These are some words associated with the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution. For many people they imply threats such as job losses and erosion of privacy. For others, they signify optimism and excitement that can help solve crucial development challenges. What should it mean for today’s businesses? What should it mean for society? What should it mean for business school students?
Maastricht School of Management (MSM) has a 65-year experience at the interface of business and societal development from which to answer these questions. From the outset our mission has been to strengthen human capital for sustainable social and environmental development. We established a network of partner schools in emerging and developing countries, and linking them with our networks in Europe. An aim of our partner network is to promote the transfer of technology and innovation management from advanced to developing countries, and from leading to lagging firms. From our home base in the Netherlands we are perfectly positioned to do this. The Netherlands has always been on the cutting edge of innovation and is the world’s most connected economy.
As a result MSM has a unique DNA that enables us to answer the questions posed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. First, the nature and content of occupations are changing irrevocably as result of technology. More will be expected from people in terms of creativity, problem solving, coordinating and communicating. Second, as people will enter and exit from more occupations over a longer career, constant upgrading of skills will be needed meaning that lifelong education is vital. Thirdly, what people do in their occupations, and how they do it, will become even more important, so the social, moral and ethical dimensions of work, and the regulation of it, will be indispensable.
At MSM these answers are reflected in our education and research programs. Let us share some of our most recent initiatives in this regard to illustrate.
First, in collaboration with RWTH Aachen University, Germany’s largest technical university MSM created five joint Master in Management and Engineering (MME) degrees. These are aimed to equip high-level and ambitious engineers to steer their companies to innovate, to adopt the right technologies and to understand how technologies may disrupt their markets but also bring in new markets.
Second, we have launched a cluster of Executive (short) courses aimed at exposing managers and entrepreneurs to the essentials of Managing in the Digital Economy. Key courses offered include: Online Retail Strategies, Strategic Digital Marketing, Big Data Analytics, Digital Transformation, Mastering Online Business, Leadership, Strategy in the Digital World and Smart Manufacturing.
Third, we have a range of projects aiming to facilitate technology transfer and innovation in emerging economies. Recent projects included MSM participating in the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture; advising the United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO) on the role of technological innovations for sustainable development; developing with Jimma University in Ethiopia an innovation-focused MBA in Agricultural Management.
Finally, MSM’s point of departure is that the quality of its education is paramount. We have in recent years been accredited by AMBA, IACBE, ACBSP and ATHEA, and additionally by the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organization. We have been twice a finalist for the coveted AMBA Innovation Award, as recognition that our school practices what it preaches.
The world around us has always been changing and management education is more important than ever. Not just any management education, but global, innovative, sustainable, ethical education. MSM will continue to be at the forefront in all these areas.
Click on the picture below to watch the video documentary.
News item on launch video
When Digitization Strikes: Disruptive Technologies and the future of Mobility and Contracting
MSM at the London Stock Exchange
Grasp the opportunities of the 4th Industrial Revolution
MSM steps up focus on technology and innovation management