Ranking Business Schools On Research

by John A. Byrne on

rankings imageWhich business schools’ professors crank out the most research? According to a new ranking that takes into account the published work of profs between 2008 and 2012, it’s the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. A distant second is Harvard Business School, followed by the University of Michigan’s Ross School, New York University’s Stern School of Business, and Duke University’s Fuqua School.

The latest annual ranking, updated March 11, is compiled by the UT Dallas’ Naveen Jindal School of Management, which tracks publication in 24 leading business journals that range from The Accounting Review to Strategic Management Journal. The school tracks more esoteric and academic journals, excluding such publications as The Harvard Business Review, the best-read management journal in the world. That is one reason why Harvard, a school whose professors do more research that is immediately useful to managers and executives, is significantly behind Wharton. Wharton professors, according to the ranking, were credited with 357 articles in the five-year period, versus 228 for Harvard (see table on following page).

U.S. SCHOOLS DOMINATE WITH MORE THAN 70 IN THE TOP 100

The top 13 schools are all based in the U.S., according to the survey. The first non-U.S. school to pop up on the list is INSEAD which is ranked 14th in the world this year. Only two U.K. schools appear on the list of the top 100: London Business School, which is ranked 24th, and Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, which placed 100th. China, on the other hand, now has five business schools in the top 100, lead by No. 16 Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. All told, the U.S. schools dominate the list with 71 of the top 100 schools.

Of course, much of what passes for research in business schools is seldom readable or very useful. Most of the academic journals that are measured on this database are read only by relatively few scholars in narrow disciplines. For years, critics have complained that only a small percentage of research done by business schools has any application in the real world. And this ranking, which coincidentally shows sponsor UT-Dallas ahead of such business schools as UC-Berkeley, UCLA, and London Business School, should be treated like all rankings: with a very large grain of salt.

A MAJOR DRAWBACK: THE RANKING ISN’T ADJUSTED FOR FACULTY SIZE SO IT PENALIZES SMALLER SCHOOLS

Another significant drawback of this ranking is that it is not adjusted for the size of a school’s faculty. As a result, schools which have large faculties, tend to perform much better in the ranking. Users can search the database to get a per capita performance analysis of up to ten business schools, but you would have to input the faculty size of a school to adjust the rankings (see “Does The World Need Another Business School Ranking?“).

Nonetheless, the UT-Dallas survey is a more thorough effort to measure the research output of professors than the research component in either The Financial Times or Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s rankings. Another important benefit of the UT-Dallas list is that it is a searchable database, allowing users to see which school’s professors rank according to each of the 24 journals measured. So if you are primarily interested in marketing, a user can single out the four marketing journals (Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research and Marketing Science) out of the 24 publications and see how specific schools fare against each other.

WHO’S BEST IN MARKETING, FINANCE AND OPERATIONS

In marketing, the top five schools are Wharton, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Duke, Chicago Booth, and Columbia Business School. In finance, where three journals are tracked (Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics and The Review of Financial Studies), the top schools are No. 1 Chicago Booth, No. 2 Wharton, No. 3 NYU Stern, No. 4 Harvard, and No. 5 Columbia Business School. In operations, where oddly four journals are measured (more than business disciplines that generally assume greater importance at business schools such as finance and marketing, the top winners are No. 1 Columbia, No. 2 UT-Dallas, No. 3 MIT Sloan, No. 4 Duke Fuqua, and No. 5 Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School.

(See following page for the worldwide ranking of the top 100 schools)

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  • johndo

    Yet another rubish. This ranking doesn’t take into account the number of faculty.

  • martin

    Fuqua performs admirably yet again. This feat is even more impressive considering the fact that it is one of the smaller b-schools.

  • Why does ATL hate CLS?

    Why is CBS always so low ranked, yet seems to have great employment prospects?

  • ferrari

    It’s the NY effect. Columbia is also a powerful brand. Don’t discount how important that can be. Having said that, perhaps we will see new elite schools emerge in the coming years.

  • ranking_reader

    Think of it as desirability of where to be a Professor

  • Frm402

    Because some Columbia professors are busy moonlighting as consultants to lobbying groups. Jobs as lucrative experts is easy money. See dean Hubbard’s interview in documentary

  • B. Ence

    CBS is great but only for NYC, and maybe northeast at best. Being in Manhatten makes it popular, just as being in the bay makes Haas popular. The programs and students aren’t that impressive though. My opinion.

  • john

    who cares! why does an MBA student care about research? this isn’t physics or chemistry. this is business – is any of this research valuable to students who are paying big bucks for tuition. all this means is that wharton, as #1 in research, is a place where students can expect their professors to care little about teaching.

  • Pedro232

    John, you have a great website and most likely to be the most credible for MBA programs, however, I don’t understand why it is so focusing on US based schools? for example, BusinessWeek just released its European MBA ranking, yet, you didn’t mention it at all! Why?

  • John Byrne

    That’s a good question. The European MBA ranking was actually not a BusinessWeek ranking but rather a pick up of a survey by an MBA touring company. After seeing your comment, I did a quick post on the ranking but frankly the most value here is in the data–not the list which is not entirely credible. BusinessWeek’s ranking of the best U.S. and non-U.S. schools is published every other year and was last put out last year. Here’s a link to my post: http://poetsandquants.com/2013/04/23/highest-gmats-salaries-in-europe/

  • Roger

    Europe is dead. Asia is rising.

    USA – we are still the rulers of the world!

    Let’s keep it real and not waste time focusing on Socialist Europe.

  • salma

    from professionalism prospective, why BusinessWeek publish another survey (so called ranking) for schools while they already have their own ranking (for non-us schools), why do they let another ranking intervene theirs !

  • Seema

    I register with Argosy University for MBA San Diego campus full time plz
    let me know about the program am tensed with shocking reviews. ……..

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