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Business School Briefing: Bureaucracy, entrepreneurship and an MBA’s value


Welcome to Business School Briefing. We offer you insights from Andrew Hill and Jonathan Moules, and the pick of top stories being read in business schools. Edited by Wai Kwen Chan and Andrew Jack.

Latest MBA stories

Is it a mistake to continue with an MBA? Read advice from our careers expert — and FT readers

How MBA students have faced a year of uncertainty Networking over Zoom and online learning has created a unique crop of new business leaders

Andrew Hill’s management challenge

Bureaucracy has a bad reputation and many organisations have found that under crisis conditions they can sweep away the worst red tape. But, as I argue in this week’s column, with reference to how the UK’s National Health Service is handling coronavirus, we should beware of forging ahead without any checks and balances.

For my first management challenge of 2021, come up with one nonsensical administrative hurdle that you would add to our bonfire of bureaucracy. We’ll publish the best examples next week. If you prefer to be anonymous, let us know when you make your submissions to [email protected].

In further reading, a late contribution to your New Year’s resolution from the archive of the late, great management thinker Peter Drucker: his Harvard Business Review article, first published in 1999, on how to manage yourself. “Go to work on acquiring the skills and knowledge you need to fully realise your strengths,” he advises. Meanwhile, in case you missed it, I wrote just before the holidays about how leaders are adapting (or not) to the uncertainties ahead, with examples from Yum! to WL Gore, via Haier and the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Jonathan Moules’ business school news

Creating new jobs and businesses is going to be a necessity in many economies this year. It is also a reason why many of the current MBA intake at business schools around the world applied to the postgraduate management degree. They wish to start businesses. My recent article on whether an MBA is useful for an aspiring entrepreneur sparked some lively debate in the comments section. A reader last week eulogised in our letters column about the value of taking the qualification in a year of the pandemic. I would be interested to hear what other readers think.

FT Business Books: January edition

From the chemistry of connections to the ‘new rules’ of business — here are this month’s top titles.

Read comments from Leo Cremonezi, the FT’s Rankings Manager, on The Long-Distance Teammate: Stay Engaged and Connected While Working Anywhere.

Data line

Bar chart of The different levels of career progress from alumni of European EMBA, MBA and Masters in Management degrees, three years after completion ({f08ff3a0ad7db12f5b424ba38f473ff67b97b420df338baa81683bbacd458fca}) showing European business schools:  EMBA and MBA alumni gain better job prospects

By Leo Cremonezi

For EMBA and MBA alumni, career progress is calculated according to changes in level of seniority and the size of company they are working in now, compared with before their studies. For Masters in Management (MiM), the methodology is the same, but the timeframe is between graduation and now because many alumni have not worked before starting their programme.

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Top business school reads

Angry mobs of Trump supporters interrupt transfer of power Congress temporarily abandoned certification of Biden win as Capitol assault led to four deaths

Trump pledges ‘orderly transition’ after Biden win confirmed Statement comes a day after outgoing president praised Capitol Hill rioters

Democrats move to impeach Donald Trump for second time Pelosi instructs lawmakers to press ahead with process unless president resigns

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