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Industry Environment: Presently, education industry in US is highly competitive especially due to the health of the economy. Numerous factors affect the brand name and ranking of B-schools, effects of privatization of education industry and globalization of world economy on business education. The shortage of highly qualified professors and the need to introduce soft skills into the curriculum while maintaining the analytical and concept-based courses. Bargaining power of buyers (i.e. students, employers, parents) has tremendously increased2. Students and businesses are looking for more than good rankings; they are looking to learn the most recent attributes or trends of their field. The courses at top MBA schools have been overhauled to reflect the changed business landscape. The old curriculum was geared to the slower measures of the old economy, and content were never updated. Today's MBA students don't want to pay for old-school curriculum but rather something that relates to today's market conditions.
Traditional universities and colleges that offer graduate business degrees in the area.
Distance learning programs and On-line universities (for example Phoenix University)
Top ranked Foreign Universities and business & management schools (for example London School of Business)
Training companies and consulting firms that provide hands-on training to company executives.
Corporate learning divisions ( for example Motorola University)
Students and their parents are the primary customers of the services offered by a school.
Government sponsored students such as ROTC students.
Legislators buying capabilities to increase national competitiveness and general level of education.
Businesses that sponsor schools or sponsor their employees for advanced degrees.
Employers that come in for campus interviews.
Faculty and Staff members are the primary suppliers, as they are ones providing the service to the end user.
Equipment and Service suppliers, People/businesses that offer specialized equipment's to schools and colleges.
Alumni, foundations and Government are also critical suppliers, they provide much needed funding to develop and grow.
Location of Fordham GBA is a big plus; NYC is the world's financial capital, a marketing and advertisement mecca and the fashion industry heartland of the world.
Huge and diverse market of buyers and suppliers
Presence of many multinational companies and educational organizations helps students and faculty get more exposure.
Key Success Factors:
Main success factor is to provide high quality real life knowledge and experience to its students.
Providing community service and helping government achieve its target of providing better education and increasing competitiveness in the workforce.
Having a good network of employers and alumni who guide students to become successful in their careers.
Examine the "firm". What are the goals and values of the business school? How is the business school structured? What resources and capabilities does it have? Are there capabilities that it needs to acquire/develop?
The goals and values of Fordham are deeply rooted in Fordham's Jesuit tradition. Fordham's ultimate goal is to provide students with the conceptual foundation and technical skills necessary to make sound business decisions in a changing domestic and international business environment.
Mission of college of business administration
The mission of the College of Business Administration is to develop business professionals who can manage effectively in a range of leadership roles and who are equipped for continuous growth in the changing global environment. Located in New York City, the commercial capital of the world, the College of Business Administration is uniquely positioned to offer students the opportunity to participate in both regional and international economies3.
Fordham values excellence in teaching and in scholarship in business education. Fordham believes in the freedom of inquiry required by rigorous thinking and the pursuit of the truth. Fordham stresses on developing and cultivating critical thinking and creativity. Fordham wants its students to understand different cultures and ways of life other than their own. Fordham wants to provide a place where students of different religions and background can interact with each other and with contemporary business cultures.
Achieve International recognition for academic excellence and unique innovative programs.
To provide conceptual foundation and technical skill to its students.
Attraction and retention of highly skilled faculty and students.
To further develop connections with alumni and the corporate world.
Curriculum focusing on building each student's "Personal Portfolio"
Structure, Resource & Capabilities
Fordham structure is currently setup to specifically address the objective of improving student satisfaction involves changing the organization structure of the GBA program. It is presently organized in a decentralized structure, offering flexibility to faculty and students. Each department is independent and enjoys autonomy giving the department head to decide their course structures. However, the faculty might be unaware of things happening in other departments thus reducing synergies among departments. Fordham enjoys the support of world class diversified faculty and staff. The location of campus is a big plus for the business college; it is in the heart of financial capital of World. A strong cohort culture among the students and alumni's creating a network effect for all the stakeholders is one of the important resource and capability. One the other resources students use is the Office of Career management for developing their resume and interview skills and to get hold of contacts in companies. Various online groups on Facebook and LinkedIn created by Fordham students and alumni's are also beneficial to students and alumni's to interact and further their career.
Fordham business school should work on its infrastructure which would help the faculties in providing actual real knowledge of business. Faculty and students should be encouraged to take initiatives that would help the college and overall experience of the students.
How can the business school achieve a fit between the "industry environment" and the "firm"? What strategic changes would you recommend?
Fordham Business School needs to differentiate the experience and not the education: Fordham has the advantage of location, being in World's financial capital. In addition to the full-time, part-time and executive MBA, Fordham also offers 'International Business' designation, Fordham also offers a designation in: Entrepreneurship, Electronic Business, Global Sustainability, and Personal Finance Planning (Graduate School of Business). These special designation programs offer an edge to its students over other graduates and companies looking to hire new MBA's give consideration to these specialized programs. Overall the school is doing a good job to compete with its peers in the area and to maintain its brand, however the school management can work on certain areas of improvement.
I recommend these strategic changes to Fordham to place itself appropriately in this industry:
Flexibility in courses among various departments: Faculty and students should be encouraged to learn and adapt from new industry trends and use the latest high-tech resources to achieve those goals. Conducting research to develop the content of the degrees and skills of Graduates: Student should be encouraged to achieve an overall experience and write research papers, take part in competitions that represent business school.
Encouraging alumni networking to build up relationships and to give new opportunities to students, graduates, institutions and companies alike: Business school should devote more funds and time to develop the alumni and employers network.
Collaborating with the surrounding community and external partnerships to broaden the scope of the institution: Business school should reach out community members, other business school and other counterpart business schools in the area to develop better course programs.
Fordham should host and encourage students to join meetings, clubs and organizations such as NSHMBAA and BHMBAA. Currently only few students are aware of these organizations, more exposure is required to students for overall development.
Fordham University "Toward 2106: Integrated strategic plan", <http://www.correal.net/fu/toward%202016.pdf>
Competitive forces, Michael Porter, February 13th 2008, <http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/Semprone-50072-CH03-as-Education-ppt-powerpoint/>
Fordham University: College of Business administration, <http://220.127.116.11/section16/index.html>