» Business Students Testing Their Skills Outside the Classroom

Student SkillsLeading Paradoxically
The UTSA College of Business embarked on a bold strategic plan in 2004 that focused on highlighting our comparative advantages, achieving national recognition and pursuing excellence through five thematic areas: globalization, security, capital markets, transformational leadership/entrepreneurship and health/technology.

We positioned the College of Business for this new paradigm by transforming our programs to provide our students with a business education that provides Knowledge for a New World Looking back five years later, I see a vibrant and bold business school that is thriving in this new world of business—full of complexity, crisis, and opportunities.

“Old school” business, which I call Business 1.0, was taught based on a model of firm behavior whose sole motive was profit maximization and short-term shareholder value. Business students were trained with a sharp business mind, but without a principled foundation that valued responsible, sustainable and ethical ways of doing business. Innovations that have transpired in business education, which I call Business 2.0, have focused on delivery systems and mechanisms for knowledge transport.

We have taken a broader view of this new world of business—Business 3.0. Our business programs incorporate both the scientific and humanistic aspects of business by focusing on rigor with relevance and theory with practice. Corporate responsibility and business ethics have been elevated in the College of Business and are now being taught from a philosophical perspective. We’ve launched a new MBA ethics course this fall and are training our students how to think, not just what to think. We’ve also broadened our programs to view business as not just a U.S.-centric model, but one that is enhanced and enlightened by recognizing and valuing global perspectives.

The financial crisis taught business schools about their important role in society. As Dean Canals of IESE Business School in Spain states, “The assumption that the sole objective of the firm is to be a profit maximizing unit is a reduction of the real world.” Business schools are now challenged to contribute to the transformation of leadership, to be relevant and innovative, to respond to a complex and globalized business world, and to educate students to “improve the economic standards of society.”

To achieve this end poses a paradox for a business school—to focus on the competitive advantage and cost competitiveness of the business world yet to play a responsible role in society. As Schreiber and Chakravarthy state, “Resolving paradoxes requires not so much common sense as uncommon sense—the knowledge that apparently contradictory demands can still be met.”

To do this, the College of Business has framed the challenge creatively by balancing the organizational context of the school and the university, hiring and developing faculty leaders who offer thought leadership to produce these new business solutions, and providing ethical standards of guidance. In this annual report you will read how we have resolved the paradox by creating rigorous and comprehensive business programs that incorporate ethics, service learning and transformative leadership into our foundation of programming.

Collins and Porras in Built to Last state, “Leaders of great companies must embrace the genius of the ‘and’ rather than rely on the tyranny of the ‘or’.” During this time of worldwide recession and financial crisis, we have continued to believe in the “and” rather than in the “or” by offering innovative leadership that has led to great successes in the college.

In this last year, we’ve developed the Advanced Laboratories for Information Assurance and Security (ALIAS), a high-tech learning laboratory and classroom that trains our business students to become leaders in information security. We’ve expanded the Center for Student Professional Development, the home for undergraduate programming in the college, and have worked to transform our business students into business professionals. Our Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE) has partnered with students, alumni and the community to meet the need for more high-tech innovations and business development in this region. And this fall we’ll open our new Financial Studies Center, which will not only educate students about capital markets, but will also serve as a financial literacy center for both business students and the community. Finally, we’ve celebrated national accolades this past year that include our recent No. 1 ranking by Hispanic Business magazine as the top business school in the nation.

What is the importance of a business school to society? Why is the UTSA College of Business vital to the nation, Texas, San Antonio and the communities we serve? As a thought leader in business, the UTSA College of Business is shaping the agenda of this new world of business “and” making it relevant to the greater society.

COB Annual Report 2009

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Supported by:
South Texas Money Management

Contact Info

UTSA College of Business
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, Texas

Tel: (210) 458-4313
Fax: (210) 458-4308
Email: cob@utsa.edu