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The Corporate University Handbook

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The Corporate University Handbook

Designing, Managing, and Growing a Successful Program


15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

Corporations that need employees to have specific, advanced skills are running their own universities. First lesson: if you want something done right, do it yourself.

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Once upon a time in the halls of academia, being a college graduate was enough. But now, corporations need their employees to have a more intense, ongoing academic and technical education, so they provide it themselves via corporate universities. Mark Allen and other experts from ten corporate universities, academic institutions and consultancies contributed chapters to The Corporate University Handbook, a practical, behind-the-scenes manual about designing and managing a corporate university. The goal goes beyond education: corporate universities must train employees and help corporations excel and prosper. This thorough, yet conversational, examination includes best practices, source notes and programs offered by specific companies including Motorola, Toyota, Sun Microsystems and Charles Schwab, in the U.S. and elsewhere. assigns this insightful book as an authoritative homework seminar for corporate university planners or managers.


Why Firms Have Corporate Universities

Led by the example of an elite group of top corporations, companies of all sizes are creating and operating corporate universities. Fueled by their leaders’ belief that professional development "does not stop at the end of a training session," these companies created corporate universities to provide managerial and executive education at post-graduate levels. This caliber of training existed in the past only in the form of graduate schools that granted masters degrees in business and other academic programs. The corporate university, however, has an advantage over traditional academic institutions: your company can customize it entirely to meet its specific training and development needs.

Today, firms have the option of operating corporate universities in conjunction with traditional academic institutions. This provides the ability to offer academic credits and a complete accredited degree-granting program. That supplies one of the three components of a successful corporate university - meaningful content - although that can be provided in-house as well. The other two critical components are a solid organization and effective, ...

About the Author

Mark Allen, Ph.D., is the Director of Executive Education at Pepperdine University and a frequent speaker and writer on corporate learning, leadership development and executive education. He previously directed executive education programs at USC’s Marshall School of Business.

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