What is B.E.?
Apparently, people have long seen the issues of the current business management programmes offered in universities. The two major problems existing in the current business education are the lack of holistic, integrative and system view of business; and the difficulty in applying business knowledge to business of reality. Therefore, some pioneers have taken some initiatives to innovate the education of business management in some way. Over the last decade, Business Engineering became one of the panaceas in resolving the problems and has been gaining momentum in business education and posing some impact on the conventional education system. Evidence shows that more and more universities around the world are offering the business engineering programmes of their own versions, such as Quinnipiac and Lehigh Universities in US, University of Namur in Belgium, VIA University in Denmark, FHWS in Germany, and some others.
Unfortunately, many Business Engineering programs lack the fundamental vision and approach for business education reform, but merely make a change of curricula to incorporate some business subjects into their engineering disciplines. Those could hardly make any contribution to conquer the multidisciplinary nature of business education. Only a few business engineering bodies of knowledge have a profound vision and foundation.
However, Institute of Business Engineering (IBE) put forth another notion and approach in 2005.
Evolution of Business Management in Education
Lack of Breakthrough in existing Business Management Education offered
- Ever since the origin of the Industrial Revolution to the modern digital era, the business environment has evolved and become highly complex with ever-increasing variety of factors.
- Management Education has evolved from delivering simple concepts to diverse concepts to professionalism
- University programmes offered have grown into an assortment of BBA, MBA, EMBA, DBA, PhD etc.
- The successful contributions of human race towards the scientific, technological, engineering and medicine fields are clearly seen. Most of scientific outcomes, techniques and know-hows have been developed from formal education system.
- Conversely, the courses offered by many business management institutions have not kept up with the pace of the development of modern technology and the knowledge from textbooks and lecture materials have been lagged behind the business in practice.
- Some academics and practitioners consider that management is an art and the scope of management knowledge is broad and complex. Therefore, it is hard to standardize management practices in the same way as that of accounting and engineering in which their knowledge and practices are standardized in their respective industries. That is one of the major reasons why accounting and engineering have been developed into a profession, whereas business management has not yet.
- Tertiary education from undergraduate to PHD qualification merely repeat concepts, cases and theories; and many students lack the ability to integrate all the concepts from different subjects and put it into practice in the workplace
- The root of the issue stems from learning process. A proper learning process should be able to induce individuals to effectively integrate all the relevant subjects to apply to management practices. Without the integration ability, it would be hard to fathom out management practices being conducted effectively in workplace.
- Having versatile ‘all rounded’ management expertise is increasingly essential as positions become more senior. However, having acquired MBA or DBA does not guarantee ‘all rounded’ management expertise.
Management is a Science, in the Perspective of Business Engineering
- Management is a Science, therefore we assume that the structures and operations of businesses must be scientific in nature backed with scientific research and evidence.
- However, there are numerous concepts, methods and theories in managing operations of companies. Each of the knowledge has its own uniqueness and specificity in various aspects; therefore, we would classify these various concepts and methods of management as a form of Art.
- ‘Dao’ is Chinese philosophical approach, which refers to the basic principles for operating the undertakings of a specific field and does not change with respect to time and place. For example, accountants have their own set of accounting principles to conform to, same to engineers, medical practitioners and other professionals.
- With the lack of a set of standardized management ‘Principles’, it is no wonder that learners find it a challenge to lead and manage. That is the major reason why current management practices lack professionalism.
The Emergence of the Business Engineering Approach
- The development of numerous management institutions in Europe is comparably more advanced than the management institutions in USA. In the 90s, European institutions have attempted to utilize a new perspective to address the educational inadequacy by proposing the Business Engineering concept.
- These institutions attempt to propose Business Engineering concepts and to integrate Scientific and Management subjects. Through subject integration, these institutions aim to elevate students’ business acumen.
- However, they have merely integrated subjects and concepts superficially and have not rudimentarily addressed the underlying “Principle” issues.
- Riding on these perspectives, we have dedicated numerous years of research to create a set of business strategic decision-making and management concepts, principles and systems for education and practice, collectively called PVC-BQ management and decision-making system, which aims at truly integrating Business and Engineering. In a simple sense, we integrate essential business elements instead of subjects and concepts.
- We aim at connecting all the essential business elements quantitatively and qualitatively and enabling learners and business managers to effectively manage. Our aim is to add value by building and sustaining business management professionalism
Our View to Business
- Business is a series of commercial activities and transactions.
- These activities mainly consist of selling products and services; and making a profit in return.
- These transactions are affected by external business environment.
- The makeup of external business environment includes enterprises, individuals and government bodies. They are active participants in the business environment.
- Each participant has its own set of objectives to achieve.
Hence, business is a process of adapting to the environment and reaching business objectives simultaneously. Effective management must be involved in the process. In general, the effective management involves the tasks of financial investment, production, selling, resource allocation and control of human, capital and materials. All these tasks can be essentially classified into 3 groups according to time frames:
- Analyzing past business activities
- Managing current business activities
- Forecasting future business related issues
Efficiently managing the complexity and changes of both the business and the external environment will ensure a greater probability for the organization to succeed.
Business Engineering – the key to achieving “Management Profession”
- Successfully sustaining a business entails entities to efficiently managing the complexity of the external environment and ‘Business Engineering’ is the ultimate tool to achieve this imperative aim.
- ‘Business Engineering’ places huge emphasis on the application of practical knowledge in business industries. For example, if we have to construct a building, we need to be exacting in the measurements of dimensions; and the building itself and the construction of the building must comply to certain industrial standards.
- Similarly, in the realm of business management, regardless of the size of the organization and the position undertaken, if an entity is to succeed and maintain its sustainability, it is vital that the managers comprehend management ‘Principles’ and its fundamental theories and concepts.
- If we have to resolve issues concerning education and business challenges to attain ‘Management Professionalism’, it is vital that we start from the root and adhere to certain principium. ‘Business Engineering’ provides solid frameworks, principles and concepts to help professionals solve many of their business complications
Why Business Engineering?
- Business education started with simple knowledge shifting to more diverse and factionalized
- Ever-increasing number of elements pouring into the business knowledge of body, diffusing and confusing
- Some treating it as ART, making it more vague and subjective
- Significant advancement for many disciplines such as IT, medication etc. why not business management?
- Many disciplines have developed their professionalism, why not business management?
- Correlation between business management education and management competency is not robust.
- Many people get stuck at the bottleneck of middle management even though they have earned a MBA or DBA
- On the other hand, business environment is becoming more complex and dynamic
The business talents wanted in the 21st century -- “Generalist”