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Blame game, sustainable business education, degree funding


Good afternoon from London. When mistakes occur, leaders who shift the blame on staff destroy trust within the team — and beyond. It’s best to investigate what went wrong and how to avoid repeating mistakes. We like to hear your ideas on how. Also, read our Responsible Business Education report, and find out whether schools are practising what they preach when it comes to operating sustainably.

Thank you for reading our Business School Briefing — Wai Kwen Chan and Andrew Jack.

Responsible Business Education

As sustainability and social impact move up the corporate agenda, business schools are rethinking what they teach. We look at which schools are performing best on ESG — and where they are falling short. The winners of the Responsible Business Education Awards 2022 will be announced on January 19.

As schools scramble to embrace sustainability, rankings providers are trying to evaluate their efforts.

Responsible Business Education
Business schools need to get serious about sustainability © Bratislav Milenkovic


The University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School has appointed as its new dean professor Soumitra Dutta, currently professor of management at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business.

Research: Economics imitates TV

Business can be a cut-throat world, so Professor Wayne Geerling at Australia’s Monash Business School is using Squid Game to teach complex game theory to his microeconomics students.

Andrew Hill’s management challenge

Publicly blaming your staff for mistakes, as tennis star Novak Djokovic did last week over errors in his Australia travel declaration, is never a good look. As I write in my latest column, leaders should resist the temptation. Instead of asking “who screwed up?”, they should consider what went wrong and how to avoid it happening again.

My management challenge this week is to identify at least one principle that will ensure that “the buck stops here”, while at the same time making sure that the right lessons are learnt from errors and disasters. Send your tips to [email protected] and we will print the best in next week’s newsletter.

Last week I asked how you would persuade a Covid-cautious audience back to live events. I’ve picked highlights from two great responses. Eloise Skinner suggests “making sure your event doesn’t start or end at peak commuting times”. Giana Eckhardt says organisers should use the trust in the community that forms around live events and “lean on their most cherished artists, performers, and fans to help communicate the protective measures put in place”.

“Power-hungry people are, by definition, more likely to seek power”, Rachel Cunliffe writes in this week’s further reading, a fascinating interview for the New Statesman with political scientist Brian Klaas, who has studied and interviewed some of the world’s nastiest leaders for a new book. His depressing conclusion about why unsuitable people make it to the top: “Our modern society has made it extremely unattractive to normal, decent human beings to end up in positions of power.”

Data line: degrees of funding

Free event: Join us for the FT’s ‘Future of Business Education: Spotlight on MBA’

We will be holding a virtual event on Feb 23 Wednesday 2022 with FT Editorial and top business schools sharing insights about the FT MBA ranking, responsible business education, innovation and the future of the MBA in a post Covid-19 world. Register for free on:

Once you have decided to pursue a business degree, the next challenge is: how do I pay for it?

Only 10 per cent of all tuition fees for European Masters in Management alumni, surveyed by the FT, were paid by sponsorships and scholarships — and the figure is lower for the rest of the world.

The average total tuition of Masters in Management alumni in Europe is almost half that of a MiM elsewhere, write Sam Stephens and Leo Cremonezi. About 14 per cent of all European MBA alumni tuition are paid by sponsorships and scholarships, compared with 17 per cent for the rest of world.

Chart showing the percentage of fees for Masters in Management and MBAs funded by sponsorship or scholarships (%)

Further analysis of FT’s European Business Schools ranking can be found here.

FT business books — January edition

From the homespun wisdom of a cheerleading coach to how to deal with the ‘jerk’ at work, here are this month’s top titles.

Book covers
One of the books shows that timing is a key ingredient in the success of any new venture

Work and careers roundup

Takeshi Niinami, president and chief executive of Suntory
Takeshi Niinami, president and chief executive of Suntory © Shiho Fukada/Bloomberg

Top reads from business schools in the past week

The EU vs the City of London: a slow puncture Brexit hurt the financial centre but lack of political will is holding back Europe’s efforts to reduce its dependence on the UK.

A stacked bar chart of investments by location of private equity firm that shows the City of London is the favoured home for Europe’s hedge funds

Boris Johnson faces calls to resign after he admits attending ‘bring your own booze’ event The UK prime minister offers partial apology, saying he believed the lockdown gathering to be work related.

China applies brakes to Africa lending Beijing has signalled a more cautious approach amid warnings that several African countries could struggle to repay debts.

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