Renewing Mediterranean roots

Didier Jourdan and Nassim Belbaly explain how a new Mediterranean Schools of Management Consortium will strengthen the Mediterranean region.

The competitiveness of the management education market in Europe, and especially in France, leaves medium-level business schools no choice other than to follow innovative strategies to sustain their development.

Given that mainstream strategy is focused on achieving strong budgets, reputation, alumni power, and European and international recognition in terms of scholars, students, executive education and so on, medium-level business schools are left with three choices:

– find partner/s to merge with in order to reach a similar budget as the main

European players so they can compete with the same level of financial resources

– find alternative strategies to differentiate themselves and play a leading role in a specific area

– let go their ambitions to play at a European and international level and concentrate more on national objectives with some European and international activity

Montpellier Business School (MBS), however, has chosen an innovative strategy to continue and sustain its positive evolution in management education. This strategy is mainly based on the setting up of the Mediterranean Schools of Management Consortium with an emphasis on managerial innovation, defined as the introduction of practices and management methods new to a company with the aim of sustainably improving its overall performance.

MBS has adopted and implemented managerial innovation as a positioning by integrating it in its pedagogical processes, curriculum development, intellectual contributions, staff organisation and corporate relationships at national, Mediterranean and European levels.

This strategy finds its sources first in the geographical location of Montpellier. The city is at the heart of the Mediterranean basin. It was a former trading post for spices, a place of pilgrimage and a centre of learning in the fields of medicine and law. This has ensured it constant prosperity and a shared Mediterranean history. Strategically, the Mediterranean region’s attractiveness comes from the 30 countries that border its coast, 25% of worldwide maritime traffic, 30% of petroleum traffic and a steady regional growth.

Recent changes and opportunities such as the so-called Arab spring, financial crises and population growth in the Mediterranean region are the main drivers propelling MBS to increase its involvement in.

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