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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2013

Sabina Siebert and Graeme Martin

The dominant variance theory approaches to researching business school reputations are based on a positivistic hypothetico‐deductive research methodology and do not…

Abstract

Purpose

The dominant variance theory approaches to researching business school reputations are based on a positivistic hypothetico‐deductive research methodology and do not adequately take into account either the different levels and types of contexts in which business schools operate or the diversity of stakeholder interests. The aim of this paper is to propose a more relevant contextualised framework for analysing the reputation of business schools that takes cognisance of the national business systems, industry/sector, university and relational contexts of the different stakeholders involved in socially constructing and enacting business school reputations. The authors also seek to explore the tensions between these often competing or unaligned agendas of stakeholders in business schools.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper that proposes a contextualised framework for analysing the reputation of business schools. It reviews the current state of theory on business schools’ reputations, analyses their weaknesses and potential research gaps, and proposes an alternative model to the dominant universalistic positivism in understanding business school reputations.

Findings

The authors conclude that the variance theory underpinning of current research does not take into account sufficiently either the diversity of stakeholder interests or the contexts in which business schools operate. Thus, the authors propose an alternative model to the dominant universalistic positivism in understanding business school reputations. This new model is based on four levels of context: national, industry, university and relational, and acknowledges that different stakeholders might have a dominant voice at each of these levels.

Originality/value

The authors attempt to fill a gap in the existing literature on business school reputations, and make a contribution to theory of reputation management.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 April 2016

Kimmo Alajoutsijärvi and Kerttu Kettunen

The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework for identifying the primary tensions that business school dean’s encounter when moving between different…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework for identifying the primary tensions that business school dean’s encounter when moving between different university contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is part of a larger research project on the development of business schools. This conceptual paper builds on the studies and personal experiences of business schools and their management in a number of different countries, primarily in Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East.

Findings

The present study argues that as a response to the increasing corporatization of higher education, the university sector has fragmented into at least three identifiable contexts: the traditional research university, the academic capitalist university, and the corporate university. The authors conclude that the match between a dean’s worldview and the university context ultimately determines the appropriateness, survival, and success of deanship.

Practical implications

The paper provides practical suggestions for managing business schools. Given that “good” leadership is always context dependent, no single deanship would fit for all business schools. As an outcome, both deans and the selection committees making decisions regarding their recruitment should be sensitive to their worldviews originating from the university contexts in which they previously worked.

Originality/value

Emphasizing a contextual approach to business school leadership, this paper proposes a new typology of deanship situations.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 May 2018

Ahlam Hassan, David Gallear and Uthayasankar Sivarajah

While the importance of leadership in various domains has been highlighted in the extant literature, effective leadership in the context of higher education sector has not…

1536

Abstract

Purpose

While the importance of leadership in various domains has been highlighted in the extant literature, effective leadership in the context of higher education sector has not been well addressed in the leadership scholarship. There is a need to address the challenge of leadership effectiveness in the education sector, including business schools, given the failures noticed in the sector attributed to poor-quality leadership. The purpose of this study was therefore to explore the factors that affected leadership in the context of higher education institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is exploratory in nature as the study critically reviewed extant literature surrounding leadership practices specifically from a public-sector context to identify factors affecting leadership effectiveness.

Findings

The findings of the study pointed out that, regardless of the nation or organisation, leadership effectiveness is a factor that is dependent on how well the followers have accepted the leader. This indicates that, amongst the different challenges explored in this study, leadership effectiveness is not only a challenge by itself but is also affected by other challenges, including leadership practice and style.

Research limitations/implications

This research provides a better understanding of the critical factors affecting leadership practice of deans of business schools and how the styles’ influence on leadership practice, the relationship between leadership practice and leadership effectiveness and how leadership style translates into leadership effectiveness.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the growing body of knowledge surrounding leadership scholarship from a public-sector context about the challenges that affect leadership effectiveness in the context of HEIs and stimulates further investigation into those challenges.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 October 2010

Azaddin Salem Khalifa

The aim of the paper is twofold: to question the current use of the extant competitive strategy frameworks imported from the context of the business firm; and to call for…

1663

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the paper is twofold: to question the current use of the extant competitive strategy frameworks imported from the context of the business firm; and to call for innovative frameworks that are more faithful to the nature, purpose, and needs of business schools.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive literature review is undertaken in the field of business school competitive strategy. This literature is then evaluated to see how sensitive it is to the specific context of the business school. Inferences are then drawn and the paper is structured to make the case for the need to rethink the current approach to business school strategy.

Findings

The application of the current dominant approach in the competitive strategy literature, which prioritizes value capture over value creation, is questionable in the context of business school strategy. There are deep and multiple differences between business firms and business schools. These differences call for shifting the focus toward value creation and emphasizing the social mission of business schools.

Research limitations/implications

The paper focuses only on undergraduate education. Extending the argument to include other activities of business schools requires further research.

Practical implications

Business school strategy researchers and practitioners are encouraged to alter their current approach to be less occupied with competition and more concerned with value creation for students, stakeholders, and society at large.

Originality/value

The paper represents an early call for strategists and researchers to rethink their current dominant approach of applying the extant business strategy literature to business schools. It makes the case for the necessity of taking into account the deep and multiple differences between business firms and business schools.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Denis Harrington and Arthur Kearney

This paper aims to consider the extent to which business school transition has created new opportunities in management development, knowledge transfer and knowledge creation.

2902

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to consider the extent to which business school transition has created new opportunities in management development, knowledge transfer and knowledge creation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a critical review of knowledge exchange in a business school context with a particular focus on the “translation or management practice gap”.

Findings

Change in the nature of research undertaken in business schools opens up new opportunities for collaboration between academia and practice. The paper points to the need for more innovative forms of research engagement encouraging academic‐practitioner collaboration and practice‐based management development initiatives.

Research limitations/implications

The paper contributes to the debate on innovative forms of knowledge exchange and transfer and helps stimulate further studies examining potential approaches to fostering co‐learning and discovery and participatory forms of knowledge production.

Practical implications

Changes in business school environment and context offer opportunities for new modes of knowledge exchange both in management development and research. Practice based theory offers a new paradigm of management development.

Originality/value

Recent commentators refer to notions of academia and practice as “closed systems and self referential” and point to the requirement for greater attention on knowledge transfer, and to learn from knowledge transfer studies concerning practitioner/research communities of practice, networks and collaborations. The paper addresses this deficiency in the literature and points to key areas warranting further research.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 January 2022

Mary Vigier and Michael Bryant

The purpose of this paper is to explore the contextual and linguistic challenges that French business schools face when preparing for international accreditation and to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the contextual and linguistic challenges that French business schools face when preparing for international accreditation and to shed light on the different ways in which experts facilitate these accreditation processes, particularly with respect to how they capitalize on their contextual and linguistic boundary-spanning competences.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors interviewed 12 key players at four business schools in France engaged in international accreditations and in three specific categories: senior management, tenured faculty and administrative staff. The interview-based case study design used semi-structured questions and an insider researcher approach to study an underexplored sector of analysis.

Findings

The findings suggest that French business schools have been particularly impacted by the colonizing effects of English as the mandatory language of the international accreditation bodies espousing a basically Anglophone higher education philosophy. Consequently, schools engage external experts for their contextual and linguistic boundary-spanning expertise to facilitate accreditation processes.

Originality/value

The authors contribute to language-sensitive research through a critical perspective on marginalization within French business schools due to the use of English as the mandatory lingua franca of international accreditation processes and due to the underlying higher-education philosophy from the Anglophone academic sphere within these processes. As a result, French business schools resort to external experts to mediate their knowledge and competency gaps.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 February 2020

Netra Neelam, Pratima Sheorey, Sonali Bhattacharya and Monica Kunte

Lifelong learning has gained significant research attention world over because of its potential to enhance and ensure continuous employability. However, role of higher…

Abstract

Purpose

Lifelong learning has gained significant research attention world over because of its potential to enhance and ensure continuous employability. However, role of higher education institute as a learning organization to develop lifelong learning attitudes among young adults has not been discussed much. Parameters that determine lifelong learning among working professionals or school-going children may differ from that of prospective managers studying in business schools. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have given guidelines on learning organization in higher education context which has not been empirically tested. The present study aims to develop a scale on learning organization based on the OECD guideline. It also aims to explore the impact of learning organization and learning processes on lifelong learning attitude in Indian business schools.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study develops a multidimensional scale to measure business schools’ perceived level of performance as a learning organization from the perspective of faculty. The scale considers a learning organization as a multidimensional second-order construct comprising organizational climate for learning, leadership support for knowledge exchange, support for innovation, applied research environment and vision communication. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) has been used to refine and validate the scale. The study also assesses the impact of business schools’ performance as learning organization on perceived learning processes and lifelong learning attitude from the perspective of business school students by using structural equation modeling.

Findings

The study reveals that a learning organization is characterized by organizational climate for learning, leadership support for knowledge exchange, support for innovation, applied research environment and vision communication. Learning organization determines both perceived learning processes (ß = 0.397) and lifelong learning attitude (ß = 0.259). The relationship between learning organization and lifelong learning partially mediates through learning processes (Sobel’s statistics = 1.82, p-value = 0.068, indirect effect = 29%). Lifelong learning is characterized by self-regulated reflective learning with knowledge gained through various sources including virtual sources.

Originality/value

Literature adequately speaks about various scales on learning organization, but there is no specific scale developed, so far, for higher education institutes. Thus, the unique contribution of the present study is the development of a new scale on learning organization based on OECD guidelines on higher education. The scale has been developed based on survey of faculty members and students of Indian business schools. The scale can be used to assess academicians’ perception toward effectiveness of a learning organization. Such information would help in formulating strategies on what should be the characteristics of teaching–learning process, knowledge acquisition and knowledge dissemination to ensure lifelong learning and continuous employability.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. 50 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 October 2011

Milan Jurše and Matjaž Mulej

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate key implications of globalisation for business schools, and to put structural alignment of academic structures with the Bologna…

1500

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate key implications of globalisation for business schools, and to put structural alignment of academic structures with the Bologna Declaration in a broader strategic alignment with the needs of a knowledge‐driven society and a socially sustainable development.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis uses systems theory for analysing dynamic change in society and a synthesis of its influences on business education, as we see the Bologna Process is neither conceived nor implemented with sufficient care for holism in the European effort to become an innovative society.

Findings

Business schools should extend their transformation effort beyond the Bologna Process and align their strategic model of operation with societal needs by integrating social requirements into their strategic framework.

Research limitations/implications

Research focuses on key external developments in business education at a transnational level. Future research should focus on the exploration of the business school response to social change in a local context.

Practical implications

A requisitely holistic picture of contextual change offers business school leaders deeper understanding of external implications for aligning schools with societal needs.

Social implications

Emerging social challenges in Europe are taken as the starting point for realigning a strategic model of business school operation with societal needs and the business world with the aim to improve schools' accountability and their evolvement into socially engaged actors with innovative approaches.

Originality/value

The paper presents a systemic and requisitely holistic view of social change for aligning the business school model of operation with the broader needs of a knowledge‐driven society that stretches beyond the formal academic structures unification in the Bologna Process.

Article
Publication date: 12 February 2018

Sanne Frandsen, Manto Gotsi, Allanah Johnston, Andrea Whittle, Stephen Frenkel and André Spicer

The branding of universities is increasingly recognized to present a different set of challenges than in corporate, for-profit sectors. The purpose of this paper is to…

1333

Abstract

Purpose

The branding of universities is increasingly recognized to present a different set of challenges than in corporate, for-profit sectors. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how faculty make sense of branding in the context of higher education, specifically considering branding initiatives in business schools.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on qualitative interviews with faculty regarding their responses to organizational branding at four business schools. Discourse analysis was used to analyze the interview data.

Findings

The study reveals varied, fluid and reflexive faculty interpretations of organizational branding. Faculty interviewed in the study adopted a number of stances towards their schools’ branding efforts. In particular, the study identifies three main faculty responses to branding: endorsement, ambivalence and cynicism.

Originality/value

The study contributes by highlighting the ambiguities and ambivalence generated by brand management initiatives in the higher education context, offering original insights into the multiple ways that faculty exploit, frame and resist attempts to brand their organizations. The authors conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for branding in university contexts.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 52 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 August 2021

Mathias Falkenstein, Ulrich Hommel and Annie Snelson-Powell

The purpose of this paper is to enrich the discussion at the intersection of responsible management education (RME) and the pandemic with new views that explore together…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to enrich the discussion at the intersection of responsible management education (RME) and the pandemic with new views that explore together the inhibitors of and drivers for a strengthening of RME in the emerging context. On the one hand, the pandemic crisis fosters the social role business schools play by supporting the enhancement of the RME rationale as an idealist foundational pillar of responsible business schools. On the other hand, it invites negative pragmatic responses in the light of financial and competitive disturbances that seem to enlarge the opportunity cost of moving RME forward.

Design/methodology/approach

The essay puts forward arguments that help dissect the inherent contradictions and synergies between idealistic and pragmatic business school strategies, as they are impacted by the dynamics of COVID-19. The analysis serves to frame a discourse over the extent to which the pandemic crisis is acting as an accelerator of the RME agenda or instead brings the risk of demolishing what has been achieved so far.

Findings

The authors form an opinion of the emerging factors that promote and inhibit RME in business schools as they grapple with the challenges of the pandemic whilst recognizing the inherent contradictions faced in their strategic choices and resourcing.

Originality/value

In light of the growing emphasis on RME in the literature, this study challenges the degree to which the agenda has already become firmly rooted as a core organizational and educational theme in business schools. By doing so, it delivers an assessment of RME progress as a relevant strategic lever for business schools, whilst nonetheless being at risk of back-sliding.

Details

Journal of Global Responsibility, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2041-2568

Keywords

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