The Life and Times of a Simon MBA Student

Monday, May 09, 2005

How Business Schools Lost Their Way

I just read the article in May's Harvard Business Review "How Business Schools Lost Their Way" . If you have the time the article is well worth the 20 minutes reading time. I agree with most of the article, I am a big supporter of the small private universities that spend their budgets on student education rather than trying to get into the next Journal of Finance. If the most important task at hand was the development of students then we wouldn’t have teachers that can’t communicate their brilliant ideas with the students. That said I have not run into any bad teachers at Simon. There were only two teachers that I would rate below perfect. One was new and wasn’t able to connect with the students; and the other one … lets just say it seems as if he’s on Viagra all the time.

I question some of the theories derived in the article. James O’Toole Says in the article “When applied to business—where judgments are made with messy, incomplete data—statistical and methodological wizardry can blind rather than illuminate.” I am not sure about other schools but it is a well known fact that most of the renowned faculty members make most of their paychecks through consulting. Some have even discussed their lucrative careers in consulting in class.

“Today it is possible to find tenured professors of management who have never set foot inside a real business, except as customers.” Again I question where these teachers teach; When reading about professors like Aswat Damodaran or Frank Fabozzi, one surely can tell that not only have they done extraordinarily in the world of research but also have set their flags in the real world too.

In conclusion although I am not a big fan of judging faculty based on research it is not true that all faculty members in B-schools do is research; they are also profit maximizing individuals who consult or are partners in firms.

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