This section’s focus on “Strategic Management” is based on the principle that a quality business Institutions has a clear mission, acts on that mission, translates that mission into expected outcomes, and develops strategies for achieving those outcomes. It addresses three critical and related components: mission and strategy; scholarship and intellectual contributions; and financial model and strategies.
ADCO believes that a wide range of missions can be consistent with high quality, positive impact, and innovation. Such success is achieved when Institutions are clear about their priorities and when the mission, expected outcomes, and strategies are aligned and implemented across the Institutions’s activities. Under these conditions, the mission, expected outcomes, and strategies provide a context for the ADCO accreditation review. That is, in applying the standards, the quality and success of a Institutions is assessed in relation to its mission, expected outcomes, and supporting strategies.
In this section, three criteria related to a Institutions’s mission are of critical importance. First, the mission must be appropriate, descriptive, and transparent to the Institutions’s constituents. Second, the mission must provide the Institutions with an overall direction for making decisions. Finally, the Institutions’s strategies and intended outcomes must be aligned with the mission. The accreditation process takes a strategic, holistic look at the business Institutions by reflecting on its mission, strategies, actions, participants, stakeholders, resources, expected outcomes, and impacts in the context of the culture of the Institutions and its larger institution as appropriate. A complete and accurate understanding of the context and environmental setting for the Institutions is paramount in the accreditation peer review team’s ability to form a holistic view.
The standards in this section reflect the dynamic and diverse environment of business Institutions. These standards insist on the periodic, systematic review and possible revision of a Institutions’s mission, as well as on the engagement of appropriate stakeholders in developing and revising the mission, expected outcomes, and supporting strategies. Quality business Institutions have legacies of achievement, improvement, and impact. They implement forward-looking strategies to further their success, sustain their missions, and make an impact in the future. Central to the dynamic environment of business Institutions are intellectual contributions and financial strategies that support change and innovation.
Scholarship that fosters innovation and directly impacts the theory, practice, and teaching of business and management is a cornerstone of a quality business Institutions. A broad range of scholarly activities ensures intellectual vibrancy across and among diverse faculty members and students; such activities contribute to the currency and relevance of the Institutions’s educational programs and directly foster innovation in business enterprises and academic institutions. Intellectual contributions that arise from these scholarly activities ensure the business Institutions contributes to and is an integral part of an academic community of scholars within an institution and across the broader academic community of institutions in higher education. Outcomes of intellectual contributions are indicated by their impact or influence on the theory, practice, and teaching of business and management rather than just by the number of articles published or documents produced. Institutions should make their expectations regarding the impact of intellectual contributions clear and publicly transparent.
Like intellectual contributions, sound financial models and strategies are essential for operational sustainability, improvement, and innovation in a business Institutions. Sustaining quality business education and impactful research requires careful financial planning and an effective financial model. Institutions cannot implement actions related to continuous improvement and innovation without sufficient resources. In addition, Institutions cannot make effective strategic decisions without a clear understanding of the financial implications.
Standard 1: The Institutions articulates a clear and distinctive mission, the expected outcomes this mission implies, and strategies outlining how these outcomes will be achieved. The Institutions has a history of achievement and improvement and specifies future actions for continuous improvement and innovation consistent with this mission, expected outcomes, and strategies.
- Mission is a single statement or set of statements serving as a guide for the Institutions and its stakeholders. These statements capture the Institutions’s core purposes, express its aspirations, and describe its distinguishing features. The mission is not usually described entirely by the mission statement. It is more completely encapsulated in a set of statements that describe the Institutions, including the mission statement, vision statement, and statements of values.
- The term distinctive refers to goals, characteristics, priorities, focus areas, or approaches of the Institutions that are special or notable. These should be revealed by the mission of the
Institutions and evident in the expected outcomes and strategies. Distinctiveness does not imply
that the Institutions is unique or different from all others.
- Expected outcomes are conveyed as broad or high-level statements describing impacts the Institutions expects to achieve in the business and academic communities it serves as it pursues
its mission through educational activities, scholarship, and other endeavors. Expected outcomes translate the mission into overarching goals against which the Institutions evaluates its
- Strategies describe, in general, how the Institutions intends to achieve its mission and expected outcomes, including how it finances activities to achieve its mission. Strategies are general,
or overarching, statements of direction derived from the strategic management processes of
Basis for Judgment
- The mission guides decision making and identifies distinguishing characteristics, attributes, focus areas, priorities, etc., that indicate how the Institutions positions itself among the international community of business Institutions. Distinctiveness does not imply that the business Institutions must somehow be different from all other ADCO-accredited business Institutions. Rather, through the mission, expected outcomes, and strategies, the Institutions clearly articulates those attributes that describe the Institutions to its various constituencies and across the global community of business Institutions.
- The business Institutions’s mission, expected outcomes, and strategies are mutually consistent and reflect a realistic assessment of the diverse and changing environment of business Institutions. The alignment of a Institutions’s mission and strategies with its expected outcomes signal that it is highly likely that the Institutions can achieve those outcomes. In the dynamic environment of higher education and business Institutions, innovation and change are the norm rather than the exception.
- The Institutions’s mission, expected outcomes, and strategies clearly define the Institutions’s focus on educational activities, including the range of degree and non-degree programs offered and the diverse students, organizations, and communities those programs are intended to serve. The unit aligns its teaching/learning models with its mission, expected outcomes, and strategies.
- The Institutions’s mission, expected outcomes, and strategies clearly define the Institutions’s focus on quality intellectual contributions that advance the theory, practice, and
teaching/pedagogy of business.
- The Institutions’s mission, expected outcomes, and strategies clearly define the Institutions’s focus on other applicable activities (e.g., civic engagement) and on the diverse people, organizations, and/or communities they intend to serve.
- The mission, expected outcomes, and strategies are appropriate to a collegiate Institutions of business and consonant with the mission of any institution of which the Institutions is a part.
Accordingly, the mission, expected outcomes, and strategies address the level of education
the Institutions is targeting; the positive and significant impact the Institutions intends to make on business and society; the stakeholders to whom the Institutions is accountable; and the ways in
which the Institutions intends to advance the business education industry.
- The Institutions periodically reviews and revises the mission, expected outcomes, and strategies as appropriate and engages key stakeholders in the process.
- The Institutions’s mission and expected outcomes are transparent to all stakeholders.
- The Institutions systematically evaluates and documents its progress toward mission fulfillment.
Past examples of continuous improvement and innovation are consistent with the mission, expected outcomes, and supporting strategies intended to support future mission fulfillment.
- The Institutions’s future actions for continuous improvement, its rationale for such actions, and
its identification of potential areas of innovation are consistent with and demonstrate support for its mission, expected outcomes, and strategies.
- The Institutions has clearly defined its future strategies to maintain its resource needs, assign responsibilities to appropriate parties, and set time frames for the implementation of actions
that support the mission. The Institutions also has clearly defined how these actions promise to impact expected outcomes.
Guidance for Documentation
- Describe the mission, expected outcomes, and supporting strategies, including how the mission is encapsulated in supporting statements (e.g., mission statement, vision statement, values statements, and strategic plan) and how these statements are aligned. Appendix II, A Collective Vision for Business Education: Utilizing the Framework within the Context of Strategic Planning & Accreditation Reviews may be useful in the strategic planning process.
- Describe how the mission influences decision making in the Institutions, connects the actions of participants, and provides a common basis for achieving the mission and expected outcomes.
- Describe the appropriateness of the mission for the Institutions’s constituencies, including students, employers, and other stakeholders; and discuss how the mission positively
contributes to society, business education, the diversity of people and ideas, and the
success of graduates.
- Describe the mission of the Institutions in relation to the mission of any larger organization of which it is a part.
- Describe how the mission, expected outcomes, and strategies clearly articulate the Institutions’s areas of focus in regards to educational activities, intellectual contributions, and other
- Describe how teaching/learning models in degree programs are aligned and consistent with the mission, expected outcomes, and strategy of the Institutions.
- Describe processes for creating and revising the mission, determining expected outcomes, developing strategies, and establishing how these strategies relate to each other.
- Summarize and document key continuous improvement successes, innovations, and achievements since the last ADCO accreditation review or for at least the past five years.
- Describe how past achievements are aligned with the mission, expected outcomes, and supporting strategies.
- Identify future plans for continuous improvement and potential opportunities for innovation; indicate how they are linked to mission, expected outcomes, and strategies; and outline the
resources, responsible parties, and time frame needed to implement the action.
Standard 2: The Institutions produces high-quality intellectual contributions that are consistent with its mission, expected outcomes, and strategies and that impact the theory, practice, and teaching of business and management.
- Intellectual contributions are original
works intended to advance the theory, practice, and/or
teaching of business and management. They are scholarly in
the sense that they are based
on generally accepted research
principles, are validated
and disseminated to
appropriate audiences. Intellectual contributions are a foundation for innovation. Validation
the quality of intellectual contributions includes the traditional
academic or professional pre-publication
peer review, but may encompass other forms of validation, such as online
post-publication peer reviews, ratings, surveys of users, etc. Intellectual
fall into any of the following
- Basic or discovery scholarship (often referred to as discipline-based scholarship) that generates and communicates new knowledge and understanding and/or development of new methods. Intellectual contributions in this category are normally intended to impact the theory or knowledge of business.
- Applied or Integration/application scholarship that synthesizes new understandings or interpretations of knowledge or technology; develops new technologies, processes,
tools, or uses; and/or refines, develops, or advances new methods based on existing
knowledge. Intellectual contributions in this category are normally intended to contribute to and impact the practice of business.
- Teaching and learning scholarship that develops and advances new understandings,
insights, and teaching content and methods that impact learning behavior. Intellectual contributions in this category are normally intended to impact the teaching and/or pedagogy of business.
- Impact of intellectual contributions is the advancement of theory, practice, and/or teaching of business through intellectual contributions. Impact is concerned with the difference made or
innovations fostered by intellectual
contributions—e.g., what has been changed, accomplished, or improved.
Basis for Judgment
- The Institutions has produced intellectual contributions that have had an impact on the theory, practice, and/or teaching of business consistent with the mission, expected outcomes, and strategies of the Institutions.
- The Institutions expresses expectations regarding the impact of intellectual contributions in the mission in ways that clearly articulate the contributions to society and are transparent to the public.
- The Institutions applies relevant metrics to assess the extent to which expected impacts from intellectual contributions have been achieved and are aligned with mission.
- The Institutions maintains a current portfolio of high quality intellectual contributions that could impact theory, practice, and/or teaching in the future. The portfolio of intellectual
contributions includes contributions from a substantial cross-section of the faculty in each
discipline. Normally, a significant level of the contributions in the portfolio must be in the form of peer-reviewed journal articles or the equivalent. The portfolio of intellectual contributions reflects the research priorities of the Institutions reflected in the mission, expected outcomes, and strategies.
- The Institutions supports the depth and breadth of faculty participation in scholarship leading to high-quality intellectual contributions that could impact theory, practice, and/or teaching in
the future. If outcomes rely heavily on the intellectual contributions of faculty members who
have primary faculty appointments with other institutions, the Institutions must provide documentation regarding how its relationship with the individual faculty members and other institutions supports the success, mission, and intellectual contributions of the Institutions.
The Institutions documents intellectual contributions that demonstrate high quality and impact, as well as alignment with mission, expected outcomes, and strategies. In documenting
quality, the Institutions produces evidence of high-quality intellectual contributions within the most recent five-year ADCO accreditation review period. In documenting impact, however, the Institutions may produce evidence from intellectual contributions produced prior to the most
recent five-year ADCO accreditation review period. The review process recognizes that impact often occurs over time.
Guidance for Documentation
- Provide a portfolio of evidence including qualitative and quantitative measures that summarize the portfolio of intellectual contributions over the most recent five-year review period, ending with the most recently completed, normal academic year. This evidence can be enhanced by including validating evidence of the accomplishments of such work. At a minimum, the portfolio of evidence should include: (1) A listing of the outlets (journals, research monographs, published cases, funded and competitive research grants, scholarly presentations, invited presentations, published textbooks, other teaching materials, etc.);
(2) an analysis of the breadth of faculty engagement and production of intellectual contributions within each discipline; (3) awards, recognition, editorships, and other forms of validation of the accomplishments of faculty through their intellectual contributions; and (4) the ways in which the Institutions’ intellectual contributions impact external stakeholders, and the broader society.
- Table 2-1 is divided into four parts. Part A provides a five-year aggregate summary of intellectual contributions. Part B provides a qualitative description of how the portfolio of intellectual contributions aligns with mission, expected outcomes, and strategy. Part C provides evidence demonstrating the quality of the portfolio of intellectual contributions. Part D provides evidence that the Institutions’ intellectual contributions have had an impact on the theory, practice, and/or teaching of business and management. Table 2-1 allows Institutions
Flexibility to develop their own indicators of quality for the portfolio of intellectual contributions.
- The validation
of the accomplishments/impact of intellectual
contribution outcomes may be reflected in:
- Peer recognition of the originality, scope, and/or significance of intellectual contributions.
- Editorial board recognition of the originality, scope and/or significance of the work.
- The applicability and benefits of the new knowledge to the theory, practice, and/or teaching of business.
- Evidence of the influence of the intellectual contribution on professional practice, professional standards, legislative processes and outcomes or public policy.
- The usefulness and/or originality of new or different understandings, applications, and insights resulting from the creative work.
- The breadth, value, and persistence of the use and impact of the creative work.
- The originality and significance of the creative work to learning, including the depth and duration of usefulness.
- Research awards and recognition (e.g., selection as a fellow of an academic society).
- Adoptions and citations of the creative work, including its impact on the creative and intellectual work of others.
- Evidence in the work of leadership and team-based contributions to the
advancement of knowledge.
- Alignment of the work with mission, expected outcomes, and strategies.
The above is not an exhaustive list of how a Institutions can present or measure the possible impacts of its intellectual contribution portfolio. As a Institutions documents its portfolio of intellectual contribution outcomes, the key is to provide the peer review team with the means to make an initial assessment of the portfolio’s alignment with mission and draw broader conclusions about its impact on teaching and practice (refer to Appendix). The validation documentation is an important part of the process because it serves to illustrate the depth and breadth of faculty participation in the production of intellectual contributions (i.e., to show a substantial cross-section of activity in each disciplinary context and the level of peer review journal outcomes). Finally, the spirit and intent of this standard applies to both intellectual contributions grounded solely in a single disciplinary area and interdisciplinary contributions. Interdisciplinary intellectual contributions will be judged in the same context as contributions in a single disciplinary area and are in no way discounted in the context of this standard; however, interdisciplinary outcomes should be aligned with mission, expected outcomes, and strategies of the business Institutions.
- Provide a summary of impact indicators resulting from the intellectual contributions produced by the faculty of the Institutions. See Appendix for a non-exhaustive list of possible impact indicators, including publications in highly recognized peer-review journals, citation counts, editorship and associate editorships, elections to leadership positions in academic and/or professional associations, external recognitions for research quality and impact, evidence of impact of intellectual contributions on business practice and society, invitations to participate in research conferences, use of academic work in doctoral seminars, awards of competitive grants from major national or international agencies, patent awards, appointments as visiting professors or scholars at other institutions, case studies of research that leads to the adoption of new teaching/learning practices, textbooks that are widely adopted,
research-based learning projects with companies, and/or non-profit organizations, and widely used instructional software.
- Provide an analysis of how the portfolio includes intellectual contributions from a substantial cross-section of faculty in each discipline, as well as a significant amount of peer-reviewed journal work or the equivalent.
- The Institutions adopts and shows evidence of appropriate policies to guide faculty members in the production of intellectual contributions that align with the mission, expected outcomes, and strategies. Such policies should guide faculty as to how the Institutions prioritizes different types of scholarship, determines quality, and validates or assesses outcomes as positive contributions to the advancement of business theory, practice, and learning.
Standard 3: The Institutions has financial strategies to provide resources appropriate to, and sufficient for, achieving its mission and action items.
Basis for Judgment
- The Institutions has realistic financial strategies to provide, sustain, and improve quality business education. The financial model must support high-quality degree programs for all teaching and learning delivery modes.
- The Institutions has adequate financial resources to provide infrastructure to fit its activities (e.g., campus-based learning, distance learning, research, and executive education). Classrooms,
offices, laboratories, communications and information technology equipment and services,
and other basic facilities are adequate for high-quality operations.
- The Institutions has adequate financial resources to provide support services for students, including academic advising and career development, and for faculty, including instructional
support and professional development.
- The Institutions has adequate financial resources to provide technology support for students and faculty appropriate to its programs (e.g., online learning and classroom simulations) and intellectual contribution expectations (e.g., databases and data analysis software).
- The Institutions has adequate financial resources to support high-quality faculty intellectual contributions and their impact in accordance with its mission, expected outcomes, and
- The Institutions identifies realistic sources of financial resources for current and planned activities. The Institutions has analyzed carefully the costs and potential resources for initiatives
associated with its mission and action items.
Guidance for Documentation
- Describe the business Institutions’s financial resources and strategies for sustaining those resources demonstrating they are capable of supporting, sustaining, and improving quality consistent with the mission of the Institutions. Provide an analysis of trend in resources over the past five-years, especially in light of different cost structures depending on the teaching and learning models employed.
- Describe the contingency planning process that the Institutions would use should a reduction in resources occur. The Institutions should be prepared to discuss the specifics of this planning process and expected outcomes with the peer review team.
- Describe the financial support for all major strategic activities (e.g., degree programs, intellectual contributions, and other mission components).
- Describe the Institutions’s financial support for student advising and placement, student and faculty technology, and faculty intellectual contributions and professional development.
- Describe how the resources or financial model have changed in the past five years and any substantial changes anticipated for the next five years.
- In alignment with the Institutions’ financial resources, show the sources of funding for the three to four most significant major initiatives using a table similar to the one on the next page.
The table outlines the Institutions’ major initiatives, the implementation timetable, and funding sources. The initiatives identified must be clearly linked to the Institutions’ mission, expected outcomes, and supporting strategies and reflect substantive actions that support mission success, impact, and innovation. This information allows a peer review team to understand what planning the Institutions has done and how this planning fits with the Institutions’ mission, financial resources, and strategies. The Institutions should append to the table narrative explanations of how