Website Accessiblity

Some Observations On The Business School Of Tomorrow (1958)

George Leland Bach served as the founding dean of Carnegie Mellon's business school from 1949 - 1962. He also served as the Frank E. Buck Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. A visionary, Bach has been a central figure in the early development and progress of management education. He authored one of the most popular college textbooks in economics and has been a longtime leader in a national program to increase general economic literacy in the United States. He has been the recipient of major awards for his career contribution to business education and to economic education, and has twice received university-wide awards for excellence in teaching. Bach served as a senior consultant to the Federal Reserve over a period of more than 20 years.


"My central proposition is both trite and revolutionary. It is that business education should be focused on training not for the business world of today, but for that of tomorrow…surely anything we can do to develop flexibility of mind, openness and receptivity to new and changing ideas, habitual skills in learning for one's self, and other such mental characteristics must promise more use to the individual and society over the quarter century of change ahead, than would comparable attention to descriptive information about today's institutions and today's best practice.

"I want to stress as strongly as I can my own belief that fundamental research is a major responsibility of every leading business school. It is parallel in importance to the teaching responsibilities, which tend to blanket most of our institutions. I mean by fundamental research development of analytical tools and models, application of old and new tools to business problems at a level where the search for useful generalizations is involved, and attempts at depth of understanding, all in contrast to mere description of best prevailing business practice. We need to know what best prevailing business practice is. But, I hold no brief for any leading business school that is content with describing such practice in its research, and with teaching only such practice in its classrooms. The function of the university is to be ahead of best practice, not to be trailing a few steps behind the operating business world."

(Reprinted from Management Science, "Some Observations On The Business School Of Tomorrow," Volume 4:351-364, July 1958)

 

"My central proposition is both trite and revolutionary. It is that business education should be focused on training not for the business world of today, but for that of tomorrow."

- George Leland Bach

Footer Navigation