Management must be a public concern – putting Europe back on a growth path

Posted by Jocelyne Wang on 02/05/12

When we discuss management as a key issue for society these days the word has a mostly negative connotation – we tend to talk about management in terms of the damages that short-termism, off-shoring, greed and bad management (in particular in the financial services sector) are inflicting on society.

The round table last week at the 2012 European Business Summit (EBS) organised by the EFMD took a different approach.

The theme “Management Skills for Growth” pointed to a great opportunity.  Opening statements came from Adrian Wooldridge (Management Editor, The Economist), Alexander von Gabain (Chair of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology – EIT) and Santiago Iniguez (President of IE Business School and President of IE University).

The discussion focused on how to increase innovation as an aid to moving Europe back to growth. Alexander von Gabain made the point that most Europeans seem to believe that top-class research will per se lead to innovation. Rather, he emphasised the managerial and entrepreneurial capacity that is essential to transform research results into value.

There was a strong feeling in the meeting that European policy makers had a blind spot in this field. While it may be right to pump billions into R&D, they do not seem to realise that without a proper focus on building management and entrepreneurial capacity in our societies we will not get the best return from these huge investments.

Management capacity is the “missing link” in policy makers’ perception of how to achieve innovation and growth. According to Adrian Wooldridge, management sciences must be recognised as an essential field of research while Santiago Iniguez showed how business schools are in the process of reinventing themselves to become key players in the “knowledge triangle” (business, education and research).

A Call to Action resulting from this EFMD round table addresses key issues such as the inclusions of management education in scientific and engineering studies, supporting entrepreneurial mind-sets and values from school-level onwards, and providing community research funding for important fields such as design thinking, open innovation and organisational sociology. This paper is to be used as the essential basis for EFMD EU Affairs’ interactions with the EU policy makers as well as relevant consultation and networking activities in the coming future.

Dr. Richard Straub, Director EU Affairs & Corporate Services, EFMD

For more on EFMD’s EU Affairs: http://www.efmd.org/index.php/eucooperation-main/european-affairs-at-efmd/policy-work and http://efmd.blogactiv.eu/

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EFMD is a leading international network of business schools, companies and consultancies (770 members across 82 countries) at the forefront or raising the standards of management education and development globally. EFMD runs the EQUIS & EPAS, accreditation systems and is one of the key reference points for management education worldwide. www.efmd.org

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