2019 UNICON Research Projects Announced

2019 UNICON Research Projects Announced

As 2018 comes to an end, we are looking forward to new research projects and initiatives in the upcoming year. The Research Committee is excited to announce the following research projects to be completed in 2019:


1. ROI for Executive Education

We may be able to state ROI for executive education programs and leadership development initiatives for individual clients and organizations, but how do we prove it?

This report will focus on the ROI of university-based executive education programs and provide insights on existing methods for measuring impact and communicating value to clients. It will also explore what quantitative and qualitative progress has been made by organizations to link investments in executive education programs to their overall growth strategy and what pressures may exist to establish the value of an investment in leadership development.


2. Make or Buy to Scale

What capabilities does it take to offer executive education programs at scale and when may be the right time to partner up?

This report will explore technology-enabled scaling of educational programs offered by executive education units and the circumstances surrounding the decision schools are making to either partner with non-profit or for-profit organizations to scale or build their own capabilities. It will also aim to determine the benefits, challenges, and risks of each option and explore examples of build and buy decisions.


3. Pedagogical Innovations in Business Schools

There is a constant need to implement innovative strategies in executive education programs in an ever-changing business environment, but at what cost?

This report will focus on examples of pedagogical innovations in business schools and the contributions business schools and universities need to make in order to sustain a Pedagogy Department. It will also explore the positive and negative results of international business schools in supporting a Pedagogy Department and assess ROI.


4. Social Media’s Impact on Leadership Development

It is without question that the use of social media for communication and information sharing is changing and will continue to change the business landscape of the future, including leadership development. How has social media created new leadership trends and how should we as educators adapt?

The report will identify how they key attributes of leadership are being reshaped, including differentiating between leadership practices of those familiar with social media with practices of those who are more traditional leaders. It will also explore the implication of new leadership trends on business educators and associations such as UNICON regarding how we approach program design.



Generation Z, notably referred to as the “Digital Generation,” is comprised of connected, educated, and entrepreneurial individuals who are defined by their fluency in social media and technology in a way we have not seen before.

UNICON, along with AACSB, EMBAC, co-sponsored a multi-year, multi-phase study regarding the implications of the “Digital Generation” on business education. The first three phases of this study included, “Serving the Future Needs of Business in Management Development and Retention,” “Future Trends in Executive Education,” and “Understanding the Implications of the Digital Generation on Business Education.” We will be conducting Stay Phase 4 of this study in the coming year.


Stay tuned for more updates in 2019!

Each year, the Research Committee actively welcomes proposals and provides grants for original research focused on university-based executive education. If you, or a faculty member at your university, has an idea for a research project, please contact the Research Committee. Your idea will be carefully evaluated by the committee. Feedback and further guidance will be provided as soon as possible.

View our research archives for access to previously published research projects.


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