January 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
Coauthored by John Coleman, Daniel Gulati, and Oliver Segovia
On April 6, 2009, as the world was reeling from the impact of the global financial crisis, the Guardian ran a feature titled“Academies of the Apocalypse?” Arguing that U.S. business schools and recently-minted MBAs should shoulder most of the blame for the crisis, the article triggered a series of follow-on pieces in the world’s most-respected publications, manylambasting the value of top business schools like Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, and MIT, and questioning the ethical and moral convictions of their graduates.
As the public developed their own views on whether or not MBAs were to blame, we felt that a key voice was being omitted from the debate: that of young business leaders themselves. With 100,000 men and women graduating from U.S. business schools each year, surely MBAs aren’t all ethically-starved, power-hungry, and deceitful, are they?
The answer, of course, is no. Today’s young leaders are growing up with the belief that business can provide them with a way of translating a meaningful, personal purpose into work that impacts the world in a positive way. These are 20-somethings in the early stages of their careers, holding roles that require tremendous amounts of responsibility and judgment — whether it’s managing a brand, starting a new venture, or transitioning the family business.