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Why Do MBAs Make Better CEOs?


MBA programs have taken a lot of criticism over the last year or two. According to naysayers, they are guilty of many crimes: teaching the wrong financial models, riding roughshod over risk management, sidestepping business ethics, overheating the managerial job market, hiding from the real world, and cloistering students in academe.As a result, so the script goes, we have a generation of business leaders tainted by greed and short-term thinking.Hence, the recent global economic crisis. Oh, and remember Jeff Skilling of Enron? He had an MBA, while Bill Gates and Steve Jobs didn't even finish college.

Now, we enjoy a good debate. And we're ready to take criticism on the chin. But we also prefer analysis to anecdote.

In our ranking of the 100 best-performing CEOs in the world, published in the January

Herminia Ibarra is a professor of organizational behavior and the Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning at INSEAD, the international business school with campuses in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Morten T. Hansen is a management professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Information, and at INSEAD. Urs Peyer is an associate professor of finance at INSEAD.

Later, Baby
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