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How the evolution of science will transform business schools

Juan Pablo Vazquez Sampere (Department of Operations & Technology, IE Business School, Madrid, Spain)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 9 February 2015




The ambiguous response of business schools to responsible management education (RME) is part of a larger problem which is rooted in how science evolves. The purpose of this paper is to explain how the consolidation of causal-based research in management will produce much more effective theories and teaching materials. Therefore business schools will then have to seriously engage in strong RME practices to prevent scandals from happening and to consolidate management as a profession.


In total, two models are introduced and explained. First, a comprehensive methodology for theory building that controls for causality and delivers clear and actionable results. Second, a model that depicts the three stages of interactions between variables (relationship, contingency and causality).


New causal-based research methods are starting to emerge that explain when a particular event will occur and how to “cause” for it to happen.

Social implications

Business schools are not responsible of the current economic crisis. But if they do not find a way to introduce RME practices before the advent of causal-based research their reputation might be severely damaged during the next one.


As many other business school innovations, the first group of business schools that pioneer causal-based research will not only deliver on the promise of RME but also introduce the new generation of successful, relevant and actionable new managerial practices.



Vazquez Sampere, J.P. (2015), "How the evolution of science will transform business schools", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 101-112.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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