Business Schools and Their Critics

by Earl Cheit



In the hunt for causes of the competitive problems challenging American industry, critics have arrived, by inductive leap, at the doorstep of the nation's leading business schools. American technology, materials, and labor can match the competition, they reason, so the problem must be inferior managers, educated by American business schools. Competitive performance of the economy declined as business school enrollments grew. "The loss of U.S. dominance in the world car market was caused less by lack of technical skill than by flaws in judgment, character, and values," writes one education critic. The complaint about American management today has been that when faced with a new environmental condition, keen foreign competition, managers behaved according to this traditional role. In the face of uncertainty, they shortened time horizons and tried to maximize returns within new constraints. The critics of American business are asking for a better response. They want more than behavior justified as efficient resource allocation within new constraints. They want innovative arid energetic assaults on the constraints, energy directed toward changing the context itself. This means new enterprise and longer-term efforts at restoring competitiveness.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

Learn more
Follow Us