Business Education

Business schools in the Philippines

How are business schools in the Philippines innovating? Lessons to be learned  June 3, 2019 – 05:04 pm
The Top Business Schools in

Last Friday (Feb. 14, 2014), we ended by pointing out that developing business school innovation programs is mostly about research. We singled out the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) Business School where its program for its doctoral students prepares them for a research career in universities, research institutes, government, and business organizations especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

Then we closed by asking: “What about in the local scene? What’s something like HKUST that’s going on in the College of Business at De La Salle University?” It is to these questions we now turn our attention.

The Vision Statement of De La Salle University (DLSU) defines the school as primarily “a research university” and only secondarily as a teaching school. All its colleges are dedicated to research and are doing “high impact” research. There’s only one exception: the College of Business (COB). Many of the professors are doing research, but not the high impact type.

It was in mid-2012 when DLSU president Bro. Ricky Laguda invited the Senior MRx-er to conduct a one-year long research mentoring with the COB faculty. The Senior MRx-er had research mentoring experience with a few volunteering AIM professors before his 2004 retirement, so he accepted the invitation.

Setting up a research mentoring program

In order to set up innovative COB programs based on research, DLSU-COB defined the strategy choice not in either-this-or-that terms but as a both-this-and-that kind of choice. The first choice, which COB called the “Open Strategy, ” was traditional in the sense that it has been the way all business schools pursued research. The DLSU Faculty Development Manual characterized the Open Strategy as “encouraging all COB faculty members to publish in pre-selected high impact journals.”

The other choice was a “Selective Strategy.” As its name suggests, it consisted in pre-selecting those faculty members who will constitute the 10 percent to 20 percent small group of “Research Professors” while the rest will be “Teaching Professors.” These two choices were combined into one: “Pursue both the Open and Selective Strategy.”

At the start, when COB was thinking in terms of either an Open Strategy or a Selective Strategy, almost everyone assumed that the former strategy for innovation research has not worked. But when the choice was reframed as “both Open Strategy and Selective Strategy, ” the question as why the Open Strategy has not worked was raised. The follow-up question came immediately: “What can be done to make this research strategy more research productive?’


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