The Australian School of Management’s business degree curriculum: An innovation in collaborative symbiosis
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Organisational growth is achieved when good business practices are underscored by sound management and leadership skills. These skills largely stem from good education and training derived from undergraduate business management curricula. However, the business community regularly dismisses mainstream curricula because they lack practical orientation, rendering them irrelevant to the 21st century workplace. Despite businesses’ criticism of the education sector, corporations and educational institutions spend US$2.2 trillion annually on management education and training, making it a substantial resource investment. This begs the question whether such funds are being well spent. Critics assert that contemporary business curriculum is dated: business curriculum heralds from the corporate era when management schools primarily provided practitioner or vocationally oriented training facilitated by business practitioners. To gain respectability in the academic realm, management schools transformed to the faculty era where scientific research took centre-stage forsaking its practitioner roots. If business degrees are largely considered to be too academic and too far removed from real world applicability and utility, their credibility and validity are undermined.This paper introduces the Australian School of Management’s solution to the described dysfunctional disjoint by linking the two disparate eras, thereby bridging the gap in a practical win-win solution. The three-year curricular model embeds a collaborative symbiosis between industry and academia and culminates in two double weighted capstone industry internships. The case study presented represents the Australian School of Management (ASM) genesis and development of this business management pedagogic model that is aimed at preparing aspiring practitioners for successful careers whilst having the ability to synthesise best practices.
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