Preston in the UK, 1885: it was the sheer success and smug complacency of Victorian manufacturers that made them a target for Dickens © Getty
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Welcome to the FT Business school newsletter, a weekly serving of management wisdom, reading recommendations and business-related challenges. FT subscribers can sign up here to receive the newsletter by email every Monday. If you have feedback about FT Business school, please email

Bracken Bower Prize: Do you have a business book idea?

The FT and McKinsey have just launched the 2018 Bracken Bower Prize for young would-be business book authors.

The £15,000 award, now in its fifth year, will go to the best proposal for a business book about the challenges and opportunities of growth by an author, or authors, under the age of 35.

The prize’s 2014 winner was Saadia Zahidi, whose book Fifty Million Rising, about the new generation of Muslim women entering the workforce, was published in January.

For further details and to register your interest in entering this year’s prize, visit FT Live.

How to lead

Guido Rasi, executive director of the European Medicines Agency, features in our weekly series How to Lead. He talks about how to move an entire operation to a different country.

Andrew Hill's challenge

The FT's management editor sets a weekly test of your business, strategy and management skills.

James Dyson, UK designer of modish vacuum cleaners and hand-dryers, has taken issue — again — with Britain's failure to encourage enough people into manufacturing. He blames the shortfall in part on the fact middle-class children are raised on a diet of Charles Dickens and William Blake, writers who criticised the social and environmental fallout from the industrial revolution.

In my column, I point the finger rather at Wall Street and the City, whose rich rewards enticed engineering and computer science stars into finance. New US research supports the hypothesis, though the UK trend was not as marked. For this week's challenge, please devise a recruitment slogan (or a very concise campaign plan) to lure talented graduates back to manufacturing jobs. Send your ideas to

Last week, I digressed from management to ask for business news headlines summing up famous fictional tales. Thanks for some great entries. I liked Sumit Raisinghaney's concise telling of Cinderella: "Underdog Domestic Services Provider Acquires A Royal Connection". My favourite, though, was Anna Jones's headline for Romeo and Juliet: "Inquiry Finds Significant Communication Failures Led To Death Of Merger Between Two Great Houses".

In further reading, Italian philosopher Gloria Origgi points out in an article for Aeon that in an era of "fake news", the search for reliable sources is ever more important, but verifying the original information is impossible. As a result, she writes, reputation has become "a central pillar of collective intelligence today". She concludes that "whenever we are at the point of accepting or rejecting new information, we should ask ourselves: "Where does it come from? Does the source have a good reputation? Who are the authorities who believe it? What are my reasons for deferring to these authorities?"

Professor's picks

Every week a business school professor or academic recommends useful FT articles.

Wendy Loretto, dean of University of Edinburgh Business School, selects:

South Korea’s elderly overtake young in the workforce It’s increasingly clear that ageing populations are not just an issue in the west. Across the world, almost daily, we see more instances of people forced to return to the workforce in later life or risk living in poverty.

It is heart-breaking to read about older people in South Korea resorting to menial jobs, which degrade and disempower them, just to survive. It is also entirely unnecessary — as I have discovered through my own research. If we can change the nature of work to make it more flexible, people can, and do, make a valuable contribution to the economy well into their later years. As potential employers of tomorrow, MBAs must consider how they will create flexible ways of working to get the best from employees, at all stages of their working lives.

Travelling right: hotels bed in a new generation This is a great case study in what it takes to remain relevant. When searching for business solutions, we tend to overlook the established in favour of the new and exciting. It’s interesting to see that global hotel brands are still thriving, despite the competition in the market — and how they’re taking on challengers like AirBnB, by adopting similar entrepreneurial tactics. No easy feat for any organisation, let alone global groups with established management practices.

Jonathan Moules's business school news

The value of higher education is being questioned increasingly in an era of escalating tuition fee levels in countries around the world. It is a question MBA students have long asked of their courses. But there is another side to the coin: what value do employers place on their MBA recruits?

The answer, speaking to several MBA recruiters for a piece this week, differs whether it is a small or a large business making the hire. You can read more here.

If you like podcasts, and who doesn’t, then you will also want to listen to the FT’s management podcast, in which students from five business schools, taking part in this year’s FT MBA quiz, share their strategies for nailing the best internships.

If you want to try and answer some of the questions from the quiz itself, go to the interactive version here.

Ask the academics

Got a question for leading business school experts? Send it to and we will publish the best replies in future newsletters.

Test your knowledge

How good is your grasp of the news? Test your reading of last week's top stories with the FirstFT quiz.

Edited by Wai Kwen Chan —

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