We had a brief discussion in the comments on a post recently, about Ross and their MAP field-based semester-long projects. And we mentioned the new HBS FIELD thingamajig (if you don’t know what FIELD is, read this; unfortunately HBS themselves seem to not be explaining what FIELD is on their own website very well yet).
It’s rare that HBS gets many barbs in the media, and EssaySnark generally has nothing to complain about in regards to this powerhouse of a bschool. (Not that us complaining would do any good.) But we do have one gripe with HBS that’s not going away.
Dean Nohria seems to think that FIELD is the first, uh, field-based semester-long project that any bschool has ever done. Yes, with FIELD, HBS has embarked on something new and different… for them. Until Fall 2011, HBS was all case method, all the time. But as noted in the comments on that other post, there are PLENTY of other schools doing projects, like MAP at Ross, like Master Classes at Columbia, like AMR at UCLA… actually, it’s hard to think of a school that’s NOT doing them. Except Darden, of course, which is now the holdout all-case-method bschool.
But here we see Nohria back in August proclaiming that not only is FIELD innovative, but also:
Our aspiration is for this field method, too, to become a standard that other institutions embrace.
You mean, embrace it — after they’ve already been doing these programs for nearly a decade?
Oh Lauded HBS, Noble and Respected Great Business School on the river with the esteemed ivy covering the walls… Buddy, hate to inform you, but you’re a little late to this party.
Here’s another post where Nohria is tooting the horn pretty darn loudly. The text below the vid captures the essence of it.
For a leader who’s talking up humility so much of late, this just stinks. Have some respect for your peers, dude. They’re doing good things too.
If EssaySnark is totally out of line and the HBS FIELD program is totally different than what these other schools are doing, then someone please fill us in.
If not, maybe someone will send Nohria a memo. We tried commenting about it in response to that August article, but he apparently hasn’t gotten the message.
If you’ve got even more time to waste today, you can go check out Nohria doing a TED Talk on “practicing moral humility.” In the video, he defines “moral overconfidence” as “our deep-seated belief that somehow or other we are better than the other person, that our own moral compass will not fail us. And yet the truth of the matter is that it routinely does.” Sure, he’s got something to say, and sure, this is a slight transgression that we’re pointing out in this post, and sure, EssaySnark should be careful of pointing the hypocrisy finger, since we’re undoubtedly as guilty as any on that front (we just don’t see it)…. but just hmph.
UPDATE 2/6/12: It’s nice to see Ross Dean Davis-Blake take a bit of a stand about this on her blog today.
Here's what others have said about this:
Looks like you fired the (sorta) next shot! Waiting for the inevitable ES call-out from HBS!…..
LOL Tim – doubtful that HBS is gonna notice our little blahg…! But thanks for the implied compliment that you think it's notice-worthy. 🙂