Building an Informing Business School: A Case Study of USF's Muma College of Business
As the complexity of a system grows, the challenge of informing the stakeholders of that system grows correspondingly. Nowhere is that challenge more daunting than in business education, where globalization, technological innovation, and increasingly complicated regulations continuously transform the business environment facing graduates and practitioners. Informing science theory proposes that different levels of complexity require different channels if effective informing is to be achieved.
... s to be achieved. The paper first examines how two important sources of complexity—the diversity of clients and the ruggedness of the business landscape—are changing, and how these changes demand vastly more interactive informing channels if impact is to be achieved. Using an exploratory case study methodology, it then takes a detailed look at how one institution—the University of South Florida's Muma College of Business—has introduced a variety of new channels, many of which enable informing flows without necessarily directing them, to adapt to these environmental changes. It then considers both outcomes related to these individual informing channels and college-wide outcomes related to a broad and deep mosaic of informing flows. Finally, it considers the question of the resources required to support these new channels and the relationship between resource acquisition and channel introduction. The proposed framework for looking at business school informing channels can be applied by administrators, faculty members, and key stakeholders in understanding, evaluating, and planning programs and activities supporting informing in a complex environment. Ultimately, the informing business school framework may also provide a means for communicating impact to business school accrediting agencies (such as AACSB).