From Higher Aims to Hired Hands: The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession

From Higher Aims to Hired Hands: The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession

by Rakesh Khurana
ISBN-10:
069112020X
ISBN-13:
9780691120201
Pub. Date:
09/17/2007
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
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Overview

From Higher Aims to Hired Hands: The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession

Is management a profession? Should it be? Can it be? This major work of social and intellectual history reveals how such questions have driven business education and shaped American management and society for more than a century. The book is also a call for reform. Rakesh Khurana shows that university-based business schools were founded to train a professional class of managers in the mold of doctors and lawyers but have effectively retreated from that goal, leaving a gaping moral hole at the center of business education and perhaps in management itself.

Khurana begins in the late nineteenth century, when members of an emerging managerial elite, seeking social status to match the wealth and power they had accrued, began working with major universities to establish graduate business education programs paralleling those for medicine and law. Constituting business as a profession, however, required codifying the knowledge relevant for practitioners and developing enforceable standards of conduct. Khurana, drawing on a rich set of archival material from business schools, foundations, and academic associations, traces how business educators confronted these challenges with varying strategies during the Progressive era and the Depression, the postwar boom years, and recent decades of freewheeling capitalism.

Today, Khurana argues, business schools have largely capitulated in the battle for professionalism and have become merely purveyors of a product, the MBA, with students treated as consumers. Professional and moral ideals that once animated and inspired business schools have been conquered by a perspective that managers are merely agents of shareholders, beholden only to the cause of share profits. According to Khurana, we should not thus be surprised at the rise of corporate malfeasance. The time has come, he concludes, to rejuvenate intellectually and morally the training of our future business leaders.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691120201
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 09/17/2007
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 544
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.70(d)

Table of Contents


Introduction: Business Education and the Social Transformation of American Management     1
The Professionalization Project in American Business Education, 1881-1941
An Occupation in Search of Legitimacy     23
Ideas of Order: Science, the Professions, and the University in Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century America     51
The Invention of the University-Based Business School     87
"A Very Ill-Defined Institution": The Business School as Aspiring Professional School     137
The Institutionalization of Business Schools, 1941-1970
The Changing Institutional Field in the Postwar Era     195
Disciplining the Business School Faculty: The Impact of the Foundations     233
The Triumph of the Market and the Abandonment of the Professionalization Project, 1970-the Present
Unintended Consequences: The Post-Ford Business School and the Fall of Managerialism     291
Business Schools in the Marketplace     333
Epilogue: Ideas of Order Revisited: Markets, Hierarchies, and Communities     363
Acknowledgments     385
Bibliographic and Methods Note     387
Notes     397
Selected Bibliography     483
Index     509

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