Phi Beta Cons

Et tu, Business Schools?

The kudzu-like creep of statist propaganda across the landscape of higher education has reached business schools. Back in February, the Wall Street Journal ran an enlightening article by a recent graduate of Bentley University, which is regarded as having one of the top undergraduate business schools. Author Matthew Tice in his piece entitled “My Antibusiness Business Education” lamented “Unfortunately, only 20% of the 122 credits that I needed to graduate went toward satisfying the requirements for my Finance major, while more than half of the courses I took seemed designed to turn me into a self-loathing Finance major.” Particularly upsetting to him was his “business law and ethics” class, which focused on sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

In this week’s Pope Center Clarion Call, Jane Shaw takes up that matter, asking “What’s Wrong with Business Schools?”

She cites the concerns of Fred Smith, founder of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who maintains that business schools are doing just what the famed economist Joseph Schumpeter warned would happen, namely that business leaders would stop defending capitalism and fall in with the mobs calling for “fairness.” A Harvard Business School professor stokes those fears with a book calling for business school education to become “softer” and more focused on “helping aims.”

At least, there is some resistance. Shaw also quotes another Harvard Business School prof who is alarmed that business schools are “losing interest in a fundamental aspect of capitalism — competition.”

“If Fred Smith is right — that ‘most business schools now argue that business should accept guilt, move toward corporate social responsibility’ — it’s hard to include competitiveness in the course catalog,” Shaw concludes. “If you believe that your fundamental activity is illegitimate, how can you pursue it fervently?”

One possible corrective to this could come from the business community itself. Insofar as business decision-makers are still focused on competition and profits, they’ll figure out which schools are sending forth graduates who’ve been steeped in collectivist notions that sound nice in college classrooms but are a useless distraction in the real world. Eventually, word will spread that some business schools are to be avoided for that reason. Some firms may decided that b-school credentials are not a plus at all.

George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

Most Popular

White House

Out of Order

A  question in the spirit of Donald Trump’s tweets this morning might be: Who’s trying harder to crash U.S. markets, the president of the United States or the president of China? After Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell didn’t forecast the loosening of monetary policy that Trump craves and China ... Read More
Film & TV

Netflix Debuts Its Obama Manifesto

This week’s widespread media blitz heralding Netflix’s broadcast of its first Obama-endorsed presentation, American Factory, was more than synchronicity. It felt as though U.S. publicists and journalists collectively exhaled their relief at finally regaining the bully pulpit. Reviews of American Factory, a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Capital versus Tucker Carlson

Advertisers do not advertise on Tucker Carlson’s show to endorse the views of Tucker Carlson. They advertise on his show for the same reason they advertise elsewhere: a captive audience — in Tucker’s case, the second-largest one in cable news — might spare thirty seconds of attention that will, they hope, ... Read More
Natural Law

Are Your Sexual Preferences Transphobic?

Last year, a study exploring “transgender exclusion from the world of dating” was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Of nearly 1,000 participants, the overwhelming majority, 87.5 percent, irrespective of their sexual preference, said they would not consider dating a trans person, ... Read More