Business Insights

Challenges Facing Lebanese Business Schools

OSB and AKSOB host a workshop on the major challenges facing Lebanese business schools.


By: Chirine El-Mchantaf

The American University of Beirut’s (AUB) Suliman S. Olayan School of Business (OSB) co-hosted a workshop with LAU’s Adnan Kassar School of Business (AKSOB)on the Major Challenges Facing Lebanese Business Schools as they Relate to the Developing World. 

The workshop, facilitated by Dr. Dan LeClair, CEO of the Global Business School Network (GBSN), addressed the way Lebanese business schools perceive their role in the global landscape while contributing to the country’s economic and social development.

Founded by Guy Pfeffermann and incubated out of the World Bank more than 15 years ago, the GBSN is a nonprofit organization with a growing network of over 70 leading business schools on six continents. Its objective is to promote management education for developing countries and reduce the misuse of funds by partnering with business schools and industries. 

Over the course of the event, all eight participating deans of Lebanese business schools – LAU, AUB, University Saint Joseph, Notre Dame University, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Balamand, Lebanese University and Haigazian – addressed the burdens faced when dealing with the developing world and the local sources of support that could help manage them. 

On that note, Dr. Wassim Shahin, LAU’s Interim Dean of AKSOB underscored the main purpose of the event, namely to “promote education of management and entrepreneurship in the developing world.”

For his part, Dr. Steve Harvey, AUB’s Dean of OSB believes that his school – a member of GBSN – and all the others in the region need to work on increasing their social impact in the developing world. 

“Our involvement in such discussions will help us achieve that impact,” he said. “We have the opportunity to contribute to making a change.”

In turn, Dr. Le Clair hoped that the workshop will create learning opportunities and ideas for more strategies to move forward. 

“We learned that there’s certainly a feeling of responsibility amongst the schools to develop leaders that are accountable and ethical within a context where change is necessary,” he explained.

Although commitment to the mission of the organization is one of its membership criteria, maintaining a high reputation is equally important. 

“Eventually, by doing so, we create better managers in the developing world,” Dr. LeClair said. 

Schools can draw many benefits from participating in GBSN’s mission. In addition to developing their institutional visibility, they get the opportunity to engage both faculty and students in issues particular to the developing world. 

“This enables the creation of new knowledge about developing world management as well as improving the quality of management education,” Dr. Le Clair concluded. 

The workshop was then followed by a lunch prepared by the staff and the students of the Hospitality and Tourism Management Department.