Is this a scandal-mongering book?

While in London in late May, I took part in a panel discussion about MBAs at ESCP, a school up the Finchley Road in North London. A subsequent article in The Independent described me as “the man business schools love to hate” and there was a woman on the panel, Jeanette Purcell, who makes her living by accrediting and defending MBA programs, who evidently wanted a fight. Anyway, they filmed the whole thing and posted this edited version of my remarks on YouTube. It was interesting to do, but the hostility my book seems to have stirred in the MBA community never ceases to amaze me. People seem genuinely angry with me for daring to say anything less than rah-rah for the MBA. The question I was asked before giving this answer was “is this a scandal-mongering book?”

3 thoughts on “Is this a scandal-mongering book?

  1. Andrew

    The sort of over-defensive response you were up against is baffling. It is especially so, when coming from people apparently defending their right of passage into that superior level of human wisdom – the MBA.

    After all, it is a little like someone having spent $250k on facial, cosmetic plastic surgery, but who subsequently never looks in the mirror, and yet vehemently insists that they are the most beautiful person in the Universe.

    It’s a little like a Greek tragedy, and a lot like mental illness, methinks.


  2. Ed

    I agree with Andrew. It is an hilarious analogy re plastic surgery. I think it can go further – the person who had the surgery is actually grotesque – this grotesqueness often mirrors the traditional MBA grad.

    Is the whole interview or transcript available somewhere? Can it be posted here?


  3. Mike

    I think it’s a fair question and a brilliantly honest answer. As a journalist, Philip would know the importance of asking difficult questions in order to reveal the truth of a matter.

    As a result of reading the book, I am now interested in going to Harvard for further study even though I already have an MBA. Philip did a great job providing a balanced recap of his experience at HBS.

    Philip, next time a HBS defendant is upset, just let them know your book has probably inspired more interest in Harvard than ever before. The more people talk about something, the more diverse the views and therefore more people seeking the truth of the matter. What better way to find the truth than actually go experience it first-hand?


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