Business schools or schools for scholars


European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 7 March 2008



Wood, G. and Svensson, G. (2008), "Business schools or schools for scholars", European Business Review, Vol. 20 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Business schools or schools for scholars

This special issue includes articles that focus on higher educational issues and concerns at business schools worldwide. An initial point of reference is the critical review of US-business schools provided by Bennis and O'Toole (2005).

Among several concerns raised in their article they argue that: business schools are too focused on “scientific” research; are hiring professors with limited real-world experience; and are graduating students who are ill equipped to wrangle with complex, unquantifiable issues (Bennis and O'Toole, 2005, p. 96). They call the reality of business – the “stuff of management”.

They also contend that when applied to business – where judgments are made with messy and incomplete data – statistical and methodological wizardry can blind rather than illuminate (Bennis and O'Toole, 2005, p. 99). Furthermore, they comment that the problem is not that business schools have embraced scientific rigor but that they have forsaken other forms of knowledge (Bennis and O'Toole, 2005, p. 102).

This special issue provides a collection of articles dealing with topics related to business schools.

The first paper is authored by Professor Ricardo Madureira of the University of Porto, Portugal. It is entitled “The role of business schools in the doctoral paradox” and details the linkages by which academic and business value-added activities are acknowledged.

The second paper is co-authored by Professor Jan Stentoft Arlbjørn, Professor Per Vagn Freytag and Associate Professor Torben Damgaard all of the University of Southern Denmark, Denmark. It is entitled “The beauty of measurements” and they discuss the possible impact of measurements and rankings within research and education.

The third paper is authored by Professor Colleen Magner of the Gordon Institute of Business Science/University of Pretoria, South Africa. It is entitled “Contextual leadership development: a South African perspective” and highlights the importance and impact of leadership education which is contextually relevant.

The fourth paper is authored by Associate Professor Carsten Syvertsen of Østfold University College, Norway. It is entitled “What is the future of business schools?” and gives advice as to how business schools can organize their research, and meet the demands from the business community.

The fifth paper is co-authored by Associate Professor Karen F.A. Fox of Santa Clara University, USA, Associate Professor Irina I. Skorobogatykh and Professor Olga V. Saginova both of the Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics, Russia. Their contribution is entitled: “Philip Kotler's influence in the Soviet Union and Russia” and presents the story behind the translation, censorship, and publication of Kotler's Marketing Management in the Soviet Union.

The final piece in this special issue is a commentary by Professor Philip Kotler of Northwestern University, USA. It is entitled “Personal reflections on my book's role in Russian marketing” where he shares his personal views on the above paper about his influence on marketing in the Soviet Union.

We truly wish that you – the reader of European Business Review – will find the six contributions of this special issue of great intellectual interest and stimulation. We also hope that both scholars and practitioners will find them valuable.

Keep an eye out for other special issues that will appear in the European Business Review. Such issues forthcoming in 2008 include:

  • views from global thought leaders – III;

  • academic publishing and academic journals – II; and

  • management theory and practice: bridging the gap through multidisciplinary lenses.

Welcome to the thought-provoking and challenging world of European Business Review!

European Business Review can be found at:

Greg Wood and Göran SvenssonGuest Editors

ReferenceBennis, W. and O'Toole, J. (2005), “How business schools lost their way”, Harvard Business Review, May, pp. 96-104.

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