Master's mastermind

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The Independent Online
Ground-breaking though Oxford University's dive into the MBA pool may be when it comes next year, it should not prove too daunting for the man charged with running the course.

Anthony Hopwood, Ernst & Young professor of international accounting and financial management at the London School of Economics, has spent most of his career at business schools. Understandably, perhaps, he is equally keen to stress that he is not a professional accountant. "I've just studied it," says the 50-year-old academic, who attended the LSE and Chicago University before teaching at two of Britain's oldest business schools, Manchester and London.

Nevertheless, he has had some influence in the field. While holding the English Institute of Chartered Accountants' chair of accounting at LBS, he helped to set up a European accounting advice forum. He went on to assist the European Commission, the United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. He has also helped to bring forward the harmonisation of international accounting standards. Another former accountancy academic, Sir Bryan Carsberg, will no doubt further this process when he leaves the Office of Fair Trading to become director- general of the International Accounting Standards Committee later this year.

Despite his past, Professor Hopwood - who becomes deputy director of Oxford's school of management studies in October - says accounting will not dominate the course he is helping to develop. "It will play its role alongside other subjects," he says.

He admits that Oxford - while it has offered management studies for some time - has come to the MBA rather late (later, even, than Cambridge), and at a time when other methods of management qualification are challenging its position. But he relishes his new post as "an exciting opportunity to put a stamp on British management".

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