Importance of Business School's brand

Program selection
  • Posted by on 08/06/13 12:13pm

    I have a rather crude question. I am living in a South East Asian country where not many people have heard of many university names.

    Two of the business schools I am interested to pursue a DBA are Manchester (MBS) and Reading (Henley).

    Manchester of course is well known in my region (perhaps partly because of football). Can anybody shed light on perception and brand value between Henley and MBS?

    I have a research masters from an AACSB accredited business school and will be self-funding for the DBA.

    Many thanks in advance....

    • Posted by Thomas Graf on 08/07/13 4:17pm

      Hi there,

      thank you for your question. I don't find it very crude, actually, as assessing a school's reputation and value is important for such an investment as is a professional doctorate in management.

      In general, I recommend two approaches to assess the quality of a school or program. First, you clarify some objective criteria to get a general impression of that institution. After that, you try to assess to which extant the respective program or schools matches your subjective needs. In other words, how well a specific school can help you reach your career goals.

      As for the objective criteria, I have written some guidelines in this overview article (and the follow-up articles there) already.

      • Both schools have the internationally recognized accreditations EQUIS and AACSB. By this, all programs automatically are accredited as well. In addition, both schools' DBA programs have the specific AMBA accreditation. These accreditations do not guarantee you that the programs satisfies yoru needs - but they are signals of quality and international standards.
      • If you follow my guideline here you can also use the FT MBA Ranking to assess the schools' research activity. It looks as if Manchester is stronger than Henley regarding the publication in academic top journals.
      • As a next step, you can try to evaluate the reputation of both institutions in the business world, with respect to its management education. This does not tell you anything about their competence in scientific knowledge creation and research - but of its exposure to the business world (where most DBA students stay after graduation). For instance, check out the MBA rankings from the Financial Times, Business Week, and Economist.

      So far for the objective criteria. The next step, of course, will be whether these programs help you achieve your subjective goals. For example, you could ask your employer or future employer if and how they would evaluate such a professional doctorate in management from these schools - in case you want to use your degree to impress employers. Or you could contact your local university and ask whether they would accept you as a professor - in case your plans are to teach.

      These are just some suggestions - but I hope they help you answer your question and show you how you can move on.

      Best wishes,

      By Thomas Graf
      Founder DBA Compass
      Author of the DBA Survey

    • Posted by on 08/07/13 5:22pm

      Hello Thomas,

      Thank you a very comprehensive explanation and advice.

      I have my own consulting firm (post start-up - doing pretty OK). So in a way, I have many employers - the clients :)

      But there's a nice university in a region where I may want to teach one day. So I will ask them the question as you've advised me to.

      Again many thanks - you are doing a great deal of help for many people...

      Best wishes,

      • Posted by Thomas Graf on 08/07/13 5:50pm

        Stay in touch and let me know when you do a DBA!

        Best wishes,

        By Thomas Graf
        Founder DBA Compass
        Author of the DBA Survey