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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2013

Christopher Bajada and Rowan Trayler

A modern business graduate is expected to have strong disciplinary skills as well as the soft skills of communication and team work. However today's business graduate…

Abstract

Purpose

A modern business graduate is expected to have strong disciplinary skills as well as the soft skills of communication and team work. However today's business graduate needs to be more than the traditional “I‐shaped” graduate of the past and more of the “T‐shaped” graduate employers are looking for. Many undergraduate business degrees profess to offer integration of the curriculum but on investigation this occurs mainly through a capstone subject at the end of the degree. Today's business graduates need a more integrated approach to their learning. This paper aims to outline the transformation of a traditional business curriculum to one that is inter‐disciplinary, outlining the necessary steps and conditions including the most challenging – faculty buy in.

Design/methodology/approach

The review of the Bachelor of Business degree at University of Technology Sydney (UTS) provided an opportunity to explore the option to embrace an integrated curriculum. The authors outline how the review was shaped, the need for change and the approaches to interdisciplinary business education, and an approach to designing an interdisciplinary curriculum. They also provide two case studies.

Findings

Approaches to developing an integrative curriculum can take many forms, but the most effective is one that is embedded throughout an entire degree program. This must start with a cornerstone subject to set the road map for the student's study. This subject needs to demonstrate how each discipline interrelates and how at the end of the degree through a capstone subject, this knowledge is again brought together to deal with more complex issues using the more sophisticated tools studied throughout the degree. There also needs to be a strategy that integrates the various first‐year disciplinary subjects traditionally included in an undergraduate business degree.

Originality/value

This paper aims to outline the transformation of a traditional business curriculum to one that is inter‐disciplinary and integrated. The outcome of such an approach produces graduates with the inter‐disciplinary skills that employers are looking for.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 55 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 22 April 2020

Saad Zighan and Ahmed EL-Qasem

This paper explores the applications of lean thinking in re-evaluating the business school curriculum, syllabus and intended learning objectives to enhance the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores the applications of lean thinking in re-evaluating the business school curriculum, syllabus and intended learning objectives to enhance the employability of graduates through identifying and eliminating non–value-added activities.

Design/methodology/approach

The research employed multilevel qualitative methodology, where 55 semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data from academics, students and graduates from several private and public universities in Jordan.

Findings

The study finds that the application of lean thinking in the business school is twofold – it helps the developer of the school curriculum to get rid of many superfluous and non–value-added activities and also emphasises and reinforces the value-added activities. Value stream mapping, with a consideration for internal and external outputs, has been found to be a useful tool for developing an employability-focussed curriculum that equips business school students with the required competences and skills in the labour market.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on a qualitative research approach. The generalisability of the findings is difficult to assess, and future research would benefit from the insights obtained from the quantitative data

Practical implications

In practice, this study has identified different types of non–value-added and unnecessary activities in business school curriculum and has made suggestions for the development of a more employability-focussed curriculum.

Originality/value

This paper investigates the non–value-added activities of the business school curriculum, syllabus and the intended learning objectives to enhance the employability of graduates in Jordan.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 70 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 19 April 2013

Jeffrey W. Alstete

This paper seeks to propose the use of specific strategic management tools for identifying opportunities for gaining competitive advantage in the business core curricula

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to propose the use of specific strategic management tools for identifying opportunities for gaining competitive advantage in the business core curricula offered at colleges and universities.

Design/methodology/approach

A brief review of the literature on business core curriculum innovation and change is examined, and strategic management concepts are used to compare with a set of competitive peer institutions. The techniques employed in the analysis include a representative weighted competitive strength assessment and a strategic group map in an example case analysis.

Findings

The results show that in this particular sample competitive environment, a business core course program could gain a competitive lead over rivals by improving innovation and distinctiveness in the core program content and/or teaching methods.

Research limitations/implications

The concepts proposed in this paper are limited by the measures that are selected, the subjective level of importance weights assigned by the users to the measures, the possible overlap among some measures, and the use of a single case with five selected peer institutions.

Practical implications

There is potential usefulness of these strategic management analytical tools in the field of higher education by practitioners and researchers to examine the fundamental business core curricula in a systematic manner. The approach proposed could be used for other practical analyses of educational programs, organizational processes and services.

Social implications

Considering that higher education courses and degree programs are important to individuals, organizations, and society at large, this proposed adaption of business strategic management concepts by educators could have a positive impact by enabling colleges and universities to discover and implement more opportunities for distinctiveness and improvement.

Originality/value

While there are previous research journal articles describing the importance of making changes to business core curricula and programs in today's rapidly changing environment, this paper offers practical and methodical analytical tools that administrators, faculty members and committee leaders can use for informed decision making.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2018

Langton Mburayi and Tony Wall

Whereas the integration of sustainability into business schools has received increasing attention in recent years, the debate continues to be generic rather than…

Abstract

Purpose

Whereas the integration of sustainability into business schools has received increasing attention in recent years, the debate continues to be generic rather than recognising the peculiarities of the more quantitative sub disciplines such as accounting and finance which may of course be intimately linked to professional standards. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to examine the extent to which sustainability is integrated into accounting and finance curricula in business schools, how, and to understand some of the challenges of doing so.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents the findings from a systematic form of literature review which draws on the previous literature about how sustainability is embedded into business school curricula and the challenges in doing so. A particular focus is placed on how the ways in which sustainability is integrated into accounting and finance curricula in business schools.

Findings

The paper demonstrates that accounting and finance lags behind other management disciplines in embedding sustainability and that institutional commitment is oftentimes a strong imperative for effective integration of sustainability.

Practical implications

This paper is a call to practitioners and researchers alike to explore new ways of integrating sustainability in the accounting and finance curricula, including working across boundaries to provide learning opportunities for future accountants, financial managers and generalist managers.

Originality/value

The paper offers an original analysis and synthesis of the literature in the context of the accounting and finance curricula in business schools, and proposed a conceptual framework to further develop sustainability education in the context of business schools.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2018

Heather A. Howard, Nora Wood and Ilana Stonebraker

Librarians in higher education have adopted curriculum mapping in an effort to determine where effective information literacy instruction can help fill gaps in the…

Abstract

Purpose

Librarians in higher education have adopted curriculum mapping in an effort to determine where effective information literacy instruction can help fill gaps in the curriculum and prepare students for both coursework and future research demands. While curriculum mapping has been used widely across academia, few studies have considered business curriculum and the development of information literacy instruction. This paper aims to provide an overview of the current landscape of curriculum mapping across business courses at two institutions and a replicable methodology for other institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the authors will examine two case studies at large research universities that evaluate curriculum mapping against the BRASS Business Research Competencies at the undergraduate and the graduate business levels.

Findings

This study found that the Business Research Competencies are a valid method to evaluate in both case studies. Curriculum mapping also uncovered various gaps in business education across the curricula at both institutions and led to open discussions with faculty in an effort to improve the success of students both during their degree programs and into their careers.

Originality/value

This study provides a framework and methodology for evaluating business curriculums against robust standards to improve student success. With examples from undergraduate and graduate programs, the results of this project promise to have long-lasting implications on the development of curriculums across business programs, including the value of librarian support in developing Business Research Competencies.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 46 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2016

Chamila Roshani Perera and Chandana Rathnasiri Hewege

The purpose of this study is to extend the current knowledge of curriculum developments in international business and marketing curricula. Integrating sustainability into…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to extend the current knowledge of curriculum developments in international business and marketing curricula. Integrating sustainability into business and marketing curricula of the universities are widely debated in previous literature. Sustainability is a global phenomenon; however, curriculum development projects aimed at integrating sustainability education into international business and marketing curricula are scarce. The study investigates the learning gaps in sustainability education among undergraduates enrolled in an International Marketing course to postulate a series of pedagogical practices, leading to effective integration of sustainability education into the curricula.

Design/methodology/approach

Two-phased research method consisting of complementary data collection techniques informed the findings of this study. First, an online survey was conducted among 111 undergraduates enrolled in an International Marketing course. The findings of the survey are used in designing the second phase of data collection performed through a content analysis of essays written by 60 undergraduates evaluating sustainable marketing practices of international firms. Informed by the findings gathered through SPSS- and Nvivo-aided data analysis, this study postulates a series of pedagogical practices.

Findings

The study argues that curriculum development projects in integrating sustainability into an existing curriculum in universities should be aimed at bridging undergraduates’ learning gaps in sustainability education. The main learning gaps identified in the study reveal that undergraduates find it difficult to view the social function of international business firms from a holistic point of view; critically assess sustainable marketing practices; and articulate futuristic views on sustainable marketing practices. Further, the content analysis revealed three major thematic categories: sustainability from reductionists’ perspective, sustainable marketing practices bring nothing “but good for businesses”, ambivalent about the future success of sustainable marketing practices. Triggered by these learning gaps, thematic categories and the theoretical underpinnings of Rusinko’s (2010) matrix for integrating sustainability education, the study offers a set of practical pedagogical guidelines to incorporate sustainability education into curricula.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to exploring undergraduate student perspectives, and it would be worthwhile if educators’ perspectives are explored in future studies. The findings could be further improved by conducting a cross-sectional study across several business disciplines.

Practical implications

Based on the findings of the study, a set of guidelines for developing a pedagogical plan to incorporate sustainable education into curricula is presented.

Originality/value

Educators argue that successful curriculum development projects aiming at integrating sustainability into existing curricula should be aligned with the structure of the existing curricula, and those new pedagogical practices in integrating sustainability into existing curricula should be built on students’ learning gaps in sustainability education. To this end, this study examined undergraduates’ learning gaps in sustainability education and postulated pedagogical practices toward integrating sustainability education into an existing curriculum of international marketing.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 28 March 2019

Zayd Waghid

The purpose of this paper is to examine the business education curricula in South Africa in relation to social entrepreneurship and to ascertain pre-service teachers…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the business education curricula in South Africa in relation to social entrepreneurship and to ascertain pre-service teachers’ perspectives of the reasons for social entrepreneurship not being included in these curricula as observed in classroom teaching practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Through interpretivist inquiry, third-year pre-service teachers’ (n=92) comments on online group blogs were analysed to clarify a range of meanings and understandings of their responses.

Findings

Social entrepreneurship as a concept and as an ideal as well as certain fundamental concept is not adequately integrated in the business education curricula in secondary schools in South Africa. Furthermore, the schools where the pre-service teachers conducted their teaching practice were failing to integrate activities associated with social entrepreneurship in their business education curricula.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to a single tertiary institution. Similar studies in both developing and developed contexts in schools could be initiated as a means of teaching social entrepreneurship for social justice as a subject efficaciously.

Practical implications

The study recommends that social entrepreneurship should be implemented earlier in the secondary education system as a means of enhancing the social entrepreneurial capacities of school learners.

Originality/value

This is the first study examining the secondary education curricula in a developing economy, such as South Africa, in relation to the absence of the emerging concept of social entrepreneurship.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 61 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2010

Ian Roffe

This paper aims to examine the variety of approaches to curriculum development for enterprise education developed for schools, further, and higher education under an…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the variety of approaches to curriculum development for enterprise education developed for schools, further, and higher education under an Entrepreneurship Action Plan in Wales and to consider the sustainability issues for delivery in these sectors.

Design/methodology/approach

This investigation adopted a case study approach that obtained post‐development information obtained from stakeholders in curriculum development in the three sectors based on semi‐structured interviews. The paper presents an analysis of the curriculum development initiatives in schools, further and higher education based on a three‐stage categorisation model: inspiration, information and implementation and activities involving cross‐sector approaches.

Findings

Stakeholders generally provided positive feedback toward the curriculum development material from each sector. Curriculum development applied to fostering enterprising qualities and practical support produced a broad span of diverse actions across Wales covering inspiring, information and implementation. There are consistent threads in enterprise content of attitude, creativity, relationships and organisation. Curriculum content needs to be maintained and updated in a sustainable way and a sustainability framework is proposed together with a set of recommendations for each sector.

Practical implications

Suggestions on how to further strengthen and develop the sustainability of enterprise education programmes are provided for the three sectors: schools, further, and higher education, for example, through centralised curriculum support, the extension of credit‐based courses and structured staff development for stakeholders.

Originality/value

Enterprise education is acknowledged to have an influence on the knowledge, skills and attitudes of students and can contribute to entrepreneurship. Curriculum development in enterprise education enables educational institutions to stimulate interest of students and to foster entrepreneurial qualities among potential entrepreneurs in society. Approaches to curriculum development for three educational sectors are examined, categorised and recommendations advanced for sustaining such enterprise education programmes over an extended period of time.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 52 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Roger Ottewill, George McKenzie and Jean Leah

The principal aim of this paper is to present the case for securing greater affinity between the formal curriculum and the hidden curriculum with respect to integration in…

Abstract

Purpose

The principal aim of this paper is to present the case for securing greater affinity between the formal curriculum and the hidden curriculum with respect to integration in business education.

Design/methodology/approach

Consideration is given to the concept of the hidden curriculum, as manifested in the compartmentalised nature of academia and the need for this to be offset by business educators. A number of principles for configuring the hidden curriculum in ways that support the goal of integration are suggested.

Findings

Some of the literature on the hidden curriculum emphasises the need for consistency in the learning culture so that students' understanding of what their course is seeking to achieve is underpinned by the structures and processes that play an important part in shaping their learning experience.

Practical implications

If integration is the goal of business education then attention should be given to creating a learning environment in which its virtues are clearly demonstrated and the vices of compartmentalisation are eschewed.

Originality/value

The paper complements the very limited literature on the hidden curriculum in higher education, in general, and business education, in particular.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 47 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Book part
Publication date: 12 August 2009

Jacqueline J. Schmidt, Brian Patrick Green and Roland Madison

Employers state that their major concern with accounting graduates is their inadequate skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening (Kranacher, 2007, p. 80). Yet…

Abstract

Employers state that their major concern with accounting graduates is their inadequate skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening (Kranacher, 2007, p. 80). Yet, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and some state boards of accountancy have minimized the importance of these skills on professional certification exams. This conflict creates a mixed message. The purpose of our study is to determine accounting department chairs’ perceptions of the importance of writing, speaking, listening, interpersonal, and technological communication skills for both the accounting and the business curricula and where in the curriculum these skills are taught. In our study, we surveyed 122 accounting administrators from the largest North American accountancy programs. Survey respondents report that most required communication courses are in the general business curriculum and, to a lesser extent, as a required course in the accounting major. Consistent across demographics, respondents also indicate that all communication skills are important, but writing skills followed by technological skills are the most valued for the accounting curriculum, while writing and speaking skills are most important in the business curriculum. Implications for the curriculum are discussed.

Details

Advances in Accounting Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-882-3

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