Businesses and business schools around the world are challenged to train executives and managers in acquiring and developing universal skills for the global economy. General competencies and skills are needed as well as specific knowledge which addresses local realities of particular region and countries. However, it is questioned if traditional business education fails to prepare for operating in a complex environment where cultural analysis skills must be applied in often unknown contexts. Beyond providing knowledge of techniques and rules, executive education must teach principles-based content and mental and interpersonal skills. This chapter will demonstrate the building blocks of a principles-based knowledge foundation for soft skill training in executive education. It will analyze if soft-skill- and hard-skill-training are adequately balanced in executive education courses that are presently offered. Business school programs and executive education curricula will be surveyed and will be assessed in order to find out if they offer a principles-based knowledge foundation. The result will be compared with a “model course” developed on the conception of ethical orientation, multi-disciplinarity, mind-mapping and organizational learning.
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