Technology and the business school world

Fleck, James (2008). Technology and the business school world. Journal of Management Development, 27(4) pp. 415–424.



Purpose – This paper aims to consider the range of technologies currently affecting the business school world, and to draw out some of the implications and ramifications that we should bear in mind.

Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on insights from other analyses of technology development, the paper starts from a broad view of technology as including organisational and cultural aspects as well as the narrowly instrumental “hardware” aspects to analyse how technology is affecting how business schools will operate in the future.

Findings – Several important general observations are argued for: first, technical elements can be used in different ways to realise a range of distinct business and learning models. Second, technology can be deployed either to sustain existing operations or to disrupt them in fundamental ways. And third, those running Business Schools can, and should, actively “shape” technology, as otherwise they shall by default become victims of its impact.

Originality/value – The paper reveals that, deans must ensure their schools actively explore the immense potential and the wide ramifications of the new technologies coming on stream in the context of increasing globalisation, rather than just waiting to adopt passively the technologies that become available. That is, they should become technology makers rather than merely technology takers. Nevertheless, deans should also remember that technology is always just the means to an end, and so they have to be clear about what their purposes (ends) actually are.

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