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The Meaning of Harvard Business School’s Curriculum Changes

February 8th, 2011 No comments

Harvard Business School is a well-established  bellwether for business education in the US (and indeed, the world). Many notable leaders are alums, and it has a mystique unlike many other schools. So when it comes out with a significant revamp of its core curriculum, it should signal something big, right?

Not so much. This significant revamp includes “adding new required courses with an increased focus on ethics and teamwork”. Sorry, but those things should have been addressed long ago (remember Jeff Skilling, the former CEO of Enron and  HBS graduate?). Compare this high-minded talk to what’s featured on the HBS website:

  • The Case Method. HBS’s signature pedagogic tool. Revolutionary when it was introduced a century ago.
  • Sections. The  90 person cohort students complete their core curriculum with. A differentiatator from other b-schools how, exactly?

This is an institution that is ossified. Tinkering around the edges won’t change the arrogant, money-hungry culture of the school.