Business practices are changing rapidly worldwide and are characterised by increasing competition, rapid technological development, fast communication and the globalisation of markets. Management schools have been accused of failing to keep pace with this change and of failing to provide education relevant to the needs of business in such a dynamic environment. This report considers the present state of management education in a number of countries by means of a literature review, as a prelude to the process of strategic planning. The purpose of the planning is to discern strategic directions for management education, specifically for the Master of Business Administration degree, which will enable it to be responsive to the ongoing changes in business practices. From a commercial perspective, strategic planning also enables an individual management school to recognise areas wherein it may obtain a competitive advantage against other players in the industry. As part of the environmental scanning stage of strategic planning the report applies Porter's model for competitive advantage to management education, and finds that it is a suitable model for this service industry.
The needs of individual customers have been ascertained, in part, by reference to a study of student expectations of an MBA degree while the needs of corporate customers have been assessed through the reported shortcomings of management education in meeting the needs of business.
Based on this analysis of needs and on forecasts of future business trends a number of strategic choices are outlined for management education. The option chosen by an individual school will be determined in part by the capabilities of the school itself which are examined in an internal audit. However, a case is argued for the adoption of internationalisation and total quality management as strategies which contain within themselves a necessity for change which in turn enables a school to be more sensitive and responsive to changes in business practice.
The report proposes a model for management schools that incorporates total quality management with strategic management. In conclusion strategic directions are suggested and key recommendations are made to enable management education to meet the needs of all its customers in a world of rapidly changing business practices.