Rethinking faculty models for impactful schools and resilient careers

faculty models

Wilfred Mijnhardt is the Policy Director for Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Chair of the new EFMD Faculty Management Programme. Follow him on Twitter

Impact has landed in the missions and strategies of business schools and in the standards of accreditation agencies. Impact is core business, together with the creation of new knowledge and transformative education. To efficiently combine these three key value-creating functions, schools have to (re)design the logic of governing and managing their most precious resource: faculty members and their careers.

In the new impact-driven reality, existing faculty models like the “2 legged academics” are no longer effective, even increasing unhealthy work pressures for individual faculty members. Those responsible for faculty management need to find a new, more differentiated balance between the needs of the school and the institutional strategy on the one hand and the different needs for individual members of faculty. Business school leaders need to design a longer-term logic, throughout the multiple stages of faculty careers, from promising early-career faculty to eminent senior professors.

The key challenge is: how to (re)design viable impact-driven career models?

A career policy is the implementation of the long-term strategy taking into account boundary conditions. Schools are faced with multiple challenges, including financial viability, responsibility pressures, quality assurance, sustainability and impact. At the centre of all, there is one of the most challenging: attracting and retaining the best possible faculty.

The following visualisation shows how a good career policy is positioned at the cross-section between the school and the individual faculty member: the success of the school’s organisational strategy (aimed to maximise institutional contribution) and the success of personal academic careers (aimed to maximise personal satisfaction).

faculty models

For effective faculty management, many different elements come into play and looking at models being practised and developed by Business School themselves is an interesting learning exercise. What can we learn from the proven praxis of business school leaders and from research in schools on topics like Performance Management, Human Resources Management and leadership? How to apply and contextualize existing leadership models to academic leadership for faculty careers? Practising what we preach as business schools and using knowledge developed by our own leaders and faculty is a great start to develop faculty governance.

The new EFMD faculty management programme aims at all this and will go further, discussing ways to develop academic leadership capabilities within our own institutions. For this programme, we are lucky to tap into demonstrated expertise of current business school leaders and some of the excellent research and development work done at Leadership Research Centres of the leadership alliance network. This research can help deans of faculty at Business Schools to base their academic leadership development on tested evidence.

An important factor for recruiting and retaining faculty is to embed the faculty model in the impact culture of the school. Which are the factors that shape healthy impact cultures? How can Business School leadership use these to support their faculty? It is obvious that a good impact culture will enhance faculty motivation and performance.  Good faculty management aims to build a climate that nurtures and inspires a work and team context within which every faculty member feels they can make a difference in their position and their careers, smartly combining contribution to new knowledge with educational innovations and meaningful, transformative change in society.

We will be looking at all faculty career stages during our new programme on Business School faculty management. Combining topics in the latest research in performance management, HRM models, diversity, leadership development, impact culture. Several Business School leaders will share the faculty models they developed within their schools. Through these experienced academic leaders, Deans of Faculty are enabled to effectively (re)design their models and help their school’s impact transition.

Join this important conversation at EFMD’s Faculty Management Programme.

faculty management