Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

15
May

Teaching Ethics to MBAs

Written on May 15, 2017 by Santiago Iñiguez in Education

By Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, Executive President of IE University

A common criticism targeted at business schools is that they do not give sufficient importance to teaching business ethics to their students.

This may have been true in the past. But for several years now, most MBA programs have included diverse modules on business ethics and social responsibility. Furthermore, the most relevant international agencies in business education, such EQUIS, AACSB, or AMBA, require that business schools deliver specific courses and sessions on this matter in order to award accreditation.

So, it is simply not true to suggest that MBAs are not exposed to ethical issues.

Whether this is sufficient, of course, is open to question – and goes to the heart of the debate about what sort of managers we want to produce in future. An arguably more nuanced alternative is not to make ethics a specific subject, but to incorporate it into all subjects. This was the option recommended by the Aspen Institute’s Center for Business Education. Its Beyond Gray Pinstripes survey assesses business schools in terms of how they incorporate ethical and sustainability issues into their teaching.

Thomas Piper, co-author of Can Ethics Be Taught and a distinguished Professor at Harvard Business School, also argued that the best way to teach business ethics is not just by delivering a specific course looking at leadership and social responsibility, but by addressing these questions throughout the whole MBA program. First, he says, because, “ethical dilemmas arise in all functional areas and at all levels of the organization.”[i]   Second, because when teachers avoid the subject, “we send an unintended but powerful signal that they are not a priority”. Effective business ethics teaching depends in large part on its inclusion across the board as an integral part of acquiring a business education. An important message for all faculty: their responsibility in dealing with the deontological aspects of management, in their respective subjects.

At the same time, it is essential that teaching ethics be done with the same rigor and to the same high standards that characterize the rest of a school’s teaching. Aine Donovan, the Executive Director of the Dartmouth Ethics Institute, asked: “Does teaching ethics in general help counter individual cheating and group collusion?” Her answer was: no. “Unless taught properly by people who understand what they’re doing, the result can be worse than no ethics training at all.” [ii] Read more…

4
May

IE Campus Life Spotlight: Susana Torres Prieto

Written on May 4, 2017 by Susana Torres Prieto in Education, Video

3
May

Africa: The Next Big Thing in Higher Education

Written on May 3, 2017 by Santiago Iñiguez in Education

By Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, Executive President of IE University

Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s region with the biggest potential for growth in higher education. According to a report of the Africa-America Institute (AAI), only 6 percent of young people in Africa attended university in 2015, as compared to the global average 25 percent. But the pace of growth is unparalleled: In the past decade the number of university students more than doubled in the region.

As I am heading towards Nairobi, Kenya, to attend the State of Education conference organised by AAI, I am reflecting on the fabulous opportunities for academic entrepreneurs in Africa. Also on the potential risks, such as imitating old fashioned educational models, outdated and questioned, or using traditional management models.

A cultural caution is pertinent as well. Even if we may talk soundly about higher education in Africa on the aggregate, the continent is hugely diverse. In fact, it would be more appropriate to talk about several Africas, particularly in the case of universities. Higher education is closely linked to the idiosyncrasy of each particular society, still heavily dependent on the regulation of national governments.

The rapid growth of higher education in Africa has witnessed the entrance of many new players, both local and international, over the past years. The AAI report identifies 200 public universities along with 468 private institutions in the region, which also shows the high expectations on the economic potential of higher education.

This amazing growth evidences the attractiveness of the continent, supported by its young and dynamic population. However, as I have shown elsewhere [1], returns from education always require longer periods to substantiate as compare with others industries, a fact that only few investors, the true long term entrepreneurs, realize. Read more…

6
Mar

By Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, Executive President of IE University.

Almost everyone will agree that gender diversity in the composition of the different groups of stakeholders at business schools enriches the learning experience and promotes innovation.

However, there is still ample room for growth in gender diversity, as current data show.

The compiled figures below show the average of women participating in three major groups of stakeholders at top business schools offering MBAs, according to information collected by the Financial Times.

Gender Diversity at Business Schools (MBA rankings, Financial Times 2017)

 

The good news from these stats is that the percentage of women at the top 25 MBA programs has increased by ten percent over the past decade. The other two magnitudes, though, remain flat.

These and similar statistics lead some analysts to say that there is still a glass ceiling at business schools, particularly at the level of postgraduate programs. Unfortunately, this also has consequences in the number of women at top management positions in corporations, given the correlation between holding MBAs and climbing the corporate career ladder.

The two main reasons frequently mentioned to justify why women do not pursue MBA programs, as often as their male counterparts, are the lack of inspiring role models in business, and that increasing business career demands seem to disrupt the desired work/life balance, particularly at critical phases in life associated to childhood and growing up a family.

In the past years, many business schools have implemented proactive schemes to increase the number of women across business degree programs. However, AACSB data show that the progress has been meagre. Between 2010-11 and 2014-15 the percentage of women at MBA programs experienced flat growth from 36.3% to 36.9%. Something similar happened at the doctoral programs where the percentage of women over the same period increased only from 37.6% to 38.9%. Read more…

13
Feb

What sort of education secretary will Betsy DeVos make?

Written on February 13, 2017 by Santiago Iñiguez in Education

By Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, President of IE University.

This past week the US Senate ratified the nomination of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education. I am not going to join in the already extensive comment on her capacity for the job, and even if I may not share some of her views, particularly on public morality, I believe that her critics are wrong in focusing more on her person than her ideas. Like it or not, she is probably the member of the president’s cabinet with the strongest sense of mission, consistent values and acquaintance with her province.

Over her career, DeVos has been involved in a number of educational causes, notably advocating for school choice and school vouchers. For the uninitiated, supporters of this cause defend the right of parents to choose their children’s school regardless of its location and to receive government financial aid to do so. This policy has favored the growth of private schools, which are financially supported by the state at the expense of traditional public schools, say critics. Experience shows that when there is a subsidized choice, the majority of parents pick private schools.

DeVos and her husband have also put their money where their ideas lie: Forbes ranks them among the 25 top families that have contributed the largest donations to healthcare, social initiatives and education in the United States, to the tune of $1.3 billion dollars.

Given DeVos’ libertarian ideology, what might we expect to see in higher education over the coming years? Read more…

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