Many lecturers realise they have to adapt to this scorecard culture © 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 bschool@ft.com.

Rankings: best MBAs for online study and for women

Find out which schools are in the top 20 of our online MBA ranking. The full online learning report is here. In our inaugural ranking of the top 50 MBAs for women, the results are surprising.

Are you a female MBA graduate? We want to hear whether you have encountered the gender pay gap for an upcoming story. Email patricia.nilsson@ft.com with your experience post-MBA, compared to your male colleagues.

Is your business school the smartest on the planet?

Then prove it by taking part in our MBA quiz — at the FT in London — and raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. The deadline for entry is next week, March 13, Tuesday, 2018.

Work & Careers round-up by Wai Kwen Chan

Andrew Hill is away. In the meantime, here is a summary of the latest stories from Work and Careers:

If you see university lecturers prowling the classroom like an animal, there is a reason for this.

There are offices that are alive with the sound of music. Some staff may like this, except our columnist Pilita Clark.

Shoei Yamana, CEO of Konica Minolta, features in our weekly series How to Lead. He talks about how he is trying to 'reboot the corporate traditions of a 140-year old Japanese industrial giant.'

How do you return to an industry you have worked in, after completing a PhD?

Professor's picks

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

Pekka Mattila, group managing director of Aalto University Executive Education, selects:

Groupon drops more than 10% on earnings miss This is an interesting starting point for students to try to explain why the one-time champion of online coupon deals has failed to live up to the hype. What are the market dynamics and consumer behaviours that may explain Groupon’s lack of success? Part of the answer has to do with price framing from the customer’s perspective (i.e. the difficult task of getting them to start paying full price after introducing them to a product or service at a heavily discounted price). Also, it has to do with the risk of starting a price war in one’s own context (i.e., incurring a strong reaction from your closest competitor by sharply dropping your price and starting a cycle of price reductions), and the emergence of alternative ways to get discounts online.

Burberry targets emerging markets with Farfetch tie-up Burberry’s recent collaboration with the online retailer and distributor Farfetch links nicely to classroom discussions on sales channel strategies, customers’ online retail experience and strategic partnerships. Students might consider why Burberry would choose to partner in this case, as opposed to focusing on its own sales channels. Furthermore, they could ask why Farfetch is a suitable partner for Burberry from a branding or customer relationship management perspective. By partnering, Burberry gets access to an attractive group of global customers unable or unwilling to come to their physical locations without diluting the exclusivity of their brand.

Jonathan Moules's business school news

The MBA as most people know it is on the wane. Applications in the US, where the full-time two-year course was pioneered by Harvard Business School a century ago, have been decreasing for the last four years, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council. But the course is finding new life in the new enthusiasm for lifelong learning and leadership training.

Sarah Gardial, dean at Iowa’s Tippie College of Business, which closed its full-time MBA in August 2017, told me last week, for a piece on schools that no longer run MBAs, that she had spoken with “dozens” of deans of other schools considering shutting their courses.

Like most things in life, however, the fate of the MBA is complicated. Teesside University Business School in the UK is bucking the trend by launching a full-time MBA, but in conjunction with an online version of the course that it can offer to time-poor executives wanting to study part time.

The business case for Teesside’s full-time course works because the UK government has launched an apprenticeship levy, forcing companies to spend money on staff training. Many of those forced to put aside this money will spend the funds on leadership courses for their senior executives. Teesside hopes to tap into this market.

Recommended read

Bad bosses are making Britain’s productivity puzzle worse.

Ask the academics

Got a question for leading business school experts? Send it to bschool@ft.com 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 — bschool@ft.com

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