80% believe Business Schools are under pressure to change their value proposition and business model, finds new research from AMBA & BGA, in association with Salesforce.org London: 27 June 2022

When asked if they believe that Business Schools are under pressure to change their fundamental value proposition and business model, 80% of Business School leaders said ‘yes’. Just 13% said ‘no’, while the remaining 7% said they are unsure at this stage.   

This is a principal finding of AMBA & BGA’s Transformation and the Emerging Business Model Shift in Business Education report, in association with Saleforce.org. The report surveyed 144 Business School decisionmakers from around the world to garner their opinions on Business School culture, strategy, and purpose. 

Distilling Business School strategy to the fundamentals, respondents were asked who they believed is a Business School’s main customer. More than half (58%) believe its primary customer is students while a third (33%) think its main customer is society itself.  

The survey then moved on to ascertain Business School leaders’ top two priorities for students. Just under two thirds (65%) of Business School leaders that completed the survey deem teaching and learning to be the number one priority area for students. Careers support, cited by 35%, is the second-most popular priority area.   

What role should Business Schools play in society? More than half (54%) of responding Business School leaders believe it is to develop and nurture responsible managers; 17% said the role of Business Schools is to support the societies in which they’re based, 16% said it is to produce world-class leaders to innovate in terms of corporate strategy; and 13% believe it is to help solve the world’s greatest problems. 

Andrew Main Wilson, CEO of AMBA & BGA, said: ‘It seems that Business Schools are on the precipice of change and while many have dipped their toes in the water of this transformation and model shift, there is an awareness that things will change to an even greater extent.  

‘One of the most enlightening results from the survey is that 80% of Business School leaders believe their institution is under pressure to change their value proposition and business model. However, Business Schools have shown themselves to be resilient and flexible already in the past two years, when faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, and would appear well placed to respond strongly to this perceived pressure to transform their business models. 

‘I would like to thank our report sponsor, Salesforce.org, for its generous support and insight in bringing this project together, along with the 144 individuals who took the time and effort to complete the survey.’ 

Geshri Gunasekera, VP Industry Marketing, Education Cloud, said, ‘This research has been conducted during a pivotal moment in time for business schools as the findings demonstrate that while many institutions are embracing this transformation, there is still uncertainty as to whether this model shift will be long term. Empowering business schools to lead through this change and deliver a connected experience for students, staff and alumni is a key goal of our partnership with several leading institutions here at Salesforce.org. We are delighted to partner with AMBA to deliver this valuable research to the industry and those leaders seeking direction while navigating this era of change.’  


Notes to editors  

To read the full report, visit www.assocationofmbas.com/research 

For more information, interviews or imagery, contact:   

Ellen Buchan, Insight and Communications Executive, AMBA & BGA: e.buchan@associationofmbas.com   


Between 4 March and 28 March 2022, AMBA & BGA circulated an online questionnaire, polling its networks of Business School decision-makers on trends in education technology and online learning. A total of 144 Business School decision-makers participated in the quantitative survey.  

Of those surveyed, 39% represented Business Schools based in Europe (excluding the UK); 15% represented Schools in Latin America; 14% Schools in the UK; 8% Schools in India; 7% Schools in Africa; 7% Schools in Asia and the Middle East (excluding China and India); 6% Schools in China (including Hong Kong, China); 3% Schools in North America and the Caribbean; and 2% Schools based in the Oceania region.  

57% classify themselves as deans or directors at Business Schools; 6% work in designing or delivering management programmes at Business Schools; 10% are management academics; 6% work with management students and graduates (for example, careers and alumni staff); 13% work in another role within a Business School; and 9% work in another role within the business and management education industry.  

93% of participants’ Schools provide MBA programmes; 74% provide doctorate degrees; 69% provide executive master’s degrees (such as EMBAs); 62% provide customised education programmes; 53% provide open programmes; and 51% provide online programmes. A further 12% said they provide other programmes. 

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