A new book currently listed as a “best seller” on Amazon titled The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA contains some pretty harsh criticisms of Harvard Business School. We haven’t read this book but financial journalist Duff McDonald appears to be targeting the role HBS has played in shaping American capitalism after his successful McKinsey expose, The Firm. The two main questions McDonald appears to be answering are:
(1) How has HBS done of late fulfilling the stated goal of its founders, i.e. “the multiplication of men who will handle their current business problems in socially constructive ways?”
(2) Is HBS complicit in the ethical failings of Western capitalism?
McDonald argues HBS has been “an enormous failure” at (1) and points to HBS professor Michael Jensen’s agency theory and McGill’s Henry Mintzberg to support his criticism.
Again, we have not at least yet read McDonald’s Golden Passport but wanted to make our readers aware of the new publication as it may be receiving significant press in the coming months. If you’re looking for more insight into HBS, Philip Delves Broughton’s Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business School is a book we reviewed probably about 10 years ago. Its information may be a bit dated now, but we thought it was well written and fairly well balanced.
And, finally, please feel free to share your comments below. We always welcome all comments but if you have read The Golden Passport, we especially would appreciate your thoughts.
Best of luck with your applications!
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