In a recent paper (Thomas, 2007) I noted that, despite the undoubted success of business schools and particularly MBA programmes (Antunes and Thomas, 2007, p. 382), there has been considerable discussion about the purpose of business schools in modern universities. Indeed, I pointed out (Thomas, 2007, p. 9) that business schools “currently face an image and identity crisis and have been subject to a wide range of critical reviews about their societal status as academic and professional schools”. Bennis and O’Toole (2005); Ghoshal (2005); Pfeffer and Fong (2004); and Mintzberg and Gosling (2002) have suggested that business schools are too market-driven, pander too much to league table rankings and ratings, do irrelevant and not actionable research and focus too much on the development of analytical rather than professional managerial skills.
In the light of the critical tone of many recent comments it is important that business schools, and their deans, focus on their strategy and strategic positioning and decide what kind of business school they want to be. Their strategic choices can lie on a continuum from internationally prestigious and research-oriented to more professionally focused and applied schools.
The aim of this set of papers, therefore, is to provide frameworks for interpreting the current strategic debates about positioning, research, resources and future evolution of business schools.
Business | Higher Education
Strategy and Organisation
Business Schools: Positioning, Rankings, Research and Futures. (2009). Management Decision. 47, (9), 1392-1395. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/3948