Academic journal article Business Education & Accreditation

A Comparison of Aacsb, Acbsp, and Iacbe Accredited U.S. Business Programs: An Institutional Resource Perspective

Academic journal article Business Education & Accreditation

A Comparison of Aacsb, Acbsp, and Iacbe Accredited U.S. Business Programs: An Institutional Resource Perspective

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Accreditation is a means by which business programs can assure accountability and quality to their stakeholders. However, attaining and maintaining accreditation can be a costly endeavor. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) differ with respect to the cost of accreditation and the rigidity and rigor of their accreditation guidelines. Therefore, we hypothesize that institutional resources may be a determining factor in the choice of accreditor. Our results provide compelling evidence to support our hypothesis. Public institutions are more likely to have AACSB-accredited business programs, whereas private institutions are more likely to have ACBSP- or IACBE-accredited business programs. Research institutions are more likely to have AACSB-accredited business programs, whereas master's and baccalaureate institutions are more likely to have ACBSP- or IACBE-accredited business programs. Institutions with AACSB-accredited business programs have the most assets and equipment, generate the most revenue overall and from all revenue sources examined except tuition and fees, expend the most on instruction, pay the highest professor salaries (at all ranks), and they have the most personnel (both total staff and instruction/research and public service staff) and students.

JEL: 120; 121

KEYWORDS: Higher Education; Business Education; Accreditation; AACSB; ACBSP; IACBE

INTRODUCTION

Business education and higher education in general face criticism on several fronts and are subject to increasing scrutiny. Enrollment and tuition are up, yet the benefits of higher education are suspect. Pringle and Michel (2007) advised that "state legislators, parents, taxpayers, and donors want universities to justify their investments by providing evidence of student learning" (p. 202). This justification seems warranted given Arum and Roksa's (2011) compelling evidence demonstrating that undergraduate students are learning little, partly because of the lack of rigor at institutions of higher education. In addition, possessing an MBA degree and the mastery of MBA subject matter (i.e., grade point average) are uncorrected with career success (Pfeffer & Fong, 2002). Business schools are at a crossroads and it is time to seriously rethink or redesign business education (Datar, Garvin, & Cullen, 2010). The Wall Street Journal recently reported that corporate recruiters are questioning the value of the undergraduate business degree and "they're looking for candidates with a broader academic background" (Korn, 2012).

In light of these criticisms, it would be prudent for business schools to assure their stakeholders of quality and accountability. Accreditation is one method of holding a program or institution accountable and demonstrating that the program/institution meets at least a minimum quality threshold. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) defines accreditation as "a process of external quality review created and used by higher education to scrutinize colleges, universities and programs for quality assurance and quality improvement" (Eaton, 201 1, p. 1). Accreditation serves several roles, two of which include "assuring quality" and "engendering private sector confidence" (Eaton, 2011, pp. 2-3). CHEA indicates that "accreditation in the United States is about quality assurance and quality improvement. It is a process to scrutinize higher education institutions and programs" (Eaton, 201 1, p. 1 1).

The goal of CHEA is to assure "that accrediting organizations contribute to maintaining and improving academic quality" (Eaton, 2011, p. 9). CHEA's role is to review and scrutinize the quality and effectiveness of accreditors and "recognize" them. CHEA does not accredit institutions or programs; rather, CHEA accredits the accreditors. …

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