Higher Education for Business

By Robert Aaron Gordon; James Edwin Howell | Go to book overview

chapter 7
IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF BUSINESS EDUCATION: SUMMARY AND PREVIEW

IT IS time to draw together the findings of the preceding chapters and to translate them into more specific recommendations regarding the kinds of education and training the business schools should seek to provide. In attempting to do this, the present chapter can be considered both a sumshy; mary of the conclusions reached in Chapters 3-6 and a preview of the detailed recommendations and of the critical review of business curricula which follow in Part III. Or, to put it another way, the present chapter, by drawing on our findings in the earlier chapters, seeks to formulate a set of benchmarks by which we can evaluate the existing programs of the business schools and suggest the kinds of improvement most needed.

We can begin by restating a series of propositions that flow logically from the preceding analysis. Collegiate business education should edushy; cate for the whole career and not primarily for the first job. It should view the practice of business professionally in the sense of relating it to what we have in the way of relevant systematic bodies of knowledge. It should emphasize the development of basic problem-solving and organshy; izational skills and socially constructive attitudes rather than memory of facts or training in routine skills.

It should recognize that businessmen in the decades ahead will need a higher order of analytical ability, a more sophisticated command of analytical tools, a greater degree of organizational skill, a greater cashy; pacity to deal with the external environment of business, and more of an ability to cope with rapid change than has been true in the past. Not only are these propositions supported by the analysis of earlier chapters, but they are also accepted by the more thoughtful leaders in both the busishy; ness and educational worlds. Yet there are relatively few business schools that adhere consistently to these principles in the details of their educashy; tional programs.

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