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The Business Initiative for Technical Education (BITE): Creating shared value, boosting a country

Jose M. Alcaraz (School of Business and Governance, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia, and Munich Business School, Munchen, Germany)
Rodolfo Hollander (Barna Business School, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)
Agustín Navarra (CORD, Waco, USA)

Competitiveness Review

ISSN: 1059-5422

Article publication date: 21 January 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the creation of shared value (Porter and Kramer, 2011) through technical education by analyzing key events and factors associated with the midsize firm IMCA and the Business Initiative for Technical Education (BITE), a private-public alliance in the Dominican Republic.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper results from a five-year longitudinal case study that included an embedded participant (the third author of the paper) and was based on structured and unstructured interviews, observations and multiple archival records. Thematic and content analyses were applied to most of these sources.

Findings

IMCA’s staffing needs and search for a solid competitive strategy (one dependent on qualified technicians able to provide multiple services) was the original driver of BITE. The Initiative managed to enlist a formidable alliance of stakeholders, engaged in systemic, bottom-up, “small wins” approaches that targeted not only contents but also pedagogies that transformed multiple polytechnic schools. The initiative has resulted in significant corporate economic benefits and is currently altering fundamental aspects of the technical education of an entire nation.

Research limitations/implications

The research upon which the paper is based consists of a longitudinal case study comprising the years 2011-2015. BITE is a long-term project of which only the first stages have taken place.

Originality/value

The paper focuses specifically on two modalities of shared value creation: productivity in the value chain and local cluster development. It expands the understanding of important issues around shared value creation through private investment in (technical) education, particularly around the following dimensions: curricular and pedagogical transformation, stakeholder engagement and place/time scale. Insights may be of particular relevance for developing regions with significant educational needs.

Keywords

Citation

Alcaraz, J.M., Hollander, R. and Navarra, A. (2019), "The Business Initiative for Technical Education (BITE): Creating shared value, boosting a country", Competitiveness Review, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 8-25. https://doi.org/10.1108/CR-06-2016-0033

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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