MBAs: Business School Not Preparing Us for Crisis 2.0

Posted by: Louis Lavelle on March 11, 2009

By Anne VanderMey

Since the financial crisis upended decades of conventional wisdom on business and redefined the landscape of American capitalism, new business grads will be looked to as a new generation of leaders capable of steering clear of similar debacles. Will they be up to it?

According to a recent survey, the answer for 76% percent of MBA candidates is, “not really.”

The study was conducted by Net Impact, a MBA network geared toward social responsibility in business, and the Aspen Institute Center for Business Education, a nonprofit in New York, and polled about 1,850 students. Of those, just 24% strongly agreed they were personally learning how to make business decisions that would help prevent future crises—the rest of them (76%) presumably have a lot less faith in b-schools’ ability to teach them what they need to know.

While a lot of students were down on their MBA programs, even more were down on MBA programs in general. Fully 84% said they thought that other programs were doing a so-so job preparing graduates for the next financial crisis. Just 8% had faith that government would be able to solve the problem on its own.

The study goes on to say that 78% of MBA students support some degree of increased focus on sustainability and corporate responsibility. Maybe it’s not time to abandon all hope after all.

Reader Comments

Patrick Malone

March 19, 2009 2:04 PM

The story on "Bringing family to B-school"(BW 3-23&30-09) points up another weakness with some b-school students. Do they expect that kind of support in the workplace? If so the next generation of leaders are wimps.

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