2nd edition: Quality and Innovation (cont’d)

At a recent conference, the business school community gathered around the theme of Finding Balance. Especially now, we realise how important balance is in our professional and personal lives but also the strategies of business schools.

By Griet Houbrechts
Director, Professional Development
EFMD Global


For business schools, a significant concern is currently internationalisation. The right balance between global orientation and focus on the domestic market will be different for each school. Where the school situates itself on this axis will determine a number of choices but also affect how it differentiates itself from other schools. It will also clarify which accreditation, assessment or ranking will provide it with the best opportunity to support that strategic choice.

A second important axis on which business schools position themselves is the combination of academic excellence and impact and relevance for management practice. Again, keeping the purpose of the school in mind, it is clear that there is not one single best choice. Striking the right balance will require from schools careful deliberation.

Finally, the pandemic has accelerated the importance of ethics, responsibility and sustainability. In the aftermath of the pandemic, it has become even more apparent that schools play an important social role next to an academic one. Using assessment tools helps the school make an inventory of what it is doing and analyse where there might be gaps or in which areas the school might want to learn from best practices available in their networks.

Accreditations and other assessments can be powerful tools to connect all the business school’s strategy elements. While it is more challenging in an online environment to show your differentiating points, accreditations and assessments can support schools in thinking through their purpose, strategy and what that means for their optimal organisational balance. They ideally help the school write the story of how it reaches its own goals, and reflect on its strategy and development. Placing purpose at the core of the school’s strategy will support us in developing the leadership for the future that can tackle our world’s big challenges.


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