Abstract

Twenty years after the prior survey, the seventh international business curriculum survey was conducted in 2020 under the sponsorship of the Academy of International Business (AIB) and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This paper reports the survey’s findings and makes relevant comparisons with the results of the two previous curriculum surveys.

This study is not only an update but also explores new directions of international business (IB) integration into the business schools’ programs. Although the percentage of matrix structures and separate IB departments is higher in the 2020 survey than earlier, the majority of IB faculty are still scattered across functional departments without IB recognition. Essentially, with few exceptions, we found that European schools are consistently more international than their counterparts elsewhere. Business school deans also consider experiential learning very effective in equipping students with IB knowledge and are generally quite satisfied with the overall progress of their internationalization efforts. The survey findings contribute to understanding how IB is integrated into business schools and offer insights for identifying future opportunities.

Key Findings

  1. There is steady progress on multiple fronts of advancing IB education, from additional students, sources and programs, to greater focus on IB knowledge, to greater experiential learning.
  2. The majority of IB faculty are still scattered across functional departments without IB recognition.
  3. Schools are consistently more international in Europe than in the rest of the world.
  4. Experiential learning, through mechanisms such as overseas study or work, is an effective way to teach International Business.
  5. Business schools spend relatively little time using innovative experiential teaching methods despite their effectiveness. (This was just before Covid-19 forced the use of much greater distance learning.)
  6. It is more effective to teach IB via stand-alone courses than through infused courses.
  7. There is wide recognition of the Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS) as a premier academic journal.
  8. Online teaching offers opportunities to expose more students to international experience.
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