What use is an MBA?

An increasing number of people are asking whether an MBA is the right training programme for modern managers.

The question goes right to the heart of the dysfunction between what business requires from Business Schools and what Business schools actually deliver.

University degrees in Business and Management (as in any other subject) deliver knowledge whereas training delivers skill application and competency improvement.

Education is clearly different from training and it is incorrect to look to any degree course to replicate a training programme. This is not the purpose of education.

If this question can be interpreted to mean "does the pursuit and attainment of an MBA lead to a more effective manager" then the answer must be subjective, situational and unquantifiable. It is true, there are successful business leaders who hold MBA degrees but equally so, there are those who do not.

By the same token there are many business leaders particularly in the SME sector who have no business qualifications at all and yet are successful.

An MBA can make a contribution to effectiveness but of itself will not translate students into successful managers. What it will deliver is knowledge and understanding and from those aspects springs confidence.

Most MBA graduates will agree that the legacy of their qualification results in increased confidence and ability. It provides a different perspective on business, a more analytical approach together with a broad network of business contacts.

If these attributes can be construed to be the right training platform for the modern manager then the MBA is appropriate. In reality, then, an MBA is probably just one way of developing managers. Certainly it is one that assists them to move from the particular to the general, equips them to move from middle-ranking to more senior roles and can help them start their own business venture.

A recently published DTI report "Inspired Leadership" reinforces the need for the modern manager to offer values based leadership style with an increased focus on people rather than on systems and processes.

Yet systems and processes have long been the basis of the MBA syllabus. As a consequence there are not too many MBA programmes that focus on the cultural issue of leadership and the potential MBA student would do well to consider this aspect when choosing their School.

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OLDER COMMENTS

while we work on importing them to the new system!

I had written an article on the usefulness of an MBA program some of the excerpts are as below "The usefulness of the management education program has been hard to measure and evaluate. While it cannot be denied the stress on analytical abilities and concepts does give a broad view of what constitutes management, one can also learn the same through self studies easily if one can only exercise the disciplines of the academics into one’s own lifestyle.

While we may have some big names who are business management graduates from the top global institutions, we also have the legends like Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs to mention a few while no major names who are MBA’s come to mind as easily. Even Jack Welch of GE fame is a non MBA.

If business success is a matter of knowledge which is what the expensive management education business is touting, the knowledge industry itself is dominated by people who have hardly been to a management school and made a big success of it." The complete article is available at http://www.ezinearticles.com/?Is-An-MBA-Necessary-For-Managers?&id=75366

Srinivasan

R.G. Srinivasan Chennai, India

according to me mba is not necessary programme for mba it increase our knowledge and communication skills with changing our personalty so that it is helpful,not compulsory

mahesh mantry kishangarh

a successful manager requires more knowledge,efficiency,the ability to learn from his mistakes,ability to observe from the practical situations,more than everything the confidence..I think an MBA will shape up most of these qualities...but its not a must..its up to the necessity of the aspirants..

Shyamala Rajapalayam

a successful manager requires more knowledge,efficiency,the ability to learn from his mistakes,ability to observe from the practical situations,more than everything the confidence..I think an MBA will shape up most of these qualities...but its not a must..its up to the necessity of the aspirants..

Shyamala Rajapalayam

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