the collegiality and willingness to share knowledge for the greater good that all three of us have experienced in the corporate responsibility / sustainable business movement over many years, and which many newcomers comment on. There was a consistent, persistent message in the feedback that we received from our reviewers. It was that we must hurry up and get the Handbook out because the need for businesses to change course is great, while the time available to do so is shrinking fast. This sense of urgency was reinforced for us by the publication, just days after the Handbook’s release, of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The second tranche of the Sixth IPPC Assessment Report was published on February 28th 2022. In the words of The Economist, “It reads, for the first time, like something written from within the thick of things, an assessment


Are the world’s business schools walking the walk? | David Grayson, Chris Coulter and Mark Lee

of an ever more troubling present.” It highlights worsening food insecurity and malnutrition wrought by droughts and floods in Africa and Latin America. It warns that over three billion people worldwide already face rising climaterelated threats. It powerfully reinforced the message from our reviewers. We encourage business schools and their faculties worldwide to consider how The Sustainable Business Handbook might help you to speed up your institutions’ sustainability journeys and your efforts to help students and client businesses speed theirs up too. And hopefully, when Lars Moratis and Frans Melissen produce a second edition of their survey, there will be a far better story to tell, based on genuine and substantial progress in many more business schools – schools which see both the need and opportunity to “talk their walk” prominently too!

About the Authors David Grayson is Emeritus Professor of Corporate Responsibility at Cranfield School of Management, UK Chris Coulter is the CEO of GlobeScan, based in Toronto, Canada Mark Lee is the Director of the SustainAbility Institute by ERM, based in Berkeley, California The Sustainable Business Handbook is published by Kogan Page The All In: Sustainable Business Podcast is available on Spotify and podcast platforms www.AllInBook.net

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What socially responsible leadership looks like when it makes a difference Maury Peiperl investigates the principles for making responsible business leadership effective

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What socially responsible leadership looks like when it makes a difference | Maury Peiperl

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’ve always been partial to incorporating music and drawings – and particularly cartoons – when I present to an audience of students or executives. My favourite cartoon, by legendary New Yorker cartoonist Sam Gross, depicts a pack of wolves on a hilltop, howling at a full moon. In the midst of this, one wolf turns to another and says, “My question is: Are we making an impact?” It’s certainly no bad thing that the amount of attention and rhetoric being paid to the idea of socially responsible business has grown significantly in recent years. Certainly, the current state of the world is unsustainable, and on top of the crises of war, inequality, infrastructure and the instability of democratic governance, we face an existential climate crisis that threatens to make them all irrelevant in the not-so-long term. As business occupies a unique position, occupying much of most people’s time, energy and resources, and serves as a provider of their needs as both employer and supplier, business leaders are in a position to advocate for responsible action towards a sustainable global future and to play a key role in bringing it about. Often, however, leaders respond to the immediate need to make a show of commitment, but fail to follow through. They may not know how, or they may not feel it is truly part of their role. After all, this kind of thing has rarely been the remit of business before … Or has it? During the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, for example, businesses in Southern cities including Dallas and Charlotte defied the hardline stance of local authorities and pushed for racial desegregation. And the templates for “green industries” such as renewable energy and recycling were set in our grandparents’ era and earlier, by pioneers such as Danish inventor Poul La Cour, who, in 1895, built a wind-powered plant that supplied electricity to an entire village.

1895

The year Danish inventor Poul La Cour built a wind-powered plant that supplied electricity to an entire village

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Societal concerns cannot be fighting for bandwidth with bottom-line issues; they must be fully aligned

Whether or not we remember those times (and that’s another story) we can learn from more recent, more and less effective, examples: Seven principles for making responsible business leadership effective 1) Start close to home. Your efforts are more likely to be effective if they start with your own business situation. Customers and investors – rightly or wrongly – are apt to assume bad faith if your first big foray into societal leadership is based on finger-pointing, rather than looking within. Former Unilever CEO Paul Polman has become one of the most effective global advocates for socially responsible business by building on the credibility earned during his tenure through Unilever’s ambitious Sustainable Living Plan. By contrast, the fossil fuel industry has waged long and largely successful messaging campaigns attempting to divert responsibility for climate change away from itself and towards consumers. True leadership requires the courage to acknowledge how your organisation has contributed to problems and the commitment to follow through with meaningful improvements. 2) There is no shortcut to purpose. Genuine purpose doesn’t happen overnight. As I wrote recently, “If they want to become purposedriven, today’s companies cannot simply layer purpose atop what they’re already doing – they must ensure every aspect of their business harmonises with their core values.” Societal concerns cannot be fighting for bandwidth with bottom-line issues; they must be fully aligned, or at least strategically balanced. The familiar, siloed approach to CSR, with all its insufficiencies, tends to be what less visionary organisations fall back on. But safe answers and low-value solutions are not the stuff of societal leadership.

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3) Choose issues carefully. In an article entitled “The Double-Edged Sword of CEO Activism”, Stanford researchers found that while CEOs speaking out on social issues (with the exception of the Russian invasion of Ukraine that recently galvanised the western world) remain a relative rarity (with only four percent of S&P 1500 CEOs making such statements on a personal basis), their activism may too often be falling on deaf ears. The most common issues addressed by CEOs – those pertaining to diversity and equality – were the very ones most likely to divide public opinion. Topics such as environmental sustainability, climate change, access to healthcare and income inequality were more warmly and broadly received. 4) Timing and rhetoric matter. That doesn’t mean business leaders should always play it safe. On the contrary, raising important but uncomfortable topics is part and parcel of leadership. The first step is to anticipate and prepare for pushback when the time comes to raise divisive issues. And the most effective leaders skillfully frame and time their statements. For example, Lloyd Blankfein, then the chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, caused a palpable stir when he spoke out in support of same-sex marriage in 2012. His statement was well-timed to coincide with shifting public opinion on the issue, culminating in the widely hailed 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalise gay marriage across all 50 states. And Blankfein used the term “marriage equality”, rather than “gay marriage”. Whenever they can, effective leaders use the vocabulary of connection and universality rather than division.


What socially responsible leadership looks like when it makes a difference | Maury Peiperl

5) Be aware of context. Connection starts with a solid understanding of the situation. Leadership is about using your voice and platform as a force for good where it will make the biggest difference. No leader possesses credibility on every conceivable topic, or with every audience. This is particularly true of embattled leaders. For example, US Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred no doubt had noble intentions when he decided to move the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver in response to restrictive voting laws passed by the Georgia state legislature. However, Manfred’s pre-existing unpopularity among baseball fans – he was (and is) seen as prioritising profits over their enjoyment of the sport – helps explain why the All-Star Game switch was viewed by many as a grandstanding

“woke” gesture, performed at the expense of small local businesses that were counting on revenue from the event. When, in the same context, another controversy erupted in Atlanta around the “tomahawk chop” chant that reflects stereotypes about Native Americans, the once-bitten Manfred passed the buck to Native American communities themselves. Leaders don’t make statements in a vacuum. Make sure your leadership mandate is strong before attempting social activism. 6) Treat observances as impact opportunities. The wheels of “woke capitalism” grind on, giving rise to ever-fewer surprising declarations of support from companies of all shapes and sizes for Black History Month, International Women’s Day, Pride Month, etc. In many cases, these are prime examples of what economists call “cheap talk”: low-cost communications that are non-committal and unverifiable. With the rise of social media, however, it’s much easier for the public to call you out for not walking the walk. For instance, an automated Twitter account called @PayGapApp taunted organisations who tweeted for International Women’s Day earlier this year by publicising their often-large gender wage gaps. Why not forgo the cheap talk and give your public statements some teeth? For instance, in a recent Newsweek op-ed (co-written with Jules Peiperl), I suggested “company involvement in Pride should focus on those in the community most in need of support and change. Right now, that particularly means trans people and people of colour.” There’s nothing wrong with officially observing events like Pride Month – far from it. But these observances are symbolic of the care and consciousness that need to exist year-round, and should be backed up by relevant and impactful action, such as donations of time and resources to worthy outreach organisations and, most importantly, continued and measurable progress within the company itself.

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7) Try not to fly solo. Many of the above principles are aimed at avoiding negative judgements from external stakeholders. This is because the more a leader’s activism can be interpreted as just one person’s opinion, the less likely it is to exert real influence. Thus, I offer what may be the most important principle last: Think in terms of “we” instead of “I”. A collective statement or commitment can be infinitely more powerful than one individual, or even one organization, acting alone. Look at the way the Business Roundtable’s 2019 Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation transformed the societal conversation about stakeholder capitalism (though some argue that concrete results have yet to be seen). Or how Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Associate Dean at Yale School of Management, regularly brings together CEOs – often at their behest – to develop concerted responses to pressing social and political events such as Brexit, restrictive voting laws, the January 6th insurrection, and most recently, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Looking forward – and indeed, looking at history – the best societal business leaders will be masters of coalition-building and the contradictions of “coopetition” (i.e. cooperation with rivals).

4%

Stanford researchers found that CEOs rarely speak out on social issues (with the exception of the Russian invasion of Ukraine) with only four percent of S&P 1500 CEOs making such statements on a personal basis

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The changing face of management development As business schools undergo their own inflection around issues of sustainability and fostering socially responsible business, the same seven principles may apply – especially the need for collaboration and coordinated action. At George Mason University, we highly prize interdisciplinary collaboration both in the classroom and among our researchers – and thus we cultivate and reward it, through our promotion processes, interdisciplinary centres, cross-school appointments and deep connections with the world of practice. We recognise that business education alone – or indeed, any purely disciplinary training – cannot provide all the tools tomorrow’s leaders will need. Early signs of an effective coalition-building approach for social impact are also evident in recent developments such as Business Schools for Climate Leadership, a consortium of eight of Europe’s top business schools “to prepare present and future business leaders for climate leadership”. It remains to be seen whether these initial efforts will be successful, but at the very least the information-sharing structures they introduce could be transformative vehicles for global business education. Another critical way business schools can help develop capacity for societal leadership is by serving as a reality check. The researchbacked insights coming out of our institutions can be converted into frameworks, metrics, etc. to help learners and leaders measure the tangible results of their interventions. Mason’s Business for a Better World Center, for example, is currently developing what we believe is the world’s first Stakeholder Value Index (SVI), a scorecard of sorts for stakeholder capitalism. The SVI draws upon a wealth of publicly available data to quantify how each of the world’s largest businesses affect the lives of their customers, employees, shareholders, communities and the planet.


What socially responsible leadership looks like when it makes a difference | Maury Peiperl

Ultimately, of course, whether from scholarship or leadership, it is impact that matters. If we understand what effective socially responsible leadership looks like, and are able to practice it and help others do so, then we may continue to increase the positive difference we are making in the world. More and more, whether from students, local businesses, investors, research partners or from generations yet to come, that is the standard to which we will be held. Special thanks to my colleague Toyah Miller for her insightful assistance with this article.

Looking forward – and indeed, looking at history – the best societal business leaders will be masters of coalition-building and the contradictions of “coopetition”

About the Author Maury Peiperl is Dean, George Mason University School of Business

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How has Covid-19 changed business school candidate preferences? Matt Hazenbush shares insights from a survey of 6,500 global prospective students

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How has Covid-19 changed business school candidate preferences? | Matt Hazenbush

Candidates currently considering a graduate business degree continue to see a graduate management education as a way to advance professionally

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ike many other industries, graduate business schools faced a sudden and extended halt to business as usual amid the pandemic. Course delivery, student and career services, admissions and recruitment – critical functions of business school operations had to be reimagined entirely in order to protect the health of the community. In service of maintaining the value of the student experience, school professionals across functional areas did tremendous work under the guidance of school leadership to develop solutions in very trying circumstances. If there were ever concerns that the pandemic and its effects would diminish prospective students’ perceptions of the value of a graduate business degree, new findings shared in the GMAC Prospective Students Survey – 2022 Summary Report should help put them to rest. Although cost remains a significant concern, candidates currently considering a graduate business degree continue to see a graduate management education as a way to advance professionally at levels consistent with candidates surveyed prior to the pandemic. Overall, more than 4 in 5 agree with the statement: A graduate business degree helps you stand out at work (82%). The question now on the minds of many business school leaders is: How has Covid-19 changed the preferences of prospective students? Comparing candidate survey responses from before the pandemic with the more than 6,500 individuals surveyed in 2021 reveals that while some things remain the same, others are evolving.

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The full-time MBA is still the most popular option, even among those who want to study in master’s-focused Western Europe Among global candidates, the full-time MBA is still the most preferred programme type. More than 40 percent of prospective students in the business school pipeline surveyed in 2021 want to earn an MBA in a full-time format as a part of either a two- (22% of candidates in 2021) or one-year (21%) programme. Among global candidates who prefer to study in Western Europe, 22 percent said the full-time one-year MBA is their preferred option – more than Master of Finance (13%) or Master in Management (11%). However, specifically among Western European citizens who want to study in-region, more expressed a preference for the Master in Finance (20%) than the one-year MBA (16%). Meanwhile, the full-time two-year MBA is still the biggest draw among global candidates who want to study in the United States (31%), but domestic US candidates may be taking a page out of the European playbook and moving toward the one-year format. Among US domestic candidates, preference for the full-time one-year MBA rose from 15 to 19 percent between 2019 and 2021. This growth was similar across gender and undergraduate majors. Candidates see higher value in the in-person business school experience compared with online, but at the same time, interest in hybrid formats is on the rise Overall, most prospective students globally continue to see greater value in the on-campus business school experience compared with online. Most disagree that online degree programmes offer the same value as on-campus programmes (73%). Nearly 4 in 5 disagree that the networking opportunities are equivalent, and 2 in 3 disagree that the career opportunities are the same. At the same time, preference for hybrid models increased significantly across candidate segments, including those who prefer executive, part-time and flexible MBA programmes (44% preferred hybrid delivery in 2021), as well as those who want to study full-time to earn a business master’s (20%) or MBA (13%).

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4 in 5

...more than 4 in 5 agree: A graduate business degree helps you stand out at work (82%)

2021 Survey Sample Stats

6,594 156 41% 51% 36%

2021 survey respondents

Countries of citizenship represented Female Respondents Respondents who majored in a non-business field as undergraduates Respondents who prefer to enroll in business master's prgrams

Interest in tech is growing, especially among some of the candidate segments that schools are most interested in attracting A key tenet of the GMAC Prospective Students Survey is tracking candidates’ career plans or goals for post-graduate management education (GME). In terms of industries of interest, where we saw a statistically significant shift in the last year is in interest in the technology sector. Globally, the percentage of candidates interested in tech rose slightly, but significantly, from 34 to 37 percent from 2019 to 2021.


How has Covid-19 changed business school candidate preferences? | Matt Hazenbush

But perhaps even more interesting than that alone is what specific segments of candidates are reporting an interest in tech. Tech was the most commonly sought-after industry by non-business undergrad majors (49%) in 2021 and, between 2019 and 2021, interest in tech increased among women (29% to 34%). Schools interested in elevating the representation of these candidate segments in their programmes should take notice. Among Western European candidates, interest in the tech industry is lower than global levels (32%), coming in behind the consulting (45%), financial services (34%) and investment banking and asset management (33%) industries, all of which maintained a level of interest with Western Europeans relative to before the pandemic. Western Europe and the United States are still the top international study destinations, but candidates from traditionally mobile regions are increasingly opting to study closer to home The good news for business schools in Western Europe and the United States is that most candidates who prefer to study internationally still want to study in these locations. Consistent with before the pandemic, 39 percent of international candidates want to study in each location, respectively. The data underscores the difference in key drivers for candidate locations. For example, Western Europe attracts the majority of international candidates who prefer to earn a business master’s (53%), while the United States attracts the majority of international candidates who prefer to earn an MBA (50%). International candidates who prefer the United States are more likely to state reputation of the educational system, better preparation for career and student body diversity as reasons for their destination preference, whereas candidates who prefer Western Europe are more likely to cite the attractiveness of location and affordability of education/fees as positive decision-making factors.

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Global Candidates 2019–2021

Part-time/Flexible/ Executive MBA

Full-time MBA

Business Master

Percentage of Candidates

60%

44% 40% 30% 20%

20%

13%

13% 7% 0%

2019

2020

2021

Year Note: The bracket and asterisk adjacent to some bars denote a significant difference at 95 percent confidence interval. Figure 2: Hybrid Program Delivery Preference by Preferred Program Type

56%

...of candidates agree that admissions exams improve the fairness and transparency of business school admissions

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Globally, most candidates agree that admissions exams improve the fairness and transparency of business school admissions (56%). Most also agree that exams improve schools’ reliability in evaluating applicants (57%) and demonstrate the importance they place on the quality of the students they admit (59%). Among international candidates specifically, about half say a school’s use of admissions exams is an indicator of the quality of the programme and is an important criterion for considering applying to that school. In addition, twice as many international candidates agree rather than disagree that admissions exams are an effective way to determine which students to admit.

The bad news is that Western Europe and the United States may be battling it out for an overall smaller pool of internationally mobile candidates, as the survey data suggest that candidates from traditionally mobile markets are now increasingly opting to stay closer to home. Among Central and South Asian candidates, the percentage who prefer to study internationally declined from 89 to 73 percent between 2019 and 2021. Among East and Southeast Asian candidates, preference to study internationally declined from 92 to 87 percent between 2020 and 2021. Test optional policies may hurt candidate perceptions of fairness and transparency in business school admissions – especially among international candidates When considering the application process, the data indicate that test optional admissions policies may hurt candidate perceptions of fairness and transparency in business school admissions – especially among international candidates.

Making sense of a dynamic market So, while various aspects of the candidate pipeline look a lot like they did prior to the pandemic, such as preference for the full-time MBA, others are experiencing shifts of varying degrees, like increased preference for hybrid delivery, interest in the technology industry and shifts in international mobility. These findings may spark conversations among business school leaders and aid in their ideation to continue to evolve their schools’ offerings to meet candidate preferences in our new reality. About the study This article highlights some of the key findings of the GMAC Prospective Students Survey – 2022 Summary Report, a market intelligence publication of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). For more than a decade, the GMAC Prospective Students Survey has provided the world’s graduate business schools with critical insights into the decision-making processes of people currently considering applying to a graduate management education (GME) programme. Its questions – covering a diverse range of topics that impact prospective students’ application and enrollment decisions – provide school professionals with timely, relevant and reliable market intelligence to inform how they engage with candidates to build their incoming classes. To access the full report, visit gmac.com/prospectivestudents.


How has Covid-19 changed business school candidate preferences? | Matt Hazenbush

Specific candidate segments, 2019–2021 Non-Businesss Undergrads

Women

US URM

Career Switchers

Percentage of Candidates

60%

40%

50% 47%

46% 43%

39%

34%

32%

27% 20%

0% 2019

2020

2021

Year Figure 3: Post-GME Interest in the Technology Industry

About the Author Matt Hazenbush is Director, Research Analysis and Communications at the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). He supports the Council’s commitment to presenting and disseminating actionable and relevant information about graduate management education through authoring reports, white papers and briefs, available at gmac.com/ research. He also leads presentations, workshops and panel discussions at industry conferences. Matt earned a B.A. in History and Communication from Boston College and an Ed.M. in Higher Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Women Courageous Michael Page, Madeleine van der Steege and Diane Coetzer discuss the importance, and progress, of embedding gender equality into business education

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Women Courageous | Michael Page, Madeleine van der Steege and Diane Coetzer

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ecently, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development quoted World Economic Forum data to suggest that almost four generations have been lost in the march towards gender equality because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Further, Rebeca Grynspan argued that, “unless we solve inequalities between men and women, the pursuit of the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals] is not possible” (Grynspan, 2021). With many arguing that progress toward gender equality was only progressing at a snail’s pace prior to the pandemic, the substantial pandemic-related setback requires that we expand our efforts to embed diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) into our education. Business schools, and universities more broadly, need to model and champion DEI in order to equip future leaders with the self-reflection, insight and courage needed to drive, and accelerate, the societal and workplace changes required. A recently published book provides a rich set of case studies of women leaders, united by the way they have called on – often extraordinary – courage to transform their lives, work, organisations and societies. Titled Women Courageous: Leading Through the Labyrinth, the eighteen stories describe the true experiences of women leading in the political, academic, non-profit public and private sectors, from different parts of the world (Moss Breen, van der Steege, Stigler Martin and Glick-Smith, 2022).

Professor Dianne Bevelander: One of our own Indeed, one of our own, the late Professor Dianne Bevelander, is among the courageous women leaders profiled in this book that was heartbreakingly - published just a few months after she passed away in August 2021. The chapter, “Dianne Bevelander: A Courageous Women of Passion and Resilience” (Coetzer and Page, 2022), explores the courageous life of this pioneering gender equality advocate and activist. It examines Dianne’s professional journey in which she placed gender equality, diversity and inclusion squarely – and unavoidably – on the agenda of a male-dominated international business school. Dianne also institutionalised DEI within the greater university and beyond when she led and founded the trailblazing and award-winning Erasmus Centre for Women and Organisations (ECWO) at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM).

Unless we solve inequalities between men and women, the pursuit of the SDGs is not possible

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In fact, in 2016, in this very publication, Dianne made a resounding call for business schools’ decision-makers to take the lead in developing innovative approaches for dealing with gender inequality. In the article, in her signature forthright way, she argued that business schools “need, to consciously and determinedly, change the masculine business paradigm that remains dominant in the vast majority of schools” (Bevelander and Page, 2016: 19). In the book, Women Courageous: Leading through the Labyrinth, Dianne’s own story provides a framework for taking the steps to address gender inequality, make necessary but unpopular choices as a Dean, and manage the invariable pushback from the business school environment that will occur. With the establishment of ECWO, Dianne created a tangible, visible vehicle on campus legitimising the business school’s commitment to women’s continued advancement into leadership positions and the empowerment of women and gender equality for the benefit of the whole society. In keeping with Dianne’s strong beliefs, individual change is as important as structural change in ECWO’s work. “At the time, the RSM leadership questioned why I was moving in this direction,” the chapter authors quote Dianne as recalling. “Their attitude was ‘Everything works – what’s the problem?’ They didn’t see the gender imbalance, due to unconscious biases, nor the gender inequality. But I began thinking very deeply about the loss of talent to society if women are not empowered in organisations” (Coetzer and Page, 2016: 84) In the Women Courageous chapter, Dianne’s courage shines through her personal battle with terminal cancer that compelled her to climb metaphorical mountains repeatedly, while never losing sight of her limitless commitment to education and promoting the influence and position of women.

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An outlier in her health as in her life’s work, Dianne died on August 29th but her impact and legacy continue – not only in the individual women whose lives she impacted and ECWO’s ongoing work but also “through the EQUAL4EUROPE project, an H2020-funded four-year project which she largely conceptualised” (Ginès and Cochrane, 2022). The Dianne Bevelander case study continues in the Gender Equality Plans that will be implemented at academic institutions in the coming years, arising out of the EQUAL4EUROPE project. Case studies provide insights, research and practices for business school teaching The stories in Women Courageous are more than an illustration of individual stories of courage – which is defined by two of the book’s editors as … “… pushing forward, step by step, while everything is holding you back. Often unnoticed by others, courageous acts come with great emotional challenges, and also with a sense of purpose and determination. Courage is how we transform, not only ourselves but those we support and love and the work to which we have dedicated our lives.” (Moss Breen and Stigler Martin, 2022: 3)

2016

In 2016, Dianne made a resounding call for business schools’ decision-makers to take the lead in developing innovative approaches for dealing with gender inequality


Women Courageous | Michael Page, Madeleine van der Steege and Diane Coetzer

They are stories of ambition, selfactualisation, co-creation, as well as conflict, loss, betrayal and healing. Each of the eighteen chapters provides a powerful case study for business school professors and teachers seeking to support the creation of more diversity, equity and inclusion in schools and businesses. They address the topic of women walking the leadership labyrinth within such diverse sectors as aerospace, public works, university and school education, nonprofit and the military. Most of the case studies highlight the extent of unconscious bias in contemporary society. Importantly from a pedagogy perspective, each chapter includes scholarly analysis, and many have extensive reference lists that can be used in teaching. To illustrate, two conceptual frameworks developed by Dianne and her colleagues are used to describe the personal and social attributes that, in no small measure, account for the successes she achieved.

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The first framework describes the importance of passion and resilience when pursuing individual and organisational goals. It argues that passion without resilience can lead to frustration and the feeling of being trapped, while resilience without passion makes for a committed follower when the ideas of others resonate with your own. Setting the agenda and leading the transformation requires both passion and resilience. The second framework, that sits squarely within the arena of the challenges faced by females in male-dominated environments, deals with amplification and sisterhood. It articulates how individuals who are not part of the dominant coalition need to come together to amplify calls for change and, thereby, accelerate needed action. In the case study by Speranza and England in Moss Breen et al. (2022, 279), the authors explore the professional obstacles many single women face in a man’s world or later by having a child mid-career. Dr. Carly Speranza did not have female leaders higher up in the military leadership pipeline as role models. A career path in the US Air Force required extraordinary courage to obtain the desirable assignments for success. The commanding officer was highly sceptical when she decided to have a child mid-career. As a woman leader, Carly was an “outsider” in the male-dominated military organisation. However, she served in the US Air Force for two decades. Carly was responsible for hundreds of personnel, deployed eight times across the globe, maintained a long-distance marriage with an Air Force officer, and raised a daughter where few female leaders, let alone mothers, were present. The chapter shows how she built her interpersonal influence with sincerity and that motherhood strengthened her leadership ability and adaptability.

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In the chapter by Jenni Frumer and Moss Breen in Moss Breen et al. (2022, 215), Jenni discusses her experience as a Chief Executive Officer during a period of unethical behaviour by male board members and donors. The chapter tracks the story through the phases of board dysfunction. Jenni’s actions unleashed a backlash of dysfunctional, manipulative board responses from a small, influential subgroup of male board members and donors. A political game of intimidation directed at Jenni soon turned into outright threats. Despite the toxic environment and the negative impact on Jenni, she displayed complete transparency. Her moral compass became the biggest threat to her career. The subgroup expected her to follow “unusual” directives and to comply as a woman at the expense of their obligatory moral authority. In the end, Jenni reached out for legal, tactical and technical assistance and received compensatory damages.


Women Courageous | Michael Page, Madeleine van der Steege and Diane Coetzer

Jenni’s actions unleashed a backlash of dysfunctional, manipulative board responses from a small, influential subgroup of male board members and donors

Conclusion The importance of aspirational role models when developing leaders is well understood within academia. The case method exemplifies, and the historical bias towards male western protagonists in cases developed by the dominant global case providers is coming under an increasing spotlight. The start of Women’s History Month this year saw the Harvard Business School Gender Initiative release a compilation of cases that “feature women protagonists and are recommended by Harvard Business School faculty.” (https://hbsp.harvard. edu/female-protagonists/, accessed 03/05/2022). Women Courageous: Leading through the Labyrinth offers as valuable addition to traditional business school cases. Courage and leadership have been synonymous since the earliest tales of humanity. Courage is the fuel of transformation that ignites in the chaos of major challenges we face throughout our lives. It enables us to transcend the circumstances and stoke our instinctive hope in humanity, the future, the world and ourselves. Although they do not conform to the traditional format of a teaching case that includes a carefully crafted teaching note, the personal leadership stories captured by Women Courageous invite a rich dialogue of the substantial physical, moral and social courage of women from different corners of the world – a dialogue guaranteed to bring underlying theories of leadership and individual transformation alive for many students. And, a dialogue that is particularly inspirational for the increasing number of female students and executives who are at the forefront of efforts to create more inclusive and just businesses and societies.

About the Authors Michael John Page is Professor of Finance and Management and past Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Bentley University, Boston, US Madeleine van der Steege is Adjunct Professor at Webster University, Leiden, managing book editor, author and co-owner of NedNXT Diane Coetzer is Senior Project Manager at Erasmus Centre for Women and Organisations Sources Bevelander, D.L. and Page, M.J. 2016. “Gender: Ms-ed opportunities for business schools?” EFMD Global Focus, 10(3): 18-21. Coetzer, D. and Page, M. 2022. “Dianne Bevelander: A Courageous Woman of Passion and Resilience.” In Moss Breen, J., van der Steege, M., Stigler Martin, S., and Glick-Smith, J.L. 2022. Woman Courageous: Leading through the Labyrinth, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, UK, 79-96. Frumer, J. and Moss Breen, J. 2022. “The Courage to Roar: Leadership without Remorse.” In Moss Breen, J., van der Steege, M., Stigler Martin, S., and Glick-Smith, J.L. 2022. Woman Courageous: Leading through the Labyrinth, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, UK, 215-232. Ginès, A. and Cochrane, V. 2022. “Winter is…going? A gradual thaw in gender equality.” EFMD Global Focus, 16(1): Grynspan, R. 2021. UNSTAD Gender and Development Forum, 26-28 September 2021. Bridgetown, Barbados, Opening Keynote Address. Moss Breen, J. and Stigler Martin, S. 2022. “Introduction.” In Moss Breen, J., van der Steege, M., Stigler Martin, S., and Glick-Smith, J.L. 2022. Woman Courageous: Leading through the Labyrinth, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, UK, 1-8. Moss Breen, J., van der Steege, M., Stigler Martin, S. and Glick-Smith, J.L. 2022. Woman Courageous: Leading through the Labyrinth, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, UK. Speranza, C. and England, C. 2022. “The Courage to Navigate a Man’s World.” In Moss Breen, J., van der Steege, M., Stigler Martin, S., and Glick-Smith, J.L. 2022. Woman Courageous: Leading through the Labyrinth, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, UK, 279-295.

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Never waste a good crisis: going for the management moonshots Richard Straub explains that extreme shocks can be the impetus for progress and a stimulus for accelerated innovation

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iscussing the 2022 conference theme after last year’s Drucker Forum in Vienna, it was possible to hope that recovery was around the corner. Even if the emergency was not yet over – Austria went into a second lockdown the day after the Forum ended – with the disease fading in intensity we could envisage the world returning to something like a new normal in the near future.

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Despite terrible death tolls and untold suffering to many, business had come through the worst of the pandemic in relatively good shape. A paradox of crisis: along with damage and destruction it can also act as an engine of progress and a powerful stimulus for accelerated innovation. Covid-19 was no exception. The development and delivery of RNA messenger vaccines and subsequent new treatments were the most conspicuous example in the scientific field. In business, the enforced experiment of ‘Working from Home’ (WFH) spurred notable advances in communications technology and turned out to have unexpected commercial benefits in its own right. It opened the door to enhanced global communication and cooperation capabilities in a way we haven’t seen before. Overall, defying expectation, the remarkable thing was not the number of businesses that collapsed under the Covid-19 pressures but the high levels of resilience and ingenuity through which the majority survived. We were on the ground of proven management knowledge and practice, and that ground had just about held up under the strain.


Never waste a good crisis: going for the management moonshots | Richard Straub

Despite terrible death tolls and untold suffering to many, business had come through the worst of the pandemic in relatively good shape

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It is the quality of management that enables well-functioning institutions and organisations to fulfill their mission and thus make society tick

But that was then. Barely five months later, rather than repairing the damage of Covid-19 and consolidating recovery, we are urgently confronting another reality entirely: a new emergency of daunting proportions that exacerbates the existing issues such as environmental and refugee crises and supply chain disruption and adds grave new ones of its own: inflation spiraling out of control, food insecurity threatening 44 million people in 38 countries with famine, according to the World Food Programme, and energy-related sanctions that might bring part of the European industry to a standstill. All this adds up to a maelstrom unprecedented in more than half a century – putting ‘performance that matters’, the 2022 Drucker Forum theme, in a fresh and unforgiving light. Can we manage our way through it as we did with Covid-19? Or do we not only need to rethink our practices to achieve collective performance under extreme conditions but also accelerate the transformation of the discipline of management itself? Drucker was always adamant that it is the quality of management that enables well-functioning institutions and organisations to fulfill their mission and thus make society tick.

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Never waste a good crisis: going for the management moonshots | Richard Straub

non-profits and NGOs. All this while optimising existing tools of management and developing new ones to meet evolving emergencies and essential needs with maximum effectiveness. In contrast to other disciplines such as economics and sociology, management has the immense advantage of being anchored in the real world and having continuous sensors to the economic, social and human reality on the ground. Data and technology are of limited value here, with their inherent grounding in the past. Seeing every day ‘the future that has already arrived’, as Drucker put it, detecting the weak signals and drawing conclusions across various disciplines is a deeply analogue and human activity that cannot be matched by any AI-based digital system.

44m Food insecurity threatening 44 million people in 38 countries with famine

Anchored in the real world Covid-19 and the conflict in Ukraine are causing a rapid reassessment of the traditional tradeoffs – notably the privileging of economic efficiency at the price of resilience, security of supply, strategic dependence and sometimes human rights – that have underpinned the era of globalisation that is now put in question. Norms and behaviours that have locked in place management practices devised for the industrial age are belatedly being questioned. As this suggests, we will have to change our basic assumptions for the way we run our organisations and institutions, and the reassessment will have to take place at all levels – politics, public sector, private,

Performance that really matters Many aspects of this new kind of management have been discussed in past Drucker Forums. There is no simple answer – there are many indications of the direction it might go. Two examples should illustrate this. The first, in a session on ‘Decision-making under conditions of uncertainty’ last year, was a clarion call to transform management from a technology of control and limitation of uncertainty to one that actively embraced it as the prime justification and opportunity for entrepreneurship and wealth creation: in other words, for management itself. The attempt to manage radical uncertainty probabilistically is not just vain – fake scientific management – panelists argued: it is an addiction that has led to ‘extreme short-termism’ and actually increased risk, as in the assumptions that enabled the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. Even worse, it has disabled organisations and companies from doing what is most needed from them: using their collective ability to think imaginatively, creatively and long term about the

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As Drucker always reminded us, we have to learn from the art of war to choose the right battles and the right allies to fight them with

most important problems facing the world in the way that real scientific institutions at their best do. ‘Probably 99 percent of our teaching is about avoiding uncertainty, meaning avoiding life, basically. So, this craving for certainty is destroying our ability to create new things,’ said panelist Philipe Silberzahn. Opening management up to uncertainty and risk would dramatically enlarge its purview and ambition, to better correspond with the magnitude of the crises currently besetting the world. How to make it work on the ground, and the kind of organisation able to meet and thrive on today’s conditions, had been the subject of another Global Peter Drucker Forum plenary, in 2020, this time on what the military demands of its leaders – the second example. The context described was Iraq, the need to combat the deadly threat of IS. To do so, an elite counter-terrorist organisation trained in centralised operations was obliged to reconfigure itself almost overnight as its opposite: a radically decentralised operation where local units were empowered to interpret the central mission according to conditions on the ground. This entailed ‘radical transparency of information’ enabled by common purpose and trust and an intensive tech-enabled communications exercise that was subsequently extended to partners and other agencies, an ecosystem of 7,500 people in all. There is no preparation for such a transformation: no leader knows what the next war will look like, explained panelist General Stanley McChrystal. When conflict starts, he or she must gather information at pace before acting to transform doctrine, routines and cultures instantaneously across the entire

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organisation. ‘You can’t do that top down,’ said McChrystal. ‘You have to create an organisation that as soon as it gets data saying what we found is not what we expected, knows it must change to match.’ There’s no option but to train people for that, he added: ‘it's just going to happen that way’. Summing up, Prof Rita McGrath drew the portrait of a new kind of agile organisation based around change as the accepted norm, discovery-based leadership in constant touch with edges of the organisation, the ability to shuffle and repurpose resources at speed and scale, proficiency of innovation and employment agility, increasingly recruiting talent for ‘tours of duty‘ rather than a single arc of career or specialty.

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99 percent of our teaching is about avoiding uncertainty, meaning avoiding life, basically


Never waste a good crisis: going for the management moonshots | Richard Straub

Taking management to a higher level Analysis is right to warn of the existential threat posed by the intertwined crises that we are now living through. Yet as in the case of the pandemic, we should not and must not pass up the unique opportunity this break-point offers to elevate management, as one of the most important social capabilities developed by humankind, to a new level – aiming for ‘management moonshots’, as Gary Hamel put it in his 2009 HBR article. Instead of shrinking from uncertainty, let’s use the extreme external shocks we are experiencing as the impetus for scaling up the promising practices that have been developed during the last decades, but which have been left as niche implementations. Management innovation will be required at all levels – not only in the private sphere, but in the public sector and across the whole of civil society. As Drucker always reminded us, we have to learn from the art of war to choose the right battles and the right allies to fight them with, based on shared values – otherwise management just becomes a tool for ideologists and technocrats to implement efficiently what shouldn’t be done at all. Management and the value it delivers is thus far more than an exercise in utility: it becomes a moral and social endeavour, one that matters now more than ever.

About the Author Richard Straub is Founder and President of the Peter Drucker Society Europe and of the Global Peter Drucker Forum

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Accepting refugees raises income per capita and wages in the long term, finds new research A study by economists Antonio Ciccone and Jan Nimczik examines the long-term economic consequences of the inflow of refugees in Germany after World War II

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Accepting refugees raises income per capita and wages in the long term, finds new research | Antonio Ciccone and Jan Nimczik

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By 1949, most refugees ended up in the US, British and Soviet occupation zones

ar, civil conflicts, economic collapse, natural disasters and climate change cause massive refugee movements. Hosting and integrating refugees are big social challenges. While humanitarian aid should be the primary factor for acting, economic costs and benefits have always played roles as well, especially in receiving refugees. The public debate usually focuses on the short- and medium-term perspective. But what are the long-term economic impacts of immigration? Answering this question is a scientific challenge; every refugee movement is different. Potentially, however, the analysis of past movements offers insights into the long-term effects of accepting refugees and the economic channels that explain them. In a new study, we – Antonio Ciccone (University of Mannheim) and Jan Nimczik (ESMT Berlin) – look at a particular episode in German history: the massive inflow of millions of refugees and expellees who were displaced from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and eastern parts of pre-war Germany after the end of World War II. These population transfers were mandated by Allied forces in the Potsdam Conference in summer 1945 in connection with a shift of the German eastern border towards the west. The arrival of the refugees and expellees caused an increase of the population within the new German borders by about 20 percent. Between the end of WWII in 1945 and the foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, Germany was divided into four Allied occupation zones. Despite their relatively short existence, these occupation zones shaped the settlement of the refugees. France, which had not been allowed to participate in the Potsdam Conference, restricted the settlement of refugees in its occupation zone. Therefore, by 1949, most refugees ended up in the US, British and Soviet occupation zones. This uneven distribution of refugee settlement allows us to assess their long-term economic impact by comparing towns that are in close proximity to each other but on different sides of the former border between the US and French occupation zones.

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The consequences of the difference in policies toward refugees can be most clearly seen within the present-day state of BadenWürttemberg. Until 1949, this state was divided into a French and a US occupation zone. The border between the occupation zones ran across Baden-Württemberg, from Karlsruhe in the West to Ulm in the East. We collected and digitised historical census data, modern productivity data, geographic data, income tax statistics, data on the value-added and wages in manufacturing firms, individual survey data, education data, and millions of housing adverts to comprehensively document the economic development in the region around this border. The census in 1950 shows that there were many more refugees in the municipalities on the former US side of the border than in municipalities on the opposite, former French side, of the border. Due to their arrival, the population density on the former US side of the border had risen sharply and, in 1950, was 20 percent higher than on the former French side. In contrast, prior to the arrival of the refugees, there had never been any difference in population density at the (future) border. Surprisingly, the difference in population density along the former border between the occupation zones still exists today, and has even increased somewhat. Today, municipalities on the former US side of the border have a population density that is about 25 percent higher than the population density in municipalities on the opposite, former French side. Why has the higher population density on the former US side persisted 70 years after the occupation zone border disappeared? Though conceivable, it was not due to cheaper housing. On the former US side of the border, not only is the population density higher, so are the rents. That is, more people live where housing is more expensive. There are good reasons why people often live in dense areas where housing is more expensive. In cities, higher population density is usually accompanied by higher productivity and higher wages. The reasons have been

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thoroughly researched in recent years and are summarised under the term agglomeration effects. Agglomeration effects arise when economic activity clusters spatially – when firms locate near to each other and near consumers, workers and physical capital. The most important drivers of agglomeration effects are a broader supply of specialised goods and services and the faster exchange of ideas between local firms, partly due to the higher mobility of employees. Firms can draw on a broader pool of workers; workers can benefit from more diverse employment opportunities. In other words, there are increasing returns to scale of production within regions. Increasing returns do not lead to unbounded growth in population density because, at some point, they are offset by higher rents, congestion and other dis-amenities of high population density.


Accepting refugees raises income per capita and wages in the long term, finds new research | Antonio Ciccone and Jan Nimczik

Are such agglomeration effects the reason for the higher population density on the former US side of the 1945–1949 occupation zone border? Our evidence clearly points in this direction. Today’s higher population density and rents on the former US side of the border are accompanied by higher per-capita income, aggregate productivity and wages in manufacturing. We find that per-capita income and productivity increased by about 13 percent and wages by about 10 percent over the long term. In addition, the share of high-skilled workers, those with a university degree, is roughly 5 percentage points higher on the former US side of the occupation zone border.

Surprisingly, the difference in population density along the former border between the occupation zones still exists today, and has even increased somewhat

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Importantly, municipalities benefitted not only from the settlement of refugees directly in their own territory, but also from refugees who settled in municipalities close by. These spillover effects indicate that per-capita income, productivity, wages, education and rents are higher the more exposed a municipality was to the arrival of refugees in the US occupation zone. To trace the economic effects we find today back to refugee arrival, we exclude a range of alternative mechanisms. First, today’s differences in income, productivity and wages cannot be attributed to historical differences rooted before the war. Prior to refugee arrival, economic development was very similar on both sides of the (future) border. Second, we find no evidence that other policy differences between the US and French zones during the occupation period – such as differences in industrial policy or in food supply – led to long-term differences in income, productivity and wages. Finally, we document that there is no difference in the cultural legacy of the two occupation zones, such as in language preferences, political attitudes or trade patterns. Taken together, our research suggests that the post-war inflow of refugees was an important factor for economic development and contributed to the sharp rise in German per-capita income, productivity and wages over the past 75 years. While many refugees had lost all their property, they resembled the local population in many aspects, such as their occupations before the war. They also spoke the same language as the local population. Nevertheless, they were not welcomed everywhere or treated as equals. Quite the contrast – there was strong opposition to refugees, partly due to the very constrained housing conditions in bombed-out post-war Germany. Some historical accounts are painfully reminiscent of today’s anti-migration movements. It took decades before the refugees were accepted and integrated. Likewise, the

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economic benefits that municipalities enjoy today as a result of accepting refugees after the war materialised only gradually. They were not apparent when the refugees were admitted, nor in the first decades after their arrival. Instead, they emerged gradually over the course of several decades. Ultimately, the economic impact of the refugees was significant. Whether these findings generalise to other refugee movements is an intriguing yet complex question without a clean scientific answer. “History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes” – a quote sometimes attributed to Austrian psychoanalyst Theodor Reik and sometimes to American humourist Mark Twain – expresses the general difficulty in applying findings based on historical data to present-day challenges. Nevertheless, history might provide some useful lessons. The historical episode in post-WWII

75 Years The inflow of refugees after World War II was an important driver of economic development in Germany and contributed to the sharp rise in German per-capita income over the past 75 years


Accepting refugees raises income per capita and wages in the long term, finds new research | Antonio Ciccone and Jan Nimczik

Germany demonstrates that the long-term economic benefits of immigration can be sizeable and can differ substantially from the short-term effects. This result joins a growing number of studies documenting positive long-term effects of migration in different historical settings. For example, immigration in the US and in Argentina during the 1850-1920 period or in Brazil at the start of the 20th century.

About the Authors Antonio Ciccone is a professor of macroeconomics in the department of economics at the University of Mannheim. Before joining the University of Mannheim, he mainly taught at the University of California, Berkeley (1994-1998) and at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona (1998-2013). His research articles have appeared in several main academic journals in economics. Jan Nimczik is an assistant professor of economics at ESMT Berlin. Previously he worked as a postdoc at the Humboldt University, Berlin. He obtained his PhD in Economics at the University of Mannheim. In his research, Jan investigates the structure and functioning of labour markets.

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The changing nature of organisations David Asch discusses the implications for business schools in challenging, complex and ambiguous environments

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The changing nature of organisations | David Asch

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he Nobel Prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz, observed that companies have profited over the last 30 years not from innovation and progress, but from exploitation and monopoly power. There has been a significant shift in the role of senior management, from steward of the organisation to hired hand on a contractual basis. This may lead to a situation where the self-interest of senior management replaces ethics, principles and trust. There is an argument that managers are enriching themselves at shareholders’ expense. The agency problem here is that shareholder agents, that is corporate management, find ways to enrich themselves at the expense of shareholders. Many large companies issue shares to employees at a low price and buy back those shares on the open market at a higher price. That price difference, multiplied by the number of traded shares, equals value that never reaches shareholders at all. Instead, it is entirely captured by the recipients of the new shares. The 2018 SPERI Report argued that the cost of too much finance for the UK from the 1990s to 2018 was about GBP4500bn, or approximately 2.5 years of the average GDP across the period. Of the 4500bn loss, 2700bn was accounted for by the misallocation of resources, where resources, skills and investments are diverted away from more productive non-financial activities into finance. The other 1800bn arises from the 2008 banking crisis.

The share of revenues coming from financial, relative to non-financial, activities in companies began to rise in the 1970s and increased sharply from the 1980s

Apple, the world’s first company to reach 3USD tn. in market value, has more cash and a global reach much larger than most banks but is one example of the growing financialisation behaviour by companies that focus more on finance than on their core business, and those that load up on corporate debt. There is some evidence that the share of revenues coming from financial, relative to non-financial, activities in companies began to rise in the 1970s and increased sharply from the 1980s. Total financial assets are estimated to be triple the size of the real economy. The OECD has warned about the record amount of debt in the corporate bond market. More than half of the investment-grade bonds issued in 2018 were of the lowest possible quality. The Financial Stability Board (FSB), which makes recommendations for financial rules to the G20 nations, noted that large established technology firms could materially alter financial services. The FSB is concerned that Big Tech provides outsourcing services, such as the cloud, that an increasing number of banks are relying on. While those services (dominated by Amazon, Google and Microsoft) reduce a bank’s risk at the entity level they increase the system-wide risk, should one large provider collapse, for example.

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The world of business has also undergone significant changes. For example, in the 1980s GEC was an empire employing about 250,000 people and building everything from X-ray machines to ships, telecoms and defence electronics. The CEO, Arnold Weinstock, took the reins in 1963 and spent three decades building it into a colossus. He stood down in 1996. His successors, an accountant and a merchant banker, sold old businesses, bought 15 companies and became Marconi. The impact of the dot-com bust turned the company that had been trading at 12.50 GBP per share into a company that was worth only 0.04 pence per share. Its most important client, BT, passed it over for a contract that went to Huawei. The GEC story highlights the clash between two business cultures: there is Weinstock building an institution, and his successors bewitched by quarterly results and handing shareholders a fast buck. The road travelled by GEC was also taken by ICI and other household names. Companies like GEC and ICI used to invest heavily in research and development. But today the UK has been overtaken in R&D by all western competitors. Or consider Boeing and the two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019 of the Boeing737MAX. Aviation regulators and airlines around the globe grounded a total of 387 aircraft. Boeing’s reputation, business, and financial ratings suffered after these groundings, questioning strategy, governance, focus on profits and cost efficiency. A new player in the game, private equity, has emerged as not just a British but also a pan-European phenomenon. The recent death of Zoilo Patino, an 84-year-old with Covid-19, in a Madrid care home owned by the government, shocked the world. His body was found 24 hours after his death in a locked room where the elderly were ‘’abandoned, if not dead, on their beds”, as one Spanish minister said.

All that counts cannot necessarily be counted – Albert Einstein

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DomusVi had been contracted to operate the care home, which had been stripped down by years of cuts – there was only one care worker for every ten residents, without even the PPE required to move a dead body. DomusVi, Spain’s largest care home company, is owned by the British private equity company ICG, which refinanced its debt of EURO1bn when it made the acquisition from a French private equity firm. There is little doubt that business schools have prospered during the last few years. However, the sector is under pressure to demonstrate the value or contribution to prosperity of this growth, since large organisations tend to be managed by business school-educated pupils.


The changing nature of organisations | David Asch

In 2005 Sumantra Ghoshal, a Professor of Strategic and International Management at the London Business School and the founding Dean of the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, noted that “Bad Management Theories are destroying Good Management Practices”. Ghoshal argued that business schools were propagating amoral theories around profit maximisation and shareholder value. Indeed, he stressed that “by propagating ideologically inspired amoral theories, business schools have actively freed their students from any sense of moral responsibility”. He also reflects that business school academics over the last half century have focused on making business studies a branch of the social sciences. The adoption of scientific methods has produced benefits for both research and pedagogy. Nevertheless, as philosophy of science makes clear, it is an error to pretend that the methods of the physical sciences can be applied to business studies because it ignores fundamental differences that exist between different academic disciplines. Research should focus on business practice rather than the academy, with a view to solving real-world problems. Rakesh Khurana, a Professor of Sociology at Harvard University and Professor of Leadership Development at Harvard Business School, reflected on the unfulfilled promise of management as a profession that was lost to economists and financial analysts who promulgated agency theory and that led us to maximising shareholder value. Many business schools prioritise skills of analysis at the expense of skills necessary for management, such as judgement, especially in challenging, complex and ambiguous environments.

About the Author David Asch is Senior Advisor at EFMD Global

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How a new study-abroad scheme points the way for European business schools The potential of technology, broadening cooperation and accessibility, and tearing down barriers, by Josep Franch

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How a new study-abroad scheme points the way for European business schools | Josep Franch

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Since 1987, the Erasmus exchange programme (later Erasmus+), launched two years before the Berlin Wall fell, has seen over 9 million students gaining academic and professional experience abroad

he chance for international collaboration has long been a central appeal of the business school experience. For almost four decades, European schools have sought to foster harmonisation in the spirit of continental ideals. Since 1987, the Erasmus exchange programme (later Erasmus+), launched two years before the Berlin Wall fell, has seen over 9 million students gaining academic and professional experience abroad. Soon after, in 1988, CEMS, a global alliance of 34 business schools, multinational companies and NGOs jointly delivering Masters in Management programmes, was created by Esade and our European partners. Then, on the eve of the Millennium in 1999, the EU-initiated Bologna Process laid a pathway to the transformation of European higher education and the creation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in 2010. Many thousands of students have benefitted from what has become a tradition, but since 2020, the pandemic has turned this world of free-spirited face-to-face global collaboration upside down. Business schools, which regard teaching their students the intercultural skills needed to succeed in a global workplace as a central aspect of their mission, were seriously impacted as teaching was forced online and exchange abroad experiences were cancelled or postponed. How could our students get the international exposure and immersion in foreign cultures they needed?

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A more digital approach has the potential to give our students the international exposure and experience they need while also reducing the economic and environmental burdens associated with travelling

Although forced on schools at first, the surprising fact of how remarkably effective the new ways have been has seen schools, including Esade, reframe how we might integrate online teaching more fully into our programmes. A more digital approach has the potential to give our students the international exposure and experience they need while also reducing the economic and environmental burdens associated with travelling. Used well, it can enhance and enrich the traditional campus experience, broadening collaboration and opening doors to those previously excluded. At the same time, it became clear that while this technological approach was a game-changer, it would only work if universities and business schools were willing to cooperate and share. At Esade, we have responded to this unique challenge by creating the European Common Online Learning (ECOL) network, together with six other European universities and business schools – Aalto University School of Business (Finland), Bocconi University (Italy), Copenhagen Business School (Denmark), Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (The Netherlands), University of St Gallen (Switzerland) and WU Vienna (Austria). Launched in September 2021, ECOL provides a permanent offer of online credited elective courses that co-exist with universities and business schools’ current undergraduate academic offerings, including on-site programmes that have resumed this academic year.

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How a new study-abroad scheme points the way for European business schools | Josep Franch

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Launched in September 2021, ECOL provides a permanent offer of online credited elective courses

ECOL is a practical response to a challenging time, and aims to create a new European, common curriculum, building on the innovations stemming from the pandemic. It operates on the principle of mutual trust and aims to lead in Europe in establishing new cooperation formats for the benefit of student communities and beyond, on the principle that barriers should be minimised to foster a vision of working together in line with the collaborative approach that was fundamental to the Bologna Process from the start. As an online programme that will be sustained as a hybrid business school environment emerges, ECOL, still very much in the pilot stages, is just one example of the ongoing transformation of business education and the potential of technology, and of how schools are working towards a common European curriculum, to be expanded and

developed over time. While this first trial year is restricted to undergraduate programmes, the plan is to extend it to postgraduate and fulltime programmes, to make a model that other universities can follow. In general, a wider shift in higher education towards a European curriculum is vital to prepare students across Europe to face the challenges of the post-pandemic environment in their own countries and the wider region, which includes Europe’s periphery. A collaborative approach will address weaker aspects and sectors, draw on strengths and provide practical solutions to address Europe’s needs. While the online aspect can never fully replace face-to-face teaching (nor should it), it need no longer be seen as a disadvantage adopted grudgingly. Instead, its potential should be understood as broadening cooperation, accessibility and practicality, while tearing down barriers. And we in the business school community must face the fact that things will never be the same again. As we move closer towards a hybrid education model, initiatives like ECOL will play their part in allowing even more students to gain their desired international experience by working with a wider group of students from different schools and in different countries, widening opportunity and lowering both the financial burden and carbon footprint of gaining international experience. In an increasingly digital world, this feels a natural step to take, and a step forward to making higher education more inclusive and sustainable, in the spirit of Bologna, Erasmus and beyond.

About the Author Josep Franch, Dean of Esade Business School

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Building the world’s most relevant business school: The Hult Ashridge story By Dina Dommett and Roger Delves

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Building the world’s most relevant business school: The Hult Ashridge story | Dina Dommett and Roger Delves

Ashridge origins: from 13th century monastery to modern educational charity Ashridge has a colourful story: in its 700+ year history, it has been a monastery, a family home of the British Royal family, a college for politicians, a wartime hospital, a finishing school, a world-renowned business school founded in 1959 and now – an integral part of a knowledge transfer conglomerate. This is the story of the evolution of Ashridge Business School, from a standalone school to the executive education campus of Hult International Business School and the thought leadership partner of EF (Education First), the world’s largest private education company founded in 1965 by the Swedish entrepreneur, Bertil Hult. Ashridge today is a case history of an ambitious, evolving partnership with not one but two larger entities – a non-profit business school (Hult) and a private company (EF Education First). On July 4, 2014, the Financial Times announced details of a merger between Hult and Ashridge Business Schools. In January 2020, Hult spun off the expensive elements of running Ashridge House, sales and operations for executive education, to a new private company, Hult EF Corporate Education, born out of Bertil Hult’s well-established language training company.

Ashridge’s sterling reputation for practical management education and practitioner-focused research was a perfect fit with Hult’s vision

EF (or Education First as it was originally known) is an established international brand – official partner of the Olympics and sponsor of a professional cycling team. Bertil Hult bought the Arthur D Little School of Management in Boston in 2002, renamed and reimagined as Hult International Business School. Ashridge’s sterling reputation for practical management education and practitionerfocused research was a perfect fit with Hult’s vision “to be the world’s most relevant business school” and EF’s vision “to open the world through education.” Ashridge’s strategy before Hult began with its service to a foundational set of corporate clients such as Guinness, Shell and Unilever who relied on Ashridge to develop their people to be better leaders. From its formation in 1959 to the early 2000s, Ashridge used its unique blend of practitioner faculty, practical degrees and experiential executive education to earn the patronage of the wider international business school fraternity.

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Faculty developed programmes organically, securing clients and students based on relevant, applicable research. Long before it was fashionable, Ashridge paid attention to the study and practice of humane management as a key to employee engagement and productivity. Still today, most Ashridge faculty are trained in psychology, organisational and behavioural sciences rather than finance and operations. The School leverages adjunct faculty resources to teach whatever else is needed. By 2008 Ashridge was reputationally strong, with triple accreditation (AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS) and top rankings, but financially vulnerable. Ashridge needed an investment partner who would appreciate what it had to offer. Financial salvation was the main driver for change, but Ashridge wanted more than an investor. They sought a meeting of minds as well as a commercial partnership. The answer came a few years later in 2014 in the form of a bold disruptor in higher education: Hult International Business School. 2015 Merger with the world’s most relevant business school: A pithy catchphrase or a real ambition? The partnership created one of the world’s largest international schools with an emphasis on practical, socially aware global management education. The Hult family supported the alliance with a generous £50 million investment. Hult offered a global perspective that few other schools match. Students rotate across campuses in Boston, London, Dubai, Shanghai, San Francisco and New York. In 2010 Hult launched the Hult Prize (http://www.hultprize. org), now the world’s largest social impact competition for university students.

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The Ashridge Centre for Business and Sustainability, led since 2009 by Professor Matt Gitsham (recognised in 2021 by Thinkers50 for his contribution to the field), established Ashridge as one of the earliest authorities on ethics, responsibility and sustainability. Ashridge and Hult were early signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME). These initiatives are symbolic of the concordant philosophies of both institutions. Ashridge, Hult and EF come together as an ecosystem In the five years between 2015 and 2019 – a short time for a cultural and organisational integration of this complexity – Ashridge established itself as Hult’s executive education campus.

£50m The Hult family supported the alliance with a generous £50 million investment


Building the world’s most relevant business school: The Hult Ashridge story | Dina Dommett and Roger Delves

ALL PICTURES COURTESY OF ASHRIDGE HULT

In 2016 Bjorn Bengtsson, an established EF corporate leader, became CEO of Ashridge. He wanted to enhance his leadership team with someone from outside Ashridge, Hult and EF, someone with competitor experience and confidence about the industry, and in 2018 he recruited Dr Dina Dommett from Oxford University as the new Dean. Dommett had worked for Duke Corporate Education and London Business School in the same global markets as Hult (London, Dubai, China) and was a former Ashridge client from her time at Marconi plc. She knew and admired Ashridge, Hult and EF. This helped Ashridge people adjust to the merger and still feel pride in the Ashridge legacy.

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Dommett tapped long-serving Ashridge Professor Roger Delves to serve as Associate Dean of Faculty. They promoted the idea that Ashridge, Hult and EF could best thrive if they respected and leveraged each other’s strengths: Ashridge in “client-centric compassionate humanity”, Hult in “studentcentric positive disruption” and EF in “entrepreneurial flair.” Bengtsson agreed that this was a constructive approach. Dommett and her faculty drew intellectual inspiration from Johan Roos, a seasoned academic and entrepreneur recruited in 2016 as Hult’s Chief Academic Officer. This was an intense period for the people of Ashridge, Hult and EF. Thanks to how they responded to each other in the emerging three-way partnership, they were able to handle the changing organisational culture. In January 2020 EF created a new private company, Hult EF Corporate Education, to manage Ashridge House and non-academic business lines. Hult and EF de-risked executive education for Ashridge by outsourcing sales, operations and capital projects to EF. Ashridge faculty and key staff stayed employed by the Trust, answering to the CEO of Hult International Business School. Ashridge retained intellectual ownership of executive education and control of their own degrees and revenues. EF can only use external faculty if Ashridge declines – which so far has not happened. This new interdependent model could only have worked after five years of building trust. The Covid-19 crisis clinched the deal. The smaller Ashridge Trust concentrated on its own branded degrees and applied research. As promised, EF bore the heavy costs of Ashridge House operations and executive education sales and marketing.

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Building the world’s most relevant business school: The Hult Ashridge story | Dina Dommett and Roger Delves

Bolstered by investment in the House and the energy of people from Hult and EF, Ashridge flourishes

700 yrs In its 700+ year history, Ashridge has been a monastery, home to the British Royal family, a college for politicians, a wartime hospital and a finishing school

For now, Ashridge egos rest easy: as of spring 2022, executive education is designed and delivered by Ashridge faculty. Ashridge enjoys autonomy over degrees based at Ashridge, which are legally branded and accredited under the Trust. Ashridge faculty teach regularly on Hult campuses and contribute handsomely to Hult research, contributing to the academic excellence required to retain triple accreditation, as well as to the thought leadership necessary for Hult EF Corporate Education to compete. Bolstered by investment in the House and the energy of people from Hult and EF, Ashridge flourishes. All three entities benefit from Ashridge’s strong teaching and research.

Ashridge House None of the three entities could have achieved this result separately. In the words of the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Hult, EF and Ashridge share a global, practical, socially driven perspective on education as their combined vision. Under the umbrella of Hult and EF, Ashridge is part of a complementary language, leadership and learning ecosystem. Ashridge’s compassionate humanity, Hult’s positive disruption and EF’s entrepreneurial flair are a powerful combination for an educational institution built to flourish in the 21st century. This is who Ashridge is today. Whatever happens next, it is clear that Ashridge, Hult and EF are greater together than the sum of their eclectically evolved parts.

About the Authors Dr Dina Dommett is Dean of the Ashridge campus of Hult International Business School with prior roles at Oxford, London Business School, the LSE, Duke Corporate Education, Columbia and New York University Business Schools, Connecticut College, Marconi plc and the Museum of Television & Radio. She earned a PhD in Italian from Yale University, a Fulbright fellowship to Rome and a BA in Italian and German from Boston College. Roger Delves is Associate Dean and Professor of Practice at the Ashridge campus of Hult International Business School. Educated at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, where he read English, his interests are helping others to understand the roles of authenticity and emotional intelligence in leadership and in team engagement.

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Creating a green school | Debdutta Choudhury

Creating a green school Reducing the carbon footprint of a modern-day university, by Debdutta Choudhury

What is net zero? Net zero means compensating for greenhouse gas emissions through means and methods that re-absorb them, resulting in net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. Earth’s atmosphere has become very sensitive to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. It is estimated that the earth is already 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer than in the 1800s and a further rise would have a catastrophic impact on the climate. In the Paris Agreement on climate change, most major economies of the world and also several large corporations agreed for temperature rise to be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrialised levels. It was agreed that greenhouse gas emissions would be brought to net zero by 2050.

As intellectual leaders in society, universities should show the way for the best possible green and sustainable practices

Carbon-neutral campus In the Times Higher Education Global Impact Forum in October 2021, 1,050 universities worldwide made a pledge to become net zero or net positive by 2050. This involves a commitment to increase the usage of renewable energy, water conservation and the reduction of fossil fuel usage, amongst other things. Universities worldwide, that are yet to make a formal pledge, need to be aware of the implications of this net zero movement. As intellectual leaders in society, universities should show the way for the best possible green and sustainable practices. Universities need to take the triple bottom line approach that fulfils economic goals with environmental goals. Recent research shows that sustainability remains in the early stages of development, (Xiaong & Mock, 2020). Institutions either work on a top-down centralised policy or a bottom-up decentralised policy in sustainability practices and the optimal model for sustainability implementation is yet to be arrived at.

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Universities are seats of learning and therefore have the primary responsibility to teach and educate on sustainability practices to students and the general public. Chaudhary & Dey, 2021, posits that quality in education has a positive impact on the perception of sustainability practices, which can predict student satisfaction. Many universities with large campuses have significant tree cover and enough flora and fauna to serve as laboratories of urban forestry, sustainability and green practices. Universities may partner with students to manage and enhance the flora and fauna and this also increases the environmental sensitivity of the young generation. Other popular green practices include restricting the use of fossil fuel vehicles, using solar energy, waste management and water management. However, changing attitudes and behaviours will lead to a change in culture (Biswas & Dash, 2019). Visva-Bharati University: the genesis of a green university Founded by Nobel Prize laureate Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore at the turn of the 20th century, Visva-Bharati University is steeped in the ancient Indian Gurukul tradition. Many practices are wedded to the natural settings of the campus and reflect the moods of various seasons. Many classes are still held in the outdoors and expose the students to nature and its vagaries and make them united with the planet. There are festivals like Vasontosav (celebrating spring), Halakarshan (ploughing), and Poush Mela (winter) that celebrate changing moods, attires and seasonal foods. The students sing the songs of the season, perform plays and live and learn close to Mother Nature. This ethos is what makes this university unique.

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A holistic model for sustainability Biswas & Dash, 2019, proposes a holistic model for sustainable development on campus. Named SENSE – Social, Economic, Natural, Symbiotic Endeavour – this model proposes embedding sustainability, from vision and strategy flowing down to a set of activities. The model proposes best practices in water, waste and energy management, managing the natural environment, managing the built environment, education, empowerment and research. The model also calls for benchmarking at every level to measure progress against plans. Universities also need to collect feedback from various stakeholders and create a robust process for integrating the same.

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It is estimated that the earth is already 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer than in the 1800s


PHOTO COURTSEY OF WOXSEN UNIVERSITY

Creating a green school | Debdutta Choudhury

There has been extensive research done on green practices in educational institutions. Wright, 2002, outlines the practice of signing national and international declarations. Velazquez et al, 2006, stated that environmental practices are limited to creating master plans. Watanabe et al, 2005, did an extensive survey on energy practices in Japan. Ferrer-Balas et al, 2008, measured the sustainable practices of seven universities based on the tridimensional Framework Level Actors (FLA) model. Lukman et al, 2009, conducted an environmental performance study at the University of Maribor on the lifecycle model. Ozawa-Meida et al, 2013, measured carbon footprints in UK universities. Extensive research and models have been proposed for creating green spaces with energy management features and the recommended practices have been adopted by many institutions.

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1,050 1,050 universities worldwide made a pledge to become net zero or net positive by 2050

Sustainability practices at Woxsen University Being a vibrant young university of the 21st century, Woxsen University is gearing up for net zero within the next decade. One major initiative is the restricted movement of fossil fuel vehicles within the campus. This reduces pollution and helps in the overall betterment of the campus experience. The University has also invested in solar energy and 25% of their energy requirement is met by the solar electricity generated in-house. The University also practices waste management, especially food waste, which they turn into manure and use in their vegetable garden. Wastewater is also recycled, for gardening and for making the campus green without disturbing the water table.

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The University conducts training for more than 250 children in nearby villages on various life skills including sustainability practices. These practices are meant to enrich the lives of these children. Going forward, the University is moving towards a plastic-free campus and a zero paper office, using technology to administer its academic processes. Over the next decade, the University will also become completely energy self-sufficient, using solar power for its electricity consumption. Sustainability – the way forward Universities are yet to figure out their share of responsibility in the net zero movement. Still, sustainability practices are treated as good to have in the university discourse. Sustainability has to be included in their central thinking and processes, and deliverables should be created around sustainability so that universities reduce their carbon footprint.


Creating a green school | Debdutta Choudhury

One of the ways to implement this is to have an empowered champion for the cause. The champion would engage various stakeholders continuously through dialogues, events and awareness initiatives. This would create forward momentum in favour of the sustainability movement. Governments also have a responsibility in this discourse. They may use the incentive-disincentive formula to bring all stakeholders in the education domain into a common forward momentum. The Indian accreditation body NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) has already earmarked several green practices wherein high compliance would be rewarded with better accreditation grades, government recognition and facilities. An international ranking agency like QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) also rewards universities for green practices. Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability (ERS) is one of the key pillars of EFMD, and institutions with robust sustainability practices can receive the EFMD accreditation. All the above efforts will hopefully lead to better awareness, communication and implementation of green practices to cut the carbon footprint in the higher education space.

Sustainability has to be included in their central thinking and processes, and deliverables should be created around sustainability so that universities reduce their carbon footprint

About the Author Debdutta Choudhury – Associate Dean, Accreditations and AOL, Woxsen University

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Working with influence: Nine (sometimes surprising) principles for persuading others at work Amanda Nimon-Peters outlines her multi-disciplined approach to increasing personal influence in real and virtual workplace environments

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Working with influence: Nine (sometimes surprising) principles for persuading others at work | Amanda Nimon-Peters

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he power to influence people and decisions in the workplace has always been highly coveted by employees and business school students alike. Like all complex skills, influence and persuasion can be learned in the right context with the right method. Until today, the predominant approach to teaching and learning influencing skills has been based on Robert Cialdini’s research, which identified six principles of persuasion. However, in the 40 years since his book was first published the world has changed enormously. For a start, the sheer volume of behavioural science research from which we can derive principles of influence has expanded to include significant contributions from new fields such as neuroscience, as well as research from a much wider range of cultures and countries than was true when Cialdini produced his work. This was one of the factors that led me to a re-examination of the influencing literature in May 2020. The second key factor was a sense that students needed an approach to influence that went beyond a foundation built on ‘selling’. Cialdini identified his principles while working in used car yards and at telemarketing firms – in other words, influencing people to buy something that may or may not be beneficial for them. Instead, I was seeking an approach that was based on communication, collaboration and social capital. For most business school graduates, influence in the workplace is less about winning a one-time sale, and much more about building productive relationships with a wide variety of people across the globe.

Like all complex skills, influence and persuasion can be learned in the right context with the right method

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Behavioural science can help us understand why people do what they do in the workplace. The multi-discipline approach includes studies from the fields of cognitive and social psychology, sociology, organisational behaviour and other disciplines that seek out systematic, objective patterns in what people do, as well as the stimuli that trigger those patterns. In my review of the international literature, I sought underlying principles of influence that are most relevant to a 21st-century workplace. It was important that each principle was supported by studies from many different countries. It was also important that students in my postgraduate business school classrooms could readily identify ways to apply the principles in their day-to-day professional lives. The result is nine principles for increasing one’s personal influence over decisions and outcomes at work. Some of the principles are surprising, because the relevant research demonstrates that our most common approaches to influencing others can be precisely those that reduce our chances of getting the outcome we seek. The nine principles are organised into three sets of three to ensure they are easy to teach, learn and remember: Principles One to Three are peoplerelated, Principles Four to Six are perceptionrelated and Principles Seven to Nine are behaviour-related. Planning an influencing strategy When you identify a decision or an outcome to influence, it pays to plan an influencing strategy in advance. Consider the people involved, what perceptions are important, and what behaviour you should perform to execute your strategy. The nine principles summarised below can be used alone, or in combination. It does not matter which you use or how many you use – what matters is that by appropriate application of these robust, science-based principles you can increase your success rate above what it would be otherwise.

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People-related principles Principle One is Status. Humans everywhere show a tendency to be more heavily persuaded by the statements of people perceived to be high status. At work, a position of formal authority (like being the boss) endows high status, but status in the workplace - or any team activity - is also established within the specific context. You can increase your contextual status so that your contribution receives increased attention in a critical decision. One approach is to add status to the argument itself: a contribution that leverages valid and relevant data carries more status than a competing suggestion. Another option is to increase your own status by leveraging experience, qualifications or past successes that are related to the decision at hand. You will need some tact to bring this status to people’s attention so you are not perceived as bragging – but if you can manage it, you will increase your influencing power.


Working with influence: Nine (sometimes surprising) principles for persuading others at work | Amanda Nimon-Peters

Principle Two is Social Imitation. The immediate social comparisons available to us in any one moment influence how we behave, what choices we make, and what goals we set. Options that are positioned as the usual or most popular choice influence our own choices. Further, the power of normative information on decision-making increases when people are tired, when they don’t have strong opinions, or when the cost of the choice is relatively low. Principle Two also highlights the ethical aspect of leadership, because the more senior the person within a company, the more that his or her own behaviour affects what is perceived as normal and expected behaviour for employees. Principle Three is Affiliation. Although it may seem obvious that we are influenced more by people we like than people we dislike, the full extent to which one person’s sense of affiliation for another can exert influence is startling. Decision-makers can feel affiliation towards someone who shares the same opinion, who knows the same people, or even someone who has a similar first name. Creating a sense of affiliation between yourself and other people can help tip decisions in your favour during an interview, a client meeting or whenever you are seeking help, advice, or resources. To create a sense of affiliation, identify important, shared features that you have in common with the person you aim to influence. Perception-related principles Principle Four is Value-Framing. In human perception the value of most objects is judged through comparison, rather than in absolute terms. It is a surprising feature of daily communication that generally we omit the information that could elevate the value of our projects and contributions. For example, we say “this is an important project” instead of “this project is so valuable that we could wipe out all our negative results for the year”. There are three sets of techniques you can use for value-framing: choice of context, use of a comparison and value conversion. These techniques enable you to create the perception that an object is cheap or expensive, fast or slow, beneficial or risky.

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Principle Five is Effort. Humans generally take the lowest effort pathway to achieve the outcome they seek. Whether the effort involved is physical or mental, the more difficult it is to do something, the less likely people will do it. Our default attempts to influence others rarely take this into account. Indeed, it is a common pitfall in work-related interaction that often we make high-effort requests of those who have low inclination to help. The first step in applying the principle of effort is to narrowly define the behaviour you want the other to perform. Don’t ask more than is necessary. The lower the budget required in terms of seconds spent thinking, and calories spent doing, the better. Master this perspective, and you will increase the rate at which people comply with your requests. Principle Six is Reasoning. Large-scale studies in the workplace show that the most common approach to persuasion involves giving the influence target logical reasons for taking the requested action. Surprisingly, this approach is far less effective than you might expect. The reasons that would-be influencers generate are often reasons that matter to themselves rather than to the influence target. Further, people act as if the more logical reasons they give, the more persuasive they will be. Studies indicate the opposite is true: messages accompanied by many reasons become less persuasive. In fact, people are more influenced by the perception of rewards and benefits than by information-based generic reasons. For example, your friend is more likely to drive you to the restaurant because arriving with a friend makes him or her look popular, than because the drive to pick you up is convenient. Behaviour-related principles Principle Seven is Inertia. The typical behaviour of large groups in common situations (like a presentation hall or populated zoom call) can be relatively predictable. Instead of attempting to change what most people are likely to do, the goal of Principle Seven is to use an understanding of behavioural inertia to your advantage. For example, when a host asks the

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audience if there are any questions, it is common for no one to react for 20 seconds or more. If you plan for this in advance, and your hand shoots up ready to ask a question, it is likely you will get the spotlight first (when everyone is listening) even if you are the most junior person present, or there are 500 other attendees at the conference. Principle Eight is End-Goal Focus. Behavioural science reveals there are a multitude of ways in which we are preprogrammed to be diverted by the allure of short-term distractions. These might occur in the workplace as the chance to win an argument, or an opportunity to look clever in front of senior management. Although winning an argument or looking good in a meeting might seem like a victory, such reflexive reactions can weaken your chances of achieving the outcome you planned for. You will have more influence over outcomes in your professional life if you define a specific end-goal and then stay focused on it, even as everyone around you gets caught up in distractions and side arguments.

20s When a host asks the audience if there are any questions, it is common for no one to react for 20 seconds or more


Working with influence: Nine (sometimes surprising) principles for persuading others at work | Amanda Nimon-Peters

Principle Nine is Execution. Making a plan and executing a plan are not the same thing. You could train for years to perform in an Olympic event, but the value of that effort can only be realised when you cross the finish line. The final step in influencing is to consider how characteristics of your physical behaviour can add to (or detract from) your influencing power in the moment of the influence attempt. The physical elements identified by science as most effective for increasing influence are significantly different from the default posture, words and voice people use daily. Practicing micro adjustments in your execution must be done in advance because it is too hard to focus both on what you are saying and how you are saying it in the moment when everyone is looking at you. About the book Working with Influence: Nine Principles of Persuasion for Accelerating Your Career provides professional businesspeople with actionable insights to increase their personal influence in real and virtual workplace environments. Each principle is covered in a dedicated chapter that begins with an easy explanation of the science behind the principle, then provides the reader with examples and exercises for developing skills in applying that principle in his or her own environment. If you are an educator, professor or trainer seeking teaching material, diagrams or PowerPoints, please contact the author.

About the Author Dr. Amanda Nimon-Peters is Professor of Leadership at Hult International Business School. You can reach out to her on Amanda. Nimon.Peters@Hult.Edu or via LinkedIn. Dr. Amanda’s book Working with Influence: Nine Principles of Persuasion for Accelerating Your Career is available for pre-order on Amazon.

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Student reviews as an applicant decision factor: what can business schools learn?

Jordi Robert-Ribes, discusses the growth of student reviews, their impact on business school rankings and the importance of school alumni

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Student reviews as an applicant decision factor: what can business schools learn? | Jordi Robert-Ribes

However, as student reviews become more important, many business schools will be wondering what this means for both their application processes and their alumni

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any factors go into a student's decision to study, including the cost and location of the programme, university prestige and job prospects. However, a relatively recent development is the increased dependence on student reviews to obtain information about universities and programmes before applying. In 2019, one industry report found that student reviews were now a key contributing factor to students’ university decisions. Consequently, students were less likely to consider factors such as rankings. This may be because student reviews can offer insights into the student experience that rankings, university brochures and other contact points can’t. There are many reasons why students are turning to online student reviews. For a start, the trend follows broader changes in how young people make purchasing decisions. For example, young people trust online reviews as much as, and sometimes more than, personal recommendations from acquaintances. Additionally, there has been a backlash in the business education space against traditional rankings, with some of the most prestigious business schools dropping out of popular rankings such as The Economist’s. Whatever the reason, websites like EDUopinions are growing as more and more students honestly document their experiences at university and business school, and as other students welcome these reviews into their decision-making process. However, as student reviews become more important, many business schools will be wondering what this means for both their application processes and their alumni. The growth of student reviews will inevitably impact rankings, the importance of alumni, and how business schools interact with their students.

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By considering their communication with students and alumni as ‘customer service’, business schools can improve student satisfaction

The student as customer While there are differing views on whether students can and should be considered customers within higher education, the truth is that some of their behaviour is that of a consumer. Students are recipients of learning and knowledge at business schools and often pay substantial tuition fees to be accepted into the community and receive that knowledge. In some ways, interpreting students as customers has benefits for business schools and their student body. By considering their communication with students and alumni as ‘customer service’, business schools can improve student satisfaction. Embracing open communication channels and fostering a culture where the customer – the student in this case – comes first, can also help retain students and create a better experience. However, students inevitably have certain expectations of universities when they see themselves as customers – that is, as people who have paid for a service. If they don’t believe that they are getting the level of care and education that they deserve, the chance of a bad review increases. This could have consequences for business schools, as a spate of bad reviews may result in reduced applications to programmes.

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Student reviews as an applicant decision factor: what can business schools learn? | Jordi Robert-Ribes

Rankings are changing in other ways, too, in part because of the growing popularity of student reviews. Some rankings, like the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, are actively considering incorporating student or alumni perspectives in their evaluations. As rankings decline in popularity, ranking creators may begin to see the value in student perspectives and student reviews.

Declining trust in rankings The increased dependence on student reviews comes at the expense of rankings. While rankings may evaluate student employment after graduation, the student experience, and staff experiences, they also take into account reputation and brand name strength. Rankings might tell you the relative prestige of a school, but they won’t necessarily convey the personal experience of attending. Business school rankings have had a difficult time in recent years. In October 2020, many top-ranking business schools like Harvard Business School and Wharton confirmed that they would not participate in The Economist’s annual business school ranking. This had a knock-on effect for the business schools who did choose to participate – for example, IESE Business School rose nine places in the rankings compared to 2019.

Improving interactions with students Disappointing experiences at university inevitably increase the likelihood that students will leave a bad review on student review websites. As these sites become more popular in the decision-making process, it’s more important than ever for universities to communicate effectively with their current students and alumni. This doesn’t just mean that universities should do everything they can to make their students’ experiences positive – this is a given. However, it does mean that universities should encourage students to write reviews in the first place. Considering the wide variety of student review websites out there, universities may need to make a coordinated effort to encourage student reviews. To do this, universities and business schools may take advantage of their student ambassadors, who can encourage students to write reviews on a given website and collate reviews to help inform the university of student opinions. Universities have always communicated with students after they have left their institution, through an alumni newsletter or invitations to alumni events. However, as word-of-mouth reviews become crucial to prospective students, alumni are even more important in determining an institution’s reputation. Our statistics from EDUopinions show that, compared to current students, alumni tend to leave reviews that are either positive or very positive. By communicating effectively with alumni, and positively influencing their experience even after their graduation, business schools can increase the chances that former students leave positive reviews.

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Authentic student reviews can also offer students peace of mind about what to expect at university

The value in student reviews As well as helping students make a more well-informed decision about which business schools to apply to, student reviews can also provide value to institutions. Universities already use some form of student evaluations to analyse their courses, but student reviews from alumni can reveal additional areas of improvement that students may not think to talk about when they are a student. Authentic student reviews can also offer students peace of mind about what to expect at university. Better-prepared students may exert less of a strain on student services, as they will have gathered a more accurate idea about what to expect of the learning environment from former students on review websites. If business schools embrace student reviews, they must also know how to respond to negative ones. While they may seem damaging, negative reviews can also serve to highlight to prospective students the positives of a particular institution. Responding to negative reviews can show prospective students that you value your students’ feedback and opinions and actively consider them. On the other hand, ignoring negative reviews risks alienating both the alumnus who wrote the review and prospective students who want to see that their chosen business school cares about responding to their students.

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Student reviews as an applicant decision factor: what can business schools learn? | Jordi Robert-Ribes

For business schools who are used to using rankings as a marker of their success, placing more importance on student reviews may be difficult to adjust to

Lessons learnt For business schools, the growth of online student reviews marks a turning point. With their popularity only set to increase, universities need to embrace student reviews and the opportunities these offer for nurturing stronger relationships between students and their business schools. For one, universities should be proactively responding to online reviews, whether these are positive or negative. For applicants who use student reviews as the main factor in their decision-making process, negative reviews could be a massive influence on the schools they choose to apply to. Responding to negative reviews won’t make them disappear, but it will build better relationships with alumni and give prospective students a more positive view of institutions and their commitment to improvement.

We also know that students increasingly see themselves as customers at university – they want to know they are getting their money’s worth from their programme. Universities that hesitate to see the value in student reviews ignore a valuable source of feedback, and thus a way of making their institution and programmes better suited to their students. For business schools who are used to using rankings as a marker of their success, placing more importance on student reviews may be difficult to adjust to. It will take coordination between the marketing team, student ambassadors and students to encourage the posting of student reviews and create responses to negative ones. However, the payoff for business schools will undoubtedly be huge. Student reviews offer a way to keep in contact with alumni, encourage honest feedback and better prepare incoming students for life at your institution. It’s an opportunity not to be wasted.

About the Author Jordi Robert-Ribes is Co-Founder, EDUopinions

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Bridging divides: Turf, Truth and Trust Jan-Christian Sorensen introduces the Victoria Forum, a global platform for building consensus toward common goals

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Bridging divides: Turf, Truth and Trust | Jan-Christian Sorensen

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n the five years since its inception, the Victoria Forum has carved out an international reputation, bringing together diverse policy makers, academics, business leaders and change-makers in civil society for meaningful discussions aimed at creating positive and sustainable solutions to global issues. The third edition of the Victoria Forum – cohosted by the University of Victoria (UVic) and the Senate of Canada – will take centre stage and command the attention of an ever-growing community of like-minded local, national and international leaders at the University of Victoria from August 28 to 30, 2022. The Forum was established by the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria, with financial support from TELUS and Vancity. Dean Saul Klein and Associate Professor Adel Guitouni were instrumental in creating the Forum, together with Sébastien Beaulieu, a Canadian diplomat and Adjunct Professor in the Gustavson School of Business. The inaugural Forum, co-hosted by Global Affairs Canada, took place in 2017. It sought to go beyond Anglophone and Francophone to mark 150 years of Canada by addressing the country’s wider and much more complex diversity, and particularly the relationships with Indigenous Peoples, with an aim of advancing sustainable socio-economic progress. It resulted in a report that included 38 recommendations and was widely hailed by leaders at various levels of government, business and civil society for advancing ideas that can be implemented to address urgent economic, environmental and social concerns.

Guitouni sees the other two lenses – ‘truth’ and ‘trust’ – as ones that are inextricably linked

“We wanted the Victoria Forum to offer a welcoming space for everyone, where community and thought leaders, intellectuals, students, and all parties interested in spearheading real change can mingle and have meaningful conversations around topics that are important and vital to everyone,” says Guitouni. The initial plan was to convene a second in-person Forum in 2020, but the pandemic forced organisers to adapt, opting instead to host a series of virtual webinars and events, culminating in a second Victoria Forum in late 2020. The overarching theme of the upcoming 2022 Forum – Bridging Divides: Turf, Truth and Trust – was defined in 2019, but has been brought into sharper relief by recent events. Existing economic, environmental and societal rifts were exposed and exacerbated during the pandemic and have been intensified by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “When we talk about divisions on social, environmental and economic levels, all of this predated the pandemic, but Covid-19 only further exposed those divides like the fragility of our economic system and supply chains,” says Guitouni. “After the consultation process of the last Forum, we pinpointed that a great many of these divisions are related to the land, homes, culture and people so this is why the ‘turf’ aspect is an important lens through which we can identify solutions to bridge divides.”

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Guitouni sees the other two lenses – ‘truth’ and ‘trust’ – as ones that are inextricably linked. Especially since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, finding consensus, common ground and cutting through the negative clutter and noise can be a tall order in a world that seems increasingly at odds. That’s especially true considering the proliferation of 24-hour news cycles and social media platforms that often seem to amplify division rather than focus on shared beliefs and values that promote a sense of optimism and unity of society. “At the time of the first Forum, what was dominating the news cycle and rhetoric was the idea of ‘post-truth’ and fake news, so we decided we needed to start talking about truth and exactly what truth means,” says Guitouni. “The pandemic has exposed more of that. What was once considered science and objective truths are being questioned. Everyone in society and every opinion is being called into question and that is being amplified by social media, so that’s why we need to talk about truth and use the lens of truth to explore divides.” When it comes to bringing sides closer together, accounting for the erosion of trust that has occurred in society is fundamental. ‘Trust’ inevitably becomes a critical endpoint of the discussion spectrum that will be the Forum’s major focus this year. Regarding positive outcomes that the Forum has already been able to shepherd, Guitouni points to the discussions that were held surrounding responsible investing and aligning finance with purpose at the 2017 Forum, which played a part in the creation of the Vancouver Island Impact Investing Hub at the UVic campus in 2020. The Hub operates at the intersection of climate action and the fast-growing segment of impact investing and sustainable finance

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PHOTO COURTSEY OF JOHN YANYSHYN/VISIONS WEST

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The inaugural Victoria Forum drew 400-plus attendees in 2017 to address diversity and inclusiveness.

and aims to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, inclusive and resilient economy by expanding access to impact capital and co-creating innovative finance solutions. “We are proud of that achievement,” says Guitouni. “At the time, responsible investing was emerging in the news and we brought experts, investors, politicians and members of communities together for workshops that led to the establishment of the Hub, which is becoming a beacon for engaging parties and collecting data on this kind of unique, forwardthinking approach to investing responsibly.” At the 2022 event, the Forum and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) will team up to introduce a landmark international declaration related to the power of sport in advancing truth and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples around the world. “We have been working with the CGF since 2019 on this important declaration for the power of sport when it comes to bridging divides with Indigenous Peoples around the world,” Guitouni says. “That is a prime example of how we are trying to take some of these initiatives and push them to be implemented – to not just talk, but walk the talk as well.”


Bridging divides: Turf, Truth and Trust | Jan-Christian Sorensen

In parallel to the plenary panels and roundtable sessions centred around the theme of bridging divides, a number of other events are planned for the 2022 Forum, including: a collaborative conversation on arts and culture with the UVic Faculty of Fine Arts and the Royal BC Museum; an idea hub and international essay competition organised by the Global Business School Network to highlight innovative ideas and youth voices on social, economic and environmental issues; a conversation on the future of business and management education; the exploration of music as a universal language for bridging divides; and a specific focus on newcomer and Indigenous relations in the context of globalisation and reconciliation. Guitouni views the work that has been accomplished thus far through the Victoria Forum as a major step in bringing people and groups from all walks of life together to engage in meaningful discussions for the benefit of all citizens of the world, not just those here in Canada. “When we first envisioned the Forum, our goal was to create an open and inclusive space where individuals and organisations from a wide

spectrum of backgrounds and perspectives could come together to discuss ideas about diversity and inclusion in the 21st century, break down silos and explore different perspectives,” he says. Looking forward, Guitouni sees the Forum as an institution that will continue to convene events and contribute ideas and recommendations to a variety of organisations. The aim is to see it become a beacon for business, citizens, decision-makers and intellectuals seeking to make the world a better place, in much the same way as the Halifax International Security Forum beckons stakeholders concerned with safety and security to that city each year. “I’m proud of what we have been able to achieve thus far,” he says. “We’ve been able to establish the Forum as a viable and trustworthy platform that crosses boundaries, encourages a spirit of collaboration and builds consensus toward common goals and solutions to benefit us all, but there is still plenty of work to do when it comes to bridging divides.” The 2022 edition of the Victoria Forum takes place August 28 to 30 at the University of Victoria. For more information, go to victoriaforum.ca.

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This is what we mean by a double whammy! The impact of Brexit and the pandemic on UK business schools and economists, by James Walker, Chris Brewster, Rita Fontinha, Washika Haak-Shaheem, and Fabio Lamperti

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This is what we mean by a double whammy! | James Walker, Chris Brewster, Rita Fontinha, Washika Haak-Shaheem, and Fabio Lamperti

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rexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, in combination, have meant that there is now a high risk of the UK higher academic system losing key players. Virtual conferencing is not popular, some fields have had their access to resources limited much more than others, and many scholars consider that their opportunities for international collaboration have been reduced. Policy makers need to respond to these threats. While both, almost simultaneous, body blows had immediate impacts on those working in the sector, it is fair to say that in neither case were UK academics prepared for how protracted or how influential the shocks would be. Indeed, it is only now becoming possible to appreciate their effects as the pandemic recedes and the influences of Brexit come into sharper focus, enabling research to begin to gravitate toward a more evidence-based, rather than predictive, footing. In a recent report, researchers at Henley Business School, using recent matched survey data based on a representative sample of UK academics in business, management and economics, shone a light on how the pandemic and Brexit have affected UK academics, and on the potential consequences across the sector.

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Shock 1: the UK’s democratically inflicted shock While Britain’s exit from the European Union has been a reality since the outcome of the referendum vote on June 23rd 2016, the withdrawal agreement specifying the details of how that would work only came into force on 31st January 2020. Prior to the referendum on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU), researchers in Britain were among the least likely to consider repatriating to their native countries (Franzoni et al., 2012). Indeed, since 2007, when the UK initially overtook the USA to become the highest ranked comparator, the UK’s field-weighted citation impact was the highest in the world (Department for Industry, Energy and Industrial Strategy, 2019). Furthermore, earlier work analysing the movement of scholars to and from the UK showed that, while the UK was a ‘net exporter’ of scholars, it was a net importer of ‘quality’ scholars, driven by a net inflow of highly cited scholars (Bekhradnia and Sastry, 2005). The reputation of UK higher education, and the competitive packages available, led to UK business schools and economics departments being magnets for international faculty. Indeed, there are more European academic economists working in the UK than there are British-born faculty (even more than in modern languages departments).

Prior to the referendum on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, researchers in Britain were among the least likely to consider repatriating to their native countries

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The UK has, historically, drawn extensively from a European source of highly skilled academic migrants and, while we do not know the proportion of academics that voted to remain in the UK, we do know that the proportion as a whole was heavily skewed towards those with higher degrees, 70% of whom voted to remain. Perhaps unsurprisingly therefore, 84% of business school academics disagreed that “Brexit had been the right thing to do”. This begs the question of whether, as the impact of the referendum comes into focus, emigration intensions were affected? The researchers asked the question, “has Britain’s exit from the EU led you to consider whether you would continue living in the UK?” and found that the majority, 54%, answered “Yes”. Of course, the apparent widespread dissatisfaction reported by UK scholars may be an opportunity for institutions outside the UK to headhunt those


This is what we mean by a double whammy! | James Walker, Chris Brewster, Rita Fontinha, Washika Haak-Shaheem, and Fabio Lamperti

84%

84% of business school academics disagreed that “Brexit had been the right thing to do”

UK-based scholars who are thinking of moving – the ones we found, who are the more productive researchers (in terms of their citations). In particular, headhunting those who were not born in the UK, or have only recently obtained citizenship, may be a fruitful approach for institutions outside the UK. There have been important policy responses to ease migration into academic jobs in several European countries. For example, Italian universities are now able to offer generous tax incentives that entice Italian researchers who have been living abroad for some time, as well as non-Italians, to move to Italian institutions (L’Argenca Informa, 2018). There is a danger, therefore, that in the longer-term Brexit may ‘hollow out’ UK research. The researchers also looked at whether the difference in emigration intentions were concentrated in a small set of business schools and departments where economists ply their trade. They found that views were broadly consistent across different types of organisations: neither the highly ‘research intensive’ schools, nor those with a more European-student-fee dependence, nor economists working in agricultural, medical or geography departments, were more or less likely to have individuals who had considered emigrating from the UK. The findings suggest and reinforce how pervasively Brexit is viewed across the sector and the need for broad-based institutional responses by universities, to ensure that the national policy makers incentivise the higher education system in order to protect its longer-term competitiveness.

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Shock 2. Has the pandemic changed how research is conducted and disseminated? The Brexit process, like most other stories, was cast from the spotlight by the arrival of the pandemic as working life shifted out of the ‘work office’ and into the ‘home office’. This was mirrored in research activity with a notable pivot towards pandemic-related grants and research (Walker et al., 2021). As the pandemic (we all hope) recedes, business schools, and the academics working in them, are taking stock of what elements were transitory and which changes are permanent. What should the sector maintain and build on and what would be better discarded? The researchers’ work highlighted three important dimensions. 1. Dissemination – The experience of the pandemic made it possible to be involved in a wider set of, suddenly online, conferences and workshops than ever before. And the ability to attend virtually certainly reduced the time taken to reach events – indeed, while not for the faint of heart, it is even possible to surf between sessions at the click of a finger – as well as the costs of hosting and attending them. Online conferences and workshops also meant that academics could do their part in reducing carbon emissions. Of course, while there are benefits to virtual conferencing, there are also benefits in face-to-face events, where networking and social interactions can make it possible to have more nuanced exchanges. Weighing up these effects the researchers were curious to know whether researchers considered that online events were as effective as fact-toface events. Initially, about one in five (22%) agreed that there were broadly equal benefits in virtual conferencing. Eighteen months later, in November 2021, when the second survey was run, scholars were more familiar with online conferencing and, with more time and experience, had upgraded their presentation skills. Nevertheless, at that point too, only 27% agreed that these online events were as effective as face-to-face events. A large majority considered them to be poor substitutes.

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2. Accessing resources – The pandemic’s effect on scholars was uneven. For example, there is growing evidence that the pandemic amplified the existing gender inequalities in academic publishing, and that the hardships the pandemic bestowed disproportionately hampered the work of junior faculty members compared to their more senior colleagues. Access to resources differed between researchers, and some fields, reliant on archives and laboratories, or unable to access research sites in, for example, more qualitative ethnographic work, faced difficulties in being able to access the evidence required to undertake their work. Interdisciplinary work requiring such resources was also restricted. In the first survey, conducted shortly after the first UK lockdown, the researchers found that about one in three academics found that their access to resources (such as data and literature) was affected. And little had changed by the time of the second survey suggesting that the impacts on some researchers will be long-lived with potentially substantive effects upon different fields and upon multidisciplinary research.


This is what we mean by a double whammy! | James Walker, Chris Brewster, Rita Fontinha, Washika Haak-Shaheem, and Fabio Lamperti

3. Collaboration – There was a substantive shift in scholars’ ability to collaborate with co-authors and colleagues outside the UK, which deteriorated substantially between the first lockdown and the autumn term (27% to 45%) with nearly half the scholars considering that collaboration with colleagues outside the UK had been made more difficult. Like conferencing, online facilities are no substitute for face-to-face engagement. Indeed, in another study, involving several members of the same research team, using a nationally representative UK sample, it was highlighted that the one dimension of working from home where academics differed from other occupations was in how it reduced ‘important networking opportunities’, with 71% of academics agreeing this was a negative element, compared to 45% in the wider population. Ultimately, the research illustrates that both the pandemic and Brexit will have broader and longer-running impacts on UK business schools and across the sector globally than many will have predicted. The findings suggest that policy makers, academics and the institutions in which they work need to make every effort to mitigate the impact of these shocks.

Ultimately, the research illustrates that both the pandemic and Brexit will have broader and longerrunning impacts on UK business schools and across the sector globally than many will have predicted

About the Authors The authors of the report were James Walker, Chris Brewster, Rita Fontinha, Washika Haak-Shaheem, and Fabio Lamperti. A full report on the preliminary findings of the project can be found at Examining the Impact of Brexit & COVID-19 on the working lives of Business, Management and Economics’ academics in the UK James Walker is Director of Research and Head of International Business & Strategy at Henley Business School at the University of Reading Chris Brewster is Professor of International Human Resource Management at Henley Business School at the University of Reading Rita Fontinha is an Associate Professor of International Business and Strategy at Henley Business School at the University of Reading, specialising in Strategic and International Human Resource Management Washika Haak-Shaheem is an Associate Professor in Human Resource Management at the Henley Business School at the University of Reading Fabio Lamperti is a is a PhD scholar in International Business and Strategy. His research focuses on innovation and international business. He has taken up a post at the University of Perugia.

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The MBA and the value of practitioner engagement Sarah Hardcastle discusses the vast advisory ecosystem that enables programme teams to better understand the fast-changing business environment and improve the business relevance of the MBA

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The MBA and the value of practitioner engagement | Sarah Hardcastle

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BA Director: “I have heard from MBA students in the US, UK and in Europe: they quite often complain that they don't have enough connections with practice, despite all our efforts to make connections with practice!” After 34 in-depth discussions with those leading and running MBA programmes across the globe, examining the structures and types of advice practitioners provide, we realised we had something a little larger on our hands than our planned short supplement on MBA advisory boards! Senior Business School Leader: “You have an entire group of accomplished advisors who want to work with you, so they can contribute to the success of the MBA. That’s all they want. And if you are not able to leverage that, then there’s something wrong – wrong with you, or the school or in the system.” Our new complimentary Sharing the Experience report, ‘The MBA and The Value of Practitioner Engagement’, discusses the vast advisory ecosystem surrounding the MBA, providing the many touchpoints that enable programme teams to better understand the fast-changing business environment and improve the business relevance of the MBA. MBA teams gain extremely valuable advice and insight from these external connections, drawing from strategic, international, department and specific programme advisory boards as well as a wider pool of advisors: this is indeed the programme that everyone wants to talk about. But is an MBA advisory board always necessary? Given the amount of advice available to programme teams some, with set structures to ensure relevance, struggle with the need for a formal board. Those with faculty truly embedded in and networked with business through executive education, research and consultancy,

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can find it a superfluous layer of bureaucracy they would rather do without. Others that have invested time and effort into building an MBA board with a clear purpose and remit, encouraging the bonding necessary for board members to work as a team, find it an invaluable resource and support to them professionally and to the programme as a whole. As with any advice, choosing advisors wisely to generate views that are diverse in many ways drives interesting discussion and debate and is something that is really appreciated by programme teams, benefitting the students through greater relevance of curriculum and the achievement of optimal student outcomes. We found that within their advisory mix of businesses, schools try to ensure that they have both consultants and entrepreneurs, along with third sector organisations and, where possible, align some of their advisors to specialist programme content. Understanding the perspective of each advisor and any bias in terms of them wanting to be heard talking the talk, is also important here. No one size fits all and linking the choice of advisors to the programme’s and students’ ambitions helps support delivery of the strategic goals. MBA Director: “The required mix varies from school to school, programme to programme ... some schools may need regional representatives, business contacts for bringing the business voice into the student experience, people who can actually deliver meaningful guest lectures and will also engage with students. And they need people who can provide a route into local businesses for placements, projects etc. Now, I will have a very different requirement if I am at a larger business school and I'm looking to raise my international profile, as I'm also wanting to make sure that I've got an almost QA process in place that ensures the curriculum that I'm developing is business relevant.”

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Informed by our findings in our first Sharing the Experience report on business school advisory boards, we found that some MBA programme teams were missing a trick by focusing their advisors mostly on aspects of employability and missing the potential benefit of roles for them as profile-raising advocates and ambassadors. Perhaps this focus on employability is inevitable, given the scale of student investment, the importance of outcome in candidate decision-making and, relevant to some schools, the rankings criteria weightings. MBA Director: ”No MBA programme is worth the money if you can't get a job afterwards. I want to be able to look my alumni in the face and know that I prepared them for a world of work – and I'm not talking huge salaries or big corporate jobs. I'm talking about being able to go out there and effect the change that I know they passionately want to. And they're not going to do that if they can't get jobs or launch their own businesses.”


The MBA and the value of practitioner engagement | Sarah Hardcastle

Advice is, however, only one part of the story as these practitioners surrounding the MBA do not just offer advice. Managed well, they bring practical support and additional resource to help the MBA team provide an extraordinary student experience, boosting student employability through activities including mentoring, offering projects and placements, speaking and running extracurricular or co-curricular workshops sharing their expertise to enable students to acquire additional skills. This support reinforces the joined-up thinking from the classroom to the real world, balancing knowledge and skills acquisition, enabling MBA teams to demonstrate that programme learning outcomes are being achieved. Practitioners also support business schools and MBA cohorts by opening doors to their companies and wider networks, advising students as they think through their approach to a change in career and tackle arduous job application, interview and assessment processes.

The prestige of being involved with ‘The MBA’, especially those MBAs with impressive global reputations, does make obtaining external advice and support an easier task than for most other programmes but this can bring its own complications in terms of dealing with the volume of people that want to engage. Structuring and diplomatically managing the vast amounts of advice and support offered can be a challenge for busy programme teams. Detailed further in our new report, there is little doubt from the interviews that this is a case where fortune does favour the structured. MBA Director: “The right structure of MBA advisors depends on the power of the person running the programme.” So which areas of the MBA do these practitioners have an impact on? High-level strategic discussions and all elements of employability, yes, of course. One of the other areas we identified where advisors really do come into their own is when a programme or

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part thereof is being designed or re-designed. Advisors facilitate changes that lead to greater business relevance and may question proposed changes, even to the extent of challenging planned new modules and programmes. Subgroups and task and finish groups are often used to address the detail. Practitioner influence tends to be centred more on electives and extra or co-curricular content than the core programme modules, providing insight on anticipated future business challenges and required skills. A board full of knowledgeable advisors will help an MBA team to first define and then deliver many elements that feed into an MBA programme’s intended learning outcomes, particularly around real-world skills and understanding of the business world, international context, expected attitudes and behaviours. MBA Director: “It has the most impact on programme design: it's very important to me that the programme reflects the needs of an everevolving and quickly changing business world and I value my ability to bounce ideas off them in terms of changes we're thinking of making and ways that we can enhance either individual courses like analytics or new specialisations. We're considering a new specialisation and I think that's probably where I rely on them the most because they're out there. I'm very conscious of the ivory tower syndrome and I don't ever want us making curriculum design choices based on what we think is best without having a really clear sense of what's happening in industry.” Practitioners also play a valuable role in the difficult balance between academic and practical content, constructively challenging faculty and helping MBA teams and schools manage faculty that are themselves challenging, understandably protective of the academic content of their programmes. Specialist content is a particular area where programmes benefit from practitioner focus and advice, deepening understanding of how things are applied in specific functions, industries or sectors thereby helping MBA teams ensure delivery of specialist module intended learning outcomes, this time with the additional focus on knowledge gained.

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MBA Director: “The internal politics are where advisory boards help a great deal – both with the subject specialists teaching on the programme and across into the senior leadership of the School, Faculty or College and University: advisory boards are actually very good vehicles to communicate key decisions or key discussions to colleagues because the academics are sometimes, to some extent, more willing to listen to external than internal viewpoints.” As business schools increasingly embrace the whole responsible management, sustainability, societal value and equality, diversity and inclusion agendas aligning their brands to PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education), we identified that for some schools there are opportunities for MBA programmes to help their business schools in their mission to support organisations to act responsibly. Many but not all schools have


The MBA and the value of practitioner engagement | Sarah Hardcastle

incorporated relevant themes into their MBA curriculum but fewer MBA teams appear to be actively engaging with their practitioner advisors on these themes. Greater interaction will again help with the delivery of learning outcomes with students better understanding the thought processes, implications and decision-making to ensure that the businesses themselves and their supply chains move towards being more socially responsible. Although advising the MBA is not a role exclusive to programme alumni, contrary to our findings about what works on strategic and international advisory boards, the advisor success stories for the MBA often involve the support of fairly recent programme graduates who have a deep understanding of the current programme, the experience and the culture of the school, and who are invested in making their MBA even better, rather than focusing on returning to the ‘good old days’. They are delighted to have the opportunity to pay forward the career and life-changing experiences and opportunities they themselves have been able to take advantage of. But are alumni protective? Mostly, they simply want to give back and to build the reputation of their programme, but make it any easier to gain a place or to graduate and you do so at your peril! Most of all, no matter what the chosen advisory structure, and somewhat ironically given employers’ constant cry for highly developed human skills and emotional intelligence, we found that it is relationships and active management that are key to really driving effective practitioner advice, engagement, support, impact and ultimately enhanced value for any MBA programme. ‘The MBA and the Value of Practitioner Engagement’ is available free of charge from www.hardcastleassociates.com/reports

About the Author Sarah Hardcastle is founder of Hardcastle & Associates

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Tell us: What are you doing? Improving how you communicate your academic research, relevance and expertise The Australian Business Deans Council has launched a book to boost skills in translating academic research for wide audiences. Leslie Falkiner-Rose explains its importance and summarises its content

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he global push for universities to demonstrate their societal value and impact highlights the importance of skills to communicate and connect with a wide range of audiences. Yet significant opportunities to build business school and academic profiles are often lost when ground-breaking academic research does not gain exposure beyond peer-reviewed journals because of a lack of planning, time and skills. Opportunities to enhance industry and government partnerships are also forgone when business school research stays within the academy or is not effectively translated to resonate with non-academic audiences.

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The Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC), which represents 39 business schools that want to do something about this issue, recently published, Tell us: What are you doing? Improving how you communicate your academic research, relevance and expertise. The 300-page book aims to show academics, in all areas of expertise, how they can hone their communication skills to maximise the reach and impact of their knowledge and work.


Tell us: What are you doing? Improving how you communicate your academic research, relevance and expertise | Leslie Falkiner-Rose

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ABDC President, Professor Keryn Chalmers, says: “We don't spend a lot of time, energy and effort upskilling our academics in this important role. I think there are many reasons why it hasn't happened, but it has become increasingly important for us to make sure that the relevance of business research is really out there and well-known. “Business schools want graduates that are employable, which means industry engagement in your curriculum. You want to be doing research that is going to be impactful, and that means it's going to make a difference to a business or to industry or to government enterprises. So, a key pillar of that is getting increasing attention,” she says. Public money is invested in tertiary education and research with the expectation that universities will create and share new and useful knowledge. However, academics in the book argue that this should not mean relying solely on articles that appear in peer-reviewed journals a year or two after research is completed. Those articles may be of little or no contemporary relevance to industry, government, policymakers or media. Professor Nick Wailes of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Business School, says: “It's a critical role for the universities to be actively involved in the debates about our society and how we're shaping it. And if we have expertise and insight, we should be thinking about sharing that. “Whether you want to call that engagement or impact, it’s still core to our mission and it's also core to our ongoing relevance.”

Public money is invested in tertiary education and research with the expectation that universities will create and share new and useful knowledge

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Tell us: What are you doing? Improving how you communicate your academic research, relevance and expertise | Leslie Falkiner-Rose

From undergraduates to established academics Being a great communicator may not come easily but many of the skills can be learned. The ABDC’s book aims to upskill established academics and the next generation of undergraduates, researchers, PhD candidates and early-career practitioners. It is also relevant for media, policymakers and industry executives who want to build relationships with business schools. Tell us: What are you doing? provides insights and practical advice, together with examples from research and 34 successful business school communicators and Australian and international journalists. It is written by Leslie Falkiner-Rose, the ABDC’s communications advisor who has 40 years’ experience in journalism and strategic communications.

Chapters explain ways to address the challenges of communicating well; finding a balance between talking solely about your research and providing more general expert commentary; learning to speak academic and journalese; developing media relationships; building and boosting your public profile; strategically sharing work; and connecting through social media. Professor Gary Mortimer of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Business School is a well-known media figure and a key commentator in the book. Prior to joining QUT, he spent more than 25 years working with some of Australia’s largest general merchandise and food retailers. “When I came to QUT, the one thing that struck me is that there are academics doing amazing research, cutting-edge research that industry is hungry for. But when I was in industry, I had no idea of the level of research, information and data that was available,” Professor Mortimer said. Almost all his academic research has been funded by industry. “Coming out of industry is helpful because we tend to talk two different languages: industry versus academia. But certainly, I would attribute all of my research funding to engaging in industry and working on industry projects that are collaborative. That’s not only impactful research that might change policy or procedures in some way for retail, but also generating new knowledge for academia,” Professor Mortimer says. However, when he finished his PhD, he struggled with the concept of being an expert. It wasn’t until Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Radio wanted to talk to him about his research and retail expertise that he began to rethink his view of being “just an old retailer who did a PhD”.

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Professor Mortimer points out that academics become experts in their PhD research. The challenge is to then build the confidence to own that space. It took years before he was comfortable commenting publicly when he disagreed with something said by a CEO of a major company. Build promotion into grant applications Academics should plan to promote their research right from the start and build promotional budgets into research budgets. This is acknowledged to be a weak area. Swinburne Business School’s Dr Jason Pallant regularly comments in the media – experience that makes it easy for him to explain on a grant application how he will disseminate research results. This can include writing a feature, doing an episode on his podcast and tailoring information to the needs of specific audiences like specialised trade publications or more general news services. Many of the academics interviewed agree there are benefits in sharing early outcomes of research. They provide examples of ways to do that without compromising project confidentiality or releasing results prematurely. For example, Dr Pallant provides top-line or preliminary trends and general findings to public or commercial audiences that want to be pointed in the right direction. That work does not conflict with his academic journal articles that require much greater detail. Professor Carl Rhodes of the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Business School says: “To work with a partner and to suggest you’re not going to share anything preliminary would strike me as being a little bit precious on the part of the academic. “Speaking to people in public and to journalists about ideas that are based on your work means that you have to qualify those ideas. You need to explain them, you need to think them through, and it actually helps develop the intellectual work.”

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The importance of building networks Building networks can be critical to attracting research partners and disseminating results. Adjunct Professor Warren Hogan of UTS Business School knows many researchers who grudgingly started engaging with people who were interested in their research, and who then discovered those relationships led to new collaborations and funding. Professor Debbie Haski-Leventhal of Macquarie University created a network of 34 leading Australian companies that worked together for four years to enhance research on corporate social responsibility. The project included workshops, events in Australia’s Federal Parliament House, joint research and reports. “That opened me up to having all this feedback of: ‘This is how your research impacted our work’. But to be able to do that, I had to get out of my comfort zone – which was very hard – and work with these companies and create ongoing engagement with external stakeholders,” she says.


Tell us: What are you doing? Improving how you communicate your academic research, relevance and expertise | Leslie Falkiner-Rose

Professor Haski-Leventhal says that wider engagement and impact – including involvement in policy processes such as submissions to parliamentary committees – should be linked to employment, performance management and promotion. “The narrative of how we’re making a difference, how we are serving the community, how we are becoming a force for good, is usually left out of the applications for promotion. We always talk about, and I see, people promoted just on the basis of their research citations. “So even when we talk about research impact at universities, what we’re actually looking at is research outputs, at how much we’re publishing in journals. Not the way that our research is helping to shape the community, society, industry.” Understanding the media Three chapters in the book are devoted to explaining how media operate and the nuances of working with journalists, including how to build and maintain media relationships, what journalists want from you, and how to give a good interview.

Those working at the coalface also provide advice on understanding your audience; writing media releases for news or current affairs, opinion pieces and blogs; targeting media outlets, scattergun distribution versus exclusive placement, and connecting with social media. Many academics eschew the dumbing down of research, but the book looks at how to distill the main messages, identifying what makes a good story with a strong lead, and writing in the active voice. “There are some interviews I walk away from thinking there’s nothing in that I can use,” says Conor Duffy, Education Editor of the ABC. “I mean, if you can’t explain your research in layman’s terms to a person on the street, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.” Professor Marian Baird AO of The University of Sydney Business School says if she can explain to students the research process and outcomes, she should be able to do that to the general public. Any initial lack of confidence can be overcome with practice. “The biggest thing is: Have you got something to say?” she says. “I am very careful to listen to what the journalists are asking questions about because, I think, that does give us a little bit of a sense of that’s where the movement of interest is going.” That, in turn, can inform future research topics. John Ross, Asia-Pacific Editor of Times Higher Education, says: “The people I like to speak to most – and there’s only a few of them – are people who know the subject really well but can also express it very, very clearly and concisely in a few words. There are not many people who can do that, but they’re gold.” Tell us: What are you doing? Improving how you communicate your academic research, relevance and expertise is available from https://abdc.edu. au/ and online bookstores worldwide. Ebook: $16.50 AUD, paperback $36.25 AUD plus shipping.

About the Author Leslie Falkiner-Rose is the communications advisor at the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC)

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Shifts in student interest before and after the pandemic Cara Skikne outlines a new report from Studyportals that presents insights into lasting shifts brought on by the pandemic

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Shifts in student interest before and after the pandemic | Cara Skikne

T

he Studyportals report tracks changes in student interest between 2018 and 2021. This analysis is based on real-time student interest collected on Studyportals websites and measured as pageviews. It is representative of a global audience of tens of millions of prospective international students looking for English-taught programmes. Studyportals data shows a significant increase in interest in Master’s programmes over the last two years. This could mean that the search for education accelerated in the post-Covid period, potentially as an outcome of pent-up demand in 2020. Bachelor’s programmes have largely maintained stable levels of student interest. Interestingly, other programmes offered by higher education institutions, such as PhDs, short and preparation courses, have attracted less and less student demand.

9.6%

During the pandemic, there was a 9.6 percent increase in page views for online courses

Methods of education Covid-19 had a significant impact on student preference for methods of education. During the pandemic, there was a 9.6 percent increase in page views for online courses. This increase was driven largely by student interest in European programmes, particularly those in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany and Spain. Page views were also up among prospective students in emerging markets such as India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Brazil, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Online and multiple options attracted a stable amount of student interest from March 2018 until the beginning of 2020. From February 2020, data shows a steady growth of interest for these methods, except for a slight decline in November 2020 as traffic for on-campus options resumed.

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The rise continued for the rest of the measurement period until November 2021. After the Covid-19 breakout, Studyportals recorded a significant drop in interest for on-campus-only programmes. After the introduction of lockdowns in Europe, Oceania and North America and the closing of borders, interest in on-campus programmes dropped to a three-year low. From November 2020, campus-only programmes rebounded and the interest for these programmes became less predictable. For short courses, the large sub-disciplines decreased in relative market share, while the small ones increased. This means an immense amount of subject diversification took place, reflecting the fact that prior to the pandemic, institutions focused on launching their top courses online but as the pandemic progressed, they had to launch a greater range of online courses and demand followed. Shifts in destination countries Over the last four years, the biggest players in the education market in terms of student interest have remained in the leading positions. The United States, however, lost two positions, falling to 4th position and making space for Canada. Even before the pandemic, there was a decline in student interest for the US. During the Trump administration, unwelcoming visa policies and anti-immigration rhetoric put a dampener on demand for US programmes. According to Margaret Cook, Senior Vice President at Studyportals, “The decline of international students to the US is not a temporary change but a trend. Canada makes it very easy to stay in Canada to work, and the US doesn’t”. Australia’s relative decline accelerated, likely caused by tight Covid-19 restrictions and border closures.

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Shifts in student interest before and after the pandemic | Cara Skikne

Moreover, there was a rise in interest for education in Poland, Austria and Finland, and a fall in interest for education in Turkey, Denmark, Spain and Sweden. “Poland is investing more in international recruitment and trying to increase the volume of applicants to international programmes. We see a similar trend from Finland as well.” says Fabrizio Citto, Business Unit Manager for EMEA at Studyportals. There were also interesting changes in interest for education in Lebanon, which gained 35 positions, and Malta, which gained 32 positions. Student interest from source countries In terms of interest from origin countries, there were many significant changes over the last four years. However, we can see that India has remained the largest student origin country for international students. There was a big drop in interest from the United States and the United Kingdom, both falling from the top three.

DESTINATION COUNTRIES RISING IN POPULARITY Rank

DESTINATION COUNTRIES FALLING IN POPULARITY

2021

2018

Rank

2021

2018

Poland

15

4

19

Denmark

20

6

14

Finland

14

3

17

Turkey

19

3

16

Austria

17

3

20

United States

14

2

2

Canada

2

2

4

Sweden

12

2

10

Italy

6

1

7

Spain

13

2

11

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Emerging markets are growing in importance One of the most significant changes was an increased interest in studying abroad in countries like Turkey, which entered the top five. Iran rose five positions into the top three, and Nigeria rose two positions taking over the second position on the leader board. Turkey, Nigeria and Iran all face critical shortages of university spaces. The demandsupply gap in higher education may well create opportunities for new universities or transnational education (TNE), although other factors should also be considered. Moreover, new significant players have emerged. Vietnam made the biggest leap, gaining 22 positions, and sits close to the top 10 in the world. Sri Lanka gained 17 positions, rising to 12th position. This hints at the potential of those countries to become important recruitment markets at a time when geographic diversification is a key strategy, to mitigate risk and improve education quality. A new skillset for the post-pandemic world While higher education tries to adapt to a post-pandemic world, it is essential that it provides students with the skillset required to thrive in the near future. This means making sure that programme portfolios are up-to-date and are catering to the needs of a changing context.

RISING SOURCE COUNTRIES Rank

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FALLING SOURCE COUNTRIES

2021

2018

Rank

Vietnam

11

22

33

United Kingdom

Sri Lanka

14

17

29

Turkey

17

5

Iran

2

Nigeria Greece

2021

2018

8

5

3

Egypt

17

5

12

9

South Africa

18

5

13

5

8

Canada

10

4

6

6

2

4

United States

5

3

2

6

2

15

Germany

9

2

7


Shifts in student interest before and after the pandemic | Cara Skikne

SUBDISCIPLINESS RISING IN POPULARITY Rank

SUBDISCIPLINESS FALLING IN POPULARITY

2021

2018

Rank

2021

Gas, Oil & Mining

161

39

122

93

Dentistry

133

37

96

55

81

Communication Sciences

73

31

42

49

55

104

Water Management

135

30

105

74

39

113

Nursing

92

27

65

120

37

83

Applied Mathematics

95

21

74

Cyber Security

45

74

119

Digital Marketing

27

66

Machine Learning

26

Clinical Psychology Digital Communication Environmental Economics & Policy

With the world changing at lightning speed, it is crucial to determine the direction of student interest over time. The mainstays of Englishtaught international higher education are still in high demand, with programmes in Business & Management, Social Sciences, and Engineering & Technology capturing historically more than 40 percent of student interest. Nevertheless, major changes emerged over the past few years. Studyportals ranked individual subdisciplines before and after the outbreak of Covid-19. Taking two snapshots of student interest – one representing 2018 and another representing 2021 – we can take a long-term perspective. The big picture has been dominated by a sway in student preferences among STEM subjects: Engineering & Technology appears to be on the decline, while students refocus their preferences on Computer Science & IT. There have also been notable changes in the popularity of subdisciplines, with the biggest move being towards Cyber Security, which is now the 45th most sought-out discipline by students after gaining 74 positions since 2018. Other digital-related disciplines, such as Digital Marketing, Machine Learning, Digital Communication, and UX design, also increased sharply in popularity. This reflects the emerging trend of the world becoming more digital with an emphasis on a user-centred approach. As the world rebounds from the outbreak of Covid-19 by transitioning to digital solutions, students seem to be ever more attracted to programmes that provide them with the tools required to take an active role in this

2018

transformation. We expect this upward trend in digital subjects to last as industries focus further on digital transformation. The other subdisciplines that have gained student interest are Clinical Psychology and Environmental Economics & Policy. The two subdisciplines have risen by 55 and 37 positions respectively since 2018. The huge rise of Environmental Economics & Policy is contrasted by the fall of Mining, Oil & Gas, which took the biggest fall amongst 200+ subdisciplines, from position 122 to position 161. This trend comes as no surprise considering the increasing urgency to address climate change as one of the biggest challenges facing humanity. Furthermore, Dentistry, Communication Sciences and Water Management have all dropped in popularity by at least 30 positions. These changes reflect Gen Z’s commitment to environmental values, and the growing role of sustainability in student decision-making.

Before and After the Outbreak: Changes in student interest 2018 - 2021

#actingoninsights

Download the report now: https://bit.ly/3pyez0p

About the Author Cara Skikne is Senior Editor at Studyportals

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Hidden in plain sight: the easiest leverage for change Isabel Rimanoczy discusses the 'Sustainability Mindset' and the path to an accelerated mindset transformation

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A

number of years ago, as I became increasingly aware of the numerous environmental and social challenges looming on the horizon, I felt deeply troubled by the lack of consciousness in the media, in government departments, in educational institutions, in businesses and in the general public. It was comforting though, to encounter some exceptions, and I wondered if the exceptional pioneers held the key for the transformation we needed. Why were they acting in a ‘business as unusual’ way, redesigning their products and manufacturing processes to achieve a more positive footprint on the planet? Did they perhaps have some knowledge or capabilities that we could intentionally develop for a generation of responsible citizens? After years of research and interviews with business leaders, I was finally able to identify a number of aspects they indeed had in common, and which seemingly had played a major role in their launching a novel way of running their enterprises. These characteristics met an important criterion: they were not innate and we could develop them. They related not to the knowledge, but to the thinking (how they processed information), and to the being (how they showed up in their attitude to the world). This particular way of thinking and being was the lens through which they looked at our environmental realities. It formed the invisible underpinning of their actions. I have called it the ‘Sustainability Mindset’

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This was back in 2010. Fast forward to 2021. A quick scan of the news and social media makes it clear that public consciousness has risen, due to the number of fires and floods around the world, the rise in global temperature, the CO2 in the atmosphere and the political struggles to meet the 2030 agenda. Educational institutions, responding to the demands of a new generation, have multiplied their sustainability courses, programmes and certificates. The media, worldwide, is providing increased coverage of climate-related events that are impacting populations and organisations in all countries. Led by young entrepreneurs, businesses are combatting the challenges by adopting innovative approaches, among them the creation of a new business model – making profit through development of products and services that actually solve our real needs, as the list posted on AIM2Flourish shows. Still, the changes are not happening at the speed we need. Some initiatives are hastily assembled efforts that result in mere ‘greenwashing’ and we have seen an abundance of technical short-term solutions which portend unwanted future impacts. A few years ago, Pope Francis saw this coming: “If we want to bring about deep change, we need to realise that certain mindsets really do influence our behaviour. Our efforts at education will be inadequate and ineffectual unless we strive to promote a new way of thinking about human beings, life, society and our relationship with nature.” (Laudato Si’ #215). Mindset … this intangible construct has been appearing in other places. The seriousness of our environmental problems demands fundamental attitudinal change. Superficial stances will not suffice; we need a deeper mental approach. Nobel Peace Prize winner Prof. Muhammad Yunus addressed the 2019 Social Business Forum with these words: “Unless we change our mind we cannot change the world.” That same year, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J Mohammed called for a “new paradigm shift to replace the

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Hidden in plain sight: the easiest leverage for change | Isabel Rimanoczy

traditional sustainable development approach to realise the 2030 Agenda”. More recently, we heard from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres: “We cannot solve our biggest problems if we do not come together. It is not only about institutions or processes. It is in the first instance about our mindset.” And HH The Dalai Lama put it simply: “If we want to have a better and happier future, now is the time to examine the mindset of our present generation.” How do we examine, replace, change a mindset? Here is the good news. It is easier than we think. Since 2014, a network of academics has been gathering and exchanging research, thoughts and practices to address the ‘unsustainable’ mindset – and develop a mindset of sustainability. These academics are mostly outliers in their institutions, experimenting with new holistic ways to facilitate learning about generating sustainability, and doing it by focusing on the thinking and the being. The diversity of their contexts (55 different countries, 190 institutions) is a colourful tapestry of experiences and approaches. Their stories of students' paradigm transformation nurture each other’s work and, by showing what is possible, inspire other colleagues.

Some use art, literature, service learning or reflective essays. Others use nature, dialogues, questions and interviews. In many cases, they report how easy it is to prompt this profound transformational shift: “it is as if the students are ready for this conversation”, “they just need the language”. While the Sustainability Mindset is intangible, like a worldview or a paradigm, it is expressed in actions. Think of this student attending the MA Hospitality and Tourism course at Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey, who decided to create a professional oath for her school. Her rationale was clear: she experienced a powerful mindshift that transformed how she saw herself, her profession and her possibilities to make a difference in the world. What better leverage than to create a professional oath, as a vision of how new graduates entering the industry could see their contribution? Of course, many aspects of a Sustainability Mindset pervaded the text of the oath: thinking of long-term impacts, considering diversity and inclusion, the priceless value of an ecosystem, our carbon footprint, tourism as a way to educate and to support local farmers and business, etc. The path to an accelerated transformation is readily available. Complementing the technological advances and broader understanding of the urgency, we now have ways to tap into the lever that can bring this change: educators can help by exploring the mindset that brought us here, and by developing a sustainability one. Change from the inside out. Elementary, my dear Watson.

About the Author Isabel Rimanoczy is an academic and the convener of the PRME Working Group on the Sustainability Mindset, a network of scholars developing a mindshift in over 25,000 students a year. She co-developed the Sustainability Mindset Indicator, the first instrument to assess the sustainability mindset, which received the Bronze Award by Reimagine Education in 2021 isabelRimanoczy@gmail.com

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