The Future of Business Education: IBS RANEPA Experts's opinion

31 January 2022
The Future of Business Education: IBS RANEPA Experts's opinion

Global Focus magazine has published the article "The new normal of business education: In search of a new common sense". Sergey Myasoedov, RANEPA Vice Rector, Director of IBS RANEPA, Dmitry Katalevsky, Director of Industrial Programs Department at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, and Ashot Seferyan, Director of Executive MBA at IBS RANEPA, assessed the trends and prospects of the industry in Russia and worldwide.  

According to the authors, the COVID-19 pandemic, which shocked the world economy, played the role of a catalyst for global change, accelerating processes that had been developing for decades. The "New Normal" requires different skills from managers, which means that it poses more and more difficult challenges to business school administrators.

The industry, formed in the second half of the 20th century, is on the threshold of a significant transformation. New rivals are being added to the traditional internal competition: large online platforms, corporate universities, and niche courses of private companies. The question of the superiority of traditional business schools is becoming increasingly relevant.

In this situation, the main task of business education, according to the authors, is to teach the ‘skill of thinking’. Development of "managerial thinking" is the ultimate priority of managers' training and retraining. Today the ability to make decisions in a rapidly changing environment, the skills of wide contextual analysis and long-term vision of the situation become urgent.

According to the authors, modern business schools need to rethink their role and mission in education. Managers need to see new opportunities, interpret diverse trends, find non-trivial analogies, and be highly technically savvy for living and working in a digital world. Training the next generation of managers should pursue the aim of educating creative and thoughtful individuals capable of thinking long term - the unpredictable future will require leaders not only to take extraordinary steps, but also to be open-minded and erudite.

No less relevant today is issue-centered learning: future education will be organized around important socio-economic issues. Training of managers should include the principles of sustainable development and compliance with environmental, social and managerial standards.

Innovative companies, including small and medium-sized businesses, are becoming the main drivers of progress: schools and business education programs of the future should be reoriented towards their interests. It will be necessary to shift values and revisit the content of key programs, find a new balance in the structure of the educational process and between key subjects, and rethink and fine-tune them.

More than 20 years ago, IBS RANEPA started to work specifically in this direction. As a result, in the structure of IBS MBA/EMBA programs, the share of medium-sized business executives in 2018-2020 was between 65 and 70 percent.

The high proportion of students from the B2C market is also remarkable: on average, it is 50-60% of the total intake. According to the IBS RANEPA research, they belong to the group of "hidden champions": they continuously strive to obtain new knowledge and skills and develop innovative, disruptive capabilities, especially in times of crisis and downturns.

Global Focus is a technological magazine focused on improving the quality of business and managerial education. It publishes articles on new trends and perspectives of business education development in the world. In October, due to cooperation between the Russian Association of Business Education (RABE) and the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) the magazine was published in Russian for the first time. 


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