The Abu Dhabi School of Management is conceptually premised on a two-tiered foundation of management and entrepreneurship, where the general education core and the discipline focus on management through an entrepreneurial lens. The rationale for this foundation emanates both from the pressing need for specialized managers within the Gulf region, and from the socio-economic benefits and innovation such managers catalyze.
The Management Imperative
In its continuing march of development, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi has witnessed an unprecedented increase in the number of institutions. Simultaneously, however, Abu Dhabi is also witnessing a proportional, yet critically unmet need for management and managers. Business management theorist Peter Drucker explains the inter-relation between institutions and management as he contends that “without institution there is no management. But without management there is no institution. Management is the specific organ of the modern institution. It is the organ on the performance of which the performance and the survival of the institution depend” (Drucker, 1986). Without good management practices, then, the performance of existing and future institutions within Abu Dhabi would be handicapped and ultimately, would not be able to meet their mandates, compete, or excel. To emphasize the severity of such a challenge, we should remember that when we invoke the institution, we are not exclusively dealing with the business enterprise alone. We are also necessarily contemplating every institution within our society whose vitality and success wholly depends upon the management function, this includes universities, governmental agencies, charitable organizations, NGOs, armed services, research labs, etc.
The Entrepreneurial Manager
Having established that management is the life-blood of the institution, we further our analysis by identifying the particular management needs required within the context of today’s extremely competitive, global knowledge economy in which our institutions operate. Since we have globally entered into an entirely new economy, it logically follows that we need an entirely new approach to management. Where the “old economy” relied on production and labor, the “new economy” relies on knowledge and innovation. As such, new “management will have to have to concern itself more and more with creating the new in addition to optimizing the already existing. Managers will have to become entrepreneurs, will have to learn to build and manage innovative organizations” (Drucker, 1986). By educating students to become entrepreneurial managers, we aim to indoctrinate graduates with a “distinct mode of thought and action [which] derives from business but can operate in any realm of human endeavor” (Kauffman, 2006). As such, the ADSM seeks to produce a new cadre of entrepreneurial managers - highly talented graduates equipped in the science of management who take the lead in innovating, improving, and enhancing their environments- whether they find themselves in a start-up venture, a corporation, a governmental organization, or whether it is the community at large.