Most MBA rankings assess criteria narrowly confined alone the lines of alumni salaries after graduation, how they compare to their pre-MBA earnings, employment rates or career progression. Hardly any emphasis is given to their potential impact on the planet or the integration of sustainability programmes in their course or research, despite being an issue deeply cared about among students today.
Corporate Knights’ recently published Better World MBA ranking is one ranking that bucks this trend. Assessing what are termed as “Sustainable” or “Green” MBAs, the Toronto-based B Corp looks at how programmes are prioritising environmental and social impacts first, before profits.
“Employers are hungry for graduates with that value added of sustainability.” 10 of the best business schools for the world are right here in Canada, with sustainability considerations in their core courses https://t.co/tfArIU7UGI via @corporateknight pic.twitter.com/riYF3nabga
— Imperative Impact (@ImperativeImpac) November 21, 2019
For this particular ranking, business schools are measured on how they encourage future business leaders to contribute to building a better, more sustainable world through the following five indicators:
1. How core courses integrate relevant sustainable development themes. Accounting for 30 percent, this is determined by looking at the course description available on the programme’s website. List of topics considered as part of “sustainable development” include those containng keywords such as Agro-Biodiversity, Carbon Markets, Eco-Citizen, etc.
2. The number of research institutes and centres “that are fully or substantially dedicated to areas of sustainable development”. This makes up 10 percent.
3. The number of peer-reviewed publications in academic journals in 2018 (calendar year) that was authored or co-authored by a faculty member of a business school and the number of citations that are considered as part of “sustainable development”. These account for 30 percent and 20 percent respectively.
4. Gender diversity: The percentage of faculty members who are women out of the total number of faculty members, accounting for five percent.
5. Racial diversity: Percentage of the school’s faculty members who can be identified by photo, name and or biography as clearly not part of the country’s majority race or ethnic group. This accounts for five percent.
By these measures, Warwick Business School takes the top spot again this year, the second consecutive time it has done so. Canada’s Schulich School of Business and the UK’s University of Bath School of Management round up the top three.
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), ranking 21st globally, is Asia’s best performing MBA programme on this ranking.
There have been some promising signs of progress in business education of late. @JenLewington shares some of the latest green shifts at a few of the top schools on our #BetterWorldMBA ranking: https://t.co/bs6ijhkuHE pic.twitter.com/L5E1MlQ1Bo
— Corporate Knights (@corporateknight) November 8, 2019
Frederik Dahlmann, associate professor of strategy and sustainability at the Warwick Business School said: “Now more than ever is the best time to be involved in this area.”
The earlier generation of scholars were “groundbreakers,” according to Dahlmann, who raised sustainability as a legitimate topic for leading academic journals.
“They have been championing research on sustainability directly as editors of those [academic] journals or through special issues,” he says. “I think there is a two-way recognition now that mainstream management journals have to be a bit more responsive to those wider needs, beyond what is typically seen as management issues.”
Below are the top 20 business schools in the Better World MBA Ranking 2019:
|Business School||Country||Final Score|
|1||1||Warwick University – Warwick Business School||UK||94.23%|
|3||2||York University – Schulich School of Business||Canada||89.90%|
|15||3||University of Bath – School of Management||UK||86.13%|
|5||4||University of Vermont – Grossman School
|4||5||Griffith Business School||Australia||84.86%|
|10||6||Massachusetts Institute of Technology –
MIT Sloan School of Management
|27||7||Durham University Business School||UK||83.56%|
|12||8||TIAS School for
Business and Society
|6||9||Georgia Institute of Technology –
Scheller College of Business
|8||10||Saint Mary’s University – Sobey School
|18||11||University of Nottingham||United Kingdom||82.46%|
|11||12||Fordham University – Gabelli School of
|19||13||University of Victoria – Peter B Gustavson
School of Business
|16||14||McGill University – Desautels Faculty
|14||15||Copenhagen Business School||Denmark||79.38%|
|22||16||University of Edinburgh Business School||United Kingdom||79.35%|
|20||17||University of Manchester – Alliance
Manchester Business School
|9||18||University of Guelph – Sustainable Commerce||Canada||78.86%|
|2||19||University of Exeter Business School||United Kingdom||77.76%|
The 146 business schools assessed were drawn from the most recent Financial Times list of top-100 MBA programs, the schools that made Better World’s top-40 roster last year, and business schools accredited by AMBA, AACSB or EQUIS and signatories to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME).