Speaking about management education

J.‐C. Spender (Leeds University, Leeds, and Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Publication date: 1 December 2005



The purpose of this paper is to examine the notion of management as a regulated profession and provide a critique of some of the recent critiques of the profession, noting from whence the profession has come and offering a number of alternative ways forward.


The paper explores the notions of ownership and control of professional knowledge, at least as it relates to management, and considers how the profession might fare if it is seen in the light of metaphors other than the rational, scientific approaches.


The paper finds that management education has become professionalised around quasi‐scientific research methods and a regulated body of knowledge which is visibly distant from what managers use

Practical implications

The future shape of management education and the place of B‐schools in that process hang on the decisions made about the ideas presented here.


This paper provides some interesting insights into the development of management as a regulated profession.



Spender, J. (2005), "Speaking about management education", Management Decision, Vol. 43 No. 10, pp. 1282-1292. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251740510634868

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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