From relevance to relevate: How university-based business school can remain seats of “higher” learning and still contribute effectively to business

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to tease out the real value-adding contributions university-based business schools can make to the business community and to society at large without compromising in any way its own ethos of academic rigour and scholarship in seeking knowledge and understanding for its own sake. Design/methodology/approach – This is a discursive discussion piece that excavates and examines the philosophical and historical underpinnings of universities as places of “higher” learning with a view to interrogating and clarifying the unique role university business schools can play in straddling the university/industry nexus. It draws from the author’s extensive hands-on experiences in business, from the author’s philosophical interests honed in academia, and from the author’s wide-ranging experiences of being involved in bespoke executive education provision for senior business practitioners in large multinational corporations. Findings – The paper concludes with the view that paradoxically, university-based business schools must resist the temptation to capitulate to the demands to teach only what appears immediately “relevant” to the business world in order to be actually useful to business. Instead, they must rigourously seek to expand horizons of comprehension amongst students and business executives through the process of relevating the seemingly irrelevant. This way they can genuinely help prepare students and business executives for the challenges and exigencies of a dynamic and fast-changing world. Research limitations/implications – The paper points to a need for reframing and refocusing the aims and agenda of management education such that greater pedagogical priority is placed on refining perceptual sensibilities and expanding horizons of comprehension over that of content-knowledge dissemination. Practical implications – Business schools will have to revise their curriculum from a conventional emphasis on teaching functional business disciplines to include drawing from the wider humanities fields of study in order to emphasize the cultivation of aesthetic sensibilities and a deeper awareness of underlying global trends, patterns of relationships and social forces shaping business priorities and perceptions. Social implications – An enhanced sensitivity and awareness of the interrelatedness of socio-political, cultural and economic contexts, and managerial situations leads to more effective executive decision making that is economically sustainable, ethically informed and more attuned to the collective common good. Originality/value – There has been much debate surrounding the rigour/relevance issue within business schools. This paper shows that this false distinction is created by an insufficient examination of the underlying commonality mutually shared by both the very best of rigourous scholarship and the very best of business practices.
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CO-OPERATION – THE MISSING VALUE OF BUSINESS EDUCATION

Abstract

Purpose – The article demonstrates that co-operation is a vital behavioural skill that should be developed in educational systems, particularly business and management programs, because it is an intangible factor that boosts productive output.Design/methodology/approach – The article explains why cooperation is an important intangible factor for organizations and the larger economy. It recommends the development of educational designs to remediate the pedagogical lack of focus on the cooperative disposition. Findings – Co-operation is contingent on trust – an indispensable factor to engage in distant relations, accept rule of law across nations, and confer in intermediaries the authority to arbitrate unresolved differences between organizations. In other words, without cooperation, people within organizations commit themselves to parochial concerns, inhibiting efforts to combine resources towards a collective goal. The lack of a cooperative attitude is not destiny – it can be forged through careful educational designs and organizational strategy.

Research limitations/implications – There is little empirical data available to measure co-operation in a diverse environment and co-operation is an intangible concept that is difficult to pin to specific organizational habits. The concepts developed here based on broad social science data would do will to be tested in an empirical framework at the micro level.Practical implications – Low co-operation arises in an environment which does not foster trust. Management might inadvertently reward low organizational capacity by not evaluating cooperation and monitoring narcissism. Recruiters need to adapt recruitment strategies that pinpoint individuals capable of managing the specific cooperation needs of situational organizations, especially in diverse situations. A successful managerial education program will target training that optimizes thoughtful and sustainable co-operation.Originality/value – Formal management training to instill a thoughtful sense of co-operation would complement the current emphasis on teamwork and leadership. Without the moral and methodological goal of being co-operative for the greater good, organizations waste human resources and fail to reap benefits from collective productions.
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What’s in there for me? Individual readiness to change and the perceived impact of organizational change

Abstract

Purpose – The readiness level may vary on the basis of what employees perceive as the balance between costs and benefits of maintaining a behavior and the costs and benefits of change. The aims and objectives of this study is to examine the concept of individual readiness to change and the impact of perceived impact of organizational change on its relationship with personality and context characteristics. Design/methodology/approach – 183 employees of a technological company based in Greece completed a questionnaire. This company was implementing a large scale restructuring change project. Findings – The results show that perceived impact of change mediates the relationship between the pre-change conditions and work attitudes and individual readiness to change. Practical implications – Employees who are confident about their abilities they experience high levels of readiness to change and therefore managers may want to examine this variable when selecting people for jobs entailing change. Creating a climate of trust and enhance positive communication also have an influence on individual readiness to change. Satisfied employees are more ready to change because they weigh the positive consequences of changing as significant and therefore decide to embrace change. Originality/value – This research addressed the need for a more person-oriented approach in the study of change, exploring the concept of individual readiness to change and the perceived benefit of this change.
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On the origins of the worldwide surge in patenting: an industry perspective on the R&D-patent relationship

This article decomposes the R&D–patent relationship at the industry level to shed light on the sources of the worldwide surge in patent applications. The empirical analysis is based on a unique data set that includes five patent indicators computed for 18 industries in 19 countries covering the period from 1987 to 2005. The analysis shows that variations in patent applications reflect not only variations in research productivity but also variations in the appropriability and filing strategies adopted by firms. The results also suggest that the patent explosion observed in several patent offices can be attributed to the greater globalization of intellectual property rights rather than to a surge in research productivity.

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Management Learning, Performance and Reward: Theory and Practice Revisited

Abstract

Purpose – Purpose: This paper explores the extent to which organizational learning is recognised through performance management systems as contributing to organizational effectiveness and competitive advantage.

Design/methodology/approach – Methodology: It reviews several pieces of research, employing a wide range of methods, including: content analysis of managers’ reflections; questionnaires completed by managers and mentors; a large scale survey involving ethnography, interviews and questionnaires and; analysis of documents from professional bodies and management delivery centres.

Findings – Findings: Genuine integration of individual and organizational goals or transfer of learning from the individual to the organization is not evident. Few qualitative measures of organizational performance are employed. The impact of metrics such as IiP or EFQM on organizational effectiveness is nor discernible. Management Learning and Development is rarely measured even when it is encouraged by the organization. There is a clear divide between research, teaching and learning and, workplace practice. Performance management systems create perceptions of unreliability and inequity.Research limitations/implications – Research implications: Espousing the value of learning and learning to learn, measuring them accurately and rewarding them with meaningful changes to working life can only improve organizational effectiveness. Research into the few organizations that have successfully embraced triple loop learning in their development of managers may offer a template for transformational learning to sustain competitive advantage.Originality/value – Originality: Management Development processes have been successful in developing individuals but less successful in achieving organizational development. This paper offers new insights into that gap and the omissions in the metrics by which performance is measured.
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Corporate governance, value and performance of firms: new empirical results on convergence from a large international database

This article aims to revisit the link between corporate governance, value, and firm performance by focusing on convergence, understood as the way that non-US firms are adopting US best practice in terms of corporate governance, and the implications of this adoption. We examine theoretical questions related to conventional models (agency theory, transaction cost economics, and new property rights theory), which tend to suggest rational adoption of best practice, and contributions that alternatively consider country- and firm-level differences as possible barriers to convergence. We contribute to the empirical literature by using a large international database to show how non-US firms’ adoption of US best practice is having an impact on performance.

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The smart leader: examining the relationship between intelligence and leader development behavior

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of the present study is to examine the relationship between intelligence and behavior during leader development.Design/methodology/approach – As part of a leader development program, a variety of measures are collected, including measures of intelligence and measures of performance (e.g., assessment center performance, a 360-degree appraisal). The participants are given performance feedback from a variety of sources then asked to form developmental goals. The goals are examined for goal quality and goal-feedback correspondence, and examined in relation to intelligence. Findings – Intelligence was positively related to goal-feedback correspondence. Intelligence was also related to goal quality after controlling for variance attributed to professional discipline.Research limitations/implications – Personality, gender, age, and other variables were not included in this study. Other factors, such as the cultures of the organizations from which the individuals hailed, were also not included. Moreover, the conclusions were based on the behaviors exhibited in one leader development program. Future research should address these limitations. Practical implications – Leader development is expensive and is becoming more popular. The results of this research could help organizations better determine who is likely to benefit from the investment in leader development. Originality/value – In addition, a unique method is presented in the study for measuring leader development behavior based on goal quality and goal-feedback correspondence. Generalizability theory is applied in order to determine the reliability of the measures.
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