The Harvard Business School Under Fire

In a detailed and controversial account of his 2-years at HBS, Philip Delves Broughton has ignited a firestorm of criticism directed at the Harvard Business School, its students and business education in general. With coverage from the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The Economist, etc., Ahead of the Curve has generated a considerable amount of publicity that has mostly been negative and damaging.

In this Special Issue, the Harbus dives right in and conducts an exhaustive review of Broughton’s material. Second year students were surveyed for their take on the issues raised by the book and several perspectives- alumni, current students and the HBS administration- are offered on what has undoubtedly been a sour note to the ongoing centennial celebration of the school.

Do HBS students suffer from an overbearing sense of entitlement? Or is this just a sensationalized work of fiction meant to sell copies and generate press through the exploitation of commonly held biases against HBS? Like in most things, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Whether he’s “ahead of the curve” or a sour grape left behind, Broughton does raise some compelling questions about the HBS experience. We explore a couple of these in the reviews and articles that follow.

September 8, 2008
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