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5. Select one team member from each team to serve as a judging panel. This panel is charged with selecting the team with the most creative and potentially successful alternatives to the problem. Team members cannot vote for their own team.

6. Each team now shares their five alternatives with the class. The judging panel selects the winner.

Moving Up in the Rankings

Business schools seem to have lost the ability to evaluate their own quality and effective- ness. With the emergence of rankings of business schools in the popular press, the role of judging quality seems to have been captured by publications such as BusinessWeek, U.S. News and World Report, and the Financial Times. The accreditation association for busi- ness schools, AACSB, mainly assesses the extent to which a school is accreditable or not, a 0–1 distinction, so a wide range in quality exists among accredited business schools. More refined distinctions have been made in the popular press by identifying the highest- rated 50; the first, second, or third tiers; or the top 20. Each publication relies on slightly different criteria in its rankings, but a substantial portion of each ranking rests on name recognition, visibility, or public acclaim. In some of the polls, more than 50 percent of the weighting is placed on the reputation or notoriety of the school. This is problematic, of course, because reputation can be deceiving. One recent poll rated the Harvard and Stanford undergraduate business programs among the top three in the country, even though neither school has an undergraduate business program. Princeton’s law school has been rated in the top five in several polls, even though, you guessed it, no such law school exists. Other criteria sometimes considered in various ranking services include student selectivity, percentage of students placed in jobs, starting salaries of graduates, tuition costs compared to graduates, earnings, publications of the faculty, student satisfaction, recruiter satisfaction, and so on. By and large, however, name recognition is the single most crucial factor. It helps predict the number of student applicants, the ability to hire prominent faculty members, fund-raising opportunities, corporate partnerships, and so on.

Many business schools have responded to this pressure to become better known by creating advertising campaigns, circulating internal publications to other business schools and media outlets, and hiring additional staff to market the school. Most business school deans receive an average of 20 publications a week from other business schools, and an editor at BusinessWeek reported receiving more than 100 per week. Some deans begrudge the fact that these resources are being spent on activities other than improving the educational experience for students and faculty. Given constrained resources and tuition increases that outstrip the consumer price index every year, spending money on one activity precludes it from being spent on others. However, most deans acknowledge that this is the way the game must be played.

As part of a strategy to increase visibility, one business school hired world-renowned architect Frank O. Gehry to design a new business school building. Photographs of mod- els of the building are reproduced below. It is a $70 million building that houses all the educational activities of the school. Currently, this particular school does not appear in

SOLVING PROBLEMS ANALYTICALLY AND CREATIVELY

CHAPTER 3

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