In the not-so-distant past, neighborhoods were littered with small mom-and-pop stores. From the corner drugstore to the local movie theater, the owner-operators were people you knew—your neighbor perhaps. Business was not as complex as it is today. Some paper and a pencil, a calculator perhaps, and a telephone were all you needed to keep the books, track inventory, and pay the bills; customers were loyal and quality products and services were offered at a competitive price. Contrast that business past with today’s current business models.
Traditional brick-and-mortar stores typically sold to a customer base located within the city limits. With the advent of the Internet and mobile applications, now even small retailers can sell to the world across multiple platforms, including handheld devices. Suppliers have multiplied and are constantly jockeying to capture or augment their share of the marketplace. As a result, securing raw materials and parts from worldwide suppliers has become a major challenge; the old supply chain logistics model has been entirely transformed. Organizations comprised of traditional departments with dedicated tasks now have to contend with the transformation of information to actionable knowledge that adds value to the firm. Organizational structures are less hierarchical and emphasize collaboration and the sharing of this information.
So what does all this mean for graduate business students transitioning from the theoretical world of textbooks and the rigors of traditional education into the real world of 21st-century business? It is clearly evident that a chasm exists between traditional education and the new paradigm of business processes and organizations.
California Southern University’s School of Business has answered the call by enhancing its graduate business curriculum. In conjunction with its faculty, the school has developed engaging assignments that mimic real-world business issues, challenging students to apply critical thinking and higher-level reasoning abilities, with an eye toward technological advancements and content-specific competencies as a basis for successfully completing the coursework. Exercises in strategy, creativity and innovation, leadership, decision-making, problem-solving, and enterprise transformation are designed to rigorously enhance students’ skillsets and transform theoretical concepts into real-time business applications. Courses such as Organizational Development and Design, and Global Business Strategic Management in the Doctor of Business Administration program, as well as Business Organization and Management, Strategic Management, and Management of Change in the Master of Business Administration program highlight this new age curriculum and make for a rich, robust, and relevant course of study.
California Southern University is committed to its students and to the business economy by developing business leaders that can effect change in today’s business arena by adding value. Our success in great part is measured by the accomplishments and professional stature of our business graduates, as they manage and navigate the new business landscape.
It’s an exciting time to be advancing in the business world. It’s perhaps best summarized by the U.S. Department of Labor in its report, Futurework: Trends and Challenges for Work in the 21st Century: “We are living in a new economy—powered by technology, fueled by information, and driven by knowledge. And we are entering the new century with opportunity on our side.”