The Effectiveness Of MBA Program Rankings

A lot of weight is put on news publications’ ranking systems for universities and their programs, but how reliable and worthy are they? Dawn Iacobucci of Vanderbilt University puts them to the test in her new paper “Psychometric Assessment of the Businessweek, U.S. News & World Report, and Financial Times Rankings of Business Schools’ MBA Programs in the  Journal of Marketing Education. Do they pass? Read the abstract:

This research investigates the reliability and validity of three major publications’ rankings of MBA programs. Each set of rankings showed reasonable consistency over time, both at the level of the overall rankings and for most of the facets from which the rankings are derived. Each set of rankings also showed some levels of convergent and discriminant validity, but each has room for improvement, particularly Businessweek, which relies heavily on subjective surveys of students and recruiters, and Financial Times, whose methodology may be simplified and streamlined, ceasing to measure facets that are empirically superfluous. Together the three jme coverpublications blanket the student process—U.S. News & World Report captures incoming student quality clearly with GMAT scores, Businessweek captures whether the students are happy while at their respective business schools, and U.S. News captures salaries and Financial Times captures return on investment, as short-term and longer term indicators of graduates’ early career successes.

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About Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 1500 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melburne, our publishing program includes more than 1000 journals and over 900 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.