Teaching power: the latest ranking of business schools

Harvard Business School (HBS) is the world’s leading B school for teaching power. This is according to a new measure created by Financial Time and Open program, a nonprofit organization that ranks the amount of faculty research, especially the most popular textbooks, used in business courses across the world.

HBS had a total of 10,440 titles awarded. Warwick Business School in the UK came in second with 6,440 titles awarded. MIT’s Sloan School of Management placed third with 6,229 titles awarded.

The teaching power ranking assigns authors to schools based on their professional affiliation, while co-authored titles distribute their total assignments among authors. The title is a bit of a misnomer because the ranking does not measure the quality of classroom instruction, an area that has often been dominated by the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business (see Why Darden Professors Are the Best MBA professors of the planet). Yet Darden does not make this list.


Open Syllabus, which compiled the ranking data, based the teaching power ranking on the 500 most frequently assigned texts in 595,000 business and economics courses. With data collected since 2015, the association has counted the number of times each text is attributed and to which academic institution each author is affiliated.

See the full ranking here.

“It’s a model that strongly rewards textbook authors and solo business gurus,” writes Joe Karaganis, director of Open Syllabus. “With the exception of Harvard, which has a number of successful examples of both, textbook authorship is paramount in ranking. There is relatively little research and only a handful of articles are represented in the top awarded titles in the business studies curriculum.


The purpose of the Teaching Power Ranking, according to Karaganis, is to encourage the open sharing of lessons from B schools and to properly credit faculty for their teaching and research efforts.

“Universities do two things: teach and do research,” says Karaganis FT. “The research leaves a public record, but the teaching has been a black box. Professors receive credits for published work cited in journals. We hope we can help re-value teaching by helping them claim credit for the meaningful work they do in the classroom.

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

The most cited text is Research Methods for Business Students by Mark NK Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill.

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

Sources: Financial Time, Open program

Next page: Michigan admissions director Ross tells his story.

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