chapter  3
31 Pages

American Influence on European Management Education - The role of the ford foundation

Until a few years ago there was general agreement that the United States had always led in the field of management education and that for this reason her models had been easily exported to Europe. Since the end of the 1980s, however, this statement has been open to question. American experts have begun to examine the deficiencies of business education in the United States and to compare these with the weakening of American management's organizational capabilities (Aaronson 1992). At the same time, they have begun to say that some European business schools, especially those that have developed a transnational focus and teach international business as a subject which is integrated throughout the curriculum, have reached a competitive position in the worldwide campus of management education (Greenhouse 1991). This revisionist attitude has stimulated scholars into analysing the historical heterogeneity and different patterns of business schools, in both their organizational design and training strategies. In the last few years, they have produced studies in which the historical approach has a crucial role in analysing the different solutions that each institution has given to similar organizational problems. As Herbert Simon (1967) has stated, these problems are principally related to the functional complexity of the business school and, in particular, to the necessity of integrating two different social systems and their cultural patterns: the social system of practitioners and the social system of scientists in relevant disciplines (such as mathematical sciences, behavioural sciences, and accounting) whose heterogeneity is also evident.