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Panel: Is Management Research Appropriately Impacting Practitioners, Teaching, and New Theory Development?

19th CEEMAN Annual Conference
Georgia - Tbilisi | 2011

I would like to start with a little bit of context – and to describe shortly the nature of Kyiv Mohyla Business School: 

■ Our school provides executive education only; 
■ The average age of our programs’ participants is from 30 years and more; 
■ We operate as a private entity, which means that tuition fee is important – it is the only source of our revenues; 
■ We consider ourselves as a niche business school with strong leadership focus. 

I would like to make several assumptions for this panel discussion. 

First, we do not believe that management is a science, but it is not an art, either. Therefore, leadership really matters. We are talking about responsible leadership, which we call “transformational”. We try to help people to develop their ability to create and / or transform systems – ranging from organizations to countries. As a life of every system has several “points of no return”, we should remember that paradigms are changing and be well-prepared for these transformational cases. In particular, we have to: 

■ Be able to develop new mindsets along with our participants; 
■ Create a new learning environment; 
■ Consider diploma just as the beginning of life-learning path. 

Second – research, from my point of view, is closely connected to what is called “a school of thought”. I would rather use this definition - professors and students proceed together as partners in their learning exploration. 

We understand that in our approach research is always context-dependent. Now we are in the situation when an industrial approach to research does not work anymore. And, it becomes very important because it creates a basis of authority for setting our own standards. We have to take responsibility of what we teach and how we teach. We understand that learning is about reflection and discussion. In that sense, this conference can be considered as a research as well. 

Research has to be something that contributes to our value proposition to the adult practitioners in our classroom. The American motto “Publish or Perish” is not the way to organize activities of a university’s professors anymore. It is our task as administrators to avoid this trend. 

We have an interesting feedback: up to 50% of value comes from our participants in class. To help them discover this value, we have created so-called “reflective” infrastructure – a virtual learning environment, in addition to classes. We have learning management system and invested into a professional network with current participants and alumni community. 

A very important part [of 20 to 30 percent] in our programs structure is devoted to leadership and personal development – things like Art Metaphors in Management, as well as Philosophy, History, Literature, Power of Ideas and System Thinking. Here I’d remind you the famous expression of Jack Welch: “Soft is Hard”. Soft issues require a certain work style in co-operating with programs participants. Working with values, business roles and ideas, we all should constantly shape our styles of doing things. I do believe that everything business schools should know about future management can already be found in the world’s best art museums! 

Third – talking about faculty, we consider our faculty as “reflective practitioners”. We expect them to be acting managers or consultants first, and only then they can have a right to come and teach at our school. 

Of course, it is very important to have a good learning methodology. We use blended-learning approach – a mix of in-class and virtual learning environments. We use problem-based learning to high extent – that means we have experience in conducting cases, and “live cases” – a kind of friendly consultancy to our participants’ companies. Our school already has a special infrastructure for these developments. 

All this together creates a learning community of kmbs. And we hope that it will grow further. As a small example, I can tell you that in a week 110 kmbs MBA alumni will come to this hotel to have a serious discussion with Georgian government and businessmen. Furthermore, we have an invitation by the Georgian President to talk about transformational leadership in a case of “Georgian Breakthrough”.

19th CEEMAN Annual Conference: Management Education in a Changing World: Are We Ready for the Challenge?
September 2011
Published from:
October 2011
Olexandr Savruk, Panel: Is Management Research Appropriately Impacting Practitioners, Teaching, and New Theory Development?,
Accessed: October 21 2018,
Available at: http://video.ceeman.org/lectures/651/2011_ceemanac_tbilisi_savruk_mraipt
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