Traditional business education in America through most of the 20th century has been male dominated, aimed at providing tools for short-term profit maximization within the context of the vertically integrated corporation. However, starting in the 1970's a number of social and economic historical events have presented inescapable challenges to MBA and other business education programs. The first was the increase of women into CEO and other executive management slots. The second was the Silicon Valley digital revolution of the 1990's with its informal corporate culture and horizontally integrated management style. The third significant event was the collapse of Enron in 2001 which, along with other major accounting scandals, led to the introduction of corporate social responsibility (CSR) education. The global economic crisis of 2008 made CSR education even more compelling, and resulted in critical self-reflection in the field of business education as well as economics. Finally, the impending global environmental crisis has reached such a tipping point that business and business education has moved from an adversarial relationship with environmentalists to a new stance based on win-win strategies. It is the aim of this paper to give a detailed analysis of how all these major historical changes have impacted business education, and further to evaluate to what degree business schools may be undergoing a radical reorientation away from purely capitalist aims to more social contract values.
Steven Rosen, Prefectural University of Hiroshima, Japan
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