The oldest University based Business schools are now well over a century old. Yet, they are still viewed as less central to the University’s mission than say, the study of the Law. Furthermore, every discussion of the purpose and significance of B-schools is tied to the MBA degree. Suggesting that the MBA degree is the sole raison d’etre of B-schools.
Unsurprisingly, I believe that B-schools have a significance independent of the MBA. The reason is simple. Trade is the wellspring of civilization. The struggle for commercial supremacy is as much a spur to advancement as the lust for political power and dominion over nature. Why a University should privilege the study of the last of these over the first makes not a whit of sense.
To those who lament the disciplinary silos that Universities have become, B-schools represent a remarkably successful model of interdisciplinary activity. In many ways, B-schools are to be emulated. In fact, they are. Look at Law Schools and Engineering schools.