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Effective Practices—Would You Like to Know More About What Works at Different Schools?

June 2014

By Jessica Brown, Senior Manager, Knowledge Services, AACSB International

Effective Practices survey data helps give a good picture of the processes and procedures that have been most helpful at AACSB member schools.

Nearly everyone involved in running a successful business school will have their own tips, tricks, and best practices that help keep their school running smoothly and achieving the goals of their mission. While some of these practices may not be a fit for all schools, knowing what steps other schools are taking to meet their goals can help prompt an idea for what would be best for your own school. In the business world, some best practices are considered industry standards while others are a closely guarded trade secret. In the management education field, it makes a lot of sense to strike a balance between those extremes. Business schools vary so much based on their location, types of faculty and students, goals and missions, available resources, and many other factors that it would be very difficult to have any kind of one-size-fits-all best practice. Finding something that works for your specific school and mission can be a difficult process, but AACSB member business schools have an advantage to give them a head-start on researching and proposing changes to their procedures and practices.

AACSB gathers data on the Effective Practices Survey each year to find out what member schools are doing particularly well and what insights those practices may offer to other schools. The non-confidential school-entered Effective Practices Survey data is also augmented with effective practices entered by AACSB staff based on accreditation review documents. The accreditation-based practices are initially marked as confidential automatically, but, if a school would like to make those non-confidential and available to be searched, those effective practices can also be available for sharing with other member schools. There are more than 2,000 non-confidential effective practices available to DataDirect users at AACSB member schools.

On the survey, each effective practice is listed with a Primary Category with an optional Secondary Category. These broad topic areas are based on the AACSB accreditation standards. The following graphs show how often each category was chosen for the 2,107 Effective Practices reviewed. Each practice can be listed with both a Primary and Secondary Category for the survey, so the practice was counted in these visualization with both categories as appropriate.


Keeping up with how other schools are meeting their challenges can really help when a school is working on improving their current operations or stretching to meet new goals. The Effective Practices Survey data reporting is just one of many helpful tools that are available to AACSB member schools. More detailed descriptions of each practice reported on the Effective Practices Survey, along with school and contact information, are available to authorized user accounts for AACSB member schools through the DataDirect survey, benchmarking, and reporting system.

The 2013-14 Effective Practices Survey, opening for data entry in mid-June 2014, is the next opportunity for AACSB member schools to tell us about the effective practices that are helping their schools meet and exceed their mission goals.