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Workshop 2: Business Education in Search for New Learning Partnerships with Businesses - feedback by the moderator

19th CEEMAN Annual Conference
Georgia - Tbilisi | 2011
We had a very lively discussion and I would like to thank the two speakers and all those who were involved in it. 

The issue that we discussed was whether there is a need for looking for partnerships between business schools and businesses. Our first speaker was Virginijus Kundrotas, Dean of Adizes Graduate School in the United States and President of the Baltic Management Development Association (BMDA), Lithuania. He started challenging us with questions. His first question was what schools are doing to find out what kind of relationship businesses expect. One of the suggestions that we heard during the discussions was “Keep your ears open and listen to your customers”. This is the main idea that I took from those discussions. 

Another question was what business schools do to meet the expectations of business. We heard about a wide range of programs, from traditional to custom-made, as well as combinations of training and consulting. 

We also discussed how business schools forecast the expectations of business and whether they should do that in the first place. The answer to that was that although it is not always possible to predict how the market will develop, business schools should try to make forecasts. 

The last question that Virginijus asked was who are those who can deliver the content that businesses need. This was one of the most challenging topics of our discussion. Who are those people that can provide good knowledge, leading to sustainable outcomes? It is not an easy question because it is associated with degree recognition by the state. In some countries there are problems in that respect. 

The second speaker was Franziska Frank, Head of Development in Russia and Eastern Europe, Head of Practice Group Professional Services Firms & Insurance Companies, ESMT Customized Solutions GmbH, Germany. She gave us a different perspective of the market of business schools that I would call holistic. She stressed the fact that people are changing. The new generations are different from the previous ones. There are baby-boomers, generation X and generation Y. They are all different in terms of learning styles. This is something that we need to take into consideration.

Another point was that businesses also change. There is a transition from extracting commodities to provision of modern products. This enables people to transform. 

Franziska’s last remark was that knowledge is also changing. Besides, there are changes in terms of what faculty members need in order to be able to deliver appropriate knowledge to the students so as to meet their needs. The value chain that business schools provide to their clients is also expanding. This means that business schools need to master new skills in order to respond to these developments. 

These presentations were followed by a fierce debate. We talked about the need of involving psychologists in the programs of business schools. Do we need them to help change the curricula and syllabi of our schools or as psychotherapists for our students? 

Then we discussed possible partnerships between business and business schools. One of the ideas that we heard was that a partnership is valuable and viable as long as it is a long-term partnership. What can be done to achieve such collaboration? Listen to your customers. We started out with this idea and we came back to it during the discussion. 

We also discussed the methodology of teaching. We came to the conclusion that it is very important to develop reflection skills in our students. This requires participative project-based teaching during which we do not just teach but learn together with the students. That is how real learning can be achieved. Finally, we talked about who can teach in a business school and the recognition of business programs. 

These were the most important points of discussion in our workshop.
19th CEEMAN Annual Conference: Management Education in a Changing World: Are We Ready for the Challenge?
September 2011
Published from:
October 2011
Marina Karchava, Workshop 2: Business Education in Search for New Learning Partnerships with Businesses - feedback by the moderator,
Accessed: October 21 2018,
Available at: http://video.ceeman.org/lectures/642/2011_ceemanac_tbilisi_karchava_besnlpbf
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