“Yes!” argues Stefano Harney: Zoe Corbyn reports in the Times Higher Education (25th Sept).
Choice extracts/ quotes below.
“Business academics should take some blame for the global financial crisis because they have ignored fundamental social and political questions in favour of “narrow” teaching and scholarship. This is the view of Stefano Harney, a reader in strategy and director of global learning at the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary, University of London, who has completed a study of more than 2,300 leading research papers in the field.”
- “Business and management researchers had failed to examine the larger social and political questions that could provide fundamental answers on how to create a better world…Business schools… fail(ed) to deliver a cadre of professionals who cared about ethical and social issues.”
“The best business schools should be questioning themselves as to what part they might be playing in the current (financial) crisis,” Dr Harney said. “The business schools did very, very little to educate and challenge the so-called culture of greed and of bonuses that seem to have dominated the City … We have failed to teach our students the kind of social conscience and ethics and concern for the world and the environment and the poor that might have had an effect on the selfish exuberance of the finance markets.”
- “Scholars paid “little attention” to pressing social issues of broader relevance to the business world, including areas such as the distribution of wealth, the environment, war, workers’ rights and equality issues…. “In 85 per cent of papers, scholars failed to examine issues of business ethics, and in 87 per cent of cases they ignored the relationship between business practice and wealth distribution, the study found.”
“It is disturbing to discover how the most important issues facing our world were entirely marginal,” Dr Harney said*.
*But please note dear Reader that this disturbing discovery is neither surprising nor new – critics of formal economic development models and theories have been reaching the very same conclusions for well over 200 years!