Dean's Message

About IBA

Dean’s Message

Become a ‘Manager of your Life’!

My mentor, Professor Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School, wrote: "In order to really find happiness, you need to continue looking for opportunities that you believe are meaningful, in which you will be able to learn new things, to succeed, and be given more and more responsibility to shoulder.” He added: "Find a job that you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” On the other hand, Christensen warns us that: “You’ll be routinely tempted to invest your resources elsewhere - in things that will provide you with a more immediate payoff. That can add up to neglecting the people you care about most in the world.” Many corporate managers tend to focus only on processes of ‘sustainable innovation’ that seem to produce short-term returns; however, if they continue to do this they will get stuck in a ‘success trap’. Even large companies with long histories of business success have been known to lose their customers to ‘disruptive innovation’ and subsequently failed. The knowledge of business administration, accounting and other disciplines offered by the Institute of Business and Accounting (IBA) not only saves companies from being disrupted in this way; it also provides guidelines for the management of public organizations such as hospitals, municipal government and universities. In addition, IBA offers practical guidance designed to help each of us as individuals live our limited lives better and, as a result, become outstanding ‘managers of life’.

Emphasis on Ethics

When a company pursues only profits for its key stakeholders such as business owners and shareholders, it creates various negative effects. These include trying to eliminate rival companies, exploiting employees, and causing pollution. Today's managers are required to have high ethical standards and consider sustainable development goals (SDGs) not only for shareholders, but also for customers, employees, the natural environment, and many other stakeholders. The mission of IBA is to nurture creative and capable global citizens who embody the school motto: "Mastery for Service". We do this, for example, by making courses in business ethics compulsory.

Disciplined imagination in an era of turmoil

Osamu Suzuki

Osamu Suzuki
Assistant Dean
Institute of Business and Accounting

2020 was a time when we had to acknowledge how drastically our world can change. Having seen decades of revolutionary advances in information technologies, it was almost conventional to warn our students that they should never assume their business environment as stable and certain. Unfortunately, we have to admit that we were still too naïve to anticipate such speed and magnitude of upheavals in our economic system and daily life. Nothing is stable and predictable, indeed. Given such a high degree of environmental dynamism and uncertainty, you, as a manager, want to be flexible. However, it’s important to distinguish “flexibility” from a sequence of haphazard reactions to changes and surprises. “Disciplined imagination”, a term coined by a leading authority of managerial thinking, illuminates this distinction. Ironically, and surprisingly enough, our act of novelty creation can be productive only when it’s accompanied by a certain degree of discipline. One example of disciplines for managers may include broad perspectives to discern structural mechanisms underlying seemingly chaotic phenomena. It also may be rules or criteria consistently applied to screen strategic alternatives. Fortunately, we have some wisdom to survive in this turmoil! Aren’t you interested in learning how you should discipline your imagination?