The MBA industry is in turmoil. The quesion, unasked, is if so many MBAs are in management how did the world slide into such a business recession. Many business schools are revisiting what they teach to see if they still have relevance in the 21st century.
Harvard Business School professors Srikant Datar and David Garvin carried out painstaking research to render the most complete contemporary picture of MBA education.
For their research project, Datar and Garvin interviewed 30 deans and associate deans and roughly 100 students in large and small groups.
They wrote case studies on MBA programs at Chicago, INSEAD, Stanford, Yale, and HBS, plus a case on the Center for Creative Leadership; collected data on aggregate trends in MBA enrollments and program designs; and compiled a detailed curriculum analysis of eleven business school programs. To complete the picture, they also interviewed leading academic critics and 28 executives and recruiters.
The findings presented a mixed diagnosis of the health of MBA programs but on balance were, in the words of one HBS faculty member, ‘depressing.’
Business schools around the world turn out about 500,000 MBAs a year, with upwards of 150,000 of those in the United States alone.