In France, many business schools are public-private partnerships (École consulaire or EESC) largely financed by the public Chambers of Commerce. These schools offer accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees in business from the elite Conférence des Grandes Écoles and have only loose ties, or no ties at all, to any university (e.g., HEC Paris, TBS Education, ESCP Business School).
Kaplan classifies business schools along four Corners:
Culture (Europe - US): Independent of their actual (physical) location, business schools can be classified according to whether they follow the European or the US model.
Compass (international/global – regional/local): Business schools can be classified along a continuum, with international/ global schools on one end and regional/ local schools on the other.
Capital (public – private): Business schools can either be publicly (state) funded or privately funded, for example through endowments or tuition fees.
Content (teaching – research): Business school can be classified according to whether a school considers teaching or research to be its primary focus.
The first business schools appeared in Europe in the eighteenth century and multiplied from the beginning of the nineteenth century. As the French scholar Adrien Jean-Guy Passant points out, the oldest business school in the world is, to this day, ESCP Business School, founded in Paris in October 1819, under the name ‘Special School of Commerce and Industry’, followed by the business school of the Università Ca'Foscari in Italy which was opened in August 1868 under the name ‘Higher School of Commerce of Venice’. If, in Europe, business schools are generally recognized as the first educational establishments to have taught commerce, it was however the engineering schools which, at the very beginning of the nineteenth century, provided a commercial education at higher level, particularly within the Prague Polytechnic (from 1806) and the Vienna Polytechnic (from 1815).
1759 – The Aula do Comércio in Lisbon was the first institution to specialise in the teaching of accounting in the world. It provided a model for development of similar government-sponsored schools across Europe, and closed in 1844. Therefore, the Aula do Comércio paved the way for business schools to start.
1819 – The oldest business school still in existence today, ESCP Business School, established as Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris, is in Paris, France. Initially, ESCP was a private school that became a family firm from 1830 to 1869.
1855 – The Institut Supérieur de Commerce d'Anvers (State funded) and the Institut Saint-Ignace – École Spéciale de Commerce et d'Industrie (Jesuits education) were founded in the same year in the city of Antwerp, Belgium. After getting university status in 1965 and after almost 150 years of business education and rivalry between each other, both merged in 2003 into what became the University of Antwerp.
1907 – HEC Montréal is founded in Montreal, being the first School of Management of its kind in Canada. It was also the first school in North America to be awarded the 3 most prestigious accreditations (AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS), which less than 70 schools in the world have achieved.
In Europe, higher education degrees have been commonly re-organized into three levels which correspond to those of other European countries in order to facilitate international mobility: the Licence / Licence Professionnelle (Bachelor's degrees), and the Master's and Doctorat degrees. The Bachelors and the Masters are organized in semesters: 6 for the Bachelors and 4 for the Masters. A student accumulates those ECTS (European credits) which are generally transferable between paths. A Bachelors is awarded once 180 ECTS have been obtained (bac + 3); a Masters is awarded once 120 additional credits have been obtained (bac +5) . A Doctorate is awarded after a Master's and additional 180 ECTS are obtained (bac + 8), and other academic requirements are satisfied. In Francophone countries, those levels of study include various "parcours" or paths based on UE (Unités d'enseignement or Modules), each worth a defined number of ECTS. Grand école business schools are elite academic institutions that admit students through an extremely competitive process, and the highly coveted PGE (Grand Ecole Program) ends with the degree of Master's in Management (MiM).
Use of case studies
Some business schools structure their teaching around the use of case studies (i.e. the case method). Case studies have been used in Graduate and Undergraduate business education for nearly one hundred years. Business cases are historical descriptions of actual business situations. Typically, information is presented about a business firm's products, markets, competition, financial structure, sales volumes, management, employees and other factors influencing the firm's success. The length of a business case study may range from two or three pages to 30 pages, or more.
Students are expected to scrutinize the case study and prepare to discuss strategies and tactics that the firm should employ in the future. Three different methods have been used in business case teaching:
Preparing case-specific questions to be answered by the student. This is used with short cases intended for Undergraduate students. The underlying concept is that such students need specific guidance to be able to analyze case studies.
Problem-solving analysis is the second method initiated by the Harvard Business School which is by far the most widely used method in MBA and executive development programs. The underlying concept is that with enough practice (hundreds of case analyses) students develop intuitive skills for analyzing and resolving complex business situations. Successful implementation of this method depends heavily on the skills of the discussion leader.
A generally applicable strategic planning approach. This third method does not require students to analyze hundreds of cases. A strategic planning model is provided and students are instructed to apply the steps of the model to six – and up to a dozen cases – during a semester. This is sufficient to develop their ability to analyze a complex situation, generate a variety of possible strategies and to select the best ones. In effect, students learn a generally applicable approach to analyze cases studies and real situations. This approach does not make any extraordinary demands on the artistic and dramatic talents of the teacher. Consequently, most professors are capable of supervising the application of this method.
History of business cases
When Harvard Business School started operating in 1908, the faculty realized that there were no textbooks suitable for a graduate program in business. Their first solution to this problem involved interviewing leading practitioners of business and writing detailed accounts of what these managers were doing, based partly on the case method already in use at Harvard Law School. Of course, the professors could not present these cases as practices to be emulated, because there were no criteria available for determining what would succeed and what would not succeed. So the professors instructed their students to read the cases and to come to class prepared to discuss the cases and to offer recommendations for appropriate courses of action. The basic outlines of this method still operate in business-school curricula as of 2016[update].
Another important approach used in business school is the use of business games that are used in different disciplines such as business, economics, management, etc. Some colleges are blending many of these approaches throughout their degree programs, and even blending the method of delivery for each of these approaches. A study from by Inside Higher Ed and the Babson Survey Research Group shows that there is still disagreement as to the effectiveness of the approaches but the reach and accessibility is proving to be more and more appealing. Liberal arts colleges in the United States like New England College,Wesleyan University, and Bryn Mawr College are now offering complete online degrees in many business curricula despite the controversy that surrounds the learning method.
There are also several business schools which still rely on the lecture method to give students a basic business education. Lectures are generally given from the professor's point of view, and rarely require interaction from the students unless notetaking is required. Lecture as a method of teaching in business schools has been criticized by experts for reducing the incentive and individualism in the learning experience.
In addition to teaching students, many business schools run Executive Education programs. These may be either open programs or company-specific programs. Executives may also acquire an MBA title in an Executive MBA program within university of business or from top ranked business schools. Many business schools seek close co-operation with business.
Scope of accreditation for AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA
There are three main accreditation agencies for business schools in the United States: ACBSP, AACSB, and the IACBE. In Europe, the EQUIS business school accreditation system is run by the EFMD, which sometimes applies the more narrow EPAS label to specific courses. The AMBA accredits MBA programmes and other post-graduate business programmes in 75 countries; its sister organisation the Business Graduates Association (BGA), accredits business schools, based on the impact they make on students, employers and the wider community and society, in terms of ethics and responsible management practices. Triple accreditation is used to indicate that a school has been accredited by these three bodies: AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS. About 1% of business schools are triple-accredited.
Global Master of Business Administration ranking
Each year, well-known business publications such as The Economist,Eduniversal,U.S. News & World Report,Fortune, Financial Times,Business Week,Expansion and The Wall Street Journal publish rankings of selected MBA programs and business schools that, while controversial in their methodology, nevertheless can directly influence the prestige of schools that achieve high scores. Academic research is also considered to be an important feature and popular way to gauge the prestige of business schools. Business schools share the common purpose of developing global managerial talent and to this end, business schools are encouraged to accelerate global engagement strategies on the foundations of collaboration and innovation.
In the United States, most public college and universities charge tuition. According to the CollegeBoard, the average cost for an out-of-state, or international student, to attend a public four year university in 2020 was US $38,330 (33,558 Euros), while the average in-state cost was US $21,950 (19,217 Euros). Two year public universities, such as a community colleges, charge US $3,730 (3,266 Euros) on average for in-state students, but these institutions usually do not offer Bachelors or MBA degrees. Private institutions in the United States all charge tuition, often considerably more than their public counterparts.
^ abKaplan, Andreas (2018). "Andreas Kaplan: A school is "a building that has four walls…with tomorrow inside": Toward the reinvention of the business school". Business Horizons. 61: 599–608. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2018.03.010. S2CID158794290.
^Adrien Jean-Guy Passant: À l’origine des écoles de commerce : ESCP Business School, la passion d’entreprendre, L'Harmattan, 2020, ISBN978-2-343-18659-7.
^"Adrien Jean-Guy Passant: The early emergence of European commercial education in the nineteenth century: Insights from higher engineering schools, Business History, Volume 61, Issue 6, pp.1051-1082, 2019". doi:10.1080/00076791.2018.1448063. S2CID158445441. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
^Passant, Adrien Jean-Guy (2018). "Between filial piety and managerial opportunism: the strategic use of the history of a family business after the buyout by non-family purchasers". Entreprises et Histoire. 91 (2): 62. doi:10.3917/eh.091.0062.
^Kaplan, Andreas M (2014). "European Management and European Business Schools: Insights from the History of Business Schools". European Management Journal. 32 (4): 529–534. doi:10.1016/j.emj.2014.03.006.
^Yumlembam, Dayananda. "MICA innovation to help Harvard business school sharpen teaching tools". Times of India. TNN. Retrieved 9 November 2015. When Harvard Business School was started, its faculty members realized that there were no textbooks suitable to a graduate program in business. That was when they decided to use case studies which are detailed accounts of innovative methods and practices that managers follow.