For MBAs, Faculty Research Pays Off

About five years ago, Warren Bennis and James O’Toole penned an article for the Harvard Business Review called “How Business Schools Lost Their Way.” It was, in many ways, the shot heard round the world. (I was visiting b-schools in China when it came out and people were talking about it there. The same day.) Their premise: that way too much of what passes for research in business schools is an unmitigated waste—abstract financial and economic analysis, increasingly focused on theory instead of practice, that’s completely irrelevant to the real world of business.

A new study calls that conclusion into question. It was co-authored by Jonathan P. O’Brien of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Paul L. Drnevich and Craig E. Armstrong of the University of Alabama, and T. Russell Crook of the University of Tennessee and published in the December-February issue of Academy of Management Learning and Education.

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