The 2008 Financial Times MBA rankings are out (considered the most comprehensive in the world). Melbourne Business School is up a few places to 75. But more significantly (as it is based on what we are doing now rather than three years ago) is our research performance — now ranked at 49 in the world. The ranking is based on publications in a relatively short list of journals across different management fields. That puts us on a par with business schools at Oxford, RSM Erasmus University and Purdue University. Only LBS, INSEAD and Cambridge outrank us in Europe, and only HKUST in Asia-Pacific. We now outrank Darden (University of Virginia), McDonough (Georgetown University), Weatherhead (Case Western Reserve), Simon (University of Rocester) in the USA, Imperial College London, Manchester Business School and Warwick Business School in the UK and the Australian Graduate School of Management.
It wasn’t too many years ago that we were in the 90s in the research dimension but now it is our stand out feature. This had a lot to do with a change in the way we hired and fired faculty made over 6 years ago. We moved to a US-style system that required faculty votes on appointments and promotions. We also rejigged teaching loads. Not surprisingly, that naturally focused everyone on research and, in particular, research in top tier publications (two or three in each field). So now half our faculty have top tier publications and a third have one coming out next year. Just to get an idea, for economics, the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy and Econometrica are the ones counted in the FT (but I can also go for RAND and Management Science in strategy). So incentives and opportunities do work in academia.