eNEWSLINE - Business Education News from AACSB International
Home

What's Your Mission?

November 2013

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

Every school has their own mission and focus when it comes to providing the best possible education for their students, environment for their faculty, and meeting the goals of their stakeholders. As part of AACSB International's annual Business School Questionnaire (BSQ), schools report their general and scholarly orientations based on priorities and emphases. This information can be extremely valuable for students and potential students as a way to find schools that best fit their needs for a more focused education.

The General Orientation category lets schools report their priorities based on three measures: Teaching, Intellectual Contributions, and Service. While every school provides at least some emphasis on each of these items, the mix of what is more important for each school will be slightly different. Schools that look more toward research would likely place a higher emphasis on intellectual contributions, but a school that focuses more on the classroom education of the students would likely place a higher emphasis on teaching. Finding the school with the right mix can be a tough job for students, but it's something that can really shape their experiences and future career paths. No matter which type of school they eventually choose to attend, all of the general orientations contribute something valuable to the management education landscape and provide vital resources for students, faculty, and stakeholders.

For the BSQ data collection, the General Orientation or priority types are broken down by seven categories with each code representing the level of emphasis placed on teaching, intellectual contributions, and service for each school. The table below shows the specific codes used for each type. These codes are represented in the following chart as percentages of the total number of survey responses for that comparison group (All schools: 741, AACSB-Accredited: 603, Asia: 67, Europe: 80, Latin/Central/South America: 21, Northern America: 549, Oceania: 20, U.S. Only: 520).

General Orientation

Code High Emphasis Medium Emphasis Low Emphasis
BPA-1 Teaching Intellectual Contributions Service
BPA-2 Intellectual Contributions Teaching Service
BPA-3 Teaching Service Intellectual Contributions
BPA-4 Intellectual Contributions Service Teaching
BPA-5 Equal for Teaching and Intellectual Contributions Service
BPA-6 Teaching Equal for Intellectual Contributions and Service
BPA-7 Equal for Teaching, Intellectual Contributions, and Service

Looking at the data set for all schools that participated, the two most commonly reported codes were BPA-1 (Highest to lowest emphasis: Teaching, Intellectual Contributions, Service) at 35.8 percent and BPA-5 (Highest to lowest emphasis: Equal for Teaching and Intellectual Contributions, Service) at 33.7 percent. Taking a look at the chart below will show that there is some variation in the most commonly reported General Orientations for the participating schools by region. For example, the European schools that participated more commonly reported BPA-7 (Equal for Teaching, Intellectual Contributions, and Service) than was common in any other region, while BPA-3 (Highest to lowest emphasis: Teaching, Service, Intellectual Contributions) was reported by few schools across the full set of participants.

Click on the image to view a larger version.

In addition to the General Orientation, schools are also asked to provide their Scholarly Orientation on the BSQ based on 13 different possible codes. These orientation codes allow schools to show which types of scholarly pursuits are most emphasized within their programs. This information works in a complementary fashion to the General Orientation, with a more clear picture of the mission chosen by each school appearing when both priorities and emphases are known. These codes are represented in the following chart as percentages of the total number of survey responses for that comparison group (All schools: 740, AACSB-Accredited: 603, Asia: 67, Europe: 80, Latin/Central/South America: 21, Northern America: 548, Oceania: 20, U.S. Only: 519).

Across all of the participating schools, the most commonly reported scholarly orientations were BPB-1 at 25.0 percent (Highest to lowest emphasis: Discipline-based Scholarship, Contributions to Practice, Learning and Pedagogical Research), BPB-7 at 14.2 percent (Highest to lowest emphasis: Equal Emphasis on Discipline-based Scholarship and Contributions to Practice, Learning and Pedagogical Research ), and BPB-13 at 13.8 percent (Highest to lowest emphasis: Equal Emphasis on Discipline-based Scholarship, Contributions to Practice, and Learning and Pedagogical Research). Again, there are some interesting differences in emphasis when looking across the different regional groups.

Learning & Pedagogical Research - The enhancement of the educational value of instructional efforts of the institution or discipline
Contributions to Practice - The application, transfer and interpretation of knowledge to improve management practice and teaching
Discipline-Based Scholarship - The creation of new knowledge

Scholarly Orientation

Code High Emphasis Medium Emphasis Low Emphasis
BPB-1 Discipline-based Scholarship Contributions to Practice Learning & Pedagogical Research
BPB-2 Contributions to Practice Learning & Pedagogical Research Discipline-based Scholarship
BPB-3 Learning & Pedagogical Research Discipline-based Scholarship Contributions to Practice
BPB-4 Discipline-based Scholarship Learning & Pedagogical Research Contributions to Practice
BPB-5 Learning & Pedagogical Research Contributions to Practice Discipline-based Scholarship
BPB-6 Contributions to Practice Discipline-based Scholarship Learning & Pedagogical Research
BPB-7 Equal Emphasis on Discipline-based Scholarship and Contributions to Practice Learning & Pedagogical Research
BPB-8 Equal Emphasis on Contributions to Practice and Learning & Pedagogical Research Discipline-based Scholarship
BPB-9 Equal Emphasis on Discipline-based Scholarship and Learning & Pedagogical Research Contributions to Practice
BPB-10 Learning & Pedagogical Research Equal Emphasis on Discipline-based Scholarship and Contributions to Practice
BPB-11 Discipline-based Scholarship Equal Emphasis on Contributions to Practice and Learning & Pedagogical Research
BPB-12 Contributions to Practice Equal Emphasis on Discipline-based Scholarship and Learning & Pedagogical Research
BPB-13 Equal Emphasis on Discipline-based Scholarship, Contributions to Practice and Learning & Pedagogical Research

Click on the image to view a larger version.

Taking a closer look at how a school positions itself by the General and Scholarly Orientation categories can help prospective students, faculty, and other stakeholders find the school that can best met their ongoing academic plans and needs. All AACSB International member schools have strong missions and perspectives on improving management education, so finding the school that best aligns with your personal mission and goals can be a great way to help ensure your future successes.