The Achievements and Future of Business Education

20 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2016

See all articles by R. Glenn Hubbard

R. Glenn Hubbard

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Geoffrey Garrett

Pacific Council on International Policy

Nitin Nohria

Harvard Business School

Garth Saloner

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Date Written: Summer 2016

Abstract

The dean of Columbia Business School is joined by the deans of Stanford, Harvard, and Wharton in discussing the challenges and opportunities facing today's graduate business schools. Most business schools aim to provide students with a certain body of knowledge - in disciplines such as marketing, finance, and accounting - as well as some general management and leadership training and skills. The biggest challenge to this model of business education is now coming from the high cost of the traditional two‐year MBA program and the threat of disruption by “online” alternatives. But the consensus of the four deans is that the combination of training and experience provided by today's top business schools will enable them to withstand the threat from online alternatives. And thus for the leaders of these top schools, one of the main challenges in designing and maintaining a successful business school program is to find the right mix of theory and practice, classroom and “experiential” learning. To the extent the schools succeed in achieving and maintaining this balance, they should continue to produce graduates who are sought by employers that include not only companies large and small, but non‐profits and, at some points in their careers, even the public sector. What's more, the deans all sense the growing demand for business to play a larger role in addressing social problems that have traditionally been seen as the responsibility of government and non‐profits. And one implication of this demand is that business schools, besides producing talent that finds its way to the public as well as private sectors, should prepare to play a greater role in the public debate over solutions to social challenges, such as protecting the environment while at the same time trying to stimulate enough economic growth to limit rising inequality.

Suggested Citation

Hubbard, Robert Glenn and Garrett, Geoffrey and Nohria, Nitin and Saloner, Garth, The Achievements and Future of Business Education (Summer 2016). Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Vol. 28, Issue 3, pp. 8-25, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2876914 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jacf.12189

Robert Glenn Hubbard (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/ghubbard

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Geoffrey Garrett

Pacific Council on International Policy ( email )

Los Angeles, CA
United States

Nitin Nohria

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6653 (Phone)
617-496-7387 (Fax)

Garth Saloner

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
(650) 723-1940 (Phone)

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