Teaching Power: The Newest Business School Ranking

Teaching Power: The Newest Business School Ranking

Harvard Business School (HBS) is the world’s leading B-school in teaching power. That is according to a new measure created by Financial Times and Open Syllabus, a non-profit organization that ranks how much faculty research–particularly the most popular textbooks–is used in business courses around the world.

HBS had a total of 10,440 assigned titles. Warwick Business School in the United Kingdom came in second with 6,440 assigned titles. MIT’s Sloan School of Management ranked third with 6,229 assigned titles.

The teaching power ranking attributes authors to schools based on their career affiliation, while co-authored titles split their total assignments among the authors. The title is a bit of a misnomer because the ranking doesn’t measure the quality of classroom teaching, an area that has often been dominated by the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business (see Why Darden’s Professors Are The Best MBA Teachers On The Planet). Yet, Darden doesn’t make this list.


Open Syllabus, which compiled the ranking data, based the teaching power rankings on the 500 most frequently assigned texts across 595,000 business and econ courses. With data collected since 2015, the non-profit organization counted the number of times each text is assigned and which university institution each author is affiliated.

See full ranking here.

“This is a model that heavily rewards textbook authors and solo business gurus,” Joe Karaganis, director of Open Syllabus, writes. “With the exception of Harvard, which has a number of successful examples of both, textbook authorship is paramount in the rankings. There is comparatively little research and only a handful of articles represented in the top assigned titles in the business curriculum.”


The goal of ranking teaching power, according to Karaganis, is to encourage B-school courses to be shared openly and properly credit faculty for both their teaching and research efforts.

“Universities do two things: teach and research,” Karaganis tells FT. “Research leaves a public record but teaching has been a black box. Faculty get credit for published work cited in journals. We hope we can help revalue teaching by helping them to claim credit for work they do with significance in the classroom.”

Philip Kotler, professor emeritus of marketing at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, ranked as the most frequently cited individual academic author. His books include Marketing, Marketing Management, and Principles of Marketing.

The most cited text was Research Methods for Business Students by Mark N. K. Saunders, Philip Lewis, and Adrian Thornhill.

FT and Open Syllabus only considered texts in business, marketing, accounting, economics that were listed on B-school course reading lists since 2015 in order to “provide a reasonable degree of ‘freshness.’”

Sources: Financial Times, Open Syllabus

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