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Rethinking the role of planning and materiality in the Americanization of management education: The case of London Business School
By Matthew Hollow.
Published in Business History, currently advance online.
In recent years, much has been written about the so-called ‘Americanization’ of management education in Europe in the post-1945 era. One area that has relatively little attention in this literature, however, is the impact that material and spatial factors had on efforts to import US models of management education overseas. This study begins to redress this issue by focussing in-depth on the challenges involved in the design, planning, and construction of the physical spaces of the London Business School — one of the most prominent advocates of the US model of management education in this period. In the process, it contributes to the literature on Americanization, as well as our understanding of the history of business schools, by illustrating how the historical trajectories of such institutions can be influenced and shaped by external actors, material constraints, and other contingent factors related to the planning and building of a business school.