Student Attitudes


Where Will They Lead? 2008

MBA Student Attitude Research in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.


Download the PDF of the Executive Summary here. Purchase the full report here.


Where Will They Lead? 2008 MBA Student Attitudes about Business & Society is a survey of MBA student attitudes at 15 leading business schools in the U.S. , Canada and the U.K.


This research began in 1999 when the Aspen Institute's Business and Society Program began studying MBA student attitudes on the role of business in society and the impact of their MBA education on these attitudes. Research reports, published in 2001 and 2003, documented our research findings. [Download the executive summary of the 2001 report here, and the executive summary of the 2003 report here.]


This recent survey shows some encouraging changes in the way business school curriculum addresses the complex relationship between social issues and business practices and decisions.


Business students in 2007 are thinking more broadly about the primary responsibilities of a company. In addition to citing shareholder maximization and satisfying customer needs, more students are also saying “creating value for the communities in which they operate” is a primary business responsibility.


MBA students are expressing more interest in finding work that offers the potential of making a contribution to society. (26% of respondents in 2007 say this is an important factor in their job selection compared with 15% in 2002.)


That said, business schools and companies have not convinced them that environmental and social responsibility contribute to corporate financial success.


Although more students in 2007 than in 2002 believe it is very likely that they will face values conflicts on the job, the further they progress through their MBA program the less confident they feel that their business school training is preparing them to manage those conflicts.


The business schools participating in the survey were:


"  Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

"  Columbia University, Columbia Business School

"  Duke University, Fuqua School of Business

"  London Business School

"  Thunderbird School of Global Management

"  University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business

"  University of California, Los Angeles , Anderson School of Management

"  University of Colorado, Boulder , Leeds School of Business

"  University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

"  University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

"  University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School

"  University of Virginia, Darden School of Business

"  University of Western Ontario, Richard Ivey School of Business

"  Yale University,Yale School of Management

"  York University, Schulich School of Business



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The Aspen Institute Center for Business Education is part of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program.
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