Torn Between Two Paradigms: A Struggle for the Soul of Business Schools

Chris Laszlo, Robert Sroufe, Sandra Waddock
  • AI Practitioner, May 2017, AI Practitioner Journal
  • DOI: 10.12781/978-1-907549-31-1-12

What is it about?

Business schools today are torn between two paradigms, with a resulting struggle about the nature and value of both teaching and research. Today’s dominant neoliberal paradigm pervades the vast majority of schools with its narrative of profit maximization, free markets, and limited government. Its proponents view competition, growth, and consumerism as the defining characteristics of society. By contrast, the emerging and inchoate “economy in service to life” narrative aims at freedom and dignity for all achieved through shared well-being on a healthy planet. Business schools are increasingly caught between these narratives or paradigms. This results in confusion for students, tensions among faculty members, and discontinuity in institutional leadership when successive deans oscillate from one to the other. CITATION: Laszlo, C., Waddock, S., & Sroufe, R. (2017). Torn Between Two Paradigms: A Struggle for the Soul of Business Schools. AI Practitioner, 19(2).


Dr Robert Sroufe
Duquesne University

We need to rethink how and why business school curriculum is delivered.

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