The growth of business schools is not unnoted in discussions about UK higher education. Less noted is that many business schools are far from uncritical training centres for the next generation of corporate automaton. Rather, they are, Mark Gatenby notes, sites of the critical observation of the role of business in society:
Accusations of vocationalism are misinformed: business schools are actually often more about ideas than training practical or technical skills. The ideas discussed in business schools are often not only critical of management practices but in direct opposition to them.
Because business and the logics of markets and capital so dominate contemporary society, it is quite right that business schools’ research and teaching seeks to question the status quo rather than simply describe how it works. In doing so, business school scholars draw on theory and methods developed in other disciplines, and their analysis has much to offer in return. The university mission would be well served by embracing the critical work in business schools, as Dr Gatenby argues:
Business schools are now a major part of the higher education landscape and this is something the traditionalists need to accept. Instead of holding onto a myth of intellectual purity, or fighting over cultural supremacy, they should help to make business schools an integral part of the academic community.
Read the full article on The Conversation website.