Management Education by the FrenchGrandes Ecoles deCommerce: Past, Present, and an Uncertain Future
Harker, MJ and Caemmerer, B and Hynes, N, Management Education by the FrenchGrandes Ecoles deCommerce: Past, Present, and an Uncertain Future, Academy of Management Learning and Education, 15, (3) pp. 549-568. ISSN 1537-260X (2016) [Refereed Article]
We present a comprehensive briefing on the past and present of a business educational culture that is significantly different in ethos and structure to the widely known systems in the United States and United Kingdom; namely, the history and culture of the French Grandes Ecoles de Commerce. We follow with a brief reminder of extant literature on the utility of business education and its seeming misalignment with the competencies and skills specified by practitioners. Key pressures and trends on and within this system, such as internationalization, accreditation, and a greater emphasis on publications are identified and discussed. We then combine these threads in a partial replication of the work of Dierdorff and Rubin (2006; Rubin & Dierdorff, 2009). Specifically, we present collated information on 1582 classes from 542 programs at the top Grandes Ecoles de Commerce alongside further secondary data and then analyze it in respect of alignment with Rubin and Dierdorff’s identified behavioral competencies. We argue that the outcome of these pressures may well be that inherent and historical strengths of great value are being discarded, and that the degree of irrelevance and misalignment between educational provision and required managerial competence will stay the same or even get worse.