Academia - A New Push For Real-World Lessons at B-Schools

By Lindsey Gillman, WSJ 4/7/2016   edited by M. Krause for the web

Corporate Culture isn't the most important thing, it's the ONLY THING.  Corporate Retirees open the door for Cultural Change.  New Replacements have a big responsibility in moving the company forward while maintaining the same values and culture.     Jim Sunkel, retired CEO of CostcoType your paragraph here.


With new guiding principles released this week, the main accrediting body for business schools is pushing M.B.A programs to get practical.  The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is urging those programs to spend less time or research and pedagogy and focus on helping businesses solve current problems.  The new outlook builds on revised standards for b-school accredidation released by AACSB in 2013.  Those standards ease the way for newer schools around the world to win AACSB's imprimatur, which makes institutions eligible for certain rankings and typically holds more sway with employers. 

Business graduates must be fluent in the "practice of theory in a less-than-ideal context," said Michael Arena, chief talent and development office for General Motors Co. and a member of AACSB's board of directors.  That means bringing more practitioners into the classroom as professors or guests (Teacher Mentors).

Under the new standards, schools are encouraged to strengthen (partner) with companies and focus less on academic research.  On April 4, AACSB which accredits 755 institutions in 51 countries and territories released a new directive urging schools to positions themselves as "co-creators of knowledge" alongside corporate partners (develop the Go-Link Energy Teacher Mentor Program on campus).

"You need that fundamental training and education to transfer knowledge to the next generation of leaders,"  (Teacher Mentor Programs) said Mohammed Nadeem, professor of marketing at the School of Business and Management at National University's San Jose, Calif., campus.

Schools must now consider "whether the research we produce can actually solve the needs of companies," said Santiago Inigues, dean of IE Business School in Madrid and incoming chairman of AACSB.  As a model he cited the work of Harvard Business School's Michael Porter, whose research on organizational strategy has been put into  practice by businesses (Alan MacLachlan's Go-Link Energy's Teacher Mentor Program is another option).

Newer institutions are finding it easier to gain AACSB's seal of approval.  Schools in South America or East Asia, which tend to employ fewer tenured faculty, are no longer penalized for taking a practical approach, said Alison Davis-Blake, dean of the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, who has served on accreditation committees for peer institutions