Tech MBA Program Receives International Recognition

top100-mba-awardMichigan Technological University’s School of Business and Economics MBA program has demonstrated significant leadership in integrating social, environmental and ethical issues into its MBA program, according to the Aspen Institute’s 2009-2010 edition of Beyond Grey Pinstripes, a biennial survey and alternative ranking of business schools. The school has ranked 58 on a list of the Top 100 business schools.

“Our faculty earned this recognition through their commitment to teaching and research in social, environmental, and ethical stewardship as it relates to business. Our Tech MBA program focuses on conducting sustainable business in a technologically rich, constantly changing world, and our faculty and students rise to that challenge, “ said Darrell Radson, Dean of the School of Business and Economics at Michigan Tech.

While many MBA rankings exist, only one looks beyond reputation and test scores to measure something much more important: how well schools are preparing their students for the environmental, social and ethical complexities of modern-day business.

This year, 149 business schools from 24 countries participated in an 18 month effort to map the landscape of teaching and research on issues pertaining to business and society. Relevant data collected in the survey, as well as the entire “Global 100” list of business schools, is available at: www.BeyondGreyPinstripes.org.

“The best business students move quickly into the front ranks of business–and the attitudes and values they bring to the table are deeply influenced by their time in business education,” said Judith Samuelson, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program. “Will they accept the status quo or act on their passion about the positive role business can play at the intersection of corporate profit and social impact? The schools that are competitive in the Beyond Grey Pinstripes ranking are the real trailblazers–they assure that students have the right skill as well as the will to make things happen.”

“In these challenging economic times, the general public, not just scholars, are questioning whether the established models of business are broken,” said Rich Leimsider, Director of the Aspen Institute’s Center for Business Education. “Beyond Grey Pinstripes schools are thoughtfully pursuing new approaches. They are preparing students who take a more holistic view of business success, one that measures financial results as well as social and environmental impacts.”

Ruth Archer, Director of the Tech MBA program at Michigan Tech added, “Our students are very concerned about a sustainable future. They appreciate receiving a first-class MBA in managing technology and innovation at the same time that they learn how to integrate social value with corporate profitability. This recognition will enable us to attract more like-minded students.”

Sample Findings

  • The percentage of schools surveyed that require students to take a course dedicated to business and society issues has increased dramatically over time, but at a slowing rate: 34% in 2001; 45% in 2003; 54% in 2005; 63% in 2007; 69% in 2009.
  • Since 2007, the number of elective courses offered per school that contain some degree of social, environmental or ethical content has increased by 12%, from approximately 16.6 to 18.6 electives.
  • The proportion of schools offering general social, environmental or ethical content in required core courses has increased in many business disciplines–Accounting, Economics, Finance, Management, Marketing, Operations Management–since the last survey in 2007.
  • However, the percentage of schools requiring content in a core course on how mainstream business can act as an engine for social or environmental change remains low, at 30%.
  • Approximately 7% of faculty at the surveyed business schools published scholarly articles in peer-reviewed, business journals that address social, environmental or ethical issues. The titles and abstracts of the 1,211 articles are available at www.BeyondGreyPinstripes.org.

“Supporting environmental sustainability is a major strategic goal at Michigan Tech. To support this goal and maintain our cutting edge graduate programs, we continue to integrate environmental sustainability management education, including application and tools. This ensures that our MBA grads have the latest management decision making tools upon entering their chosen careers,” stated Dana Johnson, Associate Professor of Operations Management in the School of Business and Economics at Michigan Tech.

School highlights from this Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey cycle are featured in a new guidebook for prospective MBA students, titled The Sustainable MBA, which is already available at Amazon.com and the Aspen Institute’s publication website.

The Aspen Institute Center for Business Education (Aspen CBE) equips business leaders for the 21st century with the vision and knowledge to integrate corporate profitability and social value. We help business educators incorporate issues of social and environmental stewardship into teaching and research by offering targeted resources, networks and a platform to share cutting edge practice among peers.

As part of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program, Aspen CBE maintains close ties with over 150 MBA programs in 28 countries. Our websites draw over 100,000 visits monthly and our events and networks attract over 1,000 participants each year.

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues.

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