Social Media Will Change the B-School Landscape

Social media as it relates to management education continues to be a hot topic, and I found the comments in a recent Huffington Post blog piece really fascinating. For Millennials, memories of the world prior to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram may be hazy, while members of Generation X have perfect recall of the pre-Internet days.

John T. Delaney, dean of Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh, writes about the irony of rising loneliness in our connected world, and how the social media disconnect will affect business schools.  This disconnect relates to a growing inability among the youngest professionals to interact face-to-face and to collaborate in an era of truncated communication.

“Because this dynamic affects human interactions and society, it will affect business schools,” Delaney writes. “I see it exacerbating the existing trend of students coming to school with higher test scores but having a growing need for the development of emotional intelligence and social graces.”

One of the best ways to combat those deficiencies, and one that’s already in play at many top MBA programs, is to shift greater focus on experiential learning and soft skills in tandem with the typical foundation courses.

The dean points to ways technology has already disrupted the classroom experience and altered professor/student relationships, but he also recognizes the numerous advantages of social media—including its ability to democratize and increase transparency in the academic setting.

It may be too soon to fully grasp the effects social media will have on management education even ten years from now, but Delaney is grappling with these issues now, and his article offers much food for thought.

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