The Impact of World Ranking Systems on Graduate Schools of Business: Promoting the Manipulation of Image over the Management of Substance
World Journal of Education
This essay explores and examines how rankings and league tables have played (and continue to play) a major andconsequential role in how contemporary business schools manage their affairs. It introduces and advances theproposition that rankings promote the short-term manipulation of public reputation (image) projected by businessschools at the expense of the long-term investments in quality improvement. When schools shift scarce resources toactions aimed at enhancing their public image in the
... lic image in the short-term, the consequences for the quality of the professionaleducation is significantly compromised in the long-term to the detriment of the constituencies that they serve. Whilethis paper focuses mainly on business schools in the United States and Canada, where this author has experiencedthese consequences first-hand, the effects are similar if perhaps less dramatic, for those professional businessprograms located in higher education institutions operating in the United Kingdom and Europe. While rankingsystems are not going away anytime soon, some potential ways are identified for business schools to escape thedeleterious and perverse effects of being captive players in the deadly rankings game.