1st Annual Interdisciplinary Summer School “Rediscovering Practical Wisdom in Management: Towards a more comprehensive business education in transition economies” October 2018 in Marrakech carried out in collaboration with Hanns Seidel Stiftung
National economies in socio-economic transition find themselves confronted with a variety of challenges. In line with well-established sociologist concepts of modernization, exploding megacities and anonymous mass environments often bring with them a crisis of cultural orientation and personal identification. Future executives in management, politics and administration are also affected by these challenges. Religious, philosophical or spiritual traditions are handed down in families and personal networks – meanwhile modern business and economics often seem to work according to completely separate rules. In Management schools and technical universities, future executives are gathering technical and instrumental knowledge, while curricula neglect personal development and social values. Moreover, many future leaders in transition countries are expected to complete large parts of their professional training abroad – for example in European or US universities. Here, ‘professionalism’ often implies adopting the values and mindsets of the host country; if case studies or role models are provided in academic education at all, they mostly stem from the host country’s background. Conversely, due to the rush of technological/ digital innovations in advanced countries the cultural environment of transition economies is often considered entirely backward and traditionalistic. Cultural imperialism of that kind notoriously neglects, that even in the Western World cultural traditions and social values have significantly shaped the modern institutional environments. Moreover, even if intellectuals are now and again longing to cap these roots, they still determine the national business culture(s) – thereby opening up the existing ‘variety of capitalism’.