Business schools are among the best appreciated institutions of higher education worldwide. They are excellent examples for other academic disciplines in terms of dedication to teaching and learning, performance benchmarking and value for society. Past performance, however, does not guarantee future success. Ranking and accreditation are petrifying existing standards rather than promoting and rewarding dynamic development. High reputation education is hard to change thus hindering the creation of new schools with different programs and profiles. Strong links with leading firms and global corporate trends and cultures do not enhance independent thinking and academic counterculture. In times of crisis and challenge, business schools are invited to reinvent themselves and their mission. This paper aims to investigate these issues.
The paper investigates under which conditions business schools can continue their success and which choices they should make to stay on track.
The paper finds that thus far the focus of rankings has largely been on past and present standing and reputation, and posits that a broader scope and more variety of standards would be very welcome. It states that at the very least a differentiation of measures should be made, leading to a variety of ranking exercises, each of them using different criteria and supporting different profiles and missions. It suggests that to remain the successful business schools they are, they will have to escape from the lures of high rankings and standardized profiles of the present and to dare to look for new routes to the future.
The paper provides useful suggestions as to the future development of business schools.
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