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

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Princeton University Press, Mar 22, 2010 - Business & Economics - 544 pages
3 Reviews

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.

  

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

User Review  - Marks54 - Goodreads

This is an analytic history of top tier business schools by an institutional sociologist at the Harvard Business School. I was prompted to read it when it was mentioned as a hot new book in the NYT ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Cody - Goodreads

voted three stars instead of one star because i want to look like i cared about teh subject matter when in fact it was the most boring freakng thing Read full review

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Contents

Business Education and the Social Transformation of American Management
1
The Professionalization Project in American Business Education 18811941
21
The Institutionalization of Business Schools 19411970
193
The Triumph of the Market and the Abandonment of the Professionalization Project 1970the Present
289
Ideas of Order Revisited Markets Hierarchies and Communities
363
Acknowledgments
385
Bibliographic and Methods Note
387
Notes
397
Selected Bibliography
483
Index
509
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Rakesh Khurana is Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Harvard Business School.

Bibliographic information