Accreditation of Business Schools: Survey Results and Implications for Australia and New Zealand

Don Sciglimpaglia, San Diego State University
Christopher Medlin, University of Adelaide
Howard Toole, San Diego State University
Gerald Whittenburg, San Diego State University

Abstract: Business schools around the world are busy completing accreditation processes to gain or maintain their lead in a highly competitive market. These processes influence the education of our future leaders of enterprises. There are two main accreditation bodies with global strategies: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and European Quality Improvement System. Business schools undertake accreditation with either or both of these bodies based on their strategic and geographic position. However, accreditation has significant costs to a business school over and above the normal processes of continuous improvement put in place by universities and national or local governments. These relate to staff time for additional documentation and the funding of the external review process. Many business schools seek to benefit from accreditation in terms of improvements in their internal processes and a clearer articulation of mission. Further, they enter into accreditation processes to gain external benefits such as recognition of quality that potentially leads to higher enrollments of both domestic and foreign students and additional funds from diverse sources. Nevertheless, few studies have examined the perceived costs/benefits and expectations of business school accreditation. The purpose of this study is to examine the attitudes of business and commerce faculty and administrators towards the trend of external (international) accreditation. The study reports on an empirical survey of 406 academics, both administrators and faculty members, from 42 universities in Australia and New Zealand. Based on those results, implications for business programmes in Australia and New Zealand are identified.