April 25th the Financial Times printed an article entitled Academia Strives for Relevance, which
explored how business schools are prioritizing research and practical
application in their programs. Read the article here.
A response from GBSN Board Member Dr.
An argument as old as business schools themselves, maybe 50 years or more.
The actual decision seems to revolve around: does one want the business school
to be part of a university or not? If one does, well, one then supports
"ivory tower research" over the "practical." Putting it in
a slightly different context, if one wants the rest of the university to agree
to the presence of a business school, then one must also agree that academic
rigor will be equivalent to that in the rest of the university.
The reality, of course, is that B schools are, and have been for a long
time, a mixture. Accounting, that most "practical" of subjects, is
taught, although with much more than double entry bookkeeping. In finance
classrooms, students will learn about bond and equity markets, but they'll also
hear about financial theory (for better or worse!). How does one teach
entrepreneurialism without being "practical." You get the idea: most
schools try to address the direct needs of business (especially, of course,
donors), while at the same time justifying their existence on a university
campus, thus depending on the businesses to have training programs for more
company-specific types of things.
In other words, the FT piece could have been written in 1950.