China’s previous management-education system was a casualty of the Cultural Revolution, but the country has built an impressive network of business schools since MBA degrees were re-introduced in 1991. The number of managers being graduated is still far below what China needs to support economic growth, however, and program quality needs further improvement. Continued progress will require maintaining partnerships with foreign schools, developing faculty, improving curriculum, and expanding research capability.
China did not resume management-education programs until 1979, after abolishing them during the Cultural Revolution. Another twelve years passed before it introduced MBA degrees 工商管理硕士 at nine schools in 1991, which at that time accepted fewer than one hundred students (Li 2007). Since then, however, China has been able to increase both the scale and quality of its management-education system exponentially by applying its economic-growth strategy to postsecondary education. This model is based on duplicating foreign systems, adapting and institutionalizing them, and then improving them. Twenty years later, China has completed the first step successfully and is working on step two. In the coming decades China will begin the arduous process of trying to improve on the US and European models of management education.