MBAs today are haunted by the thought that the tag really stands for Mediocre But Arrogant, Mighty Big Attitude, Me Before Anyone and Management By Accident. For today’s purposes, perhaps it should be Masters of the Business Apocalypse.
Harvard Business School alumni include Stan O’Neal and John Thain, the last two heads of Merrill Lynch, plus Andy Hornby, former chief executive of HBOS, who graduated top of his class. And then of course, there’s George W Bush, Hank Paulson, the former US Treasury secretary, and Christopher Cox, the former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a remarkable trinity who more than fulfilled the mission of their alma mater: “To educate leaders who make a difference in the world.” It just wasn’t the difference the school had hoped for.
You can draw up a list of the greatest entrepreneurs of recent history, from Steve Jobs at Apple, to Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google and Bill Gates of Microsoft, to Michael Dell, Richard Branson, Lak-shmi Mittal – and there’s not an MBA between them.
Yet the MBA industry continues to grow, and business schools provide vital income to academic institutions: 500,000 people around the world now graduate each year with an MBA, 150,000 of those in the United States, creating their own management class within global business. Applications to business schools in America and Europe are broadly up, as people search for a safe haven from the recession.
What are they thinking? Many MBA jobs will not be coming back. (Source)
Meanwhile, in another study . . . “A study of cheating among graduate students, published in 2006 in the journal Academy of Management Learning & Education, found that 56 percent of all M.B.A. students cheated regularly – more than in any other discipline. The authors attributed that to “perceived peer behavior” – in other words, students believed everyone else was doing it.” (Source.)