Eclipsing adaptation: The translation of the US MBA model in China

Peter Lamb, Graeme Currie

    Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

    49 Citations (Scopus)


    The aim of this article is to explore how business schools in China have acted upon calls for greater adaptation of the US MBA model. Scandinavian institutionalism's concept of translation as a process was employed to make sense of how such normative demands for translation have been accommodated across five case studies. Our findings demonstrate that the normative pressures for adaptation of the MBA on the basis of cultural relativism are not sufficient for significant adaptation. In contrast to other studies of the circulation of ideas and models we found that packaging changed slightly, but form and practice remained largely unchanged. Our conclusion is that the influence of market logic has eclipsed the normative calls for adaptation, resulting in the copying and adoption of the US MBA model.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)217-230
    Number of pages14
    JournalManagement Learning
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


    • China
    • MBA
    • business schools
    • diffusion
    • neo-institutional theory
    • translation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Decision Sciences
    • Strategy and Management
    • Management of Technology and Innovation


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