You can tell a lot about where a B-school is going if you understand where it's been. More than fifty years ago a few business schools challenged conventional wisdom by creating a revolution that pioneered problem-based research and quantitative approaches to learning. During this time period, business schools were thought to be "uncertain giants," institutions whose potential for societal contributions were promising, but far from certain. Government and industry called upon academia to prove its worth, and by doing so, make clear the role of business education in the world. Below are excerpts and selected quotations from academic research and conferences that frame this unique moment in MBA history. While it may be hard to imagine today, this was a period of extreme flux, as you'll see by the predictions and reflections of an industry and marketplace that was literally calling for change.
Note To Readers: The selected content reflects history, rather than interprets it. The conventions of the times, the late 1940's and 50's, stand in contrast to today's business practices. You'll read of accounts where successful women in business is a distant reality. Likewise, the important role of computers and technology is a fascinating 20-year forecast. We hope you find the content insightful, both in hindsight and as a look forward.