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.
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)