Lunchtime Seminar - DIPL.-VW. Sophie Wohlhage (University of Münster)
Sophie Wohlhage is working at the Dean’s Office of the School of Business and Economics in the role of the School’s AACSB accreditation manager. Since 2014, she is also a research assistant at the Chair of Interorganizational Systems. She studied Economics at the Universities of Würzburg, Leuven (Belgium) and Münster. Her research interest focus on the field of higher education management, specifically organizational identity construction and accreditation.
Since April 2011, the School of Business and Economics is AACSB accredited. The worldwide acknowledged accreditation seal confirms the school regularly undergoes a comprehensive review of a school’s mission, strategy plan, and assuring of learning processes. The underlying accreditation concept of formative evaluation assumes a high level of alignment of goals and worldviews between the school and the accreditation network in order to be productive, helpful and constructive for the development of the school on the one hand, and a critical reflection of its standards and the development of higher management education for the accreditation network on the other. This alignment is precarious for both: if the advice is not perceived as helpful and meaningful, e.g. if is deemed irrelevant or beyond the scope of the school, it might undermine the credibility of the accreditation agency. If – on the other hand – it is perceived as too lenient and not ambitious enough, it might undermine the reputation of the accreditation network. Alignment is assumed to be a hard won achievement and the result of a dynamic and interrelated process between AACSB and the member school.
The seminar will focus on understanding the challenges of alignment, ways to address them, and the implication for organizational development. The accreditation case of a German business school will be used to unravel practices of alignment between the school’s and AACSB’s values and identities.