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Is the Quality of Business Schools the Driver of Management Quality?

Posted By Guy Pfeffermann, Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Guy PfeffermannGBSN’s basic tenet is that better management is conducive to economic and social improvement, and that this is especially relevant to the developing world. I mentioned in previous newsletters that thanks to worldwide research by Nicholas Bloom of Stanford and his colleagues, evidence now exists that the quality of management in manufacturing is closely correlated to standards of living across countries. Not only that, their research found evidence of a causal relationship, with performance being driven by better management practices.

The close correlation between the quality of management in various countries and their respective standards of living is readily apparent in the following graph.



















What has been undocumented until now is the impact, if any, of business schools on the quality of management, a subject about which, for whatever reason, there is a disheartening lack of empirical research.

Luckily, the World Economic Forum has come to the rescue: their annual Global Competitiveness Report ( includes data about the quality of management schools (Table 5.05). These data reflect the views of 13,000 business leaders.

Pulling together Bloom’s indicators of the quality of management and the most recent Global Competitiveness Report data yields this graph:
















The graph, which illustrates each country’s quality score on a 1-7 scale, does suggest that there is a correlation between the quality of business schools and the quality of management. While both are associated with the general level of development of different countries, I hope that this suggestive graph encourages economists to dig deeper and test the hypothesis that the quality of business schools may be a driver of management quality.


Guy Pfeffermann is the Founder & CEO of the Global Business School Network.

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