The Slovenia Times

Manifesto: Changing the Course of Management Development - Combining Excellence with Relevance


"The Manifesto is more than a document; it is the beginning of a movement which represents the foundations necessary for changes in the development of management" said Professor Danica Purg, President of the CEEMAN Association when presenting the manifesto together with its co-author, Professor Derek Abell, to the 150 deans, rectors, academics and employees from 100 leading business schools and universities from 33 countries and 5 continents.

The conference was hosted by Roger Martin, who was named the world's top management thinker by Thinkers50 in 2017 and the Swedish scholar, Johan Roos. A well-trained theoretical and quantitative researcher about the current situation: "We are now stuck with an academic system in which business schools are run as if they are deaf, blind and dumb to a completely new emerging world.... too many professors have never worked outside of academia and are unfamiliar with the day-to-day operations of companies or the intricacies of how decisions are actually made".

The manifesto attempts to understand the real nature of management and leadership and from that, draw conclusions about what the future shape of management education and research should look like. As the reader will discover, it is neither a return to the founding years of management development, nor is it a continuation down the cul-de-sac into which many management schools now appear to be headed. Rather, it is to reestablish relevance alongside excellence as the way forward. Relevance, it will be seen, has three distinct requirements:

  • to be relevant to managerial practice;
  • to be relevant to the needs of participants in the markets that any particular institution serves - often requiring one eye on local issues and the other on global best practices and the latest thinking;
  • to be up-to-date, or even better to anticipate, with respect to upcoming challenges.

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