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Business School Briefing: top management masters


FT Masters in Management 2020 ranking

Find out the FT’s best business schools and the full list of the leading 90. Read about why students are studying for a Masters in Management, how to make the best of online learning and why courses must adapt to social concerns in our report at

Data line

“There is a marked gender pay gap in all of the top six sectors for Masters in Management alumni,” say Leo Cremonezi and Sam Stephens. Take a look at MiM graduates’ progress — in charts.

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Andrew Hill’s management challenge

Leaders have a dangerous tendency to behave as though they are the exception to their own rules. Last week, the FT reported that two senior Canary Wharf executives had skipped quarantine on returning to their office in London’s financial centre from trips abroad.

As I’ve written this week, it is crucial for leaders to model good behaviour, rather than rely on codes and rules. For my management challenge, I’d like to hear one example of good behaviour by a business leader — it could be a well-known case, or an unheralded action by a junior manager. Send your stories of models of ethical leadership to [email protected].

My challenge last week was about company secrets and Sandra Pickering responded with a tale from her time at Mars “many years ago” when it was known as a secretive family company. In fact, she writes, it had a radically transparent culture, including the publication of salary data in a large binder that anyone could consult: “Occasionally, someone did but the main effect of leaving it there was that people largely ignored it and ignored the topic of salary,” she says.

In further reading, Tom Barratt, Alex Veen and Caleb Goods’ article for The Conversation on the reverse of transparency — algorithmic management, which deprives workers of agency and flexibility. Their data confirm “that it is almost impossible to complain about the decisions of the algorithm. Workers often do not know the exact basis of those decisions, and there’s no one to complain to anyway”.

Jonathan Moules’ business school news

This has not been an easy, or normal, start to the academic year for business masters students. But it has not stopped them coming from all over the world. This week saw the publication of our annual ranking of masters in management (MiM) degrees, with students applying in record numbers to the leading courses.

MiMs evolved as a valuable postgraduate qualification for university leavers seeking a way to stand out in the jobs market. This year’s sharp rise in unemployment caused by the Covid-19 crisis has made such qualifications more valuable than ever.

The applications boom is good news for business schools. A more difficult issue is how to make business education more inclusive, a concern heightened by instances of police brutality in the US and the Black Lives Matter protests. Harvard Business School attracted attention last week for publishing an action plan for racial equity. HBS has been criticised by students and faculty for the lack of racial diversity in its MBA intake, but it is not alone in seeing a need for greater balance. Expect other schools to follow suit with new inclusivity measures.

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Top business school reads

Boris Johnson unveils winter of Covid-19 restrictions ‘We must reserve right to go further,’ PM tells the UK as people urged to work from home and army ready to back police

Global stocks sink on fears of new Covid lockdowns Worries over tightening of pandemic restrictions

Donald Trump refuses to commit to peaceful transfer of power US president also links need for Supreme Court appointment to a disputed election result

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