PowerYogi has an excellent post on grade non-disclosure. Currently a first year student at Chicago GSB (which has GND) and an insightful blogger on the MBA scene for a couple of years, he clearly disagrees with my earlier post on GND and makes several thoughtful points.
We basically agree that recruiter views of this issue are an important issue that need to be addressed, but we disagreed on other aspects of the topic.
I think the point made by Wharton’s Dean Jain and the BW article that started this exchange is that some students are less motivated because of lack of disclosure. The fact that PowerYogi is working hard doesn’t mean that all students will be as self-motivated. In a class of several hundred, X% will be less motivated and bring down the level for all. Pass/fail options exist for those classes that may stretch you more than you like and could cause potential damage to a GPA.
Furthermore, to the extent that GND leads to a lack or minimizing of consequences for non-performance, the cooperation and collegiality you may find at school is not real world. Other top programs claim cooperation and collegiality even with competition and grade disclosure. I would say that those lessons in teamwork are more real and valuable than those where there is no potential cost to helping your fellow student. Again, this comment is not directed individually at PowerYogi, who has given generously of his advice through hundreds of posts in his blog even if those posts did help his competition. But in a class of several hundred, whether at GSB or Wharton, sincere cooperation and teamwork occur in an environment that is much less like that of the workplace where one both competes (for promotions) and works together for a common goal.
Finally my experience at a school where grades were disclosed (Anderson or GSM as it was known then) was that we had a high degree of cooperation. So grade disclosure dos not necessarily torpedo cooperation.