Rank procedure

IESE, the Opus Dei run business school based in Barcelona, has been given top slot amongst business schols around the world by The Economist for the second year on the trot for its MBA courses. Yannick Laclau has commented on this in the past due to the inflated salary estimates of ex-IESE students, but my gripe comes from the methodology used.

Like Yannick, I am also an (occasional) Economist reader, though I do find that the doctrinaire emphasis on market-based solutions for just about everything except health-care can get to be a bit tiresome and predictable at times. I read the magazine for the quality of the writing, its internationalism and the knowledge of the journalists. Basically, I’ve got no real axe to grind with the publication and look forward to reading it whenever I get the time.

However, The Economist’s system for assessing MBAs, which uses survey results from ex- and current students, is heavily based on “new professional opportunities” and “salary increases”, which receive respective weightings of 35% and 25% when it comes to evaluating survey results, with “personal development and learning experience” getting a paltry 35%.

Anyone who has met an MBA-holder will probably not be too surprised by this, as the qualification is often more indicative of vacuous ambition and a willingness to fellate the corporate devil than ability, but it’s nevertheless disturbing that the actual quality of the teaching is a relatively minor factor in the rankings; it’s simply a case of whether your business school can line you up with a nice job on finishing, which in the case of a school with a strong Opus Dei tie-in is going to be highly likely. The Jesuit-owned Barcelona school Esade ranks number 35 in The Economist’s survey, but interestingly The Wall Street Journal’s survey, which includes results from employers as well as students, has it at the top spot. 

What perhaps is most surprising is that Spain can field top-quality business schools on the international scene yet Spanish companies are often abysmally run, with top-heavy management systems where porn-consuming lardboxes in their 50s predominate, outdated command structures and a failure to train and delegate. Casa de herrero, cuchillo de palo.

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~ by Daniel on October 13, 2006.

One Response to “Rank procedure”

  1. That’s why many of us choose to work overseas.
    Ian Llorens, Massachusetts.

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