America's Revolution In Business School Education

Ann McClure's picture

Business schools are under the microscope again, their relevance and value questioned in many quarters. The financial crisis has triggered a self-examination of their raison d'etre.

However, before we can decide whether and how business schools need to change, it is worth pausing to consider how and why business schools have evolved as they have.

A new book, "The Roots, Rituals and Rhetorics of Change: North American Business Schools After the Second World War," describes the revolution in business education that took place in the 1950s and 1960s. The book was published by Stanford University Press.

Although the focus is on North America, as authors Mie Augier and James G. March point out, the U.S. business school model was imitated around the world. It is no exaggeration to say that our current model of business education — warts and all — is a direct product of those reforms.

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