Developing globally responsible leaders in business schools: A vision and transformational practice for the journey ahead

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Dr. Katrin Muff, Business School Lausanne


Purpose – 50 years after the Gordon/Howell and Pierson reports that substantially influenced and shaped management education, ‘Vision 50+20’ offers an alternative future in management education for the next 20 years. The article provides insight into the suggested new purpose of business schools as role models in providing responsible leadership for a sustainable world. The article proposes a model of implementation of the vision in the domain of teaching and learning, with concrete best practice examples collected from around the world. The evolution of teaching and learning in business education is briefly reviewed In light of newly proposed ‘collaboratory’ method, hopefully launching a debate and further research in this important domain.

Design/methodology/approach – The 50+20 Vision of management education for the world resulted from an 18‐month collective creative visioning and back‐casting process, looking into the future and based on explicitly normative assumptions about the need to change business education. The vision was thus primarily developed deductively from a vision of the future, rather than inductively from existing literature and theory. The scholarly assessments of business schools and business school education were used as a starting point for a normative approach, but cannot explain the vision which spans a broad area of topics and fields both within management and beyond. The author complements the vision with examples from around the world to illustrate the emergence of this vision and suggests a model for
considering the implementation of vision 50+20.

Findings – Business schools need to fundamentally transform their purpose to serve society by providing responsible leadership for a sustainable world, embracing three relevant roles and becoming themselves a role model and a showcase for transformation.

Practical implications – The paper summarizes the result of the global co‐creative visioning process of project 50+20 offering an alternative vision of management education FOR the world. More importantly, the paper also suggests a model on how to implement the vision in the domain of teaching and learning by providing concrete applications and leading examples from around the world. As such, it provides a visionary guide for any business and management scholar interested in engaging the future of management education.

Originality/value – The paper summarizes the 50+20 Vision and introduces a practical perspective for
implementing a meaningful new approach to teaching and learning.