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Spotlight: Academic Research Fellowships 2019/20


Amanda Shantz was awarded a TRiSS Academic Research Fellowship. She had this to say about her following project:

The world needs leaders who are able to plan for, navigate, and respond effectively to crises. At the time this research was carried out, we were facing a new pandemic unlike anything that most of us had ever seen before – coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As the Director of the Trinity MBA and Executive MBA, I asked myself: Had we prepared our alumni and students to lead through this crisis? To what extent had we provided the content, developed the skills, and/or nurtured mindsets which could help leaders navigate this unprecedented event?

This led me on a journey of discovery in the literature on management in higher education. Critique of business school curriculum is a burgeoning area of scholarship, yet no one had mentioned the gap that may exist regarding preparing students to lead through crisis. This prompted my main research question: To what extent and how do leading MBA programmes address sudden crises in the curriculum?

To address this question, I am leading a team of researchers to carry out three complementary studies. The first is a content analysis of the module descriptions of core curriculum from the Financial Times top 100 MBA programmes. The second study reports the results of a survey of 124 MBA Directors from around the world, with respondents from 32 different countries. The third study analyses the current teaching tools (e.g., cases, simulations) that can be used to teach leadership in times of crisis, and their characteristics (type of crisis, protagonist gender, country, discipline).

We look forward to sharing the results of our research with TRiSS membership, and we are grateful for the financial support from TRiSS for this piece of work.

Amanda Shantz, Associate Professor, Trinity Business School

Research Team:

Melissa Sayer, Adjunct Faculty, Trinity Business School

Kiera Dempsey-Brench, PhD student, Trinity Business School

Shirley Kavanagh, PhD student, Trinity Business School

Janice Byrne, Assistant Professor, Ivey Business School