From the special section editors: questions business schools don’t ask

Mabey, Chris, Egri, Carolyn P. and Parry, Ken (2015) From the special section editors: questions business schools don’t ask. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 14 (4) . pp. 535-538. ISSN 1537-260X [Article] (doi:10.5465/amle.2015.0302)


Following Enron, WorldCom, Lehmann Brothers and other examples of organisational failure, much has been made of what appears to be a failure of leadership in institutional life. Of course the reasons for this failure can be attributed to many factors, but Business Schools have been consistently singled out for contributing to a moral malaise. The argument is that they typically reinforce the notion that ends justify means and that delivery on-time and on-budget is all that really matters. Leadership development programmes, especially MBAs, have been criticized for over-emphasising methodologies and models at the expense of more human qualities such as judgement, wisdom and morality. Although the argument that business education adversely affects the personal moral philosophies of students is disputed by some, a historical overview of university-based business schools in the United States by Khurana (2007) concludes that they have poorly served the ethical practice of management. Following the economic events of 2008, criticisms of business schools haves, if anything, intensified (Podolny, 2009; Starkey & Tempest, 2009). Meanwhile in a blistering attack on business school myopia, Kellerman (2012: 169) pronounced that “the leadership industry is self-satisfied, self-perpetuating and poorly policed; that leadership programs tend to proliferate without objective assessment; that leadership as an area of intellectual inquiry remains thin; and that little original thought has been given to what leader learning in the second decade of the twenty-first century should look like.”

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations
Item ID: 18826
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Chris Mabey
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2016 13:27
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2019 17:31

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