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Managing business schools to weather economic change

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Many business schools are heavily dependent on revenues from executive education: they are feeling the impact of the current economic turmoil. Schools such as Wharton, INSEAD and Kellogg to name a few, have seen registrations for open enrolment programs plummet and their business for in-company programs shrink as clients cancel, postpone, reduce and in some cases bring management training in-house. Certainly, business schools can react to this challenge by reallocating resources to degree-based programmes (like the MBA) for which demand increases in a recession. Nevertheless, a fundamental question for business schools is “How can one make executive education less cyclical and vulnerable to cuts in a downturn?” The following article presents a series of strategies that business schools can adopt to stabilize executive education and make it less vulnerable to the substantial reductions in discretionary spending that occur in a recession.

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