Finding Intellectual Capital through Value Chains in Education

Bornemann, M., & Wiedenhofer, R. (2013). Intellectual Capital in Education: A value chain perspective. Intangible Assets consulting

Bornemann and Wiedenhofer (2013) examine the value chain principle, which is a modified version of the supply chain as coined by Michael Porter, to gauge the impact of value chain principles on educational institutions within Austria. The paper examines educational institutions from elementary through higher education and their tie to political/regulatory bodies. Unlike business, educational institutions seem to be far more bogged down in standardization and regulation, losing aspects of the drivers that often help businesses move to the forefront (innovation, creativity, value add and process improvement). With application of certain business principles, Bornemann et al (2013) posit that there are opportunities to build parallels between institutions to find the right set of processes drivers to create success.

What was most interesting in this study is the authors looked at Austrian educational institutions from elementary to higher education as segments of the chain instead of independent of each other. More commonly, authors seem to focus on one level of education instead of across the range which presented interesting perspectives.  By examining across the educational chain, there is opportunity to build experiences that, from the earliest educational level, better prepare individuals for success and achievement. Within their interpretation of intellectual capital, Bornemann et al (2013) assert that this is the distinction that sets institutions apart: the individuals we produce are our product and the better that product, the more successful the institution.

The authors made use of 12 case studies collected between 2011-2012 that examined intellectual capital among Austrian schools. Their assertion based on that data is the creation of a value chain of schools with the learner as this developmental “product” that will add new value throughout each educational experience. They align the case studies with data from the auto industry as the supply chain example to prove their assertions.  Within this, the authors found areas of similarity and differences and used those to help build connections for their model. Challenges that presented themselves in the research included:

  • Definition of individual sets of drivers of Intellectual Capital which are relevant for each individual institution while simultaneously allowing for consolidation into a larger framework.
  • Definition of connecting drivers of Intellectual Capital that establish not only relations but support procedural exchange in order to optimize parts and later the whole value chain.
  • Definition of an appropriate scale with inter-subjective and auditable measures that support comparability and bench-marking. This, however, is clearly of secondary priority.

The majority of their assertion aligns with the idea that the intellectual capital and relational capital (the relationship building internally and externally that adds or detracts from success)  will be part of the differentiator in making the value chain connections work across institutions. How can the relationships between these institutions be connected as they align to processes and outcomes? Again, using the auto industry as the example, the authors assert that the segments with which students move through their education would be similar to the building/production of a car.  Building experiences that fit that segment of the “production” before then moving the individual into a connected segment would make up the chain. The focus would not be so industrial, of course, but would instead focus on value add, as part of the value chain and efficiency of costs and services for an optimal experience.

Thinking through the application of this to my own setting of graduate business education, I can see the correlation between this model and the one in the reading. At a smaller scope, I don’t see this as an application across the educational levels but instead more focused on building undergraduate programs that grow into the graduate programs to create a value-add for a student who wants to move from undergraduate to graduate programs.  Further, within the graduate programs themselves, taking on the business approach to how the individuals learn as well as interact with services and programs would become a major focus.

Transparency with the students would add some value in building the relational capital in that modelling the processes after business approaches should appeal to the business students going through them. The students should be able to draw parallels between their learning and the ways in which they are receiving services in the hopes that it influences their experience and understanding of their curriculum.

The use of the case studies combined with the examples from the auto industry applied a clear picture and methodology to the reading. Still most interesting is the design of a value chain from elementary through to higher education. A model of that size seems, to me, almost too ambitious but does make sense in the idea of connecting the educational experience from early education to higher education. The ability to align this type of system relates back to some of the challenges presented, specifically the challenge in finding drivers that work within the context of the institution but can then connect to the larger framework. Finding that balance would require institutions with similar approaches and perspectives that could easily align. Where this could most be relevant is the community college level into undergrad and graduate programs. There may even be parallels with high school in that a school, charter or academy, could be aligned to link itself to specific institutions. Pulling this all the way down to the elementary level becomes more challenging. I think the challenge lies in creating a system that can cross borders – do institutions different areas, cities or countries align? Not sure if that is possible within the U.S. educational system but perhaps Austria has the system to support this.

Overall the paper adds value to the idea of the application of value chain to education. Although taken from its own slant as it relates to education in Austria, there are connections between how this can apply to graduate business education and influence a new model based on efficient, value added and customer focused experiences and processes. The addition of intellectual capital as a method of analysis becomes one more way in which the model could take shape within a college of business.

What do photographs really reflect?

Photographs stand as glimpses into our lives at different points in our journey. Chappell, Chappell and Margolis (2011) see pictures as “memories of seeing” (p. 56) and within an educational journey these pictures can reflect the “face” of the world today but also the ceremonies that many of us go through that shape our future. When I think about educational events captured in photographs, there are two “types” that come to mind for me: graduation and our class photographs.

From childhood, we are gathered every year for our class shot (or at least up to a point in elementary school and maybe junior high). Those pictures are a reflection not only of our own growth but can reflect the make up of a classroom (diversity, gender) but also be reflective of the times (styles, looks, etc). The experience is somewhat of a normative process: something that many (but not all) will have the opportunity to experience.  In that same vein, graduation serves as a transition point to the next stage of life for many young people. When I was growing up, I had two graduations – one from junior high, which signaled my transition to high school and one from high school that signaled my transition to college (or to becoming an adult as I saw it). When I look back at the pictures of these experiences, I think of what that signified to me as a growth opportunity and as an experience that both me as the learner and my family had all hoped for. I think we, as people, want the best for ourselves and our children. These educational experiences become tantamount to not only personal success but may even be considered as a success of the family.

Chappell et al (2011) related educational photographs to a play. In their terms, they indicated that the environment (school) may be the same similarly to how a play is the same but the changes in both of these are the people.  The article was rife with pictures from multiple eras which represented the changing times (racial diversity, gender diversity, etc.). Their notion is that the picture can tell a lot about the progression of our society and how the message of what we stand for could have changed as well. I like to think that we have become a more progressive society and that this is reflected in our societies but that would mean forgetting that there is still a lot of inequality in the world, not just around racial or gender dynamics but around sexuality and even in socioeconomic status and how that may influence who walks across the stage or moves beyond high school. I have worked in higher education for 10 years and I think back on student access – has everyone been given the opportunity to attend? Is it really access for all and if it’s not, are the pictures we take truly reflective of our society or just this segmented piece of it? Thinking through the pictures in the article, it also makes you wonder who are the ones capturing and, in turn, sharing/publicizing the pictures? The individual(s) holding that power are more likely to take it from what they see as relevant than what may actually be reflected in reality.

What will be most interesting for the future is how, in the age of Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms, our journey will be reflected and captured when each moment is often the cause for a “selfie” or some other picture. I think through recent graduation at ASU. I sat on the floor with my students and snapped pictures, posting them for share on Instagram. Will these pictures be characteristic of who we are as people and what we stood for or more just a reflection of our society and what we think the “others” will want to see? Will our ability to connect with people from anyone in the world who have access to this technology (again the key is access) influence how we look at the world and the pictures we share back? Hard to say but interesting to see as an articulated story for future generations.


Chappell, D. Chappell, S. & Margolis, E. (2011). School as ceremony and ritual: How photography illuminates performances of ideological transfer. Qualitative Inquiry, 17(1), 56­73.

Peer impact and anxiety in the classroom

Coming from a small town, there was always an interesting dynamic in our school classrooms. Most of my classrooms were small, maybe 20-25 people total, which made for both an intimate learning experience but also one that could be challenging if you not only were a high performer but also suffered from social anxiety. Most people would think an intimate classroom would be a great opportunity for students but for me I felt it was more of a challenge for a different reason. I did well in school, being for the most part a solid “A” student. On the social side, I was far more on the geek end of the spectrum than the popular end. Standing out in a classroom as someone who understood their Shakespeare or excelled in biology could make life difficult outside the classroom. It was for that reason that I often held back in the classroom – why stand out in the crowd when it resulted in being made fun of? By drawing as little attention to myself as possible, I felt I could slide through school with ease. I could do my homework and excel that way and avoid the social stigma of being a “dork”.

Pivovarova (2014) in a recent article discussed the impact of peers on learning and environment, whether mixing levels of achievement in the classroom had negative/positive impacts on those individuals (p. 2). Besides the fact that Pivovarova (2014) looked at 6th graders from Ontario, Canada where I’m from, her findings were interesting in the ways in which peers influenced each other for good or bad, for example, in how a student who was a low achiever may perform better surrounded by high performers and how a high performer was somewhat of an “independent learner” (p. 19) in the classroom. This idea of “low” or “high” performers to me took on a different meaning. Why was someone performing lower than another student? I was performing at a high level despite my terror of what that performance would result in outside the classroom but what else could be going on within the other students lives.

Reading this article and with influence from recent discussions in my Doctoral classes, I began to wonder what other issues could be creating low versus high performance. Maybe these “low” performers had challenges not linked to the classroom that were impacting their lives in a way that made it hard to focus on school (family dynamics, money, health). Would putting them in a classroom with a “high” performer really help? What if there was a learning challenge (A.D.D., language barrier) that created issues and that student wasn’t receiving the support they needed. What if just the label of being a “low” performer created a perception that they couldn’t achieve success and created a ceiling that prevented development? My school was also a predominantly white school in a predominantly white farming community in Canada. For those few students of color, I began to wonder what challenges they may have faced in a white institution in a predominantly white town – were they getting fair treatment and access to the same resources or were they being marginalized within the school?

Looking back it makes me wonder about all the challenges and what “low” and “high” performance could really mean when it’s not such a cut and dry term. I realized that none of these ideas had crossed my mind as a child as I was too preoccupied in my own world. As I move forward in my educational journey, I find myself begin to question beyond just the surface issues of a situation to understand what other layers may exist that are far more pressing than was apparent. I hope that the courses continue to influence me towards a better understanding of all the dynamics a situation may hold, whether it be similar to this article in a classroom setting or within my own research pursuits and I hope that this understanding provides the fairness needed to represent all the individuals that may be impacted by that research.


Pivovarova, M (2014). Should We Track or Should We Mix Them? Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Tempe: Arizona State University.

SCOR Model: Efficiency mapping educational processes

Supply Chain Council, Inc. (2010). Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) Model Overview          Version 10.0. Retrieved from

When thinking of a supply chain, most people outside of a manufacturing industry don’t quite know what this means. Supply chain, at its most basic form, is essentially the chain of events that lead to the production of a product, inclusive of delivery to a customer. The customer could be anyone from a grocery store to an individual depending on the product. Within the supply chain process, many firms and organizations have different ways in which they approach the production of their product. As our society has evolved, supply chains have begun to encompass other “products” including digital products as well as services (items without tangible products). Supply chain has become a function in firms, large and small, encompassing different processes, procedures and tactics.

With that in mind, many organizations began to develop set guidelines as good benchmarks for supply chain. One of those is the Supply Chain Council (SCC). The SCC was founded in 1969 as a consortium of organizations focused on peer-led research and analysis of the supply chain industry and what best practices could be developed for organizations.  Since 1969, SCC has continued to evolve and grow, including new organizations in their scope and research. One major outcome of the establishment of the SCC was the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model, which is the “world’s most widely accepted framework for evaluating and comparing supply chain activities and their performance” (SCC, 2010, p. 2).  Now in version 10, the SCOR model has continued to serve as a benchmark for many firms. Professors within W. P. Carey that teach supply chain have referenced this many times in conversation with our students.  The benchmarking allows firms to easily understand what may or may not be working or what direction the firm would need to go to make a specific process or action work with company strategies, particularly as it may compare to the performance of other firms (SCC, 2010, p. 3)

From a visual perspective, the model looks like:


At the most basic level, the model considers the different stakeholders (supplier’s supplier, supplier, the organization, customer both internal and external and then customers of those customers). This is then broken into the basic functions that go into those relationships and then aligned with planning (SCC, 2010, p. 4). By following this model, SCOR should solve 5 key challenges:

  • Superior Customer Service: right product for the right price at the right time
  • Cost Control
  • Planning and Risk Management
  • Supplier/Partner Relationship Management
  • Talent

By solving those challenges and implementing the model, firms should be able to better launch services or products, have better linked processes to strategies, clearer direction for organizational growth and other benefits (SCC, 2010, p. 4). The model is further designed to better provide metrics and data that can be used to recognize trends and other organizationally important information (SCC, 2010, p. 6).

With the application to education in mind, although we are not producing a product per se, higher education institutions provide an array of services to support individuals through their educational experience. Many of the supply chain challenges listed above are directly applicable to higher education as we seek to provide value-added and outstanding service, cost control to our processes, better planning and risk management, relationship management (from vendors to federal groups to organizations to individuals) as well as attraction and development of talent (whether it be attracting top learners to top administrators and faculty). As institutions, we need to think of how we can improve our own processes and programs in the face of increasing competition, whether it be other institutions, professional organizations or even internally between programs. Competitiveness will not go away and the more that technology evolves, the more opportunity individuals will have to connect to knowledge from institutions in different parts of the world.

In direct application to graduate business programs within W. P. Carey, I see a correlation between some of the founding principles of this model and process improvement. Business schools are continuously evaluated on their performance, their outcomes and their rankings. It is a continuous battle to remain as a top tier school so approaches that could help add value to what the school can do become of the utmost importance. The biggest challenge here will be aligning this model to processes and strategies as well as getting buy-in from all key stakeholders who must help make change happen.

In other posts, I have reviewed different models and approaches to how supply chain principles could have value for higher education institutions. The SCOR model sets a good baseline for where supply chain models can go and in what ways they may add impactful improvements to a process chain. Supply chain models seem to reflect that as many elements of the SCOR model seem to crop up in other models that exist.

Overall, the document comes across very technical as you would expect for a process model guide but the design and integration aspects are easily displayed and explained to help firms understand. The document, being a founding model, does not reference other work but does build upon its own growth through its versions by continuously improving upon the process. What is most helpful about the document is that it does come at the approach from a general perspective. Although no application examples are provided using an industry, I feel this will allow firms to best think of how this could work within the organization and the strategic direction of that organization.

The SCOR model presents a good catalyst for higher education organizations for consideration in change. By looking outside education to other industry examples, higher education may find innovations that were not considered before that allow them to create sustainable, innovative, creative and engaging processes, experiences and organizations. Doing so should offer the opportunity for continued growth and success.

Increasing Cultural Capital in a Deficit

It seems to me that we are in a constant race to develop our cultural capital. In a society that is driven by progress, by performance, by measures of wealth and status, we seem to constantly be in this position of pushing ourselves forward to achieve the next level of success. What that success looks like is primarily driven by societal norms (have a house, a car, money, a successful job) and I think at times overlooks what our own personal desires are. I would like to think I’m different than that, particularly since I’m in education (I’m clearly not here for the money) but I still want all those things that society seems to deem as important.

The harder part, it seems, is that Yosso (2005) talks about how many of us are born into a deficit of cultural capital, as decided by the dominant culture. How then does one gain capital when you’re already starting with a deficit? Education seems to be one way to achieve that but I’m not sure if that’s truly the case. If someone is already considered at a deficit in society, would school really improve them that much or would it just help notch them up a bit but still consider them inferior in relation to the cultural capital of others?

I think to my own development and my roots. I come from a small farming community of about 20,000 people. The town itself lacked diversity in the population and was an odd mix of those who came from farming families and those whose families worked within industry either somewhere in the town or in the neighboring cities.

Thinking of this reading and the idea of cultural capital gave me a lot of relation to my childhood. I was one of the kids with family who did not work on a farm and that set me apart from many of those kids. There was a bit of us versus them mentality at times. Due to the location of my house, I was sent to the schools that educated the majority of the farm kids since what school you went to was based on proximity. Growing up with these kids was always an interesting dynamic. Although I was friends with some of them, I was also somewhat of an outsider. My dad ran a newspaper so, to them, my life was quite different from theirs and in some cases, they thought I was this elitist kid since we could often afford more things than they could.

From the outside, to the kids who went to the school made up of all non-farming kids, we were all farming kids that were less educated than them, going to a school that catered to less educated people. In their eyes, despite the fact that we were actually receiving the same education, just at different schools, we were inferior to them.

Growing up within that made life very interesting. Thinking of cultural capital, I always felt my own capital was rather negative. I didn’t feel like I had the family capital that others did. My social capital was relatively low since I was a shy and awkward kid who didn’t have a ton of friends. I had a moderate level of linguistic capital in that I was a huge history and English buff so my language skills were more developed than most. What I most connected to was my aspirational capital – I had hopes, dreams, desires and an imagination that seemed to always be in overdrive. This is what I felt always set me apart from a lot of my peers. No matter who they were and what they thought of me, I used that aspirational capital to drive me forward.  I’d like to think that’s what has pushed me to where I am today, whether it be a success or failure.  I may not always have the best ideas or be the smartest person in the room but I have drive and dreams that together motivate me to seek out the things I want for my life and work towards them.

So even though we may start at a deficit, whether a true deficit or one we create for ourselves, I would like to think we have what it takes to break through the deficit and achieve the success we want. It may be a Pollyanna view of the world and I know it’s not as simple as all that but I still hold to this as a pathway to achieving what you want.

Yosso, T. J. (2005). Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community

and cultural wealth. Race Ethnicity and Education, 1(8), 69-91.

Improving Management Education

Emiliani, M.L. (2006). Improving management education. Quality Assurance in Education, (14)4, 363-

Improving management education by Emiliani (2006) examines MBA business education from the perspective of current deficiencies within the model with suggested solutions to improve upon those deficiencies.  The goal of the article is to present an outsiders view of management education in the hopes that this outsiders view may offer up more relevant and unbiased opinions. Emiliani (2006) has a background in engineering, supply chain management and manufacturing while also being a professor of lean management. Through his experience, he proposes improvements that not only remove waste from the processes but creates a more reflective, problem-based experience model in which students are better exposed to business challenges.

Emiliani (2006) used an analysis of faculty and student experiences from MBA-level programs within his institution. Further, he matched this with data collected from a series of wall street journal reports about management behavior and deficiencies that managers lack in their leadership (p. 373). Through this analysis, he proposes 11 improvements that could be added to courses or degree programs with the goal of adding value to the experience (p. 373). Part of his analysis was the use of the Caux Round Table principles, which is a system that looks at business from a Human-Economic approach (p. 366).  The Caux Round Table approach is relevant in that it does not just look at systems from a business perspectives or the company perspective but takes into consideration all the stakeholders with a humanizing view.

Some of the 11 improvements addressed include creating a more focused but simplified curriculum, more top of mind education, more engaging and interesting content, more utility as well as life time relevance (p. 377-378).  Of most importance here would be the life time relevance of the lessons which builds a tool kit that the leader can refer back to throughout their career.

The approach to this article is done successfully through the analysis of professor and student experience while also utilizing business design principles tested in industry that show relevance to creating top of mind business education. Emiliani offers up a well-structured, deeply analytical and well-researched article that provides interesting, and relevant, insights into what can help improve an MBA program. What is interesting as well is that he does not necessarily offer up a complete argument for what an MBA program should do to improve but gives good foundations for what should be considered. He further poses that the biggest challenge will be whether the Deans of these schools will shift the programs in the way required to create this relevance or stick within the current paradigms (p. 379). If leadership is not supportive of the change or willing to recognize that change is needed, the models he presents will have no effect.

The impact on business education, in particular an MBA program, is significant. Business is always tasked with staying ahead of the curve in terms of innovation and success.  Business programs need to follow suit and demonstrate graduates who can add that innovation and success to the companies they will join. Business often recruits directly from programs that produce graduates with the most relevant and useful skills that match their organizational strategies and goals. Programs must consider this in the design and continuous improvement of their curriculum. Emiliani proposes an argument that is absolutely imperative to business school success.

What stands out the most here is not only the connection to industry but also the Caux Roundtable and the focus on including all stakeholders. Having worked for various educational institutions and through my role in corporate education, I have seen companies with processes or strategies that forget to take into consideration all the stakeholders. Within the Caux Roundtable, internal stakeholders (staff, leadership) and external stakeholders (customers, suppliers, and competitors) are considered in a way that adds a more holistic view of the opportunity or challenge. What becomes significant here is that the proposed change would produce graduates who can look laterally across those opportunities and challenges to solve problems in a far more dynamic way.

One piece that stuck out most here, and connects through to my area of study around the application of value chain principles to graduate business education, is the analytical frameworks that think of this improvement model similarly to a business model. Graduate business education is essentially a pre-cursor to working in industry and should think of itself much like a business. If you are producing graduates that are going to take on the business challenges of tomorrow, much of how the faculty, the curriculum and even the student support processes approach educating these individuals is developed and structured must consider this business perspective.  Taking on graduate business education from this approach has the opportunity to add value into the student experience while creating more efficient and effective processes.

At the same time, we need to consider the fact that this is not just a business process standing operating in a vacuum but a process that relies heavily on the acceptance and success of the student experiencing it. Like Emiliani (2006) presents, it is significant to think of the humanizing aspect within the process and not to forget that someone will be experiencing this. When I think of implementing a process, I try to think of the experience I would like to have and then try to match that experience to what the systems and structures of the institution can support, not just a process that makes sense for the institution. By coming at the process from the student, or customer, perspective, there is more opportunity to add value back into the process and match it to the efficiencies that you are aiming to create.

Overall, I can see the applicability of this article and can see where much of this will be relevant within my area of inquiry. By closely examining a graduate business program and looking at the ways that the curriculum and program can more directly tie to industry, the more opportunity there is for producing graduates who fill the needs of industry. In turn, if industry begins to target the graduates for recruitment, this will add value to the experiences that the programs can continue to create.

Review of Value Chain in Higher Education

APA Citation:
Dori, M., Nadi, M.A., Yarmohammadian, M.H. (2012). A Review on Value Chain in Higher Education.
Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 46, 3842-3846.

The area of inquiry I would like to examine is the application of Supply Chain principles to graduate business education within universities. Supply Chain, or Value Chain as it is now more commonly called, has primarily been focused on manufacturing environments in which a set product is being produced through a series of processes. Examples of this could be within the auto industry and the production of a vehicle. In recent years, the application of Value Chain principles has begun evolving its application to other industries that are not producing a tangible product such as car but may be impacting a service or the development of some specific outcome. Value Chain has begun its application to areas such as digital services, customer service supply chains and other areas. With this idea in mind, there are application possibilities within the educational Value Chain in the series of processes and actions that lead from the admission of a graduate business student through graduation of that same student. Along this progressive chain, there are a series of activities and interactions that a student will go through. Actions could be everything from enrollment in courses to purchase of materials to course completion to filing for graduation.

Much of the processes along this chain are often disconnected from each other due to silos within departments and administrative units, mismanaged for various reasons or are impacted based on different factors, perhaps even the student themselves. Much like any industry, universities must examine their process chains to ensure that the continued progress of the learner is not impacted by the processes themselves.

The article by Dori, M., Nadi, M.A., Yarmohammadian, M.H. (2012) examines the application of Value Chain, within the higher education context. Dori et al (2012) examine the competitive factors within higher education that require new ideas to creative competitive advantage (p. 3842). Factors impacting education can be competition with other universities, decreased funding from Government sources and even management challenges within the institution itself (p. 3842). Much of the research examines the different scholars who are completing research in these areas and the different application models that can be applied. Primarily, the article focused on the Porter Value Chain Model which looks at the process from a primary activity and support activity model while considering the factors associated with those activities. Factors in this model include infrastructure, internal and external influences, financial composition and the production piece (Dori, et al., 2012, p. 3843). The Porter Model primarily looks at the business enterprise and less of the social service enterprise such as an institution so the research also look to those scholars who posit a value chain model designed specifically for higher education.

One model examined is that of researchers van der Merwe and Cronje (2004) that looks at the process chain from a higher level perspective as it relates to desired outcomes (p. 3844). Less focused on the micro level, this model is represented by a 4 step process that includes: defining the outcome or scope on which the value chain will focus, identify a requirements elicitation methodology that focuses on the identification of the high-level processes within the application domain, identify the high-level processes within the application domain and use the high-level process model developed to derive the sequence of processes needed, to achieve a predefined outcome (Dori et al, 2012, p. 3845).

Overall, the article was well put together and provided a good analytical consideration of the arguments around the application of value chain for higher education but did lack some deeper insights. Great from an analysis perspective of the examination of the research landscape but little suggestion in the way of what other ways this methodology could be applied or what model made more sense (Porter versus the Educational model). This would have added some value to the piece that I felt was missing. In some ways, though, that was valuable as I had to draw more of my own conclusions about the value of the different models. The various perspectives were valuable but I found myself leaning more towards the Porter Model due to a bit more inclusion of the micro factors that inhibit success within the chain.

From a critical perspective around organization and other key areas, the article was well organized but did suffer from a few minor grammatical errors. The lack of argument did somewhat inhibit the flow although the article as more of a review, per the title, may have been the authors intentions. Perhaps a follow up piece could include examination of the models to draw some of their own conclusions and add value to the field of research.
Despite the authors’ lack of argument or suggested model, the reading did give me ideas to assist in my own analysis, specifically around some of the factors mentioned in the Porter Model (Dori et al, 2012, p. 3843). What stood out for me was some of the business enterprise ideas that could apply, particularly the financial structure and the organizational infrastructure. Although business focused, much of business school is often designed like an enterprise yet lacks some of the organizational infrastructure needed to make that successful. Organizational infrastructure is significant in that success cannot happen until the structure is in place to support the efforts and ideas being developed and used. Individuals supporting those structures will continue to suffer. The model is relevant but the human factor has to be considered in how they can make the model successful.

Further research studies here would be relevant around application in a real-world model. Using a graduate business program as an example, a further study could develop more key insights on not only how the model could be applied but in what way improvements or enhancements could be added taking into account a forum of individuals (students, professors, administrators) who contribute to some of those processes and outcomes.
This has further implications also for taking on a more humanizing approach to application of the model. In my personal opinion, I feel some of the supply chain models may take on too much of a process oriented approach, forgetting the individuals who may make up that process both at the process driver level and the process outcome level. By adding some of those perspectives more readily into the research, I feel it offers up a more humanizing approach that may be more effective in the end for consideration of the stakeholders involved. Further research on my part will need to be done to see what other researchers are examining in this area.

Disrupting Small Business Owners Realities

For the week 3 readings, Bautista et al. (2013) stood out the most to be, particularly in the idea around limitations of what is available to students and disrupting their reality around all the possibilities out there (p.9). The idea that many of these students could not even think about how good their school could be and what resources could be available to them spoke to the ceilings that we can create for ourselves. Disruption to their reality broke open the idea that there was so much for them.

This reminded me of the small business learners I work with in my Small Business Leadership Academy Program. The program itself is an 8-week, scholarship based program designed to help local small business owners be better business leaders. Within the program, these business owners are exposed to strategy, services, negotiations, systems and organizational behavior lessons all in an effort to improve their business acumen while also building a network of small business peers.

Many of these individuals have never pursued higher education, often coming to their business through family. Much like the students in the Bautista et al (2013) reading, the small business owners often do not know what they do not know meaning they often move forward with their business only doing what they are aware of, not realizing the resources or opportunities out there for them. Our program often serves as a disruption to their reality in a way that helps them find greater success through exposure to new lessons, life experiences from peers and understanding of what resources are available to small business owners within the community.

This actually made some connections to me within Denzin et al (2008) through the idea of shared “lived experiences” (p. 89) as well as getting “voices from the bottom” (p.94). Although Denzin et al (2008) is referring to Critical Race Theory (CRT), I see the parallels here with the small business learners. This is a group that is truly living and breathing their practice every day and often have to make decisions that will shape the rest of their future.

Being exposed to shared lived experiences with other small business owners, even if it is across industries, often does more for their success than our business lessons. Hearing the struggles and successes of others in similar situations as them often inspires them to new heights. Small business research is often done not from the perspective of a small business owner but from statistical or financial perspectives that dehumanize much of their experiences. The idea of having more small business owners take control of some of that research and get involved makes so much sense in the potential outcomes.

As I look towards my professional practice, these readings, along with the other week 3 readings give me much to consider. One area I want to focus on within my research is the application of supply chain principles to graduate business student processes from admissions through graduation. While looking at things from a process perspective, the readings from this week remind me that I need to think about setting up processes that don’t leave the student behind but take into perspective their ideas, knowledge and potential.

Bautista, M., Bertrand, M., Morrell, E., Scorza, D. & Matthews, C. (2013). Participatory Action
Research and City Youth: Methodological Insights From the Council of Youth Research.
Teachers College Record, 115(100303), 1-23.

Denzin, N., Lincoln, Y. & Tuhiwai Smith, L. (2008). Handbook of Critical and Indigenous
Methodologies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Diversity in Virtual Classrooms

With more of our courses going online, I find myself struggling with creating programs and student experiences that have value across cultures, language, technology and curriculum.  From our week 1 reading, what stood out most in this area was the Howard (2003) reading. Of particular interest is the shifting perspective of the teaching population and the idea around better representing the cultural aspects of the classroom populations that the teachers teach in (p.195). This brought to mind many of the virtual programs that I manage with individuals who are across the world.

I currently run a certificate program for professional Supply Chain students who are dispersed around the world with individuals in countries like China, Egypt, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan. When working with these students, our professors have to find a balance within the virtual classroom that can work with such a diverse audience yet still maintain the educational standards of the program. This becomes an interesting balance for them but also for our staff as we work to assist the students with navigating through the courses and ensuring they have the tools needed for success.

One of the pieces that really stuck out to me is how much we may overlay our own ideas of the persons culture over their actions and let the stereotypes we know about the culture interfere with the students creating their own identity (Howard, 2003, p. 200). In some cases with my students, I assume the learning styles that I am used to and that our system of education will all work for them. I need to remind myself and the professors that the context that these individuals may be coming from could be quite different from what we are accustomed to. Getting a better sense of who these students are, how they learn and approach education will help us better serve these populations.

Garcia and Ortiz (2013) also forced me to pause and think through some of my actions and approaches to the virtual programs. Similar to above, the idea that intersectionality “makes possible the examination of the simultaneous interactions among race, class, gender, and (dis)ability for any individual child, family and community, as well as the interplay between these individual or group characteristics and organizational responses to them” stood out as an interesting dynamic that I had not looked at in this way (Garcia & Ortiz, 2013, p. 34).

What most stood out was this idea that there are so many interactions that go into not only who we are but how we perceive others and how our actions both take place and may be received. Within this, I was able to further draw parallels back to the work I do within higher education but also able to look across the W. P. Carey School of Business and think about how important this is in how we set up our courses, our processes for moving students through the system and the other interactions that play into graduate business student success.

I realize that I often get lost in my daily operations and interactions and forget to look more holistically at the actions and interactions within the day to day. Thinking through the research really put into perspective how we, as educational leaders, need to take a step back from time to time to see the full picture and how I can be more cognizant of my perceptions and how I present myself and my work to others.

Garcia, S.B. & Ortiz, A.A. (2013). Intersectionality as a framework for transformative research
in special education. Multiple Voices for Ethnically Diverse Exceptional Learners, 13(2),

Howard, T.C. (2003). Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: Ingredients for critical teacher reflection,
42(3), 195- 202.