“What business strategy is all about, what distinguishes it from all other kinds of business planning – is, in a word, competitive advantage. Without competitors there would be no need for strategy, for the sole purpose of strategic planning is to enable the company to gain, as effectively as possible, a sustainable edge over its competitors.”
The Business of Business Schools is Changing…
And Hankamer is Adapting, Competing and Excelling
In his best-selling book on the globalization of business, author Thomas Friedman emphasizes the crucial nature education plays in shaping the future success of the U.S. economy. In doing so, Friedman also defines an essential ingredient of that instruction.
The good news is that top-notch scholars with Ph.D.s in accounting, finance and marketing will discover a healthy job market today and probably for many years to come.
The bad news is that the numbers of people to teach students who want those degrees are disappearing by the hundreds and not being replaced.
Focus Firms were not the established norm at Baylor when Mark Hurd graduated from the University in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
The practice of partnering MBA candidates with regional, national or multi-national companies to research and provide solutions on real-time, core issues is relatively new to Baylor Business.
Business school rankings. Their relevance ranges from being seen as a useful benchmark between peer institutions and programs to a highly controversial marketing tool. Yet, more and more publications produce rankings each year and students and parents increasingly lend them credibility in their decision-making process. The rankings are not going away, nor are they becoming more uniform and regulated. This forces business schools to compete with each other, not only in admission standards, but course offerings, causing some schools to drop their quality niche programs to become a more well-rounded, full service business school. This dilemma poses the question: will rankings ultimately improve or hinder business schools?
The decades-old Hankamer School of Business, which has given wings to scores of successful entrepreneurs, is bustling – perhaps bursting – with new programs tucked into offices and squeezed into hallways and down stairwells. With fixed seating in its classrooms and little room for student meetings, the school is all filled up with no place to grow.
“I have found that Baylor students are the most well-rounded students, both academically and culturally. Baylor students care about what they are doing and are the most likely to succeed. They are quick to adapt to the work environment.” Don Spitzer, National Partner in Charge – Private Equity, KPMG.
The world is in desperate need of a different leadership role model – not just an organizational model, but a life role model.
We’ve all seen what has happened with leaders who are self-serving in business, in churches, in running countries. As I travel, I see problems with leaders who think leadership is all about them, all about the accumulation of wealth for them and their friends and family, about power and status and moving up the hierarchy.
Pragmatic application reigns supreme for Gia Chevis’ and Kevin Kobelsky’s upper level accounting classes, where students are paired with local companies and non-profits to solve their accounting and information technology (IT) issues.
Kobelsky, assistant professor of Accounting, teaches through projects with Waco companies and has done so for several semesters. Kobelsky’s students have worked with a number of companies and organizations including Central Freight Lines, First National Bank of Central Texas and Sterling University Housing.
Sometimes you have to see it to believe it. That is exactly the premise behind the interactive teaching methods of several economics professors, whose classes embody active learning through direct application of lecture material and classroom interaction.
Alumni and friends of the Hankamer School of Business can keep abreast of the latest research and business trends with the Focus Newsletter and Business Review Radio. Business Review Radio is produced by Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business and Waco’s local National Public Radio (NPR) member station, KWBU-FM. Current faculty research is also chronicled in the quarterly Focus Newsletter.
Which comes first, good leadership training or good ethics?
That’s the question being debated among today’s top business schools.
“Concentrate on developing strong leadership skills among managers and students, and then ethical business practices will more likely become part of the company-wide culture,” says Dr. David Blake, chairman of the Ethical Business Leadership Task Force for Beta Gamma Sigma business honorary and a professor of Business at University of California, Irvine.