Business school abolition?

Martin Parker, who has been teaching at business schools for more than two decades, argues that business schools should be abolished and be replaced with totally new institutions. His main critique of business schools is summarized in the following quote:

It is important that varieties of organising be researched and taught in universities – and not merely those that pertain to capitalist businesses. Geographers explore the entire Earth, and chemists experiment on the whole periodic table. Why, then, do business schools teach market managerialism as if it were the only game in town? Why do they ignore cooperatives and mutuals? Why do they have so little to say about workplace democracy and localising the economy?

Parker’s suggestions are interesting. There is absolutely no reason why business school students should not study successful cooperative such the Mondragon Corporation or alternatives to interest based finance such JAK Banking or the beneficial effects complementary currencies have on local economies.

Of course, Parker is fully aware of the difficulty of realizing his proposal:

Shutting down the business school and replacing it with a “School for Organising” won’t be easy. […] many vice-chancellors, deans, academics and students will defend a status quo that works so strongly in their own interests.

So I do not see this reform getting through anytime soon. But Parker’s idea is of great interest when space settlements will become a reality and they will provide a great opportunity to (re)design business schools from scratch.

See also:

Slavery and modern management

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