Friday, March 20, 2009

B-School Reform

The New York Times had an interesting article a few days ago titled, "Is It Time to Retrain B-Schools?" Without question, business schools face a number of challenges. Let's begin with the fact that too many scholars are rewarded for publishing in scholarly peer-reviewed journals, though their work may have little practical relevance for managers and students. Our PhD granting institutions do not train graduates how to teach; they focus only on research skills. The career offices have helped large chunks of students land jobs in investment banking and consulting, with an underemphasis on managerial job opportunities in companies that actually make things. Finally, there is the question many people are asking: To what extent are business schools responsible for some of the management failures that have put us in this economic mess? Here's an interesting quote from the article:

“It is so obvious that something big has failed,” said Ángel Cabrera, dean of the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Ariz. “We can look the other way, but come on. The C.E.O.’s of those companies, those are people we used to brag about. We cannot say, ‘Well, it wasn’t our fault’ when there is such a systemic, widespread failure of leadership.”