Using individual studies from leading scholars in a variety of disciplines and countries, this book identifies the global pressures behind these trends. It focuses on the debates surrounded the commercialization of business schools, and the rise of different methods of measuring their success. In their unique approach, the authors and editors discuss the impact of the confrontation between the timeless values embodied by Minerva, the Roman goddess of Wisdom, and the hard realities of competition and corporatization in modern society.
This book will be compelling reading for students and academics in critical management studies, organizational studies, public management and higher education, as well as for stakeholders in academia and educational policy.
Khurana begins in the late nineteenth century, when members of an emerging managerial elite, seeking social status to match the wealth and power they had accrued, began working with major universities to establish graduate business education programs paralleling those for medicine and law. Constituting business as a profession, however, required codifying the knowledge relevant for practitioners and developing enforceable standards of conduct. Khurana, drawing on a rich set of archival material from business schools, foundations, and academic associations, traces how business educators confronted these challenges with varying strategies during the Progressive era and the Depression, the postwar boom years, and recent decades of freewheeling capitalism.
Today, Khurana argues, business schools have largely capitulated in the battle for professionalism and have become merely purveyors of a product, the MBA, with students treated as consumers. Professional and moral ideals that once animated and inspired business schools have been conquered by a perspective that managers are merely agents of shareholders, beholden only to the cause of share profits. According to Khurana, we should not thus be surprised at the rise of corporate malfeasance. The time has come, he concludes, to rejuvenate intellectually and morally the training of our future business leaders.