Based on age demographics and other trends, some of the poorest countries in the world hold the greatest potential for economic growth. As it has over the last decades, millions could be lifted out of poverty and lead healthier, more productive lives. Business and government leaders in the developing world say that the lack of managerial talent is their most critical challenge limiting their success and potential.
Unfortunately, the capacity to educate and develop more effective managers in many of these economies is still very limited. The number of business schools is small relative to more developed economies, and secondary level preparation is inadequate for advanced management education. Face-to-face education is costly and limited bandwidth makes online education more challenging. There is a dearth of qualified teachers and scholars of business and management. Learners do not have access to proper educational resources, especially content that is locally relevant—as the regulatory and cultural environments can vary considerably.
Because the developing world needs more effective and responsible leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs.
Research shows that better management practices indeed improves organizational performance. According to academics Nicholas Bloom, John Van Reenen and others, manufacturing plants that adopted better, more structured management practices, for example, achieved stronger economic performances on a broad range of measures related to productivity, profitability, growth and innovation. The relationship is robust across sectors (public, private, and non-profit), industries, and regions.
Better leadership and management is also correlated with more supportive human resources practices and environmental performance—suggesting that economic progress does not have to be at the expense of inclusion and environmental sustainability. Indeed, there is a multiplier effect as better managers invest in developing their colleagues and processes to enable and guide them. Management and entrepreneurship education is especially important to improving critical areas such as health care, infrastructure, energy, agriculture, and government, and boosting shared prosperity.