You are going to read an article about business schools. For each question, choose the answer which you think fits best according to the text.

Business schools stand accused of being responsible for much that is wrong with corporate management today

This is the time of year when MBA students run not from classroom to classroom but from interview to interview as they try to get the high-paying job that they expect their qualification to deliver. It seems that the demand for MBAs is now strong again, after four decidedly weak years. “The big eaters of MBA talent have regained their hiring appetite,” says Ken Keeley, director of career opportunities at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business in Pittsburgh. At New York’s Stern School, close to Wall Street, the number of jobs offered to this year’s MBA class by the beginning of this month was double that at the same stage in 2004. Better still, average starting salaries in investment banking for Stern graduates were—at $95,000—up by $10,000 from a year ago.

But just as the market value of an MBA is reviving, its academic credibility is being attacked. In a forthcoming article to be published posthumously in Academy of Management Learning & Education, Sumantra Ghoshal argues that many of the “worst excesses of recent management practices have their roots in a set of ideas that have emerged from business-school academics over the last 30 years.”

Mr Ghoshal was just such an academic, a professor at London Business School until he died 11 months ago at the age of 55. He believed that the desire of business schools to make the study of business a science, “a kind of physics”, has led them increasingly to base their management theories on some of the more dismal assumptions and techniques developed by economists, particularly by the “Chicago School” and its intellectual leader, Milton Friedman. These include supposedly simplistic models of individual human behaviour (rational, self-interested, utility-maximising homo economicus) and of corporate behaviour (the notion that the goal of a firm should be to maximise shareholder value). These assumptions, though in Mr Ghoshal’s view badly flawed, were simple enough to allow business-school academics to develop grand theories of management supported by elegant mathematical models and empirical analysis that appeared scientific, and thus earned their subject academic respectability, but were, in fact, a pretence of knowledge where there was none. […]

(adapted from The Economist)


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