World’s 50 Best Business School Professors

by Andrea Carter on

FOR THE LOVE OF TEACHING

The expertise of the 50 men and women that follow touches nearly every business sector; from helping to heal an ailing economy to producing basic strategy for the Boston Red Sox (despite their sad performance this past year). But within the four walls of MBA classrooms around the globe, their impact is just as significant as they help groom the next generation of business leaders. MBA students who are lucky enough to have been taught by these professors say they are not outstanding teachers because of the wealth of knowledge they bring to class. Rather, they all use the classroom as a conduit to gain deeper knowledge and more ideas.

Says one student as he reflects on longtime Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen, “He views the students as his peers and instead of dispelling his wisdom, he gathers our insights and thoughts in order to create new knowledge and dig into deeper truth. He views us as collaborators, not as students.”

Almost all of the professors agree that the best part of their job has nothing to do with accolades and status; it’s the opportunity to learn from bright students.

THEIR NAMES SAY IT ALL

Despite staying true to their first love of teaching, the top 50 professors would be hard pressed to escape the notoriety that has resulted from their academic prowess. While Christine Moorman, and other names that grace this list may not carry “household” status, they do resonate inside Fortune 500 companies and C-level suites. Some of the names on the list, like Chicago’s Austan Goolsbee, even echo throughout the White House; and Raghuram Rajan, another Booth professor, who was named Chief Economic Advisor to the Indian government in August.

In some cases, it’s their names alone that command instant attention from business leaders and analysts. In other cases, their names not only make the ears of those on Wall Street tingle, but like Jeremy Siegel, they’ve become synonymous with the B-school they’re attached to. Siegel has been appropriately nicknamed the “Wizard of Wharton.”

‘I WAS MADE FOR THIS’

When asked what their dream job would be if they weren’t in B-school, most of the top 50 simply say they were born to teach. But that doesn’t stop some of them from daydreaming about life as a film directors, chefs, molecular biologists, journalists, a member of a mountain rescue team, and other surprisingly non-academic careers.

In other scenarios, like that of Darden’s Greg Fairchild and Columbia’s Sheena Iyengar, life circumstances simply led them to a point of realization that teaching was what they were made to do.

Fairchild stumbled upon the idea of teaching in pursuit of his own MBA degree to get to the next level in the fashion industry. Despite being born legally blind, Iyengar says has always loved ideas, communicating with others, and learning from others. In her words, “teaching is all of that.”

(See following page for our list of the world’s 50 best business school professors)

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  • JAW

    I had Peter Morici as a teacher for undergrad…most self-absorbed and egotistical person I have ever met and one of the worst teachers I had over my 4 years of college. Everyone in his class got an A and he taught nothing but made us watch his TV clips for an hour.

    Joke of a man

  • Lucas D’Alessandro

    Andrea: I found one mistake. Adam Galinsky is now part of Columbia Business School. Cheers!

  • Editor

    Quick correction – Balasubramanian teaches at Kenan-Flagler not Bahsubrama

  • Rngr

    Correction: It should be “America’s best professors with a few london profs together list”..oh I forget! America IS the world…damn me! how could I forget that?

  • John

    No Zeynep Ton from MIT on here? This list now has no credibility.

  • 80%Poet20%Quant

    The fact that Scott Neslin of Tuck is not on this list is a tragedy. He’s a luminary in the fields of sales promotions and database marketing – he practically invented them – and a wonderful teacher & mentor.

  • Daniel

    This list has little credibility. I’m a Booth second year student, and although Goolsbee and Rajan are really good professors, there are at least 8 other professors than are ranked above them in the professors evaluations that students have to fill after every class, such as Schrager, Kaplan, Deutsch, Murphy, Hurst, etc.

  • WSoxFan77

    Booth EMBA here and have to agree with you. In my opinion, Steven Kaplan is the best professor at Booth, a school renowned for finance. This list is made of people who are popular / known in the media. Although, there are some names like Damodaran, Porter, Christensen, etc. that are universally acknowledged as some of the best professors in the country.

  • JohnAByrne

    Daniel,

    The list isn’t of the best business school teachers, but the best professors overall. So we sought to find professors who were at the top of their game in both teaching and scholarly research. That’s why student evaluations of teaching won’t fully capture what we were aiming for in this story.

  • NZ

    No Gary Hamel? No Phanish Puranam? No Andrew Scott? No Richard Portes? mmmm…..

  • http://www.mobilehere.tumblr.com/ Dan Kahn

    Gotta agree with some of the comments here. This list seems like a trailing indicator (who were the best professors of the past 20 years) as opposed to who are the best professors right now.

    For my money, the best professors at Wharton (at least for innovation and entrepreneurship) are Karl Ulrich, David Wessels, Pete Fader, and Kartik Hosanagar. Alex Edmans (Finance), Peggy Bishop Lane (Accounting), and Nicolaj Siggelkow (Strategy) are also professors doing a great job teaching in the core. All of these professors are actively producing academic work and helping build great companies for the future…

  • Daniel

    John,

    There are Nobel prizes at Booth that are really good professors, at par or even better than professors like Goolsbee. However, Goolsbee appears a lot in the media.
    Rajan, great professor, is also in media all the time. He has done some research too, but cannot compare with that of Murphy, Becker, Fogel, and others.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angel-Romero/100000980715464 Angel Romero

    Jochen Wirtz, Head of NUS UCLA EMBA is the most self-absorbed and egotistical person on the face of the earth.

  • Jeff

    FYI, Ron Wilcox is a part of Darden’s Marketing department, not Finance. Also, VERY surprised Ed Freeman, one of the founders of stakeholder theory, is not included on this list.

  • CatoDevil

    At Fuqua – John Graham and Doug Breeden are excellent as well and should be on the list.

  • Misty Johnson

    http://wp.me/p2V1T3-3
    UCLA NUS Executive MBA Program Jochen Wirtz Academic Director Abusive Egomaniac Overpaid Fraud

  • Melanie G

    Thanks for this. I was looking into this program and this has made me reevaluate the issue.

  • Giraffe

    Why only the best at top recognized B schools? Why not the various smaller liberal arts or even some state schools have fantastic professors. I am tired of the biased stories that keep perpetuating the false myth that keep favoring the perceived same top schools when in reality there are many schools that produce great results and even very good research.

  • AugustineThomas

    Europe is free to stop committing population and cultural suicide and start contributing to the world again in its own right whenever it wants to.. (If nothing else, it would be great for it to stop enticing America down the cultural toilet!)

  • AugustineThomas

    Nobel prize recipients are often mediocre at best and are just as likely to be more pleasing to the judges than important to the world.

  • AugustineThomas

    Quit being such a modern brat. Just because your favorite isn’t on there doesn’t mean the list is worthless.

  • AugustineThomas

    I have to point out that everyone who is badmouthing the list seems to just be upset that their favorites didn’t make it..

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