Our mission is to develop critical thinkers and create impactful knowledge for our community. In living this mission, we are informed by our five core values: we are ‘liberal’, ‘egalitarian’, ‘research informed’, ‘practice engaged’, and striving to cultivate ‘sustainable organisations and careers’.
Critical thinking involves ‘the objective, systematic and rational analysis of factual evidence in order to form a judgement on a subject’ (OED, 2018). We provide our learners with a grounding in the fundamental concepts and tools of their subject and the opportunity to apply these in multiple individual and group settings; both in theory and practice. This enables our learners to become critical thinkers through understanding how and when to apply different skills, evidence and concepts in varying circumstances that increase in complexity and plurality of interests.
We create impactful knowledge for our learners within our expansive curricula. We disseminate and co-create impactful knowledge alongside our external practice and societal partners on a broad range of business, societal and environmental issues.
We live our Mission, Vision and Values through our community made up of students and alumni, faculty and staff, academic, practice and societal networks and our University colleagues.
We are guided by our vision for the five core activities of our School.
OUR FIVE VALUES
We are liberal
By liberal we mean that business challenges are overcome and innovations achieved via a diverse range of people and disciplines. Our liberal value can be seen most clearly in our approach to education, where students from diverse disciplines share modules and have the opportunity to learn together, share experiences and develop a common language. This approach mirrors the original 1795 practice of our University when all were taught at least two disciplines in their degrees. Today our curriculum content and experience expose students to a breadth of insights that bring to light the merits of diverse views and knowledge combinations. Bringing variety to common shared spaces in the curriculum empowers students to think critically and innovate with others who likewise know and care but do so from different perspectives. At the undergraduate level, business students learn alongside students from a variety of disciplines across the University in common core and elective modules. We actively support the Maynooth University Arts programme, and students can combine Business with over twenty other subjects. At the postgraduate level, students from different business MSc programmes learn together in handful of common core and shared MSc modules. We practice the value of integrating knowledge, skills and competencies across our School where we have no disciplinary departments. Faculty research interests transverse our five overarching research themes to drive inter disciplinary collaboration and knowledge exchange across our School. At the PhD level, students with varied business research interests interact in their shared workspace and at different times in the PhD journey to learn together in core and elective PhD modules.
We are egalitarian
We believe that Higher Education ought to nurture the talents of a diverse people in order to innovate and create a positive future. The businesses ecosystem is complex and evolving and the routes to progress are not known with certainty by any one group in society. We therefore believe that, in our education and research, we must nurture and contextualise the voice and talents of our students, faculty and staff. We support the widest practical access to business education within available resources and the regulations of the state. Our dynamic curriculum is responsive to the varying and evolving interests of students who are presented with multiple curriculum pathways and guided to craft a learning journey that meets their needs. At the undergraduate level we focus on broad rather than elite selection of students. We structure and support student choice enabling multiple points of access to different levels and breadth of business education; from minor to single honours and a range of subject combinations within. We support the University Mature and Access programmes to facilitate diverse entry and support students on their learning journey. At the postgraduate level our diverse community comprises students from business and non-business academic backgrounds along with students with lesser educational credentials who have accumulated a wealth of transferable industry experience. Our postgraduate student learning needs and preferences are routinely evaluated throughout their programme and directly considered in the allocation of their third semester work. We connect students with the suite of University access, academic, careers and administrative supports available. Where appropriate, these supports are integrated in the curriculum to guide and enhance student achievements. In recruitment of faculty, we aim to have the widest possible search for talent and to be open to people from diverse cultural and intellectual backgrounds joining our School of Business.
We are research informed.
We believe in the value of research and evidence as the definitive driver of progress. Scholarly research identifies routes to innovation and resolutions to challenges by bringing intellectually rigorous, empirically rich insights to improve outcomes for business and society. Engaged research is a method through which our faculty positively impact the practice of business while also providing relevant and scientifically valid insights to our students over time. Our faculty produce quality business research in impactful, ranked journals and are active participants and leaders in national and international research networks. We deliver positive societal impact via our five School research themes each of which includes an exploration of routes to societal, organisational and individual success. We have a vibrant structured PhD programme that empowers students to produce compelling new insights on a variety of contemporary business topics. Our commitment to evidence-based learning transfers to the classroom via programme content and assessments requiring systematic evaluation of evidence to form and explain a judgement and make complex business decisions. At the undergraduate level, theory is merged with information on business trends and patterns to offer compelling insights into contemporary business innovations, opportunities, and challenges. At the postgraduate level, students routinely engage with and gather data to scrutinise real business issues and strategise about them. Relatedly, postgraduate students complete a module focusing on the value and practice of evidence-based management. We strive for our graduates to emerge as critical thinkers eschewing bias and assumption in favour of research informed judgement to identify opportunities for sustainable progress.
We are practice engaged
We believe in the value of learning and innovating alongside practitioners across a variety of sectors. Business is a practice-based discipline that engages with theories and innovations from a range of intellectual sources. Our students come to us to acquire knowledge, competencies and skills and prepare them for a career in business. Thus, in our education we seek to include practice perspectives in our teaching and assessment, offering students the opportunity to apply what they learn to real world scenarios.
Our School forms both short and long-term strategic partnerships with a diverse group of practice leaders and innovators across a range of sectors and specialisms to support individual modules, programmes and research projects. Our School Industry Advisory Council offer pioneering insights into practice trends and priorities and the role higher education can play in driving sustainable success. Our Industry Advisory Council also helps to connect students with practice in order to develop relevant skills through our Living Lab. We appreciate and support a diverse range of research, including research that actively engages with issues of direct relevance to practice and also research that is co-created with practice. Our faculty work with professional chartered bodies and networks of practitioners to inform and continuously improve the standards and practices of the discipline. Through these relationships we establish avenues for engaged and impactful research as well as curriculum innovations to equip students with the relevant knowledge, skills and competence for their field.
Within our undergraduate programmes, we aim to have the challenges and opportunities faced by practice enter the classroom via experiential learning activities, guest talks, case-based insights and practice problem-based assessments. Some create foundation concepts and skills, others a blend of these and practice engaged learning opportunities. Our optional third year in a work placement exposes students to the workings of a range of organisations. At the postgraduate level, many of our degrees include a specific ‘Live’ module in which students are partnered with an external organisation to analyse and advise on a live business issue in real-time that the partner organisation is facing. The organisation is involved in both the issue specification, presenting to the students, and in interacting with the students listening to and challenging their proposed recommendations. Industry engagement and case-based assessments are a core feature of our postgraduate experience and these learnings are deepened in our industry engaged ‘summer pathway’ where students take on the role of consultant to a client organisation or employee on a placement.
We are cultivating sustainable careers and organisations.
We believe in the value of purposeful action to sustain the business ecosystem in which our working lives are embedded. Understanding and promoting sustainable business practice is a research focus of our School enabling us to better guide our community to longer term success. Enacting sustainable, ethical, inclusive and diverse business practice is a key strategic imperative permeating all organisation functions and an important feature of our research and curriculum.
We understand that business and personal success are two sides of the same coin. We design explicit curriculum interventions to target students career efficacy, employability and lifelong learning competence. At the undergraduate level, our focus is on subject choice, enhancing professional skills and practice engagement and guiding our students to understand their professional interests and career expectations. We also offer an optional work placement year to our single honours students to help them apply their skills in practice, converting their three-year into a four-year degree. At the postgraduate level, most MSc degrees have a core experiential and reflective careers module requiring them to combine a strategic careers approach with practical steps to optimise their position in the labour market. Our structured PhD programme prompts our students to effectively communicate their research interests and achieve impact, appropriate for their career stage, that enhances their career skills and prospects. On this programme we aim to provide both research and teaching experience to reflect the modern workplace where both are increasingly required by employers prior to a full-time faculty position.