The purpose of this paper is to question the purpose of the business school and its role in management education.
The paper develops an historical analysis of the origins, development and identity of the business school, reflecting the views of the business school's multiple stakeholders. The paper reviews traditional business school design and how this is driven by particular concepts of purpose and identity. It questions whether these concepts are sustainable in the light of current forces for change.
The paper identifies the current major design challenges facing business schools as knowledge, narratives and practices and argues for a new narrative of sustainable strategic management as a guiding force for future development.
The paper identifies the current knowledge challenges facing business schools and argues that business schools need to rethink their focus on “school” as well as “business”.
Starkey, K. and Tempest, S. (2008), "A clear sense of purpose? The evolving role of the business school", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 379-390. https://doi.org/10.1108/02621710810866732
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited