New Initiatives of Baylor's MBA!

By Cunningham, Don | Baylor Business Review, Spring 1998 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

New Initiatives of Baylor's MBA!


Cunningham, Don, Baylor Business Review


In an effort to enrich and advance graduate education at the Hankamer School of Business, a group of core faculty is retooling the MBA program around functional integration, real world applications, technological advances, global awareness, and team-centered student learning. A major initiative for delivering these is called the "focus firm" project.

The Focus Firm Project

The focus firm is a corporate-alliance project involving one publicly-held company each semester. Through interaction with the firm's executives, students and faculty explore the company's current core issues and make them the centerpiece of the MBA curriculum for the semester. The advantage over simulation exercises, case studies, or "field trips" is that students across the entire core curriculum receive real-time delivery of current business issues. Students are literally immersed in the present life of a dynamic, actively functioning company.

Last fall, Briggs & Stratton was our "focus firm." Over the course of the semester, corporate executives in Milwaukee participated in seven videoconferences with graduate business students on the Baylor campus. At the end of the semester, the project culminated with presentation day. B&S flew their executives to Waco for strategy presentations by students in Management 5385.

Over the semester, students vicariously experienced what it's like to deal with union problems involving lawsuits and the relocation of production plants from the North to the South. They confronted seasonal production problems and explored the use of college students as a special workforce for evening and weekend production shifts. They heard managers express their frustration with the implementation of SAP, a company-wide retrieval system, and they came to better understand the entry barriers to international markets and the global competition exerted by firms like Honda.

Current Focus Firm-VTEL

The Spring 1998 focus firm is a small NASDAQ-traded company called VTEL. In contrast to the classic operation of the familiar market leader Briggs & Stratton, VTEL offers students the opportunity to experience a young company competing in the emerging market of digital communications. VTEL's recent acquisition of a major competitor is giving students a glimpse of organizational dynamics occurring in a merger culture. The terms cash rich, low leverage, and poison pill come to life as significant factors affecting potential acquisition suitors.

To determine the impact of the focus firm project, internal and external student satisfaction surveys are conducted.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

New Initiatives of Baylor's MBA!
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?