Management Education is becoming even more important

Management Education is becoming even more important

RENÉ VAN DER LINDEN - Senator, The Kingdom of The Netherlands Chairman, Maastricht School of Management
Management Education is becoming even more important Given the dominance of Information Technologies in the economies of the EU, and also increasingly in the economies of the countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East, it is important that we consider how IT is influencing sustainable and inclusive economic growth and what the implications are for education and education co-operation between Europe and Asia and the rest of the world.

Why IT is Important

v Productivity: IT is vital in providing laborers and capital (such as machines and equipment) with the ability to produce more with the same, or less inputs.

The introduction of the micro-computer in the 1980s (by IBM) and the invention of the World Wide Web around 1989 has had a huge impact on all economies since the 1980s, with the term the ‘ knowledge economy’ coming into use.

v Trade: IT can allow a countries firms to capture a large share of value added of production, which are increasingly out-sourced across the global economy. 

Also as a result of IT and transport technologies that have made international trade less costly.

v Education: IT also provide access to information – allowing people the opportunity to learn and be educated far more efficiently and cheaper than before. Online education, e-learning and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have reached millions of people in developing countries.

v Breaking down barriers: IT allow people to network effectively, for both good and bad purposes; the rise of social media has been a remarkable feature of the last ten years, with technologies offered by Facebook, Twitter,  Whatsapp, Skype etc becoming household words.

But, IT is a two-edged sword. Two dangers that we are facing have been described as A ‘Race of Technology against Education’ and A ‘Race against the machine.’

Race of Technology against Education

v IT raises the DEMAND for high-skilled labor.

v If the supply of high-skilled labor does not increase, the relative wages of the highly skilled will rise, and with it income inequality.

v Since the 1980s, income inequality in all advanced economies, and even many developing countries
have increased substantially.

v Socially inclusive growth in the knowledge economy 
Therefore it requires increased investments in education.

Race Against the Machine

v An Oxford study predicts 47 percent of current employment in the United States is likely to be replaced by computers over the next twenty years.

v  Machine learning (ML), mobile robotics (MR), data mining, machine vision and artificial intelligence together with ‘big data’ is combining to enable computers to provide legal advice, translation services, transport and taxi services, etc.

How to win the race against technology

v We need continued and greater investments in human capital – in schooling, particularly in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)

v We need more and more labor to be able to utilize ICT.

v Because technologies are through ICT easier to disseminate, global coordination and regulation and global collaboration in education is important to ensure that regions and countries do not fall behind and that we prevent geographic pockets of poverty, as some communities may fail to become part of the global knowledge economy. The digital divide is a real threat to development and inclusive growth.

How to win the race against the machine

v Skills and education into occupations where creativity, leadership, management, entrepreneurship are more important are vital, as these are the jobs that are least likely to be automated in coming decades.

v Many of these are soft skills – where for instance business schools have many decades of experience.

v Also, it will require human labor to work increasingly for robots and computers – where in previous decades computers assisted human labor in future increasingly human labor will assist computers.

v Whatever the response, it will require a fundamental approach to education, and global educational collaboration will become even more important.

Education policies are vital

v For jobs that don’t yet exist and for human skills that are ‘more valuable than ever’.

v Management education is vital as managers make decisions on the adoption of technology and skills upgrading of workers. 

v For instance at Maastricht School of Management both social and environmental sustainability is a priority in management education and both are affected by technology.