NEW YORK, May 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Deans from the country's top business schools gathered recently to share their perspectives, for the first time publicly, on the future of graduate management education. The conversation was part of a symposium at Columbia Business School entitled "A Century of Impact, a Future of Innovation," which commemorated the School's landmark achievements in key areas of business over the past century and challenged the country's top academic leaders to discuss the future of management education.
"For 100 years, Columbia Business School has helped shape the modern business landscape, but its impact on the key forces shaping business is just beginning," said Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School. "We live in a time when many leaders around the world are skeptical about our economic future. Our Centennial is an occasion to marvel at what business has accomplished, and a time to look to the future of business as an engine of global prosperity."
The panel discussion featured Dean Hubbard, Geoffrey Garrett of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; Nitin Nohria of Harvard Business School; and Garth Saloner of Stanford Graduate School of Business.
The panelists surmised that the prosperity of society depends on a healthy business environment and management education has a responsibility to educate future business leaders who recognize this. There was general agreement that many of the biggest social problems of our day are, in fact, management problems and can be addressed by professional managers who understand the intersection between business and social needs.
The panel also addressed the high cost of attending business school. Dean Hubbard said, "Any transaction is about value. If you are going to any of the very top business schools, the burden falls on us to continue delivering an MBA experience that is broad in scope, not focused on narrow disciplines taught one at a time." Dean Saloner of Stanford added, "MBA students are educated today for leadership and to manage innovation, skills they will use over their lifetime."
A discussion about the value of an MBA for entrepreneurs highlighted the differences and difficulties between creatively developing an idea and building a business around it. Several panel members noted an increase in the number of students interested in startups who are not themselves entrepreneurs. Many MBA students see themselves as providing a complementary skill set to an entrepreneurial company—the ability to help transform an idea into a sustainable enterprise.
Finally, panel members offered their predictions of what business schools will look like in the next decade—with several key themes emerging:
- Dean Hubbard predicted that business education would be less about individual disciplines, such as accounting and finance, and more about solving business problems by blending academic theory with immersive practical experience.
- Dean Nohria of Harvard Business School said that MBA programs must continue to provide a commitment to leadership and general management, as well as a transformational educational experience that students can get in a two-year full-time program.
- Dean Garrett of Wharton anticipated that new technology will increasingly influence business education with non-MBA master's degrees continuing to grow at a healthy pace over the next decade.
- Dean Saloner of Stanford noted that top schools would continue to attract the highest-level students who will come for a transformative experience through experiential learning.
Continuing through 2016, Columbia Business School will celebrate a century of success by hosting events, producing original multimedia content, sharing notable stories, and inviting participation from its remarkable community, which has served as the heart and soul of the School for 100 years. To learn more about the School's centennial celebration, please visit www.gsb.columbia.edu/centennial.
About Columbia Business School
Columbia Business School is the only world–class, Ivy League business school that delivers a learning experience where academic excellence meets with real–time exposure to the pulse of global business. Led by Dean Glenn Hubbard, the School's transformative curriculum bridges academic theory with unparalleled exposure to real–world business practice, equipping students with an entrepreneurial mindset that allows them to recognize, capture, and create opportunity in any business environment. The thought leadership of the School's faculty and staff members, combined with the accomplishments of its distinguished alumni and position in the center of global business, means that the School's efforts have an immediate, measurable impact on the forces shaping business every day. To learn more about Columbia Business School's position at the very center of business, please visit www.gsb.columbia.edu.
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SOURCE Columbia Business School