Bullwhip Effect in Education


Very recently we were able to read about how the economic recovery (not in Spain though! ) was amplifying the increase in the inventories all along the value chain: the bullwhip effect.

As during the last quarter I’ve been thinking and discussing about the educational value chain (from primary school to continuous education after graduation, mainly at work), I’ve found this bullwhip effect can be in place too. We have to take into account that as part of the educational value chain, we professors are part of the machinery that converts students with X competences, skills and knowledge into students with Y competences, skills and knowledge, where Y > X (I hope!). Is this process totally optimised. Our guess is NO!; (1) we need to analyse how the transformation process is developed, to set goals and effectiveness and efficiency indexes be calculated to allow optimisation of every phase, and (2) coordinate the various phases of the educational life in order to optimise the whole chain.

Overqualification?: that’s what I would call the ‘educational bullwhip effect’, and one of the answers would be it is due to lack of the coordination (above #2).