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留学参考:The Ten Worst Things About HBS In The Golden Passport  

2017-05-01 03:42:20|  分类: 学校与选校 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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留学参考:The Ten Worst Things About HBS In The Golden Passport


 
BY: JOHN A. BYRNE ON APRIL 26, 2017

 

 

Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria calls the book unfair and overstated. Duff McDonald, the author of the newly published The Golden Passport, acknowledges his book is highly critical of HBS but nonetheless defends it as a fair and well-researched work.

Whatever you think about the claims in the book, including assertions that HBS is at least partly responsible for income inequality in the U.S., the economic implosion of 2008, short-term thinking, corporate malfeasance, and Wall Street greed, it’s a controversial and provocative tome. He mocks Dean Nohria, chastises famous HBS Professors such as Bill George and Rosabeth Moss Kanter, and virtually crucifies now retired HBS economics professor Michael Jensen.

McDonald’s scathing critique of the Harvard Business School is as much an attack on a single institution as it is a condemnation of the business school industry, its students and graduates.

So what are the absolute worst and most inflammatory accusations that McDonald levels at Harvard Business School? And what are the surprisingly admiring things about HBS that he has to say? We’ve gone through the 659 pages of the book to tease out the author’s ten best and worst things he believes about the top business school in the world.

 

Then, the bad stuff:

1. Did HBS contribute to the 2008 economic collapse that led to the Great Recession?

“Its graduates had played leadership roles in almost every institution that had made the mistakes of judgment that had brought the global financial system to the brink…Not too long after the turn of the century, HBS graduates were pretty much running the whole economic show in the United States. But the crisis still happened. Why on earth should they be the ones to whom we look for a way forward? The last time we put them in charge, it blew up in the world’s face. One reason those at or from HBS did not comprehend the increasing fragility of the financial system was that they had been enthusiastic supporters of many of the factors that had made it so: efficient markets theory, shareholder capitalism, the perverse incentives of Michael Jensen-inspired compensation packages, ‘innovation spirals’ at the likes of Enron, and HBS-endorsed ‘risk management’ systems at giant financial organizations that were nothing of the sort.”

2. Do Harvard Business School faculty really come up with ground-breaking ideas?

“The school threw its lot with cynics like Michael Jensen, dispensed with its central tenet that judgment is of utmost importance, and walked the country down the path of share price maximization. Everything that’s come since, including Norhia’s supposedly valuable ‘background’ in leadership, pretty much follows. Instead of developing the all-important theory of the firm, and by extension, of general management, HBS has frittered away the intellectual caliber of a world-class faculty with unrivaled resources in pursuit of such inferior (and arguably empty) concepts as a theory of leadership and a theory of entrepreneurship. Not only that, but that same faculty has engaged in an academic conspiracy of sorts, filling the emptiness of the intellectual space surrounding them with consulting contracts, speaking engagements, and all the gravitas that can be brought to a discussion of how being confident can make you excellent.”

3. Is HBS intoxicated with its own importance?

“The Harvard Business School became (and remains) so intoxicated with its own importance that it blithely assumed away one of the most important questions it could ask, which was whether the capitalist system it was uniquely positioned to help improve was designed properly in the long term. Today, in 2016, with economic inequality at a hundred-year high and meaningful progress on climate change and other social and environmental issues embarrassingly paltry, the answer to that question is obvious. It is not.”

4. Is gender bias still an issue at Harvard Business School?

“The fact of the matter is that HBS suffered from ingrained sexism on the part of the faculty, which, while not as rare as one might hope, is hardly the status quo at universities and other professional schools around the country. And they didn’t really solve the problem by forcing the faculty to pay more attention to the contributions of their female students by inserting another person–a ‘scribe’–into the room. They simply corrected for it after the fact. Was it any wonder that (New York Times reporter) Jodi Kantor called bullshit on their claim, as (HBS professor) Frances Frei said, to be leading the world on such matters?”

5. How valuable is the case method in teaching business to MBA students?

“HBS will admit that they don’t conduct traditional academic research, but what they won’t admit is that they care more about sophistry than actual knowledge. They promote an image of rigor, a concomitance of rigor, and every class ends with the professor drenched in sweat and blackboards covered in words. They all feel they’ve really accomplished something, but it’s ludicrous on the face of it that this would be good training for anything but being glib.”

6. How independent is the research of Harvard Business School’s faculty?

“The school has trumpeted the ‘independence’ of its research, but that’s also a crock. The faculty is obliged to be not only respectful but also groveling toward its corporate constituency, whereas tenured professors elsewhere are free to treat their subjects with skepticism. A professor at Yale Law School, for example, is not required to suck up to the lawyers at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. But when you’re not much more than a courtier, you have to be careful that others don’t suspect you of subversion. Even Shakespeare was respectful of the illegitimate Tudors, masking his political criticism in stories of kingdoms far away or long gone. But Shakespeare wasn’t consulting for the Tudors, either.”

7. Did Michael Jensen hijack economic theory and lead Corporate America down the wrong path?

“The moment of peak paradox for HBS came when it hired the economist Michael Jensen in 1985. His ideologically driven hijacking of the study of finance served as a cynical repudiation of everything that had come before him at the school. How did it happen? The way it always does: The money got too good.”

8. Which Harvard MBA has done the most harm to business and society?

“Jeff Skilling (of Enron) holds the record for the most mortifying corner-office behavior by a graduate of HBS, at least that we know of, save for some that George W. Bush engaged in while in the ultimate corner office, the White House. Amazingly, though, Skilling has also probably proved more of a boon to the school than anything else. For starters, he provided a touchpoint for fraud, a specifically egregious example of that which one should not do. If the school celebrated the company too much in case studies in the years before its demise, it has likewise been unrestrained in its condemnation of it afterward. Ironically, too, Skilling’s self-destruction has led the school to double down on the thoroughly bogus notion of the moral authority of the CEO. That’s what (HBS Professor) Bill George is doing when he yammers on about authenticity.”

9. What contribution has Harvard Business School made when it comes to teaching ethics?

“While the school has done some recent substantive work on ethics, in particular Professor Max Braverman’s work on how moral and ethical blind spots can inadvertently develop in an organization, the urgency has apparently drained from the effort as the latest crisis recedes into the rearview mirror. Casey Gerald, the MBA class speaker in 2014, says that Financial Reporting and Control, a required first-year course, could be better described as ‘How Not To Go To Jail.’ When U.S. attorney Preet Bharara came to speak to students that year, he told the audience. ‘It’s always nice to come to a business school. I run into a lot of your alumni in my work.'”

10. What impact will HBS ultimately have on Silicon Valley?

“Having first presided over the decimation of American’s manufacturing supremacy and then the distortion of the economy by Wall Street, the MBAs of the world are now invading Silicon Valley. And they are bringing their ruthless culture of winning with them. Consider four of the technology world’s standout companies–Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. Which do you think is most overrun with MBAs? Amazon, of course. A wildly successful company, to be sure, but it’s also not much more than the Wall-Mart of the Internet, and it’s the one that treats its employees most poorly. Amazon, in other words, is the one of those four companies that feels the most like yesterday and the least like tomorrow, a company driven more by cost control than quality creation. But it is also a sign of things to come: The horde of MBAs has turned its conformist gaze toward Silicon Valley, the last redoubt of innovation in America. Whether they crush it in their stampede for money and their desire for success only for the sake of it, only time will tell.”

 

 

以上内容摘自:

http://poetsandquants.com/2017/04/26/ten-best-worst-things-hbs-golden-passport/ 

 

 

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