Management education has developed rapidly in the UK over the past twenty-five years. It was, however, only in November 1963 that the Franks Report recommended the establishment of two
graduate business schools, one in London and one in Manchester.
The Manchester Experiment describes the creation of Manchester Business School in 1965. It explains how the staff devised and altered strategy and structure, and analyses how the broad mission of improving management performance was tackled.
Chapter 1 describes the attitudes to management education with which MBS had to contend. These attitudes influenced the kind of courses MBS provided. Chapter 2 relates how the "founding
fathers" were instrumental in developing the approach, which they labelled the "Manchester Experiment". The following three chapters discuss the three main activities of MBS - post-graduate, post-experience and research - and assesses how the outside world accepted these ideas.
The "Manchester Experiment" can be defined as a highly practical, learning-by-doing approach to management education, undertaken in a democratic, non-departmental organization which is only
loosely co-ordinated from the top. Opinions differ on the effectiveness of this approach. Chapter 6 shows how during the 1980s this internal structure was substantially modified. The last ten years have seen an extensive reassessment of the MBS mission, though much remains of the attitudes to course design, staff development and management style established by the "founding fathers".
Chapter 7 discusses whether this residualism has blunted the effectiveness of MBS and seeks to establish what role MBS has played since 1965 in changing the attitudes and practices of British business.