Business schools1 are subject to strong institutional pressures. In this paper we examine university-based business schools in the UK. We argue that the result of such pressures has been to render business schools isomorphic in a number of ways and to diminish the potential voice of business school research in social and economic issues. We detail the range of institutional pressures and then suggest that schools have choices in the ways they might adapt their strategies to counter normative, coercive and mimetic pressures. Drawing on Oliver's notion of strategic behaviours, we suggest that business schools should adopt a wider scholarly lens and turn its theoretical perspectives and empirical research toward ‘big’ social and economic questions. The difficulties, advantages and implications of changing strategic behaviours are discussed.