Edited by Chris Bilton and Stephen Cummings
Both business leadership and management education have come under increasing scrutiny and been the subject of extensive criticism over the past decade. In terms of leadership, there has been widespread talk of a crisis of leadership (Salaman 2011), the ascendency in contemporary business of a ëcrude impoverished form of leadershipí (Stern 2010), and of the corrosive effects of the heroic, celebrity CEOs who came to prominence in many high-profile corporations in the 1990s. After briefly surveying the experiences of Enron under Jeffrey Skilling, Rakesh Khurana wrote that: ëToday we stand at a crossroads where, it would seem, many corporations would do well to reconsider their models of leadership and ways of choosing leadersí (Khurana 2002: xi). In terms of management education there has been a sustained debate about, and strong critique of, the role of business schools and their MBAs in particular. Business schools have been criticised for being out of touch, for contributing to unethical business practices and for an overly narrow view of the role and responsibilities of business (Starkey et al. 2004, Bennis and OíToole 2005, Podolny 2009). MBAs have been criticised for being overly theoretical, too focused on technical skills to the relative exclusion of generic skills and attributes and too fragmented in their approach, lacking a sufficient emphasis on integrated and practical application.
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