Evolution Of Business Education As A Profession

Evolution Of Business Education As A Profession


TOC o “1-3” h z u HYPERLINK l “_Toc380760123” First era: 1881 -1930 PAGEREF _Toc380760123 h 1

HYPERLINK l “_Toc380760124” Second Era- from 1918 though 1940s PAGEREF _Toc380760124 h 2

HYPERLINK l “_Toc380760125” Third Era- After World War II PAGEREF _Toc380760125 h 3

First era: 1881 -1930The assessment of the progress of the business education profession across the historical platform takes us through various periods of the United States where different presidents were in office. That is, one major event in the development of the profession generally took place in a progression that encompassed periods of different presidents in office. The historical development of the profession can basically be put in three distinct eras starting from 1881. There is the formative era, the second era and the third era.

In 1881, the first major event to shape business education was the founding of Wharton School; which is the University of Pennsylvania’s business school and its founding established the first business school associated with an institution of higher learning. James Abram Garfield was the president by that time though it is the same year that Chester Alan Arthur came to office as the 21st president of the US.

Founding of Wharton led to two other important events in the years that immediately followed. However, the events were not instantaneous but rather took a form of re-organization in the field hence happened over an extended period (Stitt-Gohdes 2011). One event was the initiation and polishing of fundamental strategies and institutional arrangements. This event mainly began during the presidency of Alan Arthur and continued into Calvin Coolidge’s presidency from 1923 to 1929.

Prior to founding of Wharton, a significant event was the Organization of American Collegiate Schools of Business during the Abram Garfield era. The events above can be grouped to denote the formative era of the development of the business education profession (Sedlak 2001). Examples include founding of Harvard’s School of Business in 1908 and establishment of Northwestern University’s School of Commerce in the same year.

Another instance in the inquest takes us to an event that also sees more than one president were in the picture. During this period, development of the business education as a distinct profession was shaped by a major change in the general higher education ideology; an ideology that was fronted by Alfred H. White from the University of Michigan. White argued that higher education should be shaped by the needs of the employer of the college graduate.

This was the period that encompassed transformation of business education into an employer-centered perspective as opposed to institution-based approach. This development did not take place instantaneously but cut across the presidency of Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921), Warren Harding (1921-1923), and Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929).

Second Era- from 1918 though 1940sDuring this era the presidents who were in office were: Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921), Warren Harding (1921-1923), Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929), Herbert Clark Hoover (1929-1933), and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945). This is the era that was marked by a rapid diffusion of educational approaches leading to an evident transformation prior to the war. Since the rate of industrialization was creating a demand for professionals armed with specific knowledge and skills, institutions of learning had to colossally embrace the employer-centered strategy in producing graduates (Boddy, 2011).

Another related event was the wide acceptance of specialized technical undergraduate training. An equally important event was the crash of the stock market in the October of 1929, which marked the beginning of the great Depression during

Third Era- After World War IIThis era had numerous distinct phases. They are as highlighted below:

Dramatic transformation of the undergraduate schools;

The World War II also shaped the place and nature of the profession by creating social and economic changes that called for rapid transformation of business education.

Emergence of distinctive graduate institutions that obscured the place of the undergraduate divisions as the favored mode of training;

Passing of the G.I. Bill was an event that led to vast expansion of higher education; and Rapid development n expansion of executive development institutes for midcareer administrators; notably president Roosevelt witnessed a major part of the early phases of the era, while other presidents included Harry Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower.


Boddy, C. R. (2011). Corporate psychopaths, bullying and unfair supervision in the workplace. Journal of Business Ethics, 100(3), 367–379.

Sedlak, M. W. (2001) The Impact of Employment Opportunities on the Evolution of Collegiate Business Education, 1918-63: Northwestern University as a Case Study. Northwestern University

Stitt-Gohdes, W.L. (2011). The business education profession: Principles and practices (2nd Ed.). Little Rock: Delta Pi Epsilon.

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