Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Three Incompatible Missions for Higher Education

Clayton M. Christensen, Michael B. Horn, Louis Soares, Louis Caldera write in : “Disrupting College:  How Disruptive Innovation Can Deliver Quality and Affordability to Postsecondary Education.”

 “Furthermore, what we see when we examine the existing institutions of higher education through this lens is that for decades now they have offered multiple value propositions around knowledge creation (research), knowledge proliferation and learning (teaching), and preparation for life and careers. They have as a result become conflations of the three generic types of business models—solution shops, value-adding process businesses, and facilitated user networks. This has resulted in extraordinarily complex—some might say confused—institutions where there are significant coordinative overhead costs that take resources away from research and teaching. A typical state university today is the equivalent of having merged consulting firm McKinsey with Whirlpool’s manufacturing operations and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company: three fundamentally different and incompatible business models all housed within the same organization.”

From a February 2011 paper for the Center for American Progress and Innosight Institute.