Business school accreditation in the changing global marketplace

Jun Zhao (College of Business, Governors State University, University Park, Illinois, USA)
Carlos Ferran (College of Business, Governors State University, University Park, Illinois, USA)

Journal of International Education in Business

ISSN: 2046-469X

Publication date: 3 May 2016



This paper aims to examine current trends in business accreditation by describing and comparing the major international business accreditation agencies (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, European Quality Improvement System, Association of MBAs, Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs and International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education), and analyze their recent market expansion strategies (development and penetration using Ansoff model) as they compete for the schools seeking initial or continuing accreditation.


This is a comparative study of the business accreditation agencies and their competitive strategies, using publically available data such as lists of accredited schools published by the agencies as main data collection method.


Business accreditation agencies have utilized the market penetration and market development strategies to expand their market share in recent years. The key growth areas are international schools, regional teaching-oriented institutions, two-year institutions and for-profit institutions.

Research limitations/implications

This study is based on publically available data published by accreditation agencies. More in-depth analysis with survey method could be utilized in future study to identify more specific strategies and their impact on business schools seeking accreditation.

Practical implications

Accreditation is no longer a luxury but a requirement for business schools, but they have to make an informed decision on which agency to pursue to assure an appropriate fit.

Social implications

The public needs to understand the value and the requirements of accreditation. Multiple agencies provide different options to fit the missions of the different types of schools.


This study is valuable to business school stakeholders for understanding accreditation, the need for accreditation and the options they have available.



Zhao, J. and Ferran, C. (2016), "Business school accreditation in the changing global marketplace", Journal of International Education in Business, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 52-69.

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