What does it take for business schools to ensure it is on the right path and leading the way? What are the essential attributes to achieve expected outcomes and excellence? The business school of today operate in an increasingly complex, turbulent, global world and is expected to be innovative, internationally accredited and well- managed.
Trust and truth are in crisis all around the world. The crimes of the rich and powerful have led to a global crisis of trust. Society have lost their confidence and faith to established authorities and governments. Even trust in business leaders has collapsed globally, plummeting in every country (Graham Vanbergen European Financial Review). Fake news and cyber propaganda in social media have been peddled without filtering, factchecking and editorial judgement.
Rampant unemployment, aggravated by the global lockdown, poverty and inequality continues to rage across the developing world. Social justice appears elusive and global economic growth is projected at 5.5% in 2021 and 4.2% in 2022, conditional upon a vaccine powered strengthening of (economic) activity in the developed economies (IMF, Jan 2021). Inequality in a rapidly changing world remains tricky despite economic growth and improved living standards.
The year 2020 marked the advent of the UN’s Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. But 2020 was a year notorious for the global proliferation of the Corona virus and the scramble for control and prevention and being confronted with the paradox of lives and livelihoods. Wobbling from the impact of the pandemic, economies faltered and a deep recession prevailed in the world economy.
In this globalised world where there is no trust, where there is fear and a dearth of social justice, how can we, as Business Schools, give hope for the future? More precisely:
How do Business School balance reputational, relevance and legitimacy issues in an evolving order of corporate decay and responsible leadership and management deficits amidst a spectrum of societal problems such as inequality, poverty and unemployment in emerging economies. How do we inspire a new narrative of business for good and social progress?
The four key institutions of trust namely business, government, NGOs, and media have been in decline for years. Cynicism and suspicion seem rife. How can we rebuild the world?
Nelson Mandela said: “Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world”