How Online Business Education Can Complement Traditional Learning

University Ambassador, Business Research & Engagement at Brunel University London, Christos Pitelis and Dan LeClair of AACSB, talk about how students can supplement their traditional education with online learning.


Dan LeClair: [00:05] I've heard you talk about how you see the role of online education in the context of supporting the type of business education that we need, moving forward. Tell us a little bit about how you see online education [indecipherable] .

Christos Pitelis: [00:30] I see that, in the beginning, it was felt that online education and blended programs can be a substitute. I actually think that it's more likely that they are a complement. There is also this relationship, the trade off, between what competitors do. I mean, to a certain extent they take part of your market share, but in another way, they help enhance the market. You may have a smaller part of a bigger market, so basically, at the end, you may well be better off.

[00:57] In this context, it's also important for us to identify the way we play, the way we position ourselves. I have a very strong feeling that, going forward, we need a division of labor, where all of these online programs, the MOOCs and all of these, can actually help offer baseline, the basic ideas, the extant knowledge.

[01:18] Then, you do need the physical presence, you do need the campus, and you don't need this, not just for the interaction, but also in order to be in the presence of the scholars, who will actually pass on to you the tacit knowledge that the new research, the new ideas, their prediction about the future that, let's face it, it's very, very difficult to get them from an online program.


: [01:41] The online focuses on transferring the content, but the face to face focuses on the tacit knowledge in that deep skill development that we're looking for.

Pitelis: [01:52] Exactly, in the language of business strategy, as I come from this area, I would say that your core competencies you keep in house, and you outsource what has become commodified and not core for your competitive advantage. The competitive advantage does remain within the business school and the campus because you do have these professors who do this research, and all of this tacit knowledge, some of the tacit, which is very difficult to transfer in an online way.

Filmed at AACSB's Annual Accreditation Conference in September 2017.