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About this book

Business and Education in the Middle East brings together academic and business expertise in order to come up with long-term strategies that will have a great effect on the university performance and governance. The book shares experiences and knowledge to explore innovative strategies and plans with a new perspective for the future.

Table of Contents



Over time, human beings have discovered that they live in a society which is in constant evolution. Alongside this societal development, education can play an important role in shaping and guiding its effect on personalities, skills and roles in society. Business schools in the 20th and 21st centuries have witnessed a period of major change due to environmental factors that impact on their way of governance, pedagogical approaches, integration of technology, application of ethics and social responsibility.
Nehme Azoury

1. The New Social Contract: The Business of Values

The following chapter addresses the topic ‘Winds of Business Change’ by examining the evolving relationship between business and society and the emergence of a new social contract. It explores implications for the corporate communication of social responsibility and makes a case for aligning global agendas in the future.
Ramsay Najjar

2. The Next Digital Development in Education

The world of education is being transformed through modern technologies, most particularly the web and online. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have emerged and developed significantly during the past few years, now signing up literally millions of students onto their courses, mostly free of charge. The first MOOC was launched from Stanford and then spread to other US universities and from there to universities in other countries. The New York Times described 2012 as the ‘Year of the Mook’. The University of British Columbia’s first MOOC, on Game Theory, was launched in January 2013 (offered in collaboration with Stanford), and attracted more than 130,000 registrants, making it the largest Coursera MOOC involving a Canadian university. In the UK, a FutureLearn consortium of leading UK research-intensive universities was launched in 2013, with its first course beginning in October 2013.1 These MOOCs are, almost by definition, global — students can sign up through the Internet from anywhere in the world.
Jonathan Michie

3. A Business Outlook for the Arab Region

The Arab Region comprises 22 countries in Northern Africa, the Levant, and the Arabian Peninsula stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean. It has a total population of about 360 million people, with more than 50% under the age of 25.1 It is highly diversified and can be classified into three major groups: the oil-rich countries that enjoy enormous oil and natural gas reserves; the oil importing countries that have diversified economies; and the least developed countries that feature among the lowest world rankings on the scale of socioeconomic indicators. Consequently, economic development in the Arab Region exhibits great diversity. There is a significant divide between the rich oil states of the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC) and poor countries like the Comoros, Mauritania, and Djibouti. For example, the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of Qatar, the wealthiest Arab country (and the wealthiest in the world) is 73 times higher than that of Mauritania.2 Two other Arab countries that are on the list of the top wealthiest countries in the world are the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait.3
Adnan Kassar

4. The Future of Learning in the World of Hospitality at Le Cordon Bleu

A key challenge for educators today is to engage their students in the learning process with a view to creating a ‘lifelong learner’ rather than just a graduate. In this regard Le Cordon Bleu has embarked on a journey to move from a traditional ‘analogue’ system of teaching and learning, to the development of a sophisticated ‘digital’ platform, providing our students with far more flexibility on their learning journey.
André Cointreau

5. Winds of Business Change

The manifestation of change is evident in our daily lives. There is no facet of the modern 21st century that has not been touched in one way or another. The response to this chaotic world, changing 24/7, is agility and speed. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai illustrated this vividly in his book My Vision: Challenges in the Race for Excellence, 2012, in the story of The Lion and the Gazelle.
With each new day in Africa, a gazelle wakes up knowing that it has to outrun the fastest lion or perish. On the other hand the lion stirs and stretches, knowing full well he has to outrun and outsmart the fastest gazelle or he will die — so it is in the race. For the human race, whether you consider yourself a lion or a gazelle, you simply have to run faster than others to survive.
Salma Hareb

6. Business Challenges in Turbulent Lands: The Case of the Middle East and North Africa

An organization’s strategy can be seen as an attempt to respond to environmental challenges (Andrews 1987; Séguin et al. 2008). A large body of research in strategic management has provided insights into the dynamics of the interaction between the organization and its environment. In particular, contingency theory (Lawrence and Lorsch 1967; Thompson 1967) provided the key principles that firms follow in responding to task environment and competitive challenges. The need for a fit between environment, strategic choice and structure has been documented first by Chandler (1962), and then by a large number of studies (see Miles and Snow1978; Mintzberg 1979, for early syntheses). The fit has also been conceptualized as a configuration (Miller 1987). This configuration clarifies the prescribed managerial decisions, thus simplifying the strategic challenges, and reducing the cognitive strains that managers may feel when the task environment is complex or more dynamic.
Taïeb Hafsi

7. The Impact of Technological Development on Business and Education

The landscape of global business is changing rapidly with an avalanche of technology changing the way individuals interact with one another around the world. Wave after wave of technological innovation is coming out daily and is being adopted at an unprecedented rate. Since the development of the microchip, technologies have revolutionized the world by making it a smaller place to live, work, and get an education. The rate at which technological interactions now take place could not have been conceived of 50 years ago.
Talal Abu-Ghazaleh

8. Education in the Middle East: Challenges and Opportunities

For several centuries the Middle East was socially, economically, and technologically advanced. One of the reasons for this was its people’s appreciation of and openness to knowledge creation and dissemination. This trend lasted from the 8th to the 13th centuries (Aubert and Reiffers 2003). Knowledge became the most important and determining factor for economic growth. The impact and contribution of this wealth of knowledge were felt and appreciated across different sectors and disciplines and acknowledged beyond the region and around the world. However, things changed drastically in the 18th and 19th centuries following the Industrial Revolution. In the 21st century, with oil exploration and an economic boom in some parts of the region, investment and attention was redirected to building state of the art infrastructure in various sectors, including education and health, as Middle Eastern countries prepared to engage with and integrate in the knowledge society. To date, investments allocated to sectors such as education, information infrastructure, research and development, and innovation have been insufficient in most Middle Eastern countries (Aubert and Reiffers 2003), when compared to other regions, including emerging economies.
Sherif Kamel

9. Education in a Globalized Era: An Outlook from the Receiver

Education has always been a cornerstone of development. Nowadays more attention is given to the quality of learning and fields of study that are offered to students. Furthermore, competition among educational institutions is such that each university uses all possible means to strengthen its image and position in the world of knowledge and to attract the largest number of high-caliber students. In that context, student satisfaction is considered a solid competitive advantage. Therefore, many educational institutions strive to create a deeper understanding of the different factors that will generate and maintain a solid reputation. From a marketing perspective, the vital element for an organization to survive depends on customer satisfaction, which primarily starts from understanding the consumer’s needs. This chapter introduces various perspectives from the Occidental and Oriental worlds and real-time experiences from Middle Eastern institutions. This international blend will offer a unique perspective of student concerns, outlooks, and predictions for the future of education.
Lindos Daou, Charbel El Khoury


After having explored different perspectives we conclude that changes in the society have had a notable effect on both education and businesses. Thus, it is very important to forecast these changes and be prepared for evolution by adapting innovative strategies that target student satisfaction and enhance the quality learning experience. Furthermore, the different chapters of this book prove the existence of a close relationship between education and business since higher education institutions represent the supply of the leaders and managers who will successfully guide and lead business and industry. In 450 BC, Confucius is reputed to have said: ‘tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand’. This famous quote has always represented the close link between practice and academia. Employers and program managers are still keen to combine knowledge with practice and direct application so that learners will be ready to overcome the challenges of their workplace and to be as close as possible to the world of reality.
Nehme Azoury


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