Wharton Repeats As Top Research School

The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas in Austin

The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas in Austin

In that light, Jindal’s Top 100 Business School Research Rankings performs a valuable function. It measures activity, even at the expense of influence. Despite its flaws and limitations, it shows students exactly which schools are performing the cutting edge research – the places where they can pick up best practices and emerging trends ahead of their peers. Sometimes, this is happening at the schools that people might expect based on overall rankings.


Not surprisingly, MIT Sloan rounds out the top three after Wharton and Harvard. However, it managed to edge out New York University (Stern), despite publishing 14 fewer papers (i.e. more multiple authors in Stern scholarship). In fact, Sloan has been among the biggest movers in this ranking, bottoming out in the 2005-2009 cycle at 13th with 163 articles and a 81.44 index score (compared to 232 articles with a 110.51 in the 2011-2015 period). And here’s an interesting tidbit: Stern actually ranked ahead of Harvard as the second-most prolific source of business research for four consecutive cycles before Harvard regained the runner-up spot for its research beginning with 2007-2011.

During that same time, Sloan’s rise has been matched by a steep fall by Duke (Fuqua). Like Stern, Fuqua also enjoyed a two year stint as the second-best business school for research volume. Just how far has Fuqua fallen? For research published from 2011-2015, it ranks 18th with 186 papers for an 83.74 index score. Compare that to its 2005-2009 heyday, when Fuqua professors authored 247 papers in the top business journals (according to UT-Dallas) for a 129.18 index score.

Rounding out this year’s top five is the University of Texas (McCombs) – a spot it has held for three consecutive years (after ranking anywhere from 6th to 11th for nine consecutive years with this ranking). The remaining spots in the top ten are held by (in this order): Michigan (Ross), INSEAD, Toronto (Rotman), Columbia, and North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler). Rotman, in particular, illustrates the power of a strategic, demanding, and charismatic leader like former dean Roger Martin. From 2000-2004, Rotman ranked 43rd in research with 41 papers and a 23.87 index. Fast forward 12 years and those numbers have risen to 197 and 98.96.


Overall, eight of the top ten research programs are based in the United States, with INSEAD leading the international programs with a 7th place finish. In total, American MBA programs represented 39 of the top 50 business research schools, including 22 of the top 25.

So which schools are punching above their ranking when it comes to scholarly research? Well, Jindal owns a decided home field advantage with its methodology, ranking 12th with 198 articles – 14 more than Kellogg – at 198 published papers.  USC (Marshall) has consistently ranked in or near the top 10 over the 12 years that Jindal has conducted this ranking. Despite hovering near the bottom of the top 25 in most American b-school rankings, it has outperformed in-state rivals like Stanford and UCLA (Anderson) historically and big names like Booth recently. Penn State (Smeal) and Maryland (Smith) have historically hung around the top 20, with Smith ranking as high as 6th for research produced from 2009-2013.

Maryland's Smith School of Business is ranked 36th among the top 100 U.S. business schools by Poets&Quants.

Maryland’s Smith School of Business

At the same time, several big name programs can’t deliver the research footprint that their overall ranking would otherwise indicate. The University of California-Berkeley (Haas) is a case in point with 112 papers published on Jindal’s list. That was good for a 51.86, just a hundredth of a point better than Georgia State (Robinson). By this same measure, Yale ranks behind Texas A&M (Mays) and the City University of Hong Kong. And Virginia (Darden), a state school best known for teaching par excellence, trails behind programs like Arkansas (Walton), South Carolina (Moore), and California-San Diego (Rady) in publications selected by Jindal.

One trend to note: Research is on the rise, with the number of articles (some of which are counted more than once due to multiple authors) cited in these 24 publications climbing from 9,003 in 2006-2010 to 10,680 from 2011-2015.

As part of its rankings, Jindal also archives journal listings beginning in 1990 (and maintains counts and rankings over various time ranges starting with 2000-2004). Even more, Jindal enables users to conduct searches based on author, school, publication, titles, and key phrases – making it a go-to for any Ph.D. candidate looking to eventually land a post in a business school.  Despite a few head-scratching exclusions, the journals used in Jindal’s methodology represent the crème de la crème of business scholarship. Greater activity in certain journals can tip students off to where they may enjoy some of the best real world experience, classroom lectures, and mentorship in certain concentrations.

Here is how the top schools rank in the 24 scholarly journals measured by Jindal from 2011-2015:

Academy of Management Journal: INSEAD, Penn State (Smeal), Michigan State (Broad)

Academy of Management Review: Wharton, Washington (Foster), Michigan (Ross)

Accounting Review: Illinois, Texas (McCombs), Toronto (Rotman)

Administrative Science Quarterly: Penn State (Smeal), Harvard, Stanford

Information Systems Research: Texas-Dallas (Jindal), Georgia Tech (Scheller), Maryland (Smith)

Journal of Accounting and Economics: North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler), Wharton, Chicago (Booth)

Journal of Accounting Research: Chicago (Booth), Harvard, Illinois

Journal of Consumer Research: Northwestern (Kellogg), Chicago (Booth), University of British Columbia (Sauder)

Journal of Finance: Chicago (Booth), North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler), NYU (Stern)

Journal of Financial Economics: Wharton, Harvard, Chicago (Booth)

Journal of International Business Studies: Copenhagen Business School, Northeastern (D’Amore-McKim, Western Ontario (Ivey)

Journal of Marketing: Indiana (Kelley), Penn State (Smeal), University of Mannheim

Journal of Marketing Research: Wharton, Duke (Fuqua), Maryland (Smith)

Journal of Operations Management: Arizona State (Carey), Ohio State (Fisher), Michigan State (Broad)

Journal on Computing: Tilburg University, Connecticut, Maryland (Smith)

Management Science: Wharton, NYU (Stern), Harvard

Manufacturing and Service Operations Management: North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler), Northwestern (Kellogg), Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

Marketing Science: Wharton, Carnegie Mellon (Tepper), Duke (Fuqua)

MIS Quarterly: Arkansas (Walton), Temple (Fox), Georgia State (Robinson)

Organization Science: INSEAD, Wharton, MIT (Sloan)

Operations Research: MIT (Stern), Columbia, Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

Production and Operations Management: Texas-Dallas (Jindal), North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler), UCLA (Anderson)

Review of Financial Studies: North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler), NYU (Stern), Chicago (Booth)

Strategic Management Journal: Wharton, INSEAD, Minnesota (Carlson)

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