Top 10 MBAs for Research Excellence and Impact

Prospective MBA students seldom look into the research rank of their target schools, but this is a missed opportunity. After all, research is what drives the public reputation of the institution and it contributes to its position in key league tables. This means research, while secondary to teaching in the eyes of most MBA students, plays a key role in attracting the best and brightest students, professors, staff and recruiters to business school.

Traditionally, research rankings have been based on the number of articles published in the top academic journals, but there is a growing recognition that research must have more practical relevance and deliver more genuine societal impact. Research not only informs MBA teaching in the classroom and forms the bedrock of case study and curriculum design, but can also lead to the development of patents, changes in policy, or grants awarded.

In short, research can help improve society and business, and this will appeal increasingly to  MBA students, many of whom are placing sustainability on a par with financial gain. Here are the top 10 schools for research impact and excellence.

St. Louis, Missouri 8 Followers 23 Discussions

Measured purely by output in journals, Washington University: Olin is ranked top for research worldwide by the FT. But the school's research also informs and invigorates classroom teaching, and aims to improve the business results of its participants and graduates. Examples include how companies can tackle the gender pay gap and create a higher purpose.

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Chicago, Illinois 40 Followers 146 Discussions
Chicago - Booth

Chicago Booth scores highly for pure research output, but its insights into entrepreneurship, marketing, social impact, artificial intelligence and more have a lasting impact in business, culture and society. The papers from the school’s Nobel Prize-winning faculty enrich the educational experience, expand the school’s global reach, and keep alumni connected to the Booth community.  

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Fontainebleau, France 67 Followers 300 Discussions
INSEAD - Europe Campus

Insead is ranked highly for its research excellence, whether academic publications, books, cases or practitioner-focused articles. Beyond research productivity, the aim is to bring new ideas and knowledge to the world that is genuinely useful to business leaders, whether that’s rethinking supply chains, building sustainable business models, or the analytics of pricing.

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Seattle, Washington 35 Followers 31 Discussions
Washington - Foster

The University of Washington’s Foster School of Business has a strong reputation for faculty and research. The school aims to combine scientific research with teaching innovations to strengthen learning outcomes for MBA students. Recent research has explored insider trading, employee engagement, and venture capital exit outcomes.

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Richardson, Texas 33 Followers 41 Discussions
UT Dallas - Jindal

The University of Texas at Dallas: Jindal has a strong overall research rank across numerous rankings. The school’s 300-strong faculty body has picked up numerous teaching, research and business awards. It has produced research with practical significance to boost business results, for instance how social capital improves financial returns, and how to achieve a better work/life balance.

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Evanston, Illinois 71 Followers 202 Discussions
Northwestern - Kellogg

Research is a core component of Kellogg’s mission and culture. Several leading journals were founded at Kellogg, but faculty also bring research expertise into the classroom. For instance, Kellogg pioneered the study of negotiations and teamwork in management. More recently, it is working to identify and understand the larger social issues that business leaders must navigate.

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London, United Kingdom 162 Followers 457 Discussions
London Business School (LBS)

London Business School boasts a strong reputation for research that advances teaching and provides insights for business leaders and governments. There are a number of specialist institutes at LBS, such as the Center for Corporate Governance, the AQR Asset Management Institute, and Wheeler Institute for Business and Development.

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Rotterdam, Netherlands 76 Followers 218 Discussions
RSM Rotterdam

Rotterdam School of Management, at Erasmus University in the Netherlands, is ranked highly as a management research center in Europe. It has 350 management scientists disseminating information in conjunction with business. A specialty of the school is the state-of-the-art behavioral lab, which uncovers insights into consumer behavior. RSM is also heavily focused on societal impact.

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Jouy-en-Josas, France 95 Followers 375 Discussions
HEC Paris

HEC Paris is a top research school in economics and management. The school emphasizes business relevance and cross-disciplinary collaboration, aiming to impact teaching methods, management practices, public policies and society as a whole. HEC has a number of research specialties, including languages and cultures, as well as tax and law.

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Manchester, United Kingdom 60 Followers 489 Discussions
Manchester

Alliance Manchester is ranked highly for the impact of its research by Times Higher Education. Alliance Manchester’s research spans four divisions: accounting and finance; innovation, management and policy; people, management and organizations; management science and marketing. The school is also home to four institutes that explore equalities, sustainable consumption, productivity and innovation.

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