Joel M. Podolny

The way business schools today compete leads students to ask, “What can I do to make the most money?” and the manner in which faculty members teach allows students to regard the moral consequences of their actions as mere afterthoughts.

Martin Parker

The sort of world that is being produced by the market managerialism that the business school sells is not a pleasant one. It’s a sort of utopia for the wealthy and powerful, a group that the students are encouraged to imagine themselves joining, but such privilege is bought at a very high cost, resulting in environmental catastrophe, resource wars and forced migration, inequality within and … [ Read more ]

Martin Parker

Within the business school, capitalism is assumed to be the end of history, an economic model that has trumped all the others, and is now taught as science, rather than ideology.

Martin Parker

The problem is that business ethics and corporate social responsibility are subjects used as window dressing in the marketing of the business school, and as a fig leaf to cover the conscience of B-school deans – as if talking about ethics and responsibility were the same as doing something about it. They almost never systematically address the simple idea that since current social and economic … [ Read more ]

Martin Parker

In the business school, both the explicit and hidden curriculums sing the same song. The things taught and the way that they are taught generally mean that the virtues of capitalist market managerialism are told and sold as if there were no other ways of seeing the world. […] This combination of ideology and technocracy is what has made the business school into such an … [ Read more ]

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz

Erich C. Dierdoff and Robert S. Rubin of DePaul University conducted a big study to check the relevance of the typical MBA education. The three competencies rated most important in the real world were managing human capital, managing decision-making processes, and managing strategy and innovation. But the researchers found that those three topics were the least represented in required MBA courses: Only 29% of … [ Read more ]

Gary Cokins

You can get an MBA to learn about the discipline of management. I received one from Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Its curriculum taught me about management, but I can candidly say that it did not teach me how to manage. There is a difference. Management involves strategy, analysis, and decisions from choices. How to manage involves people.

David Hurst

We now know that the shareholders and the financial industry won that battle for corporate control. In the business schools, the finance function emerged as top dog and the economists began to apply the teachings of their discipline to the firm via organizational economics (agency theory and transaction cost economics). The resulting shareholder value model of the firm has dominated for the last thirty years … [ Read more ]

Dick Cross

There is not a business school I know about that teaches a course called, “How to Run a Business.” We study tangential parts of the job in great detail—like accounting, production, management and leadership—but not the whole of it.

Michael Beer

Business schools are teaching ethics and corporate social responsibility, but they do not teach these subjects in the context of building a higher-ambition or a high commitment, high performance firm. Students learn about finance and organizational behavior, for example, without ever learning how to integrate these and many other disciplines (marketing, operations, etc.) into a coherent, internally consistent set of practices that collectively reinforce a … [ Read more ]

Joel M. Podolny

An occupation earns the right to be a profession only when some ideals, such as being an impartial counsel, doing no harm, or serving the greater good, are infused into the conduct of people in that occupation. In like vein, a school becomes a professional school only when it infuses those ideals into its graduates. A business school does that effectively when it forces its … [ Read more ]

James Hoopes

MBA students need more than professed values. They need to know that the world is morally complex and morally dangerous. They need to know that bad deeds can come from good values. They need to know that valuing integrity enough to keep one’s hands off other people’s money is only the beginning, not the end of business ethics.

There are many ethical questions in business life … [ Read more ]

Joel Spolsky

Watching nonprogrammers trying to run software companies is like watching someone who doesn’t know how to surf trying to surf. Even if he has great advisers standing on the shore telling him what to do, he still falls off the board again and again. The cult of the M.B.A. likes to believe that you can run organizations that do things that you don’t understand. But … [ Read more ]

Charles Handy

The letters MBA should, if the schools were honest, stand for Master of Business Analysis, because the tools and disciplines of analysis are what the students learn, not management, or administration as it used to be called. Analysis is a necessary part of good management and leadership but it is not the whole of it. Who to trust, how to inspire, how brave to be, … [ Read more ]

Rakesh Khurana

The reality is that almost all the high professions require continuing education in order to ensure that their practitioners are up to date with the newest knowledge and techniques. Given the rapidity by which our business context is changing, the graduates of business schools should be able to access continuing education. If we really do believe that knowledge is important for effective practice, then it … [ Read more ]

Rakesh Khurana

My worry-and this is not limited to business schools-is that we have created a context in which people want the status of a profession without any of the constraints of a profession. A profession is not only about the benefits that you claim. It’s also about what you renounce.

I think one of the roles of a professional school in higher education is to make clear … [ Read more ]

Brad Feld

If you want a two year break from life, go to business school. If you want to meet a bunch of new, generally smart, and always interesting people, go to business school. If you are a techie but like the business side of things, want to get an intellectual (and functional grounding) in business stuff, want a two year break from life, and want to … [ Read more ]

Pierre Yves (P Y) Gerbeau

I could spend days talking about management style. But every business is different – there is not a recipe or a Drucker book in which you can learn about management. Doing an MBA you will learn about strategy, finance, marketing…but you will never learn about management. You will only learn about management by doing it.

Mary Crossan, Fernando Olivera

Management education and management practice have been anchored in functions, or what academics refer to as disciplines. The last two decades have seen phenomenal growth in the body of knowledge and associated expertise in the field of management. Drawing on disciplines such as economics, psychology and sociology, business schools developed their own acumen in areas such as finance and marketing. Faculty became experts in these … [ Read more ]

Charles Handy

Business schools teach you the language of business, and that’s quite useful. It’s like if you want to go to work in France you have to learn French. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be very good in France, but it’s good to learn the language. I think that what business schools do is to teach you the language of business and some managerial skills, … [ Read more ]