What do you think is the key for economic development in today’s intensely challenging economic environment? Innovation. But the truth is the innovation scenario has changed drastically in the last few years. So if business education and B-schools want to act as a stimulant for innovation, then it is imperative that they start changing now.
Is Innovation The Need Of The Hour?
I am sure you are aware that innovation is being effectively distributed worldwide and it is no more the case for only large companies who can invest millions in R&D. Moreover, several emerging economies are also coming up as major players in innovation. Open innovation, which involves a larger group of stakeholders, is becoming increasingly common and many new players are also emerging on the scene. The space for innovation is continually enlarging.
The contextual developments are simultaneously occurring with constant advancements in technology. However this is not enough as we require innovative solutions for various other global challenges like improving the global poverty scenario, addressing water and energy scarcities, abolition of contagious diseases, climate adaptation etc.
Why We Need Innovation In Business Education
We need fresh and innovative modes of thinking to deal with these challenges and bring about new changes. So in order to push innovation, business education needs find new ways to offer better training and equip our students with the required knowledge and skills.
I believe online learning is a great example of innovation in business education. It has provided a boost to students, businesses and societies that will propel innovation where it is needed. Now students, professionals and aspiring business leaders can afford and easily access online postgraduate diploma in business management programmes and improve their abilities to boldly face the challenges plaguing their communities. The online business programmes are enabling them to change the present scenario and help in improving the economic environment.
So it has become more important that business schools also innovate and remove barriers to further expand the effectiveness and reach of business education. However, B-schools first need to address the issues that are blocking their path towards innovation-
- Business schools have been developed on the principle of ‘specialisation of knowledge’. But innovation necessitates a combination of proficiency and integration.
- Contextual knowledge is growingly becoming outmoded. As there is a strong need for persistent and extensive research, traditional teaching models have become inadequate.
- Higher education needs to integrate businesses and non profit establishments in a better way into the learning process as these are essential for innovation.
- Historically, business schools are restricted by geographical boundaries. But in the innovation landscape, economic and easily deliverable global education is required.
A New Approach For B-Schools
Currently various universities and B-schools are trying out new models and approaches in order to address some of these issues, if not all. Some of the approaches include internships; project-based instruction; better faculty engagement with business; student consulting projects; recruiting practice professors; and even offering programmes online.
Although many other strategies are required for business schools to imbibe innovation, for now these models seem to be working effectively. Among others, online postgraduate diploma in business management programmes has significantly helped in expanding the reach of business education to students who reside in remote areas. Moreover with the advent of MOOCs and low-cost online programmes, many students who could not afford high college tuition fees, can now pursue business education. To be honest, I believe these students are untapped resources that will significantly add to the innovation landscape in future.
The Right Path To Innovation
Innovation is essential for solving major global challenges and for overall development. Business schools must innovate and modify themselves accordingly in order to perform their function as a catalyst for innovation. I think these institutes are currently on the right path and have the ability to bring about the required changes.
Do you think Business schools are doing enough to propel innovation? What would you suggest them? Let us know your views, opinions and thoughts about business education and innovation by commenting below.