What are business schools doing for business today?

See on Scoop.itDual impact of research; towards the impactelligent university

This article examines disparity between business school focus and business community needs. A content analysis of 200 corporate job descriptions collected in Fall 2009 revealed 140 specific license/certification/skills commonly cited as required for candidates applying for business jobs. A detailed matching of these post-graduation proficiencies with pre-graduation business major tracks is provided herein to assist schools in better aligning curricula with job requirements. This matching and aligning process is proposed as a key means for reducing disparity between post-graduation licenses/certification/skills required and the academic tracks that are feeders for such positions. Examination of 200 résumés of business students nearing graduation revealed low to no proficiency on the job description-derived skill sets. This finding suggests that disparity between school of business focus and practitioner needs is ongoing and potentially problematic, at least at the institutions sampled. A content analysis of 100 school of business course syllabi and 20 textbooks supported this conclusion. This article provides suggestions for closing the gap between business school curricula and corporate needs. The old business school is compared to our vision of the new business school, where close alignment of pre-graduation training with post-graduation job requirements serves both students and practitioners well.

“To conclude their article titled “What Are Business Schools Doing for Business?”, Dickinson, Herbst, and O’Shaughnessy (1983, p. 51) noted that “professors routinely suggest. . . corporations should be responsible to society, but few prestigious academics have suggested that business schools should be more responsive to their environments.” In writing the present article, we do not claim to be prestigious academics. But, we do encourage business schools that have large disparity between curricula focus and corporate needs to initiate reforms suggested herein, to be more responsive to their environments. We believe the gap between academic focus and business community needs will eventually be bridged at most colleges and universities. For laggards, however, business students—on their own and of their own volition—should consider becoming licensed or certified in one or more of the areas identified herein. Too many graduating business students today come to their first jobs long on theory and short on know-how. We envision a different future, in which academics and practitioners regularly enter into each other’s world without needing to cast aside their own world. Students are, in fact, the bridge between theory and practice, between academics and practitioners. Meeting students’ needs as outlined in this article could create a lasting bridge to the day when we can answer “What are business schools doing for business?” by detailing “What business schools are doing for students.””

Business school curricula;Business theory vs. practice;Business academicians vs. practitioners;Business licenses, certifications, and skills

What are business schools doing for business today?
Fred R. Davida, Meredith E. Davidb, Forest R. Davida,
Business Horizons
Volume 54, Issue 1, January–February 2011, Pages 51–62


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About Wilfred Mijnhardt
RMIMR is my virtual playground, a place to reflect on issues from my professional context, my job as Policy Director at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). RSM is the international university based business school at Erasmus University Rotterdam. More info here: www.rsm.nl Here is my list of relevant publications on the topic of my RMIMR weblog: http://www.mendeley.com/collections/694621/RMIMR-Repository/ The rss feed for my RMIMR collection is here: http://www.mendeley.com/collections/rss/694621/ Here is my other weblog on impact of research: http://www.scoop.it/t/dualimpact

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