Ulrich Hommel, MD of XOLAS, has published a thought-provoking article, titled “The Continuously Rewired Business School”, on the expanding importance of innovation for business schools in the future. Co-author is Martin Meyer, Vice Rector of the University of Vaasa.

As constant change becomes the new normal for business education, business schools must prioritize innovation, interconnectivity, and experimentation. This article makes the argument that business schools need to break from their traditional approaches and make innovation the center of their development. Only then can they build more radical momentum and achieve their broader societal impact objectives.

An agglomeration of market forces is currently challenging business schools’ existing business models. These forces include:

  • The digitalization of business degrees.
  • Increased learner demand for hybrid educational delivery.
  • Widespread adoption of microcredentialing, stackable qualifications, and shared learning models.
  • The unbundling of education (driven largely by the three forces listed above).

In addition, growing pressure from stakeholders is compelling business schools to become system integrators that bring different entities together to achieve societal impact. This pressure has become especially prominent in the movement for companies to address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and adopt environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies. Taken together, these forces promise to create business schools that are very different from what we have seen in the past. No longer will business schools act as hubs that merely connect different stakeholders for isolated, one-on-one transactions. Instead, our institutions must embed themselves in collaborative ecosystems, where they can drive innovation on a much larger scale.

The article is available on AACSB Insights and can be accessed here.