A business school is a university-level institution that confers degrees in business administration or management. Such a school can also be known as a business college, college of business, college of business administration, school of business, school of business administration, or, colloquially, b-school. A business school teaches topics such as accounting, administration, strategy, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, human resource management, information systems, marketing, organizational behavior, public relations, and quantitative methods.
There are several forms of business schools, including school of business, business administration, and management.
- Most of the university business schools are faculties, colleges, or departments within the university, and teach predominantly business courses.
- In North America, a business school is often understood to be a university program that offers a graduate Master of Business Administration degrees and/or undergraduate bachelor's degrees.
- In Europe and Asia, some universities teach only business.
- In Europe, major business schools are owned by the Chambers of Commerce (including ESCP Europe, founded in 1819).
- Privately owned business school which is not affiliated with any university.
- 1819 – The world's first business school, ESCP Europe was founded in Paris, France. It is the oldest business school in the world and now has campuses in Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid, and Torino.
- 1855 - The Institut Supérieur de Commerce d'Anvers (State funded) and the Institut Saint-Ignace - École Spéciale de Commerce et d'Industrie (Jesuits education) were founded in the same year in the city of Antwerp, Belgium. After almost 150 years of business education and rivalry between catholic and state education, the successors of both institutions have merged in 2003 to the University of Antwerp.
- 1857 – The Budapest Business School was founded in the Austrian Empire as the first business school in Central Europe. It is the oldest public business school in the world
- 1871 – The Rouen Business School recently merged with Reims Management School under the name of NEOMA Business School. Rouen Business School is one of the oldest French business school.
- 1881 – The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is the United States' first business school.
- 1898 – The University of St. Gallen established the first university in Switzerland teaching business and economics.
- 1900 - The first graduate school of business in the United States, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, was founded. The school conferred the first advanced degree in business, specifically, a Master of Science in Commercial Sciences, the predecessor to the MBA.
- 1902 - The Birmingham Business School is the United Kingdom's first business school. Originally established as the School of Commerce was established in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
- 1906 – The Warsaw School of Economics (SGH) was established as the first university in Poland dedicated to teaching commerce and economics.
- 1908 - Harvard Business School was founded at Harvard University. It was the first program in the world to offer the Master of Business Administration degree.
- 1909 - Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management was founded at Cornell University. It was the one of the only two undergraduate business program in the Ivy League.
- 1946 – The Thunderbird School of Global Management, then called the American Institute for Foreign Trade, was the first graduate management school focused exclusively on global business.
- 1949 – The University of Pretoria in South Africa founded the oldest business school in Africa. In January 2008 the Graduate School of Management was formally replaced by the Gordon Institute of Business Science.
- 1949 - XLRI - India's oldest business management school is founded.
- 1954 - The Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), University of Delhi is among one of the oldest business schools in India.
- 1955 - The Institute of Business Administration, Karachi was the first business school to be established outside North America to offer an MBA degree.
- 1991 – The IEDC-Bled School of Management was the first business school to offer an MBA program in Eastern Europe.
- 1994 – CEIBS (China Europe International Business School) was the first business school in China to have received funding from a foreign government, namely the European Commission.
Common degrees are as follows.
- Associate's degree: AA, AAB, ABA, AS
- Bachelor's Degrees: BA, BS, BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration), BBus (Bachelor of Business), BCom, BSBA, BAcc, BABA, BBS, BMOS and BBusSc (Bachelor of Business Science)
- Master's Degrees: MBA, MBM, Master of Management, MAcc, MMR, MSMR, MPA, MISM, MSM, MHA, MSF, MSc, MST, MMS, EMBA and MCom. At Oxford and Cambridge business schools an MPhil, or Master of Philosophy, is awarded in place of an MA or MSc.
- Doctoral Degrees: Ph.D., DBA, DHA, DM, Doctor of Commerce (DCOM), PhD in Management or Business Doctorate (Doctor of Philosophy), Doctor of Professional Studies (DPS)
Use of case studies
Some business schools center their teaching around the use of case studies (i.e. the case method). Case studies have been used in graduate and undergraduate business education for nearly one hundred years. Business cases are historical descriptions of actual business situations. Typically, information is presented about a business firm's products, markets, competition, financial structure, sales volumes, management, employees and other factors affecting the firm's success. The length of a business case study may range from two or three pages to 30 pages, or more.
Business schools often obtain case studies published by the Harvard Business School, INSEAD, the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, the Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario, the Darden School at the University of Virginia, IESE, other academic institutions, or case clearing houses (such as European Case Clearing House). Harvard's most popular case studies include Lincoln Electric Co. and Google, Inc.
Students are expected to scrutinize the case study and prepare to discuss strategies and tactics that the firm should employ in the future. Three different methods have been used in business case teaching:
- Prepared case-specific questions to be answered by the student. This is used with short cases intended for undergraduate students. The underlying concept is that such students need specific guidance to be able to analyze case studies.
- Problem-solving analysis. This second method, initiated by the Harvard Business School is by far the most widely used method in MBA and executive development programs. The underlying concept is that with enough practice (hundreds of case analyses) students develop intuitive skills for analyzing and resolving complex business situations. Successful implementation of this method depends heavily on the skills of the discussion leader.
- A generally applicable strategic planning approach. This third method does not require students to analyze hundreds of cases. A strategic planning model is provided and students are instructed to apply the steps of the model to six to a dozen cases during a semester. This is sufficient to develop their ability to analyze a complex situation, generate a variety of possible strategies and to select the best ones. In effect, students learn a generally applicable approach to analyzing cases studies and real situations. This approach does not make any extraordinary demands on the artistic and dramatic talents of the teacher. Consequently most professors are capable of supervising application of this method.
History of business cases
When Harvard Business School was founded, the faculty realized that there were no textbooks suitable to a graduate program in business. Their first solution to this problem was to interview leading practitioners of business and to write detailed accounts of what these managers were doing, based partly on the case method already in use at Harvard Law School. Of course the professors could not present these cases as practices to be emulated because there were no criteria available for determining what would succeed and what would not succeed. So the professors instructed their students to read the cases and to come to class prepared to discuss the cases and to offer recommendations for appropriate courses of action. The basic outlines of this method are still present in business school curriculum today.
In contrast to the case method some schools use a skills-based approach in teaching business. This approach emphasizes quantitative methods, in particular operations research, management information systems, statistics, organizational behavior, modeling and simulation, and decision science. The leading institution in this method is the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. The goal is to provide students a set of tools that will prepare them to tackle and solve problems.
Another important approach used in business school is the use of business games that are used in different disciplines such as business, economics, management, etc. Some colleges are blending many of these approaches throughout their degree programs, and even blending the method of delivery for each of these approaches. A study from by Inside Higher Ed and the Babson Survey Research Group shows that there is still disagreement as to the effectiveness of the approaches but the reach and accessibility is proving to be more and more appealing. Liberal arts colleges in the United States like New England College, Wesleyan University, and Bryn Mawr College are now offering complete online degrees in many business curriculae despite the controversy that surrounds the learning method.
There are also several business schools which still rely on the lecture method to give students a basic business education. Lectures are generally given from the professor's point of view, and rarely require interaction from the students unless notetaking is required. Lecture as a method of teaching in business schools has been criticized by experts for reducing the incentive and individualism in the learning experience.
Global Master of Business Administration ranking
Each year, well-known business publications such as The Economist, U.S. News & World Report, Fortune, Financial Times, Business Week and The Wall Street Journal publish rankings of selected MBA programs that, while controversial in their methodology, nevertheless can directly influence the prestige of schools that achieve high scores. Academic research is also considered to be an important feature and popular way to gauge the prestige of business schools.
- List of Ivy League business schools
- List of Big Ten business schools
- Business schools listed by country
- List of business schools in Africa
- List of business schools in Australia
- List of business schools in Asia
- List of business schools in Canada
- List of business schools in Europe
- List of business schools in India
- List of business schools in Mexico
- List of business schools in South Africa
- List of business schools in the United States
- List of business schools in New Zealand
- List of United States graduate business school rankings
- List of business schools in Chile
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
- Association of MBAs
- Bachelor of Commerce
- Case competition
- Central and East European Management Development Association
- Decision Sciences Institute
- European Foundation for Management Development
- International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education
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