Better Together: The Mutual Gain of Business School-Industry Collaborations

Leading business educators and professionals tell AACSB why the collaboration between business schools and industry is vital to the success of both.


Mike McCracken: [00:23] It's an age old problem this notion of academia, being able to work with business, and business looking to academia to come up with solutions that are beneficial and are executable in the marketplace.

Boris Shcherbakov: [00:38] We are on the receiving end of the business education. Any school of business produces a certain product. You want it to know where in the marketplace, and they produce a talent. I personally want to be sure, in my company, that they work for now, which is Dell by the way.

[00:53] Dell EMC also wants to make sure that we have the qualities and the skill set of the people that the business schools are producing to put it literally, the people that graduate from the business school, that they all fit into our understanding, what is good and what is wrong on this planet.

David Payne: [01:12] The Business Practices Council will really identify the actual problems that needed to be solved in the world. The AACSB member schools and their faculty and students have really deep tool kits in terms of strategies to approach solving these problems.

[01:26] When you put clear identification of real world problems together with really skilled people, faculty staff, and students, you create a perfect opportunity for them, for the people from the schools, to be able to solve interesting and really complex problems.

Anil Makhija: [01:41] In terms of what these collaborations can look like, I think we have a hint of that in the present. For example, at my college, and this is common at other business schools as well, we have what are called centers.

[01:59] Centers are literally the interface between academia and practice. What these kinds of centers do is, they bring the two sides together, and engage them in a conversation, where the academic, the theory, and practice come together.

Kenneth Freeman: [02:18] What I do see is the opportunity and the fact that some schools are now truly partnering with industry, inside and outside the classroom.

[02:28] At my university as an example, we've collaborated with Fidelity Investments in developing digital capabilities called Questrom Digital to really bring into the classroom digitally, you're online or in the classroom, leaders, executives, to engage alongside of our faculty. That's quite powerful for our students.

Shcherbakov: [02:49] The business needs to be on a permanent basis present at the business educational process, this way or another, on a consultancy level or on a professorship level, tutoring level, coaching level, whatever. Internship, everything matters.

Neil Braun: [03:05] The structure of the industry that rewards people for narrow and deep research when we're trying to educate our students to be nimble and agile in a changing world, this is a fundamental disconnect between how we value educators and what the goals of our institutions are.

[03:27] I think collaborating with business to close that gap, and then changing the institutions to address it, is sort of a live-or-die opportunity.

Filmed February 2018 on site at AACSB's annual Deans Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.