1 Henley Business School (UNITED KINGDOM)
2 Deutsche Telekom (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 7799-7803
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.2080
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
Business schools face significant strategic challenges in delivering Management Education according to Lorange (1). The pedagogical design principles relating to programs for experienced professionals and managers are different to those of pre-experience students. Lorange postulates there is a drive towards demand-driven offerings, such as custom education rather than commodity offerings, yet considers that academic value creation must be safeguarded to retain credibility.

The goal of Management Education is arguably as much about facilitating personal transformation as it is about imparting knowledge. Conklin et al (2) describe the transformative experiences of Masters students, particularly new ones who expect to learn the ‘answers’ to vexing organizational questions.’ Their research suggests that these students ‘often fail to appreciate that the experiential nature of the curriculum has pedagogical and epistemological implications.’

There are few programs and limited research into offerings that combine custom education with a postgraduate qualification. This paper provides a longitudinal review of one such program successfully running with two cohorts over several years. It explores resolving the dichotomy of objectives both within the customer organization and the supplying business school, much of which relates to the potentially misaligned goals of a custom versus a qualification program.

The customer organization is a large multinational with the goal of developing high potential talent. It specifically wanted a program that was both tailored and relevant for its experienced professionals and at the same time rigorous - to be demonstrated through the award of a postgraduate qualification. Many business schools have the structure, processes and culture to create either a custom program or a qualification program. Doing both simultaneously is difficult and presented significant challenges for the supplying business school.

The success of the program was predicated on creating a strong multi-stakeholder partnership between the business school and the organization. Interviews held with key customer stakeholders generated data on the research questions related to the development of a custom Management Education qualification. Ensuing insights and recommendations cover the leadership, design and evaluation of the program, which the authors believe have wider transferability, both for research and education purposes.

[1] Lorange P (2005) Strategy means choice: also for today’s business school!,
[2] Conklin J, Kyle T and Robertson C, (2013) The essential transformation: How Masters students make sense and learn through transformative change
Postgraduate education, custom programs, partnership, design.