INSEAD | Ms. Social Business
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Healthcare AI
GRE 366, GPA 3.91
Harvard | Ms. Risk-Taker
GRE 310 (to retake), GPA 3 (recalculated)
HEC Paris | Ms. Freelancer
GMAT 710, GPA 5.3
Harvard | Mr. Hedge Funder
GMAT 790, GPA 3.82
Chicago Booth | Mr. Non-Profit Latino
GMAT 710, GPA 3.06
Harvard | Mr. Fresh Perspective
GRE 318, GPA 3.0
USC Marshall | Mr. Supply Chain Guru
GMAT GMAT Waiver, GPA 2.6
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Harvard | Mr. Green Energy Revolution
GMAT 740, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. MPP/MBA
GRE 325, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Ms. Analytical Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Technopreneur
GRE 328, GPA 3.2
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
London Business School | Mr. College Dropout
GMAT 690, GPA NA
Harvard | Mr. MBB Latino Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.75
Stanford GSB | Ms. Top Firm Consulting
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
INSEAD | Mr. Truth
GMAT 670, GPA 3.2
INSEAD | Mr. Powerlifting President
GMAT 750, GPA 8.1/10
Harvard | Mr. Mojo
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Ross | Mr. Law To MBA
GRE 321, GPA 3.77
Stanford GSB | Mr. Failed Startup Founder
GMAT 740, GPA 4
Wharton | Mr. African Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Sommelier
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Wharton | Mr. MBA When Ready
GMAT 700 (expected), GPA 2.1
Kellogg | Mr. AVP Healthcare
GRE 332, GPA 3.3

Cost Of An Academic Article: $400K

Wharton Vice Dean for Innovation Karl Ulrich

Wharton Vice Dean for Innovation Karl Ulrich

Yet, many of these articles are unreadable, delving into esoteric issues that have little current day relevance to practitioners. One of the most vocal critics in recent years has been Roger Martin, until recently the dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. “MBA education is narrow where it should be broad, shallow where it should be deep, and static where it should be dynamic,” he told academics last year.  “Faculty is content to make marginal improvements in the fields they know. We keep ourselves in a narrow cage of static shallowness.”

Just as pointedly, Larry Zicklin, the former chairman of Neuberger Berman and a faculty member at New York University’s Stern School, has called for a major scaling back of  research by business schools. “Most research is written to get ahead in the academic world, for promotion and tenure,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek last year. “It’s not written to be applied in business…it is often obscure and exotic. Research should be done at business school, but it should be done in moderation…The way professors are judged is 99 percent dependent on their research and 1 percent dependent on everything else. People who do research well should do it. People who don’t do it as well should not. The system has been perverted.”

ESTIMATE BASED ON $300,000 A YEAR ALL-IN COST OF TENURED FACULTY AT ELITE SCHOOLS

On the other hand, the defenders of the publish-or-perish system in business academia aggressively argue that such research keeps professors on the leading edge of knowledge in their fields. Without it, they say, teaching in business schools could devolve into a recitation of war stories by executives who find their way into the classroom. Business school research, moreover, has led to some substantive changes in both management practice and investment.

Ulrich and Terwiesch figure that the cost of employing a tenured or tenure-track faculty members is about $300,000 a year, including benefits, sabbaticals and administrative support. At the top 30 or so schools, a full-time faculty members teaches three courses. The pair estimated that half of the cost of the professor’s time, or $150,000, could be allotted to teaching. The other half to research.

“For our analysis,” they write, “we consider the published academic paper as the atomic unit of knowledge. Business school faculty members publish in scholarly journals, such as Management Science, Marketing Science, and the Journal of Finance. Though there are hundreds of such academic journals, the academic community holds at least an implicit agreement that only some of these journals are top journals (also referred to as “A journals”). So, what does it cost to create a unit of knowledge that is of sufficient quality to appear in an A journal? Based on an informal survey of faculty vitae, we observe that faculty members at top business schools publish about 0.75 A journal articles each year with an average of 1 co-author…it costs a business school about $400,000 for every article published in an A journal.”

Asked if Ulrich thought his $400,000 estimate could very well overshadow the report’s other primary conclusions on the impact of technology, he said that he was afraid that was possible. The last thing he would want is for his colleagues to attack him for revealing the high cost of academic research.

DON’T MISS: WHARTON TOPS NEW RANKING BASED ON ACADEMIC RESEARCH or DOES THE WORLD NEED ANOTHER BUSINESS SCHOOL RANKING?

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.