Article | Journal of Management Studies | May 2012

Herbert A. Simon on What Ails Business Schools: More than A Problem in Organizational Design

by Rakesh Khurana and J.C. Spender

Abstract

We critically examine Herbert Simon's 1967 essay, "The Business School: A Problem in Organizational Design." We consider this essay within the context of Simon's key ideas about organizations, particularly those closely associated with the 'Carnegie perspective' on organizations, and how they influenced the reinvention of American business schools in the post-WWII era, were deeply influenced by the post-War context, and also were appropriated by the Ford and Carnegie Foundations to reform business school teaching and research. We argue that management educators misappropriated Simon's concept of an intellectually robust and relevant research and educational agenda for business schools that has in part contributed to the intellectual stasis that now characterizes business education research and its capacity to inform management practice.

Keywords: Organizational Design; Perspective; Innovation and Invention; Business Education; Research; Management Practices and Processes; Teaching;

Citation:

Khurana, Rakesh, and J.C. Spender. "Herbert A. Simon on What Ails Business Schools: More than A Problem in Organizational Design." Journal of Management Studies 49, no. 3 (May 2012): 619–639.