In a previous post I referred to the document approved by EQUAL "Rankings-Guide for the media" and given some subsequent commentaries by Della Bradshaw perhaps further clarifications are needed.
EQUAL is a consortium that comprises quality assessment and accreditation agencies in the field of management education as well as national or regional associations of universities, business schools or graduates in Business Administration. It currently has 21 members representing different continents and aims at attracting even more partners in the future. Its membership’s composition and profile goes far beyond the mere representation of business schools and so does its mission.
As Chairman of EQUAL, one of my goals is to transform the consortium into a wide and legitimate body representing the major stakeholders of management education. We are approaching, for example, students', professors' and employers' associations. The recent posts by Della Bradshaw make me think that we may have missed the opportunity of inviting another major stakeholder group: the specialised media in business education. Would their representatives be interested in becoming members of EQUAL in the future?
The aforementioned document was prepared and published six years ago and has been available since at EFMD’s website. To put things in context, it was a response to an alarming proliferation at that time of rankings that were spurious in terms of methodology, transparency, authorship and unsolicited information. As far as I know, the document was distributed in different countries through the respective members of EQUAL but, unfortunately, it seems that it did not reach many of its intended targets: bad marketing indeed by EQUAL. Well, better late than never.
Having said this, according to my interpretation, the rankings produced by the major international newspapers and magazines today –BusinessWeek, Financial Times, Forbes and The Economist- fulfil the basic requirements stated in the document. The virtue of the document is that it allows to distinguish those rankings that respect the basic principles of transparency, consistency and impartiality from those that don’t. Can the document serve as a reference for the rules to be observed in ranking activities?