Designing the management school of the future in light of the three roles of the 50+20 vision requires sweeping changes in both structures and policies within existing institutions. We foresee future challenges in three particular areas:
Managing faculty diversity
Implementing the vision requires different capabilities and motivations on the part of the business school faculty. The management school of the future will need to find ways to break down existing walls and rebuild bridges between different internal faculty fractions. The core challenge, however, lies in building bridges between their faculty and the outside world. More windows in the ivory tower will not suffice.
Business schools must embrace an open borders policy between practice and academia: a prerequisite condition to create the collaborative learning environment required for action learning and research. Moving between reflective work in a management school and applied work in business is a critical success factor in ensuring high relevance of the faculty in their role as lead-learners in the educational and research process.
More than anything, the management school of the future needs a comprehensive mix of educators and researchers with a wealth of experience and backgrounds. Encouraging a sense of diversity both among the faculty and as a life-long learning goal for every person requires establishing conditions that promote the related intrinsic motivation.
New criteria for quality and success
Establishing outcome-oriented measures for the three new roles of management education is an useful starting base. The related educational criteria need to evaluate to what degree graduates can face challenging issues in organizations and society. Relevant research measures must evaluate to what extent research output produces results that can be used to resolve pressing issues in business and society.
The role of engaging in the transformation of business and the economy further requires measures that assess a business school’s presence in, contribution to and impact on the greater public. In addition, the school needs to implement indicators that allow measuring the progress of the school itself in terms of how the three roles are lived.
Providing leadership and change management
Changing established institutions within higher education represents a real challenge. Such institutions were often
structured to assure stability and academic freedom in the face of different external influences. As a result, faculty is equipped with significant power to resist change, even if proposed by a school’s own leadership. Creating the capacity for strategic change coupled with conditions that encourage an intrinsic motivation to change in business schools are critical pre-conditions.
A second critical element is the leadership team’s capacity, competence and courage to embrace their role and lead change. While this seems an obvious statement, we should remember that many current deans or presidents have academic backgrounds, with little or no previous leadership experience.