Future of the MBA: A Ranking for Business Schools on CSR & Ethics

by Aman Singh Das | December 10, 2010

  • My Vault

The QS Global 200 Top Business Schools survey for 2010/11 released an additional ranking this year that looks at which schools address ethics and corporate social responsibility most effectively in their curriculum.

According to the survey, the top-five schools for pursuing an MBA with a focus on ethics and CSR are Stanford, Harvard, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University, INSEAD and Wharton.

An excerpt from the report in International Business Times: "These schools are consciously trying to groom socially relevant and responsible management talent-- either through introduction of discrete courses in business ethics and CSR, or by integrating elements of these into every class taught."

The gradual introduction of courses focusing on CSR and ethical management has been a frequent subject of discussion In Good Company. And 2010 has been quite a journey, a progression of sorts for corporate social responsibility.

A quick revisit: In 2009, students from Harvard Business School, Telfer School of Management (University of Ottawa) and the Richard Ivey School of Business (University of Western Ontario) decided to take a voluntary oath of ethical conduct. Here's what I wrote then:

"…the same schools are calling for a responsible approach, one that inculcates CSR principles in its teachings and graduates entrepreneurs who want to work for the greater good and not institutional bonuses. How far this will go and whether this is a recessionary self-serving (and therefore, short lived) trend, of course, remains to be seen."

Next came an announcement early this year that Harvard Business School's had chosen Nitin Nohria—who was one of the protagonists for the student oath in 2009—as its next dean. Then I speculated:

"Along with student demand, all eyes will now be on Nohria as he pushes forward a curriculum embedded with the core aspects of corporate responsibility: ethical conduct, sustainable business practices, and as he put it in a Harvard Business Review article, "legitimizing the role of managers" once again. He might not have the economy or the hiring managers on his side, but he certainly has a gradually building momentum toward much-needed change in the marketplace and its leadership."

And now with an official ranking, the debate finally becomes a non issue. Why? Because there is little else that challenges institutions to drive change like the power of an international ranking.

As Melissa Dingmon, director of admissions for Bainbridge Graduate Institute wrote recently:

The purpose of management education is to prepare people to have a greater perspective of business. It's only natural then that the future of management education focuses on building teams who create products and services that meet human needs while maintaining social and environmental balance. I visualize future business leaders as transparent and wanting to cooperate with all their stakeholders

Is this shift already underway? Yes, I think it is.

Relevant Reading:

IBT: Top Five MBA Programs in Ethics and CSR

10 Commandments for Business Leaders (and MBA Students)

5 Tips for Job Seekers in CSR

5 Questions That Will Change the MBA

Job Hunting in CSR: Where Are the Jobs?

Filed Under: CSR

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