Investigating whether UK business schools need to be more business-like in order to survive in today's dynamic environment

Lucill J. Curtis, Martin Samy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


– The purpose of this paper is to clarify whether UK business schools need to change their strategy, to adopt a more business-like approach, without compromising their role as providers of “quality education”. Business-like activities, as explained by Dart (2004, p. 294) are generally understood to be those characterised by some blend of profit motivation, the use of managerial and organisation design tools developed in for-profit business settings, and broadly framed business thinking to structure and organise activity.

– Adopting a mixed methods research design, this study involved the review of quantitative data from questionnaires sent to senior managers within UK business schools, followed by the case-study analysis of five UK-based business schools.

– Contemporary evidence suggests business schools have reacted to the current dynamic environment by adapting a more business-like approach, scanning the horizon and identifying new markets and opportunities for growth. However, some business schools remain ardently against a more business-like approach, considering it to work against academic clarity and research excellence, expected of universities.

– This paper illustrates the current challenges influencing strategy within five diverse UK business schools. Therefore, the original contribution of the paper lies in the authors’ empirical investigations into the current thinking and practice of existing business school leaders, in light of the changing HE policies and reduced funding arrangements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)728-750
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014


  • Strategy, Marketing, Business schools, Competitive environment, Strategic change, Business-like, Strategic formulation

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