In the May 2005 issue of the Harvard Business Review, Warren Bennis and James O'Toole, two world renowned professors in the Business Academy, co-authored an article in which they declared that a preponderance of business schools are too focused on theory and quantitative analysis and as a result, they are graduating students who lack useful business skills and the sound judgment to be effective managers and leaders.
The co-authors call on B-schools to become more like medical and law schools that treat their disciplines more like professions than pure academic departments. They maintain that faculty members should be more like practicing members of their professions, like doctors and lawyers. For instance, can we imagine a professor of surgery teaching in a medical school who has never seen a patient? Yet many of today's top business programs are packed with intelligent, highly skilled faculty with little or no managerial experience.
This article validates the mission of the School of Business and Technology at Webster University and our commitment to an application-based approach to business education. Our success and, by definition the significance of our program, has come in part from the 2300 highly credentialed professional practitioner faculty that teach in our programs worldwide. They bring to our classrooms a real-life and fresh perspective to addressing the issues and challenges that corporations are battling today; ethics, global competition, and changing consumer demands. Our approach is to arm our graduates with the type of knowledge that is relevant and the skills that the business environment demands. We strongly adhere to the value of teaching in class on Monday what is relevant to the work environment of our students on Tuesday. Today’s business world is increasingly competitive and rapidly changing. It requires flawless execution linked to strategy, operations, and people. We recognize that success comes to those who are able to change quickly and often.
I have written a note to professors Bennis and O'Toole to thank them for the timely article that directly espouses the value of a Webster business degree. It's so refreshing to get such a public validation from two respected professors. We will not rest, but continue to seek a higher standard in our program and demand an even greater resonance to our commitment to real-world knowledge.
"I believe that the future belongs to those that can see it. "
- Dr. Benjamin Akande
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