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 - 568 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

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)

Dr. Khurana is the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development at the Harvard Business School. He teaches a doctoral seminar on Management and Markets and The Board of Directors and Corporate Governance in the MBA program. Professor Khurana received his B.S. from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and his A.M. (Sociology) and Ph.D. in Organization Behavior from Harvard University. Prior to attending graduate school, he worked as a founding member of Cambridge Technology Partners in Sales and Marketing. Professor Khurana's research uses a sociological perspective to focus on the processes by which elites and leaders are selected and developed. He has written extensively about the CEO labor market with a particular interest on: the factors that lead to vacancies in the CEO position; the factors that affect the choice of successor; the role of market intermediaries such as executive search firms in CEO search; and the consequences of CEO succession and selection decisions for subsequent firm performance and strategic choices. He has published articles on Corp. Governance in the Harvard Business and Sloan Management Review. His book on the CEO labor market, Searching for a Corporate Savior: The Irrational Quest for Charismatic CEOs (Princeton University Press) was published in October, 2002. The book is an analysis of the labor market for CEOs. Khurana's current research grows out of the same interests in the social context of business leadership and the allocation of leadership positions that motivated his research on the CEO labor market. His most recent book, From Higher Aims to Hired Hands: The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession (2007: Princeton University Press), chronicles the evolution of management as a profession, with particular focus on the institutional development of the MBA. This research is rooted in the question of how certain occupations within business (not just executive management but also consulting, private equity, and investment banking) have come to require the MBA credential as a prerequisite for entry. The significance of this issue lies in its direct bearing on the question of how professional management has claimed and received legitimation for its role as the steward of a very substantial proportion of society s material wealth and resources a role that has itself been subject to changing interpretations over the decades since the phenomenon of professional management first appeared on the American scene. From Higher Aims to Hired Hands received the American Sociological Association's Max Weber Book Award in 2008 for most outstanding contribution to scholarship in the past two years. In 2007, the book was also the Winner of the 2007 Best Professional/Scholarly Publishing Book in Business, Finance and Management, Association of American Publishers. Khurana's work on the deficiencies of the CEO labor market and his research on business education is regularly featured by the general media such as: Business Week, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post, CNBC, The Economist, Globe and Mail, The New Yorker, Chief Executive and Corporate Board Member magazine. He has also published opinion-editorials in some of these outlets. He has consulted to corporations and executive search firms to help improve their CEO succession, governance, and executive development practices. He has been recognized by the London Times as one of 'The Thinkers 50', a list of the fifty most influential management thinkers in the world.

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