A. What do you consider the most significant developments in MBA/management education and the international business school market as a whole this year?
The decline in the value of the old-style full time MBA, aimed at younger managers, will reshape the market for MBAs
- The fall in numbers of students across Europe applying for full time MBA places demonstrates that potential purchasers have finally realised that employers value the combination of experience and a qualification not just the qualification
- This shift means some of the major schools will have to re-think their relevance to practicing managers as they are only really able to teach the inexperienced student
- The biggest implication is that part-time study will continue to grow as it is more difficult for more senior managers to take a whole year out (or even two in some places)
- There are very few schools like Henley in Europe who know how to work with experienced managers who study and work at the same time
The increasing importance of CSR to managers will demand schools develop expertise in how to put this into practice
- Whilst there's a lot of theory and 'case' development in CSR there is still little real understanding of how to put it into practice as a day-to-day management skill
- Schools will prosper if they can partner with organisations who see the long term benefits of putting CSR into management practice
- Those of us who have done the work in this area are few, even fewer have built it into programmes and research activity
The challenge of Warren Bennis to the US-style 'two year' MBA has many traditional schools worried
- Bennis argued that educating inexperienced managers in integrative strategic management is an unproductive experience for the individual and for their potential employer
- He also argued that traditional schools are too tied to the 'academic' paradigm and not enough to the reality of management as a 'practice'
- Henley believes Bennis is right - and we run our MBAs very differently - yet there are only really a handful of schools in Europe like us who can meet his challenge