Financial TimesBusiness School Briefing: sustainable finance teaching awards, soft skills

May 24, 20210

Welcome to Business School Briefing. We offer you insights from Andrew Hill and Jonathan Moules, and the pick of top stories being read in business schools. Edited by Wai Kwen Chan and Andrew Jack.


Sustainable finance teaching awards
Enter the Excellence in sustainable finance education organised by the FT in partnership with the Impact and Sustainable Finance Faculty Consortium. Business schools and professors are invited to submit by June 1 course syllabi and teaching materials demonstrating innovation, rigour, breadth and relevance. The best will be featured in an FT article.

Click here for details and to enter.

Thinking about going to business school?
Tell us your views about business education content, rankings and providers and be in with a chance to win US$500 or local equivalent. Take our survey at — closing date is Monday, May 31.

Also are you considering an MBA, EMBA, Masters in Management or Finance and looking to assess the faculty/programme? The FT is working on new products to help your journey. Do you want to join our research panel and help us? Go to:

Andrew Hill’s Management Challenge

Many of the attributes of good managers are hard to measure. But since 2002, the World Management Survey has applied a checklist of “structured management practices”, such as target-setting, performance reviews, and training programmes, to over 13,000 companies. 

This benchmark has allowed statisticians to assess the effect of good management on companies struggling through the pandemic. As I write in my column this week, better managed companies seem to have managed better, adapting more easily to homeworking and pivoting to online sales.

For my management challenge this week, choose one “soft” management skill that you would add to the WMS list of hard practices as a sign of good management and explain, briefly, why, if you can, how you would measure it. Send your thoughts to

Jonathan Moules’ business school news

Use of cryptocurrency is a controversial subject, with the Biden administration in the US tightening its regulation of trade in digital coins last week, echoing concerns raised by the European Central Bank a few days earlier. However, cryptocurrency has also become a significant way for business schools to obtain funding. The Wharton School has announced plans to expand programmes at its Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance thanks to a $5m anonymous donation in Bitcoin to its parent, the University of Pennsylvania, the largest amount of cryptocurrency the institution has received.

The return to campus will be more enticing for students at Lancaster University Management School, which has opened the doors of a £24m extension to its Northern England campus. The 5,667 square metre building will provide a creative and collaborative space for students, staff and partners and shows how bricks-and-mortar investments will continue even as schools discover the benefits of online teaching.

Data line

Chief learning officers were asked to evaluate how much they agreed with a set of statements about training courses for managers, says Sam Stephens.

One of the statements was: “Our online/digital learning experience is better than in-person learning”. The majority of CLOs, 41%, neither agree or disagree with the statement. Companies with a workforce of between 10,000 and 20,000 employees seem to dislike the online learning experience the most, with nearly half of the CLOs for these companies disagreeing with the statement. Further analysis can be found here.

Bar chart of Proportion of CLOs' replies to statement that says digital learning is better than in-person for managers. Data ordered by company's workforce size. showing Chief learning officers are indecisive about online management courses

Top business school reads

Bitcoin gyrates on fears of regulatory crackdown Digital asset market under intense pressure after China warns on use of cryptocurrencies

Belarus arrests activist after forcing Ryanair flight to land in Minsk Diversion of plane from Athens to Vilnius by Lukashenko labelled ‘act of state terrorism’

Bitcoin’s growing energy problem: ‘It’s a dirty currency’ Elon Musk has highlighted the cryptocurrency’s environmental impact and governments are starting to take notice

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