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date: 24 January 2020

The Progress and Promise of Management Education Research

Summary and Keywords

Management education (ME) is a research field in which scholars employ a plurality of theoretical and methodological approaches to critically examine the people, practices, processes and institutions engaged in facilitating and improving learning and development of current and aspiring managers in a variety of contexts. Although research in the field has grown considerably in terms of both quantity and quality, ME scholars have yet to establish consensus regarding a strong theoretical foundation for their work. This foundation is important to both enable progress through cumulative scholarship and to provide directions for future research.

This future research should focus on how students learn, as well as effective approaches to facilitating and assessing student learning. Strengthening the theoretical basis and research methods used in this research will enable evidence-based practice and enhance the legitimacy of this important field.

Keywords: management education, management learning, business and management education (BME), scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), student learning, learning outcomes, assessment of learning, active learning, experiential learning, business education, business schools


Imagine two classroom scenarios. Scenario A is a typical undergraduate management course. Each week, there is a large lecture where a highly regarded and well-published professor presents the students with the information needed to cover the topic for that week. This week the topic is decision-making. The students in the class, those that show up anyway, passively listen to the lecture. Some may take notes or revise previously taken notes. Others amuse themselves with various distractions on their personal electronic devices. Still others may be so bold as to ask a question or make a relevant comment.

Now imagine another similar class, this one is Scenario B. It is the same management course, though things happen a bit differently. The instructor has organized the students into small learning groups, each of which is engaged in an authentic learning task1 involving a particular problem, say a management decision-making task involving an ethical dilemma. The instructor observes the students’ discussions and interactions, occasionally answers a question or two, and provides feedback and suggestions as guides for the students. At the end of the task, the instructor facilitates a large group discussion of the issues in the learning task.

Of the two, which of these two classrooms is more likely to lead to better student learning outcomes? Most people would readily identify the second class as the one better designed to facilitate student learning. It could be argued that the approach reflected in Scenario B is one that many scholars of management education (ME) have been advocating, either explicitly or implicitly, for years. In fact, authors often bemoan the typical teacher-centric and passive approaches exemplified in Scenario A in their introduction to an article presenting some new experiential teaching technique or resource.

However, with a slight shift in perspective, the picture and the associated assumptions become quite different. From the new perspective, we consider the students in these two classes. Scenario A is populated with a group of motivated learners, skilled in a variety of learning strategies and metacognitive techniques. Having experienced a variety of classes ranging from highly effective teaching to highly ineffective teaching, they have developed strategies to adapt their learning approach as necessary. Some engage the lecturer, asking questions to clarify what they have already studied on their own to ensure they are developing an accurate understanding of the topic. In Scenario B, the students in the second class are neither motivated nor skilled with respect to their learning. They fail to grasp the relevance of the content as well as the purpose of the group-learning activity. Indeed, they aren’t really sure what they’re supposed to be doing. They struggle to see the value of working in groups, and feel a bit uncomfortable with the process. They just wish that the professor would simply tell them what was going to be on the examination so they could at least know which slides they needed to review the night before the exam.

Once again, taking into consideration both the students and the instruction in these two classes, which class would now be your pick for the one that is most likely to produce the best student learning outcomes? This scenario, adapted and extended from Kiewra and Gubbels (1997), highlights an important assumption in management learning and education. Too often, we assume that simply using more active, experiential approaches as an instructor will lead to better learning outcomes for our students. That is, we tend to focus on our practice, our instruction, rather than an explicit focus on student learning.

To be clear, content knowledge alone is not enough for either the learner or the teacher. Both roles require an understanding of the learning process to be effective. This understanding would ideally draw upon a solid foundation of theory and robust empirical support. However, the complexity involved in the empirical examination of the processes of learning and teaching cannot be overstated. To address this challenge, we, as ME scholars, need to turn our attention to research that builds or tests theories to guide effective practice in management learning and education.

Definition and Scope

What is management education? Although this label is used throughout this article, the field is referred to in a variety of ways: management learning and education, management education and learning, management education and development, and business and management education, to name a few. Interestingly, it is an issue that is rarely explicitly examined or defined in reviews of the literature. Often, the scope of the field is defined by the journals that are included in a particular review. For example, The Journal of Management Education, Management Learning, and Academy of Management Learning and Education are most consistently included as leading journals in the field. Other journals such as Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education and Journal of Education for Business have also been included, though less frequently.

An alternative approach might consider who is involved, what they are doing and the contexts in which specific actions are occurring. The obvious target learning population of the field is current and aspiring managers. Traditionally this has been viewed as managers in businesses, but, increasingly, managerial skills are in demand across all types of organizations, so this distinction has blurred. The qualifiers of “current” and “aspiring” implies that pre-employment individuals through to current senior executives would be included.

In terms of “what,” the obvious answer is management. Broadly speaking, management is a process of planning and controlling people, resources, or processes. When we dig deeper and examine management using a wider and more inclusive lens, we discover a vast network of interconnected domains representing a complex array of behaviors and processes. For example, the Academy of Management, one of the premier academic groups in the field, lists more than two dozen divisions and interest groups that include areas such as conflict management, entrepreneurship, gender and diversity, human resources, international business, organizational behavior, social issues, strategic management, and technology and innovation management. Despite the inclusion of these topics under the broad field of management, journals representing many of these areas such as Journal of Teaching in International Business, Journal of Information Systems Education, and the Journal of Business Ethics Education are rarely, if ever, intentionally targeted in comprehensive reviews of the literature. Additionally, there is the issue that learning in its various forms that occurs in related business disciplines such as accounting, economics, marketing, and finance are often excluded from the ME literature. Although management is similarly regarded as a discipline within the field of business, the terms “management education” and “business education” are often used synonymously. This is again interesting, since programs such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA) that are specifically designed to prepare students for managerial roles almost universally include content from these areas with the aim of helping students develop a broad, interdisciplinary knowledge of business. Given our apparent understanding of the importance of inclusive and interdisciplinary educational practices, it is unclear why our understanding of “what” management is has been stymied by an intellectual barrier between ME research and the research in these closely related disciplines.

The question of “what” people involved in management education are doing also necessitates differentiation amongst the types of managerial learning and the contexts in which these occur. Broadly speaking, learning can be formal, as in on-the-job training or as in the context of a business school’s MBA program. It can also be informal learning that is self-directed, between peers or in other similar contexts. With the exception of Management Learning and other journals such as the Journal of Management Development, much of the research in the leading ME journals tends to focus on learning that occurs primarily in a higher education context. Given that the vast majority of learning that occurs throughout a professional’s career is informal, the current emphasis on higher education contexts appears misdirected and is worth reconsidering. Further, learning that occurs in formal training situations has largely been left to the training and development literature as a specific focus of industrial and organizational psychologists. In doing this, we are ignoring a critical context in which a significant proportion of management learning is occurring. Although they are already somewhat unclear, distinctions between the ME and training and development literatures are likely to be increasingly muddled, further compounding this issue. Attempts to resolve this matter would benefit from further empirical and conceptual research aimed at identifying the relevant differences between these contexts and suggesting approaches to advance the overlapping interests of these closely related fields.

In sum, there is a fundamental ambiguity regarding the definition, content, and boundaries of ME, and this is a significant factor hindering its advancement. Although the scope of this article will primarily focus on management learning in higher education contexts, explicitly examining these conceptual issues and their implications for how we define the scope of management learning can offer valuable clarity to researchers and other stakeholders. Also, identifying specific linkages and areas of overlap with other domains of research might also help to clarify opportunities for more interdisciplinary work. At the very least, surfacing these differences and overlapping areas of interest will raise interested academics’ awareness and perhaps spark some productive discourse amongst scholars in historically distant and unfamiliar disciplinary areas.

History and Development

As a field of practice, management education spans more than a century from the establishment of modern business schools, with increased development post-World War II. However, as a field of scholarly inquiry, the field’s development is much more recent and is inextricably linked to the emergence of academic journals embracing the importance of this area. One particularly influential outlet for ME research was the establishment and evolution of a published dialogue about the teaching of organizational behavior sponsored by the U.S.-based Organizational Behavior Teaching Society (OBTS, now called the Management and Organizational Behavior Teaching Society or MOBTS) in 1975. Over the years, this informal newsletter morphed into Exchange, then Organizational Behavior Teaching Review and, eventually, to the Journal of Management Education (Bilimoria & Fukami, 2002). The initial focus of this publication in its various iterations was teaching strategies and techniques applied in the management classroom. Although the journal continues to focus on learning and teaching techniques, it has also broadened its scope to reflect management educators’ contemporary concerns such as curriculum design (e.g., Whetten, 2007) and assurance of learning (e.g., O’Brien, Wittmer, & Ebrahimi, 2017)

Management Learning is another journal that regularly publishes research on management education topics, though its focus is distinctly more critical and broader in terms of knowledge and learning in management practice as well as in the classroom. Launched in 1970 as Management Education and Development and sponsored by the U.K.-based Association of Teachers of Management (later, the Association of Management Education and Development), its emergence was at least partially driven by initiative regarding managerial learning and the training of business school educators (James & Denyer, 2009). Its focus up until the changing of its title to Management Learning in 1994 was management education and development interventions.

Most recently, the Academy of Management launched the Academy of Management Learning and Education journal in 2002. The journal’s association with one of the largest academic organizations in the field and its efforts to create a quality, high-impact journal from its first issue have contributed to its success to date. These three journals, JME, ML and AMLE, have emerged as the “big three” publication outlets for management education research.

Beyond the emergence and development of these ME journals, Boyer’s (1990) critique and alternative conceptualization of scholarship is another frequently cited milestone in the development of the field, especially in North American contexts. Challenging the ongoing hegemony of defining scholarship largely in terms of disciplinary research, Boyer called for a broader, pluralistic view of four separate, overlapping, and equally important types of scholarship—discovery (i.e., traditional, disciplinary research), integration (i.e., research synthesis across disciplines), application (i.e., applying research through engagement), and teaching (i.e., the dissemination of research). In defining the scholarship of teaching, he emphasized that “the work of the professor becomes consequential only as it is understood by others” (Boyer, 1990, p. 23).

To Boyer, traditional disciplinary research is a hallmark of higher education institutions and an important differentiator from organizations that might compete with universities in one or more areas (e.g., teaching). He also recognized that to teach effectively, educators must be deeply versed in the knowledge of their field (i.e., content knowledge). They must also be steeped in the knowledge and skills needed to help students actively progress from a state of not knowing to one of deep understanding. This later area of knowledge is what Shulman (1986) called pedagogical content knowledge. Although a detailed discussion of the history and evolution of the field is beyond the scope of this article, interested readers should explore a number of insightful overviews of management education (Armstrong & Fukami, 2009; Engwall, 2007; McNay, 1973) and of management education research (Bilimoria & Fukami, 2002).

Management Education Research: Themes, Methods, and Critiques

Research Themes

There have been several reviews of the management education research literature in the past two decades. Much of this work has been driven by researchers’ interested in advancing the field’s scholarly legitimacy (e.g., Dehler, Beatty, & Leigh, 2010; Rynes & Brown, 2011). One of the earliest of these reviews was by Frost and Fukami (1997) who reviewed research published by the Academy of Management’s premier journals at the time (i.e., Academy of Management Executive, Academy of Management Journal, and Academy of Management Review). The authors identified 21 articles on the “scholarship of teaching” published in these three highly regarded journals during the period from 1974 to 1997. Reviewing these publications, they identified four broad, dominant themes in the literature: (1) teaching practice (e.g., teaching to adult learners, team teaching, student learning styles); (2) technology in the classroom (e.g., computer-mediated learning, multimedia, distance learning); (3) evaluation (e.g., impact of teaching, student evaluation of teaching, outcome-based assessment); and (4) the classroom as organization (e.g., experiential learning, systems theory applied to curriculum design, the use of student teams in the classroom).

As another example, in a review of three of the most well-known management learning and education journals (Academy of Management Learning & Education, Journal of Management Education, and Management Learning) from 2002 through 2005, Beatty and Leigh (2010) identified several themes from their examination of 535 articles using RefViz analysis. The largest of the 14 clusters identified, labeled “management, education, practice,” was common to all three journals and reflects all three journals’ emphasis at that time on classroom instruction. Each of the remaining clusters reflected a theme that was aligned to one of these three leading ME journals.

For Management Learning (ML), four clusters were identified as being “dominant” (50% to 80% of the articles in a particular thematic cluster published by a single journal) or “unique” (more than 80% of the articles in a particular thematic cluster published by a single journal) to the journal. These clusters were “learn, organizational, process,” process, management, organizational,” “management, education, teach,” and “time, social, world.” This is consistent with the journal’s primary focus on learning and managing in organizations including work that addresses ways of learning and knowing, the processes and practices of learning, and organizational learning.

The youngest of the three journals, Academy of Management Learning and Education (AMLE), had three dominant themes of “education, management, business,” “business, program, MBA,” and “field, education, business.” Again, this is consistent with AMLE’s history of publishing important work addressing business school administration, business school rankings, and the institutional environment of management education. While AMLE is also focused on publishing empirical research, reviews, critiques, and resources on the study of management teaching and learning, it is neither intentionally positioned nor perceived by academics as a teaching practice journal.

Finally, the authors identified six dominant or unique clusters for the Journal of Management Education (JME) including “learn, management, student,” “student, organizational, education,” “teach, management, learn,” and “exercise, student, team.” These articles address teaching techniques, experiential exercises, teacher development, and classroom management (Beatty & Leigh, 2010). Yet again, these clusters are consistent with the journal’s reputation and stated focus: learning and/or teaching issues in management, organization studies, and contributions that impact the practice of management education.

In yet another review of the literature using a much narrower focus on the 100 most cited articles in ME, Arbaugh and Hwang (2015) identified several research themes. These included critiques of business schools (e.g., Bennis & O’Toole, 2005; Ghoshal, 2005; Pfeffer & Fong, 2002), the role of information technology in ME (e.g., Alavi, 1994; Leidner & Jarvenpaa, 1995; Piccoli, Ahmad, & Ives, 2001), entrepreneurship education (e.g., Katz, 2003; Kuratko, 2005; Zhao, Seibert, & Hills, 2005) and experiential education (Holman, Pavlica, & Thorpe, 1997; Kayes, 2002; Kolb & Kolb, 2005). Although the list of the 100 most cited ME articles largely reflects the first three broad themes, all four of the themes identified by Arbaugh and Hwang are consistent with those identified in previous reviews.

It is also worth noting the journal outlets of these 100 articles. According to Arbaugh and Hwang (2015), AMLE published the most articles of the top 100 cited (n = 17). This was followed by Journal of Business Ethics (n = 8), Journal of Business Venturing (n = 7), Academy of Management Journal (n = 5), Journal of Management Education (n = 5), Management Learning (n = 5), and MIS Quarterly (n = 4). All other journals had only three or fewer (most had only one) articles in the top 100 published between 1970 and 2014. Although the authors note the concentration of these influential articles published in AMLE, JME and ML (27%), they also noted the heterogeneous nature of ME articles included in a number of disciplinary (e.g., Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Applied Psychology, International Small Business Journal) and general education (e.g., Computers & Education, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education) journals. This breadth adds further weight to the proposal to explicitly consider the definition and scope of the field rather than merely considering a few leading management education journals.

In sum, these reviews of the field highlight several issues in the extant ME literature. Although reviews are important and useful, using journals to define the scope of the field enforces unnecessarily limits and likely biases efforts to review and synthesize it. Despite this, attempts to identify themes in the literature are aggregated at such a high level of generalization that actionable insight is limited. Across the reviews, the themes of teaching techniques, pedagogical tools and resources, and critiques of management education practice appear to be reflective of a majority of the ME literature. Beyond these broad categorizations, these reviews also note that the field is largely atheoretical. As a result, the existing empirical studies reflect an overall lack of cumulative scholarship facilitated by robust theoretical frameworks and instead largely consist of one-off studies of opportunity rather than sustained programs of research.

Research Methods

As a relatively new field of inquiry, the methods employed in ME research have evolved as part of the field’s overall development. Tracing the development of the articles published in JME and its preceding incarnations, Bilimoria and Fukami (2002) classify the evolution of research methods in this journal as falling into three eras. The early era (1975–1983) is one of short descriptions of teaching tips, book and other resource reviews, and similar contributions. Empirical work is relatively rare, as are tests of statistical significance. When empirical studies were published, it was typically descriptive qualitative data drawn from a single sample. In the middle era (1984–1990), they note increasing reference to previous articles published in the journal and the growing use of quantitative data analyzed with descriptive and basic inferential statistics. In the third era, from 1991 to 2002, the authors observe that more than half of all articles reviewed report quantitative data with statistical analyses reflecting modestly increased methodological rigor.

Rynes and Brown (2011) reviewed empirical articles published in four leading ME journals (AMLE, JME, ML and the Decision Sciences Journal of Innovation Education or DSJIE) while investigating the field’s progress toward normative legitimacy. To investigate the state of ME’s procedural legitimacy, the authors reviewed more than 300 research articles from these four journals published between 2002 and 2007. For each of these articles, the researchers coded whether the study was theoretically based, the number of previous works cited (assessing cumulative scholarship), what type of research design was used (e.g., use of an experimental design) and the type of classroom outcomes reported (e.g., instructor perceptions, student testimonials, student reactions, student learning). Overall, 37% of the 208 articles used a specific theory to justify or explain a particular intervention, with considerable variability across the four journals. In terms of assessing efforts of cumulative scholarship, the authors noted an average of 29 references across the sample. Roughly one-quarter (26%) of articles used some form of experimental design such as a control/ comparison group or before-and-after measurement. With respect to measures of student learning, 21% of the studies used direct measures, while student reactions (31%), student testimonials (37%) and instructor perceptions (55%) were the most common measures used. Interestingly, when considering these results in the context of management education, as a student learning outcome, changes to student attitudes were rarely assessed (3% overall). This is both interesting and troubling, considering the relevance of student attitude change with respect to topics such as ethics, corporate social responsibility, diversity, and related areas.

Focusing specifically on the use of multivariate techniques, Arbaugh and Hwang (2013) identified 271 peer-reviewed articles examining online and blended learning in business and management education published during the period of 2000 through 2010. Of these, 157 (58%) were found to have used quantitative methods and 85 (31%) used at least one multivariate technique. Multiple regression analysis was the most commonly used technique in the sample, applied in 52 of the articles. In comparison to the narrative accounts that dominated online business education in the 1990s (Arbaugh, 2005), the relatively rapid and appropriate adoption of increasingly sophisticated statistical techniques observed in this study is a positive development for both online ME research and the field overall. In short, ME scholars appear to be embracing more methodological rigor in their empirical work.


There are numerous criticisms of ME research in the previously cited reviews. Much of this criticism has been generated by scholars seeking to advance the perception of ME as a legitimate field of scholarly inquiry. These critiques are partially driven by the increasing interest in ME. They are also an expected part of the continued development and maturation of the field. With this in mind, a number of these criticisms are summarized here to provide additional detail as to the current state of the field, as well as to provide a foundation for the recommendations that follow.

A persistent criticism of ME research has been an overall lack of rigor. For one thing, critics note the relatively small number of published empirical studies, especially in the early decades of its history. Although the quantity and quality of empirical studies has continued to increase in ME journals in recent years, this is still an area for improvement. Further, such criticisms are not uncommon to new and emerging fields of management research (e.g., Massa, Tucci, & Afuah, 2017).

Second, the atheoretical nature of much of the extant literature is a major factor underlying the criticisms regarding lack of rigor. In one review of the ME literature, slightly more than one-third of the articles offered an explicit explanation grounded in theory (Rynes & Brown, 2011). In the studies where theory was included, there was little evidence of any specific testing of hypotheses explicitly derived from the theory. Although this finding is consistent with other observations of the often atheoretical nature of learning and education research (Weimer, 2006), it is nonetheless considered an impediment to the field’s overall development and perceived legitimacy.

A related concern is the general lack of awareness of learning theories and the literature published in the learning and education journals of related business and professional disciplines as well as the broader learning and educational psychology literature. Establishing a solid theoretical foundation in ME is essential to provide the framework for the accumulation of validated empirical work to support evidence-based practice. Studies resulting from convenience or opportunity rather than sustained theoretically grounded research programs inhibit the replication, validation, and extension of theory (Rynes & Brown, 2011). The lack of a guiding theoretical framework also hinders researchers from citing relevant work within and beyond ME.

A third area of criticism targeted at ME research is the quality of the research methods employed—especially with respect to the effectiveness of specific teaching interventions. Much of the early ME research was descriptive or conceptual in nature, which is not uncommon in the development of pedagogical research in professional disciplines. There was also a heavy reliance on cross-sectional studies using multiple regression analysis to investigate the effectiveness of specific teaching interventions rather than quasi-experimental designs using paired-sample t-tests, analysis of variance, or analysis of covariance that are often better suited to quantitative investigations of this type. Empirical investigations of learning processes or the efficacy of a teaching intervention also tend to rely on student self-report data or instructor perceptions, rather than more objectives measures of students’ learning (Rynes & Brown, 2011; Rynes & Trank, 1999).

Notwithstanding these and other criticisms, ME research has advanced considerably in a relatively short period of time. The quantity of published ME research has grown considerably and the number of quality journals focusing on ME has also increased. Further, research published in ME journals has also increased in quality, reflecting the effects of ongoing efforts to grow the number and capabilities of ME scholars. In sum, the field has begun to move beyond a mere collection of teaching tips and best-practice recommendations to a more theoretically driven, self-critical, and organized group of scholars interested in furthering the legitimacy of this important field. Though a number of considerable challenges remain that may constrain further advancement, there is arguably an even greater number of opportunities for future research in the field.

Recommendations for Future Research

The primary and final aim of this article is to address the challenges facing management education scholars and offer recommendations to build on the progress made thus far. To achieve this, it is helpful to first identify the standards or criteria by which to assess ME’s current and future progress. Dehler, Beatty, and Leigh (2010) identified four criteria they argued could be used to establish the standards for a scholarship of teaching in management: (1) a “Focus on Student Learning”; (2) a “Robust Theoretical Foundation”; (3) the application of rigorous and replicable “Methods of Inquiry”; and (4) public dissemination and critical peer review (see the section “Review, Critique, and Replication”). These four criteria provide an apt framework to organize the recommendations for future research that constitute the remainder of this article.

Focus on Student Learning

To date, the general focus of ME research is more reflective of its early and continued attention to teaching methods than on studies investigating how students learn. Studies examining the efficacy of common teaching techniques and instructional interventions are still important contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning, but educators and ME scholars alike must remain mindful that teaching effectiveness is not equivalent to effective student learning (Rynes & Brown, 2011; Whetten, 2007). This is not meant to be merely a call for more studies explicitly focusing on student learning, but rather a call to support and nurture an emerging paradigm shift in ME. The dominant paradigm of many ME scholars is reflected as much in the extant research at it is in the language that management educators use. It is so common to hear colleagues in the business school, at teaching conferences and elsewhere, discussing “covering content,” “delivering instruction,” and “giving a lecture” that it often goes by unnoticed. If this reflects the dialogue regarding our role as educators, it undoubtedly has an impact on us as ME researchers. Similar concerns of instructor-centric research have also been raised regarding the training and development literature (Noe, Tews, & McConnell Dachner, 2010).

Alternatively, a learner-centric paradigm reflects the realization that learning begins and ends with the student. In this view, colleagues might instead discuss “designing learning experiences,” “coaching students,” and “facilitating student-to-student learning.” In terms of ME research, studies in this paradigm would tend to emphasize understanding who our students are, what they bring to the learning experience, what they expect from a business school education, how they learn most effectively, what educators and business schools can do to enable their learning, and what students require to be successful professionals and global citizens. As an example, imagine a study investigating the efficacy of a specific instructional technique. A useful starting point for such a study is to consider evaluating efficacy in terms of the intended student learning outcomes that guide why a particular technique might be used. This focus on student learning outcomes not only reflects a learning-centric perspective, but is also likely to lead to more deliberate and appropriate selection of relevant learning outcome measures.

A focus on student learning outcomes also leads to interesting, novel, and important research questions. For example, there is little existing research to guide educators in adapting intended student learning outcomes based on a student’s level of prior learning. More specifically, how should learning about leadership as an undergraduate differ from learning about it as an MBA student? Research in ME would also benefit from a broader conceptualization of student learning outcomes. Declarative knowledge is by far the most common of type of direct learning outcome measured in ME studies, but skill acquisition, self-efficacy, motivation, and attitudes are all important types of outcome that should also be considered in business school curricula. Models such as Bloom’s taxonomy of educational learning objectives (Bloom, 1956; Krathwohl, 2002) and Bigg’s structure of observed learning outcomes (SOLO) taxonomy (Biggs & Collis, 1982) from the education literature offer useful frameworks that can help facilitate this expanded view. Similar learning outcome frameworks have been proposed in the training and development literature (Kraiger, Ford, & Salas, 1993). These models and others have been used in previous ME research, but there is certainly opportunity for further investigation of these and other taxonomies and their application to ME contexts.

An important implication of a learner-centric paradigm is that learning is largely the responsibility of the learner. Using active instructional approaches is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for student learning. As highlighted in the scenarios in the introduction, we must also help students to develop the motivation, learning strategies, and metacognitive skills to achieve desired learning outcomes. As an example, motivation to learn affects students’ decisions to engage and persist in learning activities, and is influenced by both individual factors (Major, Turner, & Fletcher, 2006) and contextual factors (Klein, Noe, & Chongwei, 2006). Motivational factors such as goal setting, self-efficacy, and outcome expectations are also closely related to processes of self-regulation (Zimmerman & Labuhn, 2012) and meta-cognition (Dimmitt & McCormick, 2012). Drawing on these literatures to help explain how and why a particular learning method is effective, and in what contexts, is as important an area of future ME research as it is to any research in the broader education literature (Graham & Weiner, 2012). Beyond a focus on student learning outcomes, this learner-centric perspective must also extend to and include the assessment of learning activities and context to facilitate learning and the use of technology to enable and assess learning.

Assessment of Learning

A focus on student learning and learning outcomes also requires greater understanding of how to effectively define and assess learning outcomes. The assessment of changes in behavioral skills (i.e., “knowing how”) such as teamwork behaviors, leadership, or oral communication is less prevalent the assessment of declarative knowledge, or “knowing what.” Similarly, attempts to directly measure changes in attitudes regarding ethics, corporate social responsibility, or workplace diversity are also relatively rare. This is particularly important for those business schools that have made commitments to the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) and similar initiatives to promote ethically and sustainability driven behavior by business school graduates.

More research is also needed to explore “Authentic Assessments” in business and management education. Authentic assessments are designed to replicate the real-world challenges and performance expectations faced by practitioners, professionals, or experts in the field (Kearney, 2013; Wiggins, 2011). They require students to demonstrate deep understanding, higher-order thinking, and complex-problem solving. Authentic assessments may also be helpful in facilitating the transfer of student learning from the business school context to the workplace. Transfer of learning has been an area of particular focus for training and development researchers and may provide useful insights to ME scholars (Baldwin & Ford, 1988; Blume, Ford, Baldwin, & Huang, 2010; Huang, Blume, Ford, & Baldwin, 2015).

Of course, these are not the only research areas regarding assessment that are needed in the ME literature. How does the type and nature of assessment affect student motivation? Are some assessment types more effective for certain types of learning outcomes? Is there a way to determine the appropriate number, mix, and timing of assessment within or across subjects or programs in a business school? What is the impact of grades on student learning? How can approaches to formative and summative assessment be used more effectively to aid learning?

It would be difficult to mention assessment in management education without addressing assurance of learning. One of the cornerstones of the standards promoted by business school accrediting bodies such as AACSB and EFMD, assurance of learning is a process intended to ensure that the curriculum is effective in helping students to achieve the intended learning outcomes of the program (Rubin & Martell, 2009). Thus, studies examining how assessment methods designed for measuring for student learning can be used more effectively in the continuous improvement of business school curricula is another area of future ME research. This issue is particularly urgent given arguments that many business schools, hampered by the size of program enrolments, lack the statistical power to be able to make effective evidence-based decisions regarding curricular changes (Bacon & Stewart, 2017). Research examining this issue, particularly work involving multiple business schools with similar programs, as well as studies investigating alternative assessment approaches, would be highly valued by a number of business school stakeholders.

Activities to Facilitate Student Learning

Learning occurs as a result of what the student does, not what the instructor does. Through properly aligned learning experiences, the student can engage with the material and achieve desired learning outcomes. A learner-centric approach requires learners to take an active role in their own learning experience (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000). In contrast to passive learning, students engaged in active, experiential learning can construct their own meaning from the learning experience. Because of this, some academics have argued that active approaches may be particularly well-suited to learning outcomes that demand changes to student beliefs and attitudes (Rynes & Trank, 1999). This approach can also promote the development of self-regulatory processes important in learning complex skills and enabling adaptive transfer of learning (Bell & Kozlowski, 2008). Fortunately, the investigation of learning activities and teaching methods has been a defining area of ME research. However, contributions in this area could be significantly strengthened.

The case method is one example of an active, experiential learning approach that has a long history in management and business education. Indeed, it is considered by some to be a “signature pedagogy” of the field (Bilimoria & Fukami, 2010; Shulman, 2005). Although the case method is widely known and well-regarded, there is a surprising lack of evidence on it (Banning, 2003; Liang & Wang, 2004; Smith, 1987). Scholars have renewed calls for research investigating the effects of the case method on various types of learning outcomes and the conditions under which it is most effective (Mesny, 2013; Rubin & Dierdorff, 2013). Still others have called for its rejuvenation so that it might more effectively help students to critically evaluate the relationship between business and society (Bridgman, McLaughlin, & Cummings, 2018). A study by Loewenstein and colleagues (Loewenstein, Thompson, & Gentner, 2003) investigating the use of dual cases and analogical learning is a good example of the type of work needed to develop evidence on the case method. However, it is important to note that this call for research could arguably be made for any learning activity used in management education. There is an urgent need to develop a robust evidence base to support management education’s most common (and most promising) learning activities, including replication studies and studies exploring their efficacy in different learning contexts.

Service-learning is another active learning approach used frequently in management education as well as across a number of academic disciplines and educational levels from elementary school to university (see the article “Exploring the “Three Ps” of Service-Learning: Practice, Partnering, and Pressures”). The widespread adoption of this form of experiential learning has led to a broad diversity of variation in its application. Although there is an impressive number of publications in the ME literature on service-learning (e.g., Brower, 2011; Flannery & Pragman, 2010; Hrivnak & Sherman, 2010; Kenworthy-U’Ren, 2007; Kenworthy & Fornaciari, 2010; Mosakowski, Calic, & Earley, 2013), the majority of them are not empirical. This, combined with the diversity of service-learning’s applications and contexts, creates significant challenges to the accumulation of evidence regarding its efficacy and limitations (Yorio & Feifei, 2012). Again, by their very nature, the same challenges exist for many experiential approaches used by management educators.

Studies that carefully investigate the impact of active, experiential learning activities on different types of student learning outcomes (e.g., declarative knowledge, skills, attitudes) are important areas for future ME research. For example, a meta-analysis investigating the impact of service-learning on student learning found evidence of differing effects across different types of learning outcomes (Yorio & Feifei, 2012). This evidence provides useful, if tentative, guidance as to the most effective use of this approach. Various active approaches may also vary meaningfully in degree of active engagement by the learner. Several studies have taken a more critical view of experiential approaches and have encouraged their more nuanced application (Bradford, 2018; Kirschner, Sweller, & Clark, 2006; Lund Dean & Forray, 2015). Lastly, experiential approaches are often used in combination with other instructional methods, which makes it difficult for researchers to isolate the direct effect of a single activity from the cumulative effect of multiple activities intended to work as an integrated context or process. Future studies exploring these and related issues will help to define the potential and limitations of active learning activities and how they can be used most effectively.

Technology to Enable Student Learning

The perpetual advances in technology and its application to learning offer exciting opportunities for self-directed, technology-enhanced learning. The constant changes also present a considerable challenge in terms of keeping up with the latest advances and their potential applications for student learning. Research investigating the use of technology in enabling student learning will only continue to increase in importance. For example, online delivery has been touted as a viable approach to reach underserved populations that require flexible class schedules or distance-learning options. From a student learning perspective, studies investigating the use of new technologies need to be concerned not only with providing online learning opportunities, but also with the additional learning supports and other needs of the target population learning in this digital context. Additional research investigating the differences among face-to-face, online, and hybrid learning environments in relation to different types of learning outcomes is also a pressing research need. Massively open online courses and other similar learning environments may also offer new opportunities for conducting ME research (Bocconi & Trentin, 2014; Neuhaus, Feinbube, & Polze, 2014; Whitaker, New, & Ireland, 2016).

In concluding this section, it is important to emphasize that these elements of student learning should not be considered in isolation. Biggs’ (1999) concept of constructive alignment is useful in understanding why this is the case. Constructive alignment is a model of instructional design that begins with the outcomes educators intend students to learn, working backwards to determine how those outcomes will be assessed and then what learning activities and resources are needed to support the intended learning. Properly applied, the approach is iterative, focusing on aligning intended learning outcomes, assessment of learning, and learning activities. The use of technology is considered in terms of enabling one or more of these areas and their alignment. This offers greater cohesion, consistency and flow for learners as they construct meaning through engaging in learning activities as they progress toward the intended learning outcomes. From a research perspective, it also provides a framework to increase the linkage between theory, student learning outcomes, and measurement of learning (Rynes & Brown, 2011).

Develop a Robust Theoretical Foundation

The second criterion described by Dehler, Beatty, and Leigh (2010) is that the research must be theoretically grounded, building on a body of existing literature. In this regard, ME’s needs are similar to the areas of knowledge that Shulman (1986) argued were essential to effective teaching. An educational psychologist and former president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Shulman argued that effective teachers have a deep understanding of their discipline (content knowledge), a thorough grasp of pedagogy (pedagogical knowledge), and, most notably, “that special amalgam of content and pedagogy that is uniquely the province of teachers, their own special form of professional understanding” (Shulman, 1986, p. 8). This is what Shulman referred to as pedagogical content knowledge. It reflects, amongst other things, a deep grasp of how topics in the field are organized, how they are best represented to novice learners, and the most effective approaches to facilitating their understanding. These three categories—pedagogical knowledge, content knowledge, and pedagogical content knowledge—provide a useful framework to discuss the relevant theories and research areas that ME scholars can draw on to further develop ME’s theoretical foundation. The following three sections contain recommendations for further strengthening pedagogical content knowledge (i.e., management education research) by adapting existing pedagogical research (“Leverage Learning Science”), adapting existing management research (“Adapt and Apply Management Theory”), and building on the existing theory base in management education (“Develop Existing Management Education Theories”).

Leverage Learning Science

Pedagogical knowledge is the “how” of helping students to learn. and includes educational research in the areas of learning, teaching, and human development. To date, this research has not been widely adopted in ME research, nor often appeared in the ME literature, which is part of the explanation for the lack of theory-driven research in ME. This is understandable to a certain extent, since most business school academics were trained in the scholarship and methods of their respective disciplinary areas and not in the science and philosophy of learning and teaching (Marx, Garcia, Butterfield, Kappen, & Baldwin, 2015). Although some studies suggest this situation is improving, considerable opportunity for improvement remains (Allgood, Hoyt, & McGoldrick, 2018).

Fortunately, education researchers have made substantial efforts to synthesize and communicate their findings to educators, academics, policymakers, and the public. For example, the American Psychological Association has published a set of principles that attempt to summarize much of this research (Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education, 2015). The principles are organized under five broad themes: (1) how students think and learn; (2) what motivates students; (3) social context and interpersonal relationships; (4) classroom management; and (5) student assessment. Within these themes, each principle is explained in detail, with specific recommendations for teachers, and key references to the relevant theoretical research underlying each principle. Efforts to define and communicate these principles have been ongoing since at least 1990 and they have been revised by task forces and committees of the APA more than once. Despite decades of effort, there is little if any evidence of awareness of the principles, let alone their application, in the ME literature. This represents a major opportunity for multiple programs of new research to investigate empirically the application of these learning principles in ME contexts. Such transdisciplinary work can also help to promote the contributions to scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) being made by ME researchers.

Drawing on existing pedagogical theory and research can be beneficial to ME scholars in other ways as well. For example, the concept of learning styles has been explored consistently in ME research for more than four decades (e.g., Carland, Carland, Ensley, & Stewart, 1994; Hawk & Shah, 2007; Holtbrügge & Mohr, 2010; Kolb, 1971; Li, Mobley, & Kelly, 2013; Mainemelis, Boyatzis, & Kolb, 2002). However, as early as 2004, researchers reviewing this diverse, interdisciplinary literature consistently concluded that there was a lack of evidence supporting the use of learning styles to benefit student learning (Cassidy, 2004; Cuevas, 2015; Pashler, McDaniel, Rohrer, & Bjork, 2008). Broader awareness of the existing evidence not only benefits learning and teaching practice, but is also likely to contribute to more productive research.

Adapt and Apply Management Theory

Drawing on relevant theory from educational psychology and learning science is one important contribution to the development of a robust theoretical basis for ME research. Another is to draw on the relevant theories of management and related disciplines. The relevance of management theory—the field’s “content knowledge”—to the activities within the student learning environment has long been recognized. The term “classroom as organization” (Frost & Fukami, 1997; Bilimoria & Fukami, 2002) has been current for many years in referring to the obvious synergies of using management’s content knowledge as a theoretical basis for developing the field’s pedagogical content knowledge. Indeed, the capacity to learn, change and adapt is central to the challenge of management. Examples of this approach have drawn on theories relating to personality (e.g., Anderson, 2008; Baldwin, Pierce, Joines, & Farouk, 2011), conflict (Anakwe & Purohit, 2006; Kaplan & Renard, 2015), motivation (Donovan & Fluegge-Woolf, 2015; McEvoy, 2011; Wolfson, Cavanagh, & Kraiger, 2014), leadership (André, 2011; Antonakis, Fenley, & Liechti, 2011; Collinson & Tourish, 2015; Snell, Chan, Ma, & Chan, 2015; Sronce & Arendt, 2009), decision making (Baker, 2010; Dobrow, Smith, & Posner, 2011; Mallinger, 1997), teamwork (Goltz, Hietapelto, Reinsch, & Tyrell, 2008; Kalliath & Laiken, 2006; Kemery & Stickney, 2014), change (Brower, 2011; Lewis & Grosser, 2012) and other areas. Future studies that build on this earlier work can help to establish a unique theoretical foundation for ME research.

Boyer (1990) argued that not only must educators have deep disciplinary knowledge, but they must also have the knowledge and skills to “build bridges between the teacher’s understanding and the student’s learning” and foster active, lifelong learning” (p. 23). To do this, it is also important to examine more closely the content, structure, and framing of what management students are learning (i.e., content knowledge). Research on novices and experts suggests important implications for facilitating student learning. An expert’s knowledge of a particular domain is organized around the fundamental principles or central concepts of the domain and a deep understanding of their applicability in various contexts (Bransford et al., 2000). In a learning situation, experts integrate new knowledge with what they already know, organized in terms of these central concepts. They have also developed effective strategies to quickly access and use this knowledge in different situations. Newcomers to the domain not only lack knowledge of the domain, but also lack knowledge of its structure and other important information that might help them to organize and integrate what they are trying to learn. Studies exploring approaches to structuring management content knowledge for novices (as opposed to experts) are needed to help guide the design of management curricula. The notion and rationale of threshold concepts (Meyer & Land, 2005) and their explorations in management education (Bolinger & Brown, 2015; Vidal, Smith, & Spetic, 2015; Wright & Gilmore, 2012; Wright & Hibbert, 2015) reflect one approach to addressing this issue. However, given the unresolved conceptual and methodological issues relating to threshold concepts (Barradell, 2013), more research that addresses these concerns is required.

Reviewing the fundamental principles and organization of management’s content knowledge from the perspective of enabling student learning is also an opportunity to address disciplinary silos. There are a number of interdisciplinary approaches that could be used to restructure management content in our curricula that could have important implications for student learning. For example, some academics have advocated designing courses and subjects around real problems faced by organizations rather than academic research topics or traditional business functions (Rynes & Trank, 1999). Studies investigating problem-based learning (Dochy, Segers, Van den Bossche, & Gijbels, 2003; Ungaretti, Thompson, Miller, & Peterson, 2015), project-based learning (DeFillippi, & Milter, 2009) and other forms of authentic, inquiry-based learning are all promising areas for future research addressing this issue.

It is important to note that such changes to the management curriculum will not be easy. Our journals, our professional organizations and even the organization of our business schools reflects this functional model. Despite the difficulty, this is an important area of future scholarship. How can we expect our students to develop an integrative perspective on business and management when what we reflect in our own practice is functional isolationism and ever-narrower investigations of domain-specific phenomena? Future studies drawing on organizational change and organizational design research applied to a business school context might help to address these issues and contribute to both the management and ME literatures. Importantly, research in this area could also inform the scholarship of discovery and integration and bring a new source of legitimacy to ME research.

In reviewing our content knowledge, it is also useful to remember that the scholarship of teaching and learning in management can only be as good as the state of the science that we are trying to help students to learn. Provocative assessments of current management theories (Ghoshal, 2005), the state of cumulative scientific management knowledge (Kepes, Bennett, & McDaniel, 2014) and the gap between management science and the practice of management (Rynes, Giluk, & Brown, 2007) call into question the quality of our collective management content knowledge. Future research that addresses these issues is important to both the field of management and ME.

Develop Existing Management Education Theories

ME scholars can also work to further develop the theories that are already prominently used in the ME literature. Rynes and Brown (2011) identified experiential learning theory (Kolb & Kolb, 2005; Kolb, 1984), social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1988, 1999, 2002; Schunk, 2012; Wood & Bandura, 1989) and Bloom’s taxonomy (Bloom, 1956; Krathwohl, 2002) as specific examples. Critical perspectives that question the dominant structures, practices and perspectives in organizations, business and management (e.g., Foster & Wiebe, 2010; Reynolds, 1999; Reynolds & Vince, 2004; Steffy & Grimes, 1986) are particularly important to the continued development of the ME literature in light of the United Nations’ Principles of Responsible Management Education and similar initiatives that encourage management educators to be mindful of the values and attitudes explicitly and implicitly promoted in our programs.

Develop and Assess Educators

While these are all promising areas to further strengthen management’s pedagogical content knowledge, they do not address the challenge of management educators developing and using this knowledge effectively to enable student learning. The research on expertise also suggests that thoroughly understanding a particular domain should not be taken to mean that one is able to effectively teach it to others (Bransford et al., 2000). This stands in stark contrast to the typical view in most business schools and indeed, most universities, that an academic’s research (i.e., knowledge production) and teaching (i.e., knowledge distribution) are mutually reinforcing endeavors. However, reviews investigating this relationship have concluded that the evidence does not support this belief (Hattie & Marsh, 1996). As others have done previously, the rationale explaining this finding is fairly easy to construct (Marsh & Hattie, 2002). Doctoral students in business schools focus almost exclusively on developing thorough domain expertise (i.e., content knowledge) and the research methods and tools most common in their field. Little time and effort is typically allocated to learning to become an effective teacher by developing the necessary pedagogical knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. Thus, research is needed not only to develop management’s pedagogical content knowledge, but also to explore ways to help management educators to learn and apply it in their practice.

Fortunately, this situation is being increasingly acknowledged. Academics have called for more effort to train doctoral students to become effective teachers (Mitchell, 2007). Others have advocated formal training for executives who are called to teach in MBA and executive education classes (Clinebell & Clinebell, 2008). Rubin and Dierdorff (2013) have called for systematic investigation of how to develop and maintain instructor effectiveness in MBA programs. Brown and his colleagues have offered recommendations for business schools and their faculty to improve student learning (Brown, Arbaugh, Hrivnak, & Kenworthy, 2013). Rynes and Trank (1999) have called for educators to develop their repertoire of substantive knowledge (i.e., content knowledge) and teaching techniques (i.e., pedagogical knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge) to support a “bricolage” or improvisational approach to management education. In sum, future studies investigating approaches to develop instructor teaching effectiveness, assess the impact of teaching effectiveness on student learning outcomes, the nature of the relationship between management research and management teaching, and related topics are all recommended to advance ME research and guide the continued improvement of student learning in management education.

Methods of Inquiry

Dehler and colleagues’ (2010) third criterion for establishing a scholarship of teaching is the use of rigorous and systematic methods of inquiry. Here, previous authors reviewing ME research have made excellent recommendations that should be embraced by authors, reviewers, and editors alike—recommendation on both quantitative and qualitative approaches (Rynes & Brown, 2011; Rynes & Trank, 1999). One consistent feature is a focus on outcome selection and measurement. Historically, the use of objective measures of learning have been infrequent at best (Rynes & Brown, 2011). More often than not, the effectiveness of a particular teaching technique has been assessed using student evaluations of teaching. As research has shown, this is a poor indicator of actual student learning (Sitzmann, Ely, Brown, & Bauer, 2010). Those instances that have included such measures typically assess the accumulation of facts or information. As previous meta-analyses have noted, the way in which outcomes of interest are operationalized and measured has important implications on the results of both the original primary studies and subsequent meta-analytic reviews (Blume et al., 2010).

Several of these recommendations relate to research design. First, there are a number of quasi-experimental designs that would enable more effective investigation of ME phenomena than the cross-sectional survey designs that dominate the literature (Cook & Campbell, 1979). Pre–post designs, the use of control and comparison groups, and other variations are better suited to estimating the causal effect of a particular intervention (e.g., learning activity, new course design, change to class size). Fortunately, these designs are not new to ME research (Cajiao & Burke, 2016; Ramsey & Lorenz, 2016; Rauch & Hulsink, 2015), but more such studies are needed to advance the science of ME. Similarly, more longitudinal designs are needed to investigate the dynamics of learning and explicating the mechanisms by which it occurs. Cohort studies that investigate student learning throughout a particular business school degree program are regrettably absent from the current ME literature. The Academy of Management Learning and Education and other journals have published detailed guides regarding research design, statistical methods, and reporting standards as a resource for researchers and reviewers (e.g., Köhler, Landis, & Cortina, 2017).

Well-designed qualitative research is also critical to advancing ME research. The rich detail and attention to context characteristic of qualitative approaches offers important insights to the phenomena being explored. Also, sample size and representativeness are perennial challenges in many ME studies, which qualitative approaches can help to address. Qualitative approaches can offer other important advantages as well. For example, action research is one approach that addresses real organizational problems, requires active collaboration between organizational members and researchers, and often leads to an interdisciplinary approach to solving a well-understood problem (Rynes & Trank, 1999). These qualities give these and similar qualitative approaches a high degree of face validity to researchers, students, and practitioners.

The main point here is that ME researchers must continue to improve research quality and embrace methodological pluralism. Combined with a strong theoretical foundation, high-quality primary studies facilitate the accumulation and replication of evidence and ultimately to evidence-based practice. The increased rigor will also help to enhance the legitimacy of the field, hopefully attracting further quality contributions, and expand the breadth, diversity, and consistency of scholars working in the field.

Review, Critique, and Replication

The final criterion identified by Dehler, Beatty, and Leigh (2010) is that teaching scholarship must be made public and subjected to critical scrutiny via peer review. For most business schools this means the publication of peer-reviewed articles in quality journals. The number and quality of ME articles have increased significantly over the past two decades, coinciding with the increasing pressures on academics to step up their rate of publication, the growing interest in ME research by accrediting bodies such as AACSB, and the expansion in the number and capacity of journals in this space. However, citation counts and related quantitative measures of scholarship, flawed as they are, tend to favor domain-specific publications over pedagogical articles. This inhibits the perceived impact of ME articles as measured by these methods.

Another issue for future ME research is the definition of scholarship. To date, processes for review, critique, and replication of scholarly contributions is still closely aligned with the peer-reviewed publication process. Although well-suited to the scholarship of discovery, this metric does not fully capture the scope of contributions to the scholarship of teaching. Yes, some contributions to ME can conform to the requirements of this process, but many cannot. Teaching scholarship has a practical impact that is not captured in citation counts and the other measures of impact so often adopted from the scholarship of discovery (Dehler et al., 2010). There is a diversity of artifacts produced in the process of designing, facilitating, and assessing student learning. These include syllabi, lesson plans, learning activities, assessments, rubrics, and many other valuable outputs. These outputs are all evidence of the scholarship of teaching and learning. Future efforts exploring how these and other outputs can be used to evaluate, recognize and promote these outputs are important contributions to the advancement of ME.


The complexity involved in the empirical examination of the processes of learning and teaching in management education cannot be overstated. With rapid changes in technology, the pressures for ongoing, continuous learning for managers and the shifting landscape of management learning and education, this complexity will only increase. Thus, it is imperative that ME scholars develop the necessary theories and evidence to guide practice in management learning and education. This article has briefly reviewed the development of management education research and summarized the research themes and methodological approaches in the literature. It provided the foundation for a number of recommendations to advance scholarship, enable evidence-based practice, and strengthen the overall legitimacy of management education.

In closing, it is important to return to the comments and questions raised in the current definition and scope of management education. Management and managerial skill is increasingly in demand; not just in business, but across virtually every major sector of society. In an increasingly knowledge-based economy, the ability to mobilize and use knowledge is a critical skill (Pfeffer & Fong, 2002). Business schools have a central role to play in the context of a knowledge society where learning and research are core processes of social and economic change (Starkey, Hatchuel, & Tempest, 2004). However, as educators and as researchers, we must remain mindful that much of management learning occurs outside of the classroom. In the current and future business environment, the distinction between management education, management development, management training, and other contexts of management learning are likely to be increasingly muddled. Further investigations and analyses of these questions is a particularly important area of management research that has direct and important potential to advance research and practice.


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(1.) Authentic learning tasks are designed to replicate real-world challenges and standards of performance faced by practitioners or experts in the field.