• Ani Kodjabasheva

Leading with Values: Measure Your School Culture to Promote Diversity & Inclusion

Updated: Jan 27

The business school Cultural Map offers innovative ways to recruit globally and build strong campus comminutes.

School culture – the values, beliefs and practices shared by a school's community – is how institutions bring their mission into action. Culture affects student satisfaction and outcomes, and is a key factor in achieving diversity and inclusion goals.


However, this vital aspect of an institution’s performance can be difficult to evaluate or benchmark against competitors. Business schools rely on rankings to see how they are doing in relation to their peers – but rankings do not directly measure culture.


Research insights


This is not the case in the corporate world. The field of organisational psychology has significantly advanced in recent decades. Researchers working in the tradition of Geert Hofstede have developed methodologies to study culture. For instance, the GLOBE international academic initiative studied organisations in 63 countries to create a universal research framework.


More recently, the MIT Sloan Management Review launched the Culture 500 – a data-based project to select the top companies based on the way they perform on a set of cultural values. The MIT Sloan researchers emphasise the relation between culture and business outcomes. “Culture matters for corporate performance,” they write.


Cultural fit empowers performance


Organisational culture similarly affects business schools’ outcomes. “Why is this cultural matchmaking important?”, Unimy Director and PhD holder Kalin Yanev asks. “Because as much as business schools thrive on diversity, each MBA student must feel at home first in order to realise their true potential”.


But until recently, no data-based tool existed for business schools or academic institutions in general to get the bigger picture. Unimy, a project pioneered by Advent Group, fills this gap. Unimy builds on Hofstede’s model of organisational culture and adapts the GLOBE project’s metrics for business schools. It uses 6 cultural dimensions that are consistent across business schools worldwide. These dimensions were defined based on a survey of 4,850 students, alumni, and professors at 115 top business schools conducted by Unimy’s research team.


We wanted to create a platform that leads to informed choices, as opposed to one that simply informs. There are plenty of lists, top 100’s and best of’s out there, but nothing that goes this deep into the university’s environment, organisation, and worldview”, Kalin Yanev explains.


Cultural mapping instead of ranking


Together, the dimensions that Unimy measures form the MBA Cultural Map – an interactive database of accredited global business schools. It visualises a school’s cultural profile and the way it compares to its peers. Unimy employs psychometric methods to continually optimise results. The Cultural Map is different from traditional rankings in that it provides objective data without assigning a positive or negative value to each school’s unique profile.


There are plenty of lists, top 100’s and best of’s out there, but nothing that goes this deep into the university’s environment, organisation, and worldview.

Business schools use the Cultural Map to understand their own culture in an objective way and to see what makes them truly stand out. In addition, a growing number of prospective students search Unimy to discover business schools that fit their preferences and values. Unimy shows candidates where they are likely to have the best experience and chances of success.


Diversity and cultural fit


Unimy is accessible across the globe and reaches a diverse base of qualified applicants on all continents. 38% of Unimy users are based in Asia, 25% in the Americas, 25% in Africa, and 11% in Europe. Unimy’s AI algorithm matches prospective applicants and business schools, thus providing a new mode of selection that is free of bias and allows schools to consider individuals from various backgrounds. The platform leads schools to candidates they may not otherwise be able to reach, but who would be a great fit for the school.


Business school applicants come with diverse perspectives and goals, and there is no one-size-fits all approach to business education. Each applicant can find an environment where they will thrive, and schools can build stronger, inclusive communities.

About Unimy


Unimy has pioneered business and graduate school Culture Mapping to empower education institutions to take diversity and inclusion to a new level. This original approach reaches out to prospective candidates to identify who will thrive in each school’s unique organisational values and culture. Culture is becoming an important factor in candidates’ school selection, as it increases the potential for student performance and contribution based on the fit to an inclusive environment.


The Cultural Map compares accredited business schools worldwide without ranking them, or assigning positive or negative value to their unique characteristics. It describes life inside a school community in terms of its beliefs and behaviours according to 6 basic dimensions. The MBA Cultural Map is based on 4,850 survey responses by students, alumni, and professors from 115 top business schools, and growing.


Measure Your School Culture to Promote Diversity & Inclusion


Unimy, part of Advent Group, builds on 16 years of candidate orientation experience, leading research in organisational psychology, psychometrics, and AI technology to provide an objective, data-driven and personalised approach to student marketing, recruitment and enrolment.


Contact


Contact Peter MacDonald to find out how to compare your school and to participate in the Unimy Culture Map: p.macdonald@adventgroup.net.


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