Re-Imagining Business Schools of the Future as Places of Theorizing

  • Hugo Gaggiotti
  • Peter Simpson
  • Svetlana Cicmil
Part of the Palgrave Critical University Studies book series (PCU)


In university Business Schools there is a long tradition of teaching “best practice” through which students learn to apply theory derived from exemplars of successful business models, practices and theories. This approach has been further reinforced by the contemporary obsession with “employability”, “production of able and ready graduates” and Business Schools’ adoption of similar performance indicators. Most, if not all, institutions would claim that by the end of a programme of study their students will know what they should do. However, most institutions would be less confident in claiming that their alumni, in the pressure cooker of challenging business situations, will be able to resist the temptation to do what they could do and perhaps should not do. In this chapter, we argue that one of the reasons for this is the emphasis on the application of theories to the exclusion of theorizing. The implication is that theory is not developed by theorizing in Business Schools but is something that is sourced from elsewhere and then “used”, consisting of models or concepts imported from other disciplines that students, academics and researchers are encouraged to “apply”. We argue that Business Schools should engage in and contribute to the intellectual practice of academic theorizing and not merely to be places of reproduction, application and enumeration of theories.


Business Ethic Business School Auxiliary Component Business Situation Successful Business Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugo Gaggiotti
    • 1
  • Peter Simpson
    • 2
  • Svetlana Cicmil
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Business and LawUniversity of West of EnglandBristolUK
  2. 2.Faculty of Business and LawUniversity of West of EnglandFrenchayUK
  3. 3.Faculty of Business and LawUniversity of West of EnglandBristolUK

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