This paper focuses on the BA in Business Studies (BABS) drawing on interviews with 31 lecturers across four representative institutions. The first section examines the impact of institutional trends on the BABS degree. Fragmentation and diversification of degree programmes is explained by reference to a post‐Fordist analysis of system‐wide change across UK higher education. The second section analyses the pedagogy of lecturers who contribute to a BABS degree. Lecturers with disciplinary roots in social science disciplines such as Economics or Sociology argued that their primary goal was to produce ‘critical thinkers’ better able to adapt in a post‐Fordist business environment. Other lecturers, who identify with subject areas more closely allied to the business context, such as Accountancy or Information Systems, favour a pedagogy emphasising student acquisition of technical knowledge and skills. These lecturers expect students to synthesise and select from a body of knowledge, rather than evaluate it critically. Copyright © 1997 Journals Oxford Ltd.