The overarching goal of most business schools is to train future leaders to lead. But how well schools meet this goal, and to what extent their teaching influences their students’ leadership, is an open question. Does business school education really shape students’ minds and behaviors many years later, when they’ve reached decision-making positions at major corporations and financial institutions?
We explore this question by looking at CEOs’ decisions about corporate diversification over the last three decades. We chose to study diversification because business scholars drastically changed their views about it during this period, which allows us to see if students changed their minds as a result of what they learned.