Does it Matter in Business Education? Interviews with Business School Deans
22 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2008
Date Written: July 2006
How are business schools thinking about developing leaders for the emerging digital economy? To answer this question, we interviewed 45 business school deans about whether knowledge about IT in business should be a part of core MBA education, and if so, how this knowledge should be delivered. A majority of deans recognize the importance of IT in business and the need for its presence in a forward looking core business curriculum that is training managers for an increasingly global and information rich future. There are three themes around which such a presence is described by them: understanding how the transformative and wealth generating potential of IT changes business and society, understanding how to make successful IT investment decisions, and facilitating innovation and creativity in the use of increasingly available data for decision making. However, a significant fraction of these deans struggle with the delivery of IT content in their core curriculum, and there is a clear divergence between the extent to which business school leadership considers IT in business important, and its realized presence in core MBA education. We identify the main reasons that contribute towards this divergence and how some schools are addressing it. Based on our findings, we outline the business importance and intellectual foundations for a natural question around which core education about IT in business can be structured, which asks "How does IT transform business and society?"
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