Top Business Schools Survey: You’re doing it wrong.

The QS Top MBA survey has been released recently, and with an unusual twist.  This year they have decided to add the Corporate Social Responsibility rankings to their survey. At the top of the list? All of the usual big-name business schools you’ve already heard of.  Stanford, Harvard, Dartmouth, Columbia, Yale, MIT… These, among others, all scored perfect 100 on their CSR ratings. And you know what? I call bullshit.

Bullshit I tell you!

Has anyone forgotten the giant financial meltdown from a few years ago? The one that’s still kind of happening?  That has happened in large part because of shady business practices led by people with MBAs.  As Michael Jacobs of the Wall Street Journal explains in his article How Business Schools Have Failed Business, most of our future business leaders have never even heard of CSR:

About 70% of the shares of American corporations are held by institutional investors such as pension and mutual funds. These organizations are brimming with MBAs. But how many of these MBAs took a class devoted to how shareholders should exercise their rights and obligations as the owners of America’s corporations? Few, if any. When shareholders are uneducated about their obligations, how can a corporate accountability system function properly?

So TopMBA is telling me that we’ve got 28 schools that have earned a 5 star rating in CSR? Most of the schools on the list have been pumping out MBAs for decades without mentioning any kind of responsibility besides to their stockholders.  Suddenly these schools are teaching CSR with no room for improvement? You have a bridge to sell me too?

I’ve mentioned before that schools can’t just squeeze this stuff into their already packed curricula. There isn’t room in the current courses or an open mindset from the professors.

I’m not the only person who feels this way. As Melissa Dingmon, director of admissions at BGI, tells it, these schools are pretty much copying what smaller, newer schools are already doing: integrating CSR into every single class in a curriculum that has been built from the ground up around CSR and Sustainability. And these schools (BGI, Presidio, Marlboro, Dominican) aren’t even on the list.

TopMBA, You’re doing it wrong.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by scott on December 16, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Great post! I completely agree.


  2. Posted by Sally JPA on December 16, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Go, Alex!


  3. Posted by beth on December 17, 2010 at 9:09 am

    boo-ya! salkin FTW! (again!)


  4. Posted by Christina on December 17, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Well said.


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