Just like in business, in business education the winds of change are always blowing. Unlike business, however, these winds usually seem to pass without significantly impacting the industry. In recent years, however, the pressures have been mounting. And the Covid-19 pandemic has spread the view that profound change is inevitable.
Many important questions need to asked today by business school leaders as we start the slow process of coming out of the Covid pandemic and reshaping business school education for a sustainable and inclusive future. Determining which questions to ask is the first and important challenge for a business school leader. If you get this right, you have already overcome the most important challenge of leadership and made significant progress towards your goals.
It’s not as if the world was on track to achieve the by 2030. Of the 38 targets assessed in, the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development declared we hadn’t made sufficient progress on 37 of them. Now, the Covid-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact across all 17 Goals and threatens to turn back progress by years in several areas, such as poverty, hunger, education, and justice.
Meanwhile, in business schools, scholars have been engaged in an epic struggle to replace the dominant intellectual foundations of business with new ones that better reflect the needs of society and the changing rules of business. While there has been steady progress, anyone familiar with higher education knows that paradigm shifts can be painfully slow. It’s not just about what we should start teaching, it is especially challenging to identify and remove the content we should stop teaching.
Erika James is Dean of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In conversation with Soumitra Dutta and Dan LeClair of GBSN, she discusses the importance of engagement and outreach when dealing with global crises, as well as the positive developments she has seen during the pandemic. The interview took place 12 weeks after… Read more >
Franz Heukamp is Dean of IESE Business School at the University of Navarra. In conversation with Soumitra Dutta and Dan LeClair of GBSN, he discusses important global trends that the pandemic is accelerating, as well as the increased responsibility of business and business institutions to society. The interview took place 12 weeks after COVID-19 was… Read more >
Dr. Enase Okonedo is the Dean of Lagos Business School (LBS), Nigeria. In conversation with Soumitra Dutta and Dan LeClair of GBSN, Enase Okonedo discusses the changing equation of businesses and governments with respect to society across the globe, and particularly in Africa.
Jean-François Manzoni is the President of IMD, where he also serves as the Nestlé Professor. In conversation with Soumitra Dutta and Dan LeClair of GBSN, he discusses trust in governments, innovation in executive education, and leading in a crisis.
Sangeet Chowfla is the President & CEO of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). In conversation with Soumitra Dutta and Dan LeClair of GBSN, he discusses the importance of connectedness and trust, as well as the changing value equation in higher education. This interview was conducted 9 weeks after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. This is an edited transcript of their exchange.