You are on page 1of 8

invited comments

Developing an Eective Mentor-Business School Relationship in the AACSB Initial Accreditation Process
Michael Bryant, Dean, Ecole Superieure de Commerce - Ferrand (France) Robert F. Scherer, Dean, Nance College of Business, Cleveland State University

Invited Comments: The authors were invited to share their thoughts on the process of AACSB accreditation. Readers from colleges of business might especially be interested in learning how to turn what could be a painful experience into a fruitful development activity.

Abstract

A key factor in achieving initial AACSB accreditation is establishing an eective relationship between the mentor and the business school. If individual issues are not addressed during the development and implementation of the accreditation plan, time to initial accreditation can be increased substantially. We review four steps in the initial accreditation process and identify seven challenges to the mentor-business school relationship. Strategies for meeting these challenges are developed for both mentors and business schools. General principles from the organizational mentoring literature are applied to the initial accreditation process to maximize and enhance interaction between mentors and business schools.
Keywords: accreditation, AACSB, business schools, mentoring strategy

During the last three decades, mentoring programs have been implemented in a variety of organizational settings to enhance individual managerial career progression (Friday and Friday 2002; Ostein, Morwick and Shah 2007). Although the term mentor refers to a person who serves as an advisor, coach, counselor, or teacher to an aspiring manager (Pittenger and Heimann 2000), the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) has adapted the concept of mentoring for the initial business and accounting accreditation processes (AACSB 2008; Romero, 2008). In this context, the mentor is the individual who guides the business school through the initial accreditation process until the school has met all of the standards and is ready to prepare the self-evaluation

Introduction

report. Maximization of the relationship between the business school and the mentor can serve as a catalyst to move the process ahead steadily. When the relationship between the business school and the mentor does not evolve smoothly, the time required for submission and implementation of the accreditation plan is increased substantially. Understanding how to establish and maintain a productive and positive relationship is essential for business school administrators and accreditation coordinators working towards initial AACSB accreditation. Thus, our discussion below focuses on the identication of the key issues related to developing an eective relationship during the initial AACSB accreditation process. First, we review the stages in the initial accreditation process. Second, the roles and responsibilities of the mentor and the business school are provided. Third, we identify

seven key challenges to the relationship, highlighting what can detract from a positive relationship and what can be done to facilitate a useful working relationship with respect to each challenge identied.

Initial Accreditation Process


In 2003, new accreditation standards were adopted by AACSB that emphasized the process rather than the outcomes as had the previous standards (Flesher 2007; Jantzen 2000; McKee, Mills and Weatherbee 2005). There are twenty-one standards for business accreditation which encompass three broad areas including strategic management, participants in the business education process, and assurance of learning (Thompson 2004). The process is mission-driven and allows for diversity among dierent schools
Spring 2009 Vol. 24, No. 1

New Standards

Bryant and Scherer


(Lowrie 2008; Scherer, Javalgi, Bryant and Tukel 2005; Zammuto 2008). The objective is for the school to demonstrate that it has operationalized the mission with respect to each of the standards ( Julian and Ofori-Dankwa 2006; Trapnell 2007). All business schools seeking initial accreditation must meet the rst fourteen standards. Strategic management standards (standards one through ve) focus on demonstrating that the school has a targeted mission and processes in place to achieve strategic objectives. Participant standards (standards six through fourteen) cover all of the major stakeholders in the management education teaching and learning process (e.g., faculty, students, and sta ). The remaining seven standards (standards fteen through twenty-one) deal with assuring that learning has taken place as articulated in the curricula of various undergraduate and graduate programs. A business school with bachelor, master, and doctoral programs must meet all seven of the assurance of learning standards whereas institutions with bachelor and master programs must meet the respective assurance of learning standards. The process of initial accreditation is well documented and has four basic stages (AACSB 2008). Submission of an eligibility application is the rst stage (initiating). Schools seeking initial accreditation answer a series of questions that explain their general operating procedures, document their ethical and diversity policies, describe business education programs, and detail faculty and student characteristics. Eligibility applications are reviewed by the Pre-Accreditation Committee (PAC), and once approved, allow the business school to proceed to the second stage (planning), which involves assignment of a mentor to provide advice, guidance, and feedback on the development of the accreditation plan. Two years are allowed for the preparation of the accreditation plan. During this time, the mentor visits the school to assist in assessing which of the standards are currently met and which standards require work to achieve. While the number and frequency of visits dier based upon the business schools specic situation, it is typical for the mentor to visit the school on-site one to three times during the preparation of the accreditation plan. Between onmentor review the annual report and provide feedback to the business school. Annual reports are prepared until the mentor makes a recommendation to the IAC that the business school has achieved all of the objectives identied in the accreditation plan to meet all of the applicable standards. A nal visit to the school is usually made before the mentor makes the recommendation to the IAC that the school has achieved all of the standards.

Maximization of the relationship between the business school and the mentor can serve as a catalyst to move the process ahead steadily.
site visits, communication by telephone and e-mail occurs as progress is made. When the accreditation plan is ready, the mentor prepares a report for the PAC to review in conjunction with its review of the plan. The PAC confers with the mentor and the Initial Accreditation Committee (IAC) to achieve consensus on the acceptability of the plan. Once approved by both the PAC and IAC, the accreditation plan serves as the roadmap for the balance of the initial accreditation process. The business school has up to ve years to fully implement the plan to receive accreditation. Mentors continue to work with the school and the IAC maintains review authority during the balance of the initial accreditation process. At this point, the third stage (implementing) of the process begins. Although visits to the campus are less frequent, communication on plan implementation continues through e-mail and telephone. Typically the school provides quarterly updates to the mentor on progress made during the period. When there are signicant changes to the plan or strategic goals, the mentor will visit with the business schools initial accreditation team to review changes that have occurred or are anticipated. The business school submits an annual report to the IAC of activities and progress made in plan implementation. Both the IAC and When the IAC is in agreement with the mentors recommendation, the fourth and nal stage (evaluating) of the initial accreditation process is put in motion. This involves preparing a self-evaluation report (SER; self-study) by the business school. A three-member peer-review team is appointed by the IAC with input from the school. There is a hand-o from the mentor to the peer review team (PRT) chair that occurs after appointment of the PRT. Mentors can remain as advisors to the business school during the preparation of the SER at the discretion of the schools internal accreditation team. However, the mentor has no formal role with respect to the process. When the PRT and IAC agree that the SER is complete and accurately captures the schools achievement of each standard, a site visit by the PRT is made to review all processes and documentation related to the SER. Finally, the PRT makes a recommendation to the IAC to grant or deny initial accreditation. Initial accreditation is formally granted for a ve-year period after approval by the IAC and subsequent approval by the AACSB governing board.

Initial Accreditation Process

In order to better understand the role of the mentor during the four

Mentor-Business School Interaction

Spring 2009 Vol. 24, No. 1

Bryant and Scherer


Figure 1 Degree of Interaction in the Mentor-Business School Relationship
High Accreditation Plan Submission Accreditation Plan Implementation SER Preparation

Degree of Interaction

Accreditation Plan Preparation Initial Campus Visit Moderate

SER Approval Eligibility Acceptance Low Eligibility Mentor Selection Stage 1 Initiating Stage 2 Planning PRT Preparation and Visit Stage 3 Implementing Stage 4 Evaluating

Stages and Activities in the Initial Process

stages of initial accreditation, Figure 1 details the degree of interaction between the mentor and the business school. From the gure it can be seen that there is virtually no face-to-face interaction between the mentor and business school until the initial campus visit. However, before the initial visit, the agenda is planned and the mentor can enter discussions to understand some of the business school characteristics and organizational dynamics. Interaction increases rapidly and is sustained at a high level throughout the period of submission by the business school and approval of the accreditation plan by the PAC. Interaction between mentor and business school remains high during implementation of the plan. After IAC approval of the mentors recommendation that the business school prepare the SER, a PRT is appointed. At this point, the intensity of interaction begins to diminish to a moderate level. Should the business school desire to continue working with the mentor on a more informal basis during the SER preparation period, the interaction remains moderate to low until the PRT on-site visit is conducted and the nal recommendation is made. At the time of the PRT visit, interaction between the mentor and the business school ends.

Challenges in the Mentor-Business School Relationship


Against the backdrop of the initial AACSB accreditation process we just described, we present seven key challenges to the eectiveness of the relationship between the mentor and the business school, and ultimately, the total time required to achieve initial accreditation. We highlight what can detract from a positive relationship and what can be done to facilitate a useful working relationship with respect to each issue identied. The challenges correspond to the four stages in the accreditation process (initiating, planning, implementing, and evaluating) from the time that the PAC accepts the eligibility application and selects the mentor to the nal preparations for the PRT visit. Table 1 details each of the seven challenges, the potential obstacles related to each challenge, and how to implement improvement strategies to optimize the potential for success and enhance the relationship.

The initial matching of the mentor and the business school determines the quality of the future cooperation in the

Making the Right Match of Mentor and Business School

initial accreditation process. Failure to address this issue often leads to delays in submission and implementation of the accreditation plan. The mentor can be inexperienced in guiding a business school through the initial accreditation process, or, in some cases, may even have inadequate knowledge of the expectations of the AACSB standards. This may occur when a mentor has experience working under the previous accreditation standards and has not fully integrated the shift from outcomes to process as adopted by AACSB in the new 2003 standards. Mentors are very often active deans, who by the nature of their responsibilities have a busy work schedule. Coaching a business school in the accreditation process may be a low priority for the mentor. As a result, the mentor devotes less than adequate time to building the relationship, visiting the campus, and giving appropriate feedback at the various stages in the accreditation process. A personality clash may be the result of a mismatch in the initial pairing. This type of incongruence also delays the planning and implementation of the initial accreditation process and leads to inecient use of the time resource. The new standards aim to provide the necessary framework for business schools both inside and outside the United States to meet the AACSBs quality assurance requirements and achieve accreditation. Since the introduction of the new standards, many more international schools have successfully applied for eligibility and entered the initial accreditation process. These business schools must be particularly vigilant when the mentor is appointed. The mentor may have inadequate understanding of the current higher education system in the business schools country and may be unwilling to make the additional eort to learn about the non-U.S. context. Even though U.S. business schools have had considerable inuence on management education throughout
Spring 2009 Vol. 24, No. 1

Bryant and Scherer


the world, many dierent models exist in the global context. This diversity can be a challenge for mentors guiding international business schools through the accreditation process. tion. For example, on being appointed, the mentor will normally check the business schools Web site and may discover the existence of programs that had not been previously indicated in the initial package of information transmitted by the school. In such cases, the initial mentor-business school relationship may suer from a climate of mistrust. In other cases, the mentor may be too positive in the feedback given to the school and thus give the impression that there are few issues to be addressed. The business school may enter the accreditation process without a rm commitment by the top management to implement continuous improvement policies. The school may only be seeking AACSB accreditation in order to improve its image or ranking without implementing any substantial quality improvement processes. The business school dean may not involve faculty, students, and administrative sta in the process. The mentor then discovers inadequate understanding and awareness of the accreditation standards on the part of the major stakeholders. tinuous improvement processes. All major stakeholders must be informed about the accreditation challenges and the key players on the business schools initial accreditation team will need to be actively involved in the preparation of the accreditation plan. The business school must maximize the eectiveness of campus visits by the mentor. Poor or inappropriate scheduling wastes precious time, especially for international visits. The mentor may not even receive a detailed agenda before the visit. The agenda sometimes includes too many meetings with participants not directly involved in preparing the initial accreditation documents and plans. For example, during the visit the mentor may spend too much time in formal protocol meetings with top ocials or stakeholders such as the university president, chancellor, alumni, and representatives of the business community. The mentor may be expected to contribute to events in the school such as giving a keynote speech. This may assist in reinforcing the importance of the accreditation process, but in many cases such activities may consume time that the mentor could devote to reviewing issues related to the business schools progress toward initial accreditation. The agenda may be inappropriate for the time available for the mentors visit, with too many, or too few, appointments with key participants in the process. After the visit, the mentor may fail to send the business school a copy of the report of the visit before submitting the report to the PAC.

Improvement Strategies. Clearly, the business school needs to work closely with the PAC and the AACSB sta to identify a potential mentor. The business school should understand that the association is committed to serving its members in their continuous improvement eorts. All parties must collaborate to choose a mentor who is most suited to the business schools context. The mentor needs to make a commitment up front to devote the necessary time to assist and accompany the business school through the accreditation process. At the outset, both the mentor and the business school need to clarify the respective roles, responsibilities and expectations of both parties. The mentor and business school should communicate by phone before the mentor accepts the assignment to ensure a higher probability of compatibility and congruence in working styles. In the pre-eligibility period, the dean of the business school should be actively involved in the AACSBs activities by attending appropriate conferences and seminars. By extending the network of colleagues in the management education arena, the business school will be better placed to make suggestions to the AACSB sta in the choice of mentor. Finally, international assignments will require an added commitment from the mentor to learn about the business schools particular higher education environment.

Organizing Campus Visits

Eective cooperation stems from an honest and open relationship between both the mentor and business school during the initial accreditation process. In some cases, the business school may not communicate all the appropriate information to the mentor concerning the schools current situa-

Building an Honest and Open Relationship

Improvement Strategies. The mentor and business school need to share information freely, both in a formal and an informal fashion. Building the relationship requires time and commitment on both sides. The business school assumes responsibility for providing the mentor with the most comprehensive, up-to-date information about the institutions strategy and organization. The mentor is equally responsible for showing interest in the schools development and, more particularly in the accreditation project, by providing the school with honest counseling and advice. In order to create an eective working relationship, the business school must be prepared to accept positive and critical feedback within the spirit of continuous improvement. The business school, and more particularly the dean, must ensure that the institution is committed to a strategy that embraces con-

Improvement Strategies. The schedule and detailed agenda should be jointly agreed upon by the business school and the mentor well in advance of the proposed visit. Organizing the mentors visit in a professional way maximizes the ecient use of time for all participants. Meetings should be focused on accreditation issues and plans, and on evaluating the progress being made. The business school

10

Spring 2009 Vol. 24, No. 1

Bryant and Scherer


Table 1 How to Meet the Challenges to the AACSB Initial Accreditation Process
Challenges Potential Obstacles Inexperienced mentor with inadequate knowledge of AACSB standards and accreditation processes. Making the Right Match of Mentor and Business School Mentor lacks time to devote to task in hand. Mismatch/incongruence between mentor and business school; personality clash. Mentor has inadequate understanding of higher education system/ context of business schools country. Business school fails to communicate all appropriate information to mentor concerning business schools current situation. Business school enters accreditation process without firm commitment to continuous improvement policies, only to improve image or ranking. Mentor must provide honest counseling and advice. No agenda provided before mentors visit. Organizing Campus Visits Improvement Strategies Business school needs to work closely with PAC and AACSB staff to identify potential mentor. Future mentor must commit up front to devoting the necessary time to assist and accompany business school through accreditation processes. At the outset, mentor and business school need to communicate to clarify respective roles, responsibilities, and expectations of both parties to ensure higher probability of compatibility and congruence in working styles. Mentor needs appropriate knowledge and is willing to learn. Both mentor and business school need to share information freely. Dean must ensure that the institution is committed to a strategy that embraces continuous improvement processes. Business school must be prepared to accept positive and critical feedback. Agenda should be jointly agreed by business school and mentor well in advance of proposed visit to ensure that time is used in an optimal fashion.

Building an Honest, Open Relationship

Agenda includes too many meetings with stakeholders not directly in- Meetings should be focused on accreditation issues and evaluating progress. Mentor can add volved in pre-accreditation activities and fails to use mentor effectively. credibility to accreditation process as official representative of AACSB. Agenda is inappropriate for the time available for visit. Mentor fails to involve business school in preparing report for PAC. Mentor becomes too involved in school and less focused on accreditation processes. Mentors downtime should be respected. Business school should receive draft of report for comments before it is sent to the PAC. Mentor and business school must remember their respective roles.

Managing Internal and External Conflicts

Mentor too strict in interpreting accreditation standards and unable to Business school must assist mentor in understanding the local context. give advice taking into account specific academic and cultural context. Business school distances itself from AACSB staff and works in isolation; Business school ignores appropriate communication channels and assigned roles of each party, and may contact AACSB staff without keeping the mentor in loop. Business school expects mentor to help in solving problems that are strictly its responsibility. Business school uses mentor as political agent who steps out of role and tries to become arbitrator. Mentor lacks knowledge of the academic culture within the business schools country. Mentor acts as buffer or advocate between business school and AACSB staff.

Mentor should help in clarifying questions and focusing on issues unrelated to internal politics.

Ensure appropriate choice of mentor at the beginning of initial accreditation process. Mentor and business school responsible for learning and teaching about higher education context. Mentor should show sensitivity to possible misunderstandings stemming from less than perfect mastery of English and remember context and traditions. Business school should take into account target audience of documents submitted. Business school should make full use of model documents reflecting style and language in AACSB accreditation processes. Mentor needs to show sensitivity, but also rigor by requiring the business school to respect deadlines. Business school should ensure that report is written by a fluent English writer. Business school must keep mentor informed at each stage of accreditation plan preparation. Deadlines are agreed and respected. Business school should realize that mentor is in contact with PAC and must verify final version of accreditation plan before being sent to AACSB. Business school must understand accreditation processes and role of PRT chair at this stage. Successfully preparing SER contingent on business school, mentor, and PRT chair working together. The mentor has valuable insights into the workings of the business schools structure and can help to prepare the visit. The mentor can facilitate communication between all parties.

Coping with Cross-Cultural Communication

Misunderstandings because of the inappropriate use of linguistic terminology, and different oral and written communication styles and traditions. Varying interpretations of AACSB accreditation standards. Different value systems with regard to time and deadlines. Business school perceives mentor as editor or secretary.

Preparing the Accreditation Plan

Mentor is not kept regularly informed on progress and new information. Business school sends mentor final draft too close to deadline and expects feedback. Business school sends accreditation plan to PAC before consulting with mentor Business school continues to work exclusively with mentor and fails to involve PRT chair. Mentor does not disengage enough from business school. Mentor has no more contact with business school. The mentor, the PRT chair, the liaison, and the reader fail to communicate.

Preparing the SER and Advising on the PRT Visit

Spring 2009 Vol. 24, No. 1

11

Bryant and Scherer


should also remember that the mentor can add credibility to the accreditation process. Indeed, the mentor is often recognized as the ocial representative of the AACSB. Meetings should therefore be organized to t with the goals of the accreditation process. Protocol meetings with top university ocials and key stakeholders may well be necessary, especially in the planning stage of the accreditation plan, but they should be limited in time and number. In drawing up the agenda, the mentors downtime should also be respected. The mentor has a fulltime job, usually as dean of a business school, and is operating as a mentor on a volunteer basis. Time is needed to deal with emails, phone calls, and dayto-day decision-making in the mentors home institution. Finally, after each visit, the mentor is required to submit a report to the PAC, and the business school should be involved in contributing to this report. A draft should be sent to the business school before being forwarded to the PAC to ask for comments and clarication. In this way, both mentor and business school cooperate in an open forum and strengthen the relationship. of each party. Consequently, the business school may contact AACSB sta without keeping the mentor in the loop. The motive is certainly not to undermine the relationship, but the outcome may well be confusion and a certain loss of mutual trust. Further issues arise when the business school expects the mentor to help in solving problems that are strictly the responsibility of the institution. The business school may try to use the mentor as a political agent within the organization. This may lead to the cases, the mentor does not understand the academic culture within the business schools country. This may be from lack of knowledge or lack of interest. Linguistic misunderstandings arise because of the inappropriate use of terminology. Diverse oral and written communication styles and traditions exist in dierent countries and can detract from an eective mentor-business school relationship. Interpretation of certain concepts such as the criteria for academically and professionally qualied faculty mem-

...the mentor can act as a buffer or advocate between the business school and the AACSB staff, and can be a go-between for substantive issues related to the accreditation processes.
mentor stepping out of the mentor role and being pushed to become an arbitrator for accreditation related issues internal to the business school. Improvement Strategies. The mentor has been appointed by AACSB to guide the business school through the initial accreditation process until the school has met all of the standards and is ready to prepare the SER. The mentor must interpret the standards to help the business school make the appropriate t between the stated requirements and the educational contexts. This is particularly relevant for international schools. In general, the mentor can act as a buer or advocate between the business school and the AACSB sta, and can be a go-between for substantive issues related to the accreditation processes. Moreover, the mentor should help in clarifying questions and focusing on issues directly related to accreditation. Becoming involved in the schools internal politics is not part of the mentors role. bers may vary considerably. Business schools in dierent countries may use dierent journal ranking systems and peer-reviewed processes for assessing intellectual contributions. Additionally, countries and cultures operate on dierent value systems with regard to time and deadlines.

As the business school and mentor work together, internal and external conicts may emerge and impact negatively on the relationship. The mentor may become too involved in the school and is less able to identify or address issues related to the accreditation processes. The mentor may be too strict in interpreting the accreditation standards and is unable to give advice, taking into account the business school specic academic and cultural context. The business school may distance itself from the AACSB sta and tend to work in isolation. In other cases, the opposite may happen and the business school fails to respect the appropriate communication channels and the assigned roles

Managing Internal and External Conflicts

The expansion of AACSB accreditation into the global arena is raising new issues for mentoring. In some

Coping with Cross-Cultural Communication

Improvement Strategies. Some of these issues can be avoided or minimized by ensuring that the appropriate choice of a mentor is made at the beginning of the initial accreditation process. The mentor must be open to learning about the business schools higher educational structure and context. At the same time, the business school should be sensitive to an outsiders lack of detailed knowledge by making special eorts to assist the mentor in understanding the educational system. The mentor should show sensitivity to possible misunderstandings stemming from less than perfect mastery of English by members of the business schools initial accreditation team. The mentor must stand back and try to understand the academic context and scholarly traditions. However, even though presentation styles in form and content may vary between

12

Spring 2009 Vol. 24, No. 1

Bryant and Scherer


countries, the business school should be reminded to take into account the audience for which the written documents such as the accreditation plan are intended. The business school should make full use of the model accreditation plans and SERs provided by AACSB. These models reect the style and language used in the initial accreditation process and facilitate communication between the mentor, the business school, the PAC, and the IAC. Finally, while respect must be shown to local customs and traditions, the mentor should make it clear to the business school that deadlines need to be respected and that completing tasks at the last minute should be avoided. is necessary to verify that the translator understands the business school organization and the AACSB standards, in particular, the underlying concepts. At each stage of the accreditation plan implementation, the business school gained valuable insights into the workings of the business school and can assist both the school and the PRT chair to prepare for the visit, but in a much less formal manner than during the periods of accreditation plan devel-

This transition from implementation to evaluation may be lengthened if roles become confused.
must keep the mentor informed. Both parties should agree on and respect deadlines. The business school should realize that the mentor is in contact with the PAC members. Finally, the mentor must be given enough time to verify the nal version of the AP before it is sent to the PAC.

opment, approval, and implementation. The mentor should communicate with the PRT and business school as requested to provide appropriate information or feedback. Finally, the mentor must withdraw and allow the PRT to carry out its task. The mentors formal assignment has been completed. AACSBs stated mission is to contribute to the advancement of management education through continuous improvement processes. The mentoring system is at the heart of the initial accreditation process. The challenges discussed above reveal how the mentor, as dened by the AACSB, has a complex role to play in guiding the business school through the stages of initial accreditation. Mentoring involves a nely crafted mixture of coaching, advising, guiding, and structuring the work of the business school as it weaves its way through the planning and implementation stages of preparing the accreditation plan. It is during the most intensive part of the relationship that both the mentor and the business school must strive to reduce the potential obstacles to advancing along the initial accreditation path. Our discussion of the AACSB International initial accreditation process has focused attention on two key components for enhancing the process. First, the process of initial accreditation itself must be understood by both the mentor and the business school. Without knowledge and understanding of the four stages of pre- and initial accreditation, interaction between the mentor and business school will not be maximized. Second, challenges to
Spring 2009 Vol. 24, No. 1

The business school may perceive the mentor as an editor or secretary when writing the accreditation plan. This applies particularly to international schools where English may not be the native language. In some cases, the mentor may not be kept informed regularly about the progress made with the accreditation plan and new information may even be added to the document without the mentors knowledge. Before sending the nal version of the accreditation plan to the PAC, the business school normally sends the mentor a copy. The business school sometimes sends this nal version to the mentor just hours before the PAC deadline for submission and expects appropriate feedback. Alternatively, the business school may send the accreditation plan to the PAC without consulting the mentor on the nal draft. In these cases, the business school fails to use the mentor appropriately as a guide and advisor to improve the accreditation plan.

Preparing and Implementing the Accreditation Plan

At this stage of the initial accreditation process the mentor-business school relationship becomes less intense as a new actor, the PRT chair, enters the scene. This transition from implementation to evaluation may be lengthened if roles become confused. The business school may continue to work exclusively with the mentor and fail to involve the chair of the PRT in the SER preparation. Similarly, the mentor may not disengage enough from the business school. The mentor may withdraw from the process and no longer remain in contact with the business school. In certain cases, the mentor, the PRT chair, the liaison and the reader fail to communicate, thus endangering an objective assessment by the IAC of the business schools application for accreditation.

Preparing the SER and Advising on the PRT Visit

Conclusion

Improvement Strategies. The business school should ensure that the report is written by somebody who has uency in English, the language required for all AACSB documents. If this task is subcontracted outside the institution, it

Improvement Strategies. The business school must understand the accreditation processes and the role of the PRT chair at this stage. Successful preparation of the SER is contingent on the business school, the mentor, and the PRT chair agreeing to work together. The roles of each party need to be claried and understood prior to the preparation of the SER. During the accreditation phase, the mentor has

13

Bryant and Scherer


developing and sustaining an eective relationship need to be met. The seven challenges and improvement strategies presented provide a foundation upon which to build rapport and trust between the mentor and business school to move the initial accreditation process forward on a positive and productive trajectory. Navigating the journey from submission of an eligibility application for initial accreditation to achieving initial accreditation need not be conducted on a road that is bumpy and lled with potholes. The adaptation of basic principles for eective mentoring relationships will serve the business school well in removing obstacles to facilitate the mapping of a smooth route towards initial AACB accreditation.
jobs. Review of Business 27(3):32-37. Pittenger, K.K.S. and B. A. Heimann. 2000. Building eective mentoring relationships. Review of Business Summer:38-42. Romero, E.J. 2008. AACSB accreditation: Addressing faculty concerns. Academy of Management Learning & Education 7(2):245-255. Scherer, R.F., R. G. Javalgi, M. Bryant and O. Tukel. 2005. Challenges of AACSB International accreditation for business schools in the United States and Europe. Thunderbird International Business Review 47(6):651-669. Thompson, K.R. 2004. A conversation with Milton Blood: The new AACSB standards. Academy of Management Learning & Education 3(4):429-439. Trapnell, J.E. 2007. AACSB International accreditation: The value proposition and a look to the future. Journal of Management Development 26(1):67-72. Zammuto, R.F. 2008. Accreditation and the globalization of business. Academy of Management Learning & Education 7(2):256-268.

COMING SOON Special Issue

Fall 2009
The American Journal of Business will present a special issue focusing on new/emerging media in the fall of 2009. Interactivity and new channels are transforming business communication. Interactive exchanges of information now take place through emerging media What are the implications for business? What is new/emerging media?

References

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. 2008. Retrieved June 30, 2008, from http://www.aacsb.edu Friday, E. and S.S. Friday. 2002., Formal mentoring: Is there a strategic t? Management Decision 40(2):152-157. Flesher, D.L. 2007., The History of AACSB International, Volume 2: 1966-2006. Tampa, FL: AACSB International. Jantzen, R.H. 2000. AACSB missionlinked standards: Eects on the accreditation process. Journal of Education for Business 75(6):343-347. Julian, S.D. and J. C. Ofori-Dankwa. 2006. Is accreditation good for the strategic decision making of traditional business schools? Academy of Management Learning & Education 5(2):225-233. Lowrie, A. 2008. The relevance of aggression and the aggression of relevance: The rise of the accreditation marketing machine. International Journal of Educational Management 22(4):352-364. McKee, M.C., A. J. Mills and T. Weatherbee. 2005. Institutional eld of dreams: Exploring AACSB and the new legitimacy of Canadian business schools. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences 22:288-301. Ostein, E. H., J. M. Morwick and A. Shah. 2007. Mentoring programs and

About the Authors


Michael Bryant is dean for international development at Ecole Superieure de Commerce Clermont Graduate School of Management in Clermont-Ferrand, France. He coordinated the schools AACSB International initial accreditation and serves as a mentor. Robert F. Scherer is dean of the

Emerging media Applications, technologies, and devices that support digital interactions with organizations, members of organizations, or customers. Emerging media include Email, mobile computing, podcasts, digital audio/media players, mobile communication devices (e.g., BlackBerry), instant messengers, interactive web pages, and blogs.

Nance College of Business at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio. He serves as a mentor for schools in the AACSB International initial accreditation process.

For details about upcoming issues, subscriber information, and more, visit

www.AJBonline.org

14

Spring 2009 Vol. 24, No. 1