The Soft Market for Business Schools

The Economist magazine touches on many of the usual criticisms of business schools — detached faculty, a weak connection to graduate on-job performance, silly research, etc. — before ending with a useful conclusion:

Perhaps the professionalisation of management teaching, recommended by those two reports of the late 1950s, has now gone too far. Perhaps management education would beat off its critics more effectively if it went back to its beginnings, and got more corporate managers to teach. It might be easier to train them to communicate properly with students than to get professional management academics to teach students to be good managers.

I couldn’t possibly agree more. While the Economist rightly points to the wage gap in business schools with teachers being paid less than top researchers, I think that will change in the not-too-distant future. What we are seeing is a slow toppling of the inverted caste system in business academia — those who have the least experience get paid most — and disgruntled business customers are the forcing factor.