The Education of American Businessmen: A Study of University-College Programs in Business Administration

By Frank C. Pierson | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER 6
EDUCATION FOR CAREERS IN MANAGEMENT

Lewis B. Ward

This chapter summarizes the results of an intensive series of
interviews among the supervisory personnel of three large com-
panies in an Eastern city. The interviews explored relationships
between attitudes, educational backgrounds, and careers in
management as a basis for assessing the work of business
schools. The data, while limited in scope, raise serious ques-
tions about the typical business school curriculum.


INTRODUCTION

The preceding chapters have considered the relationship between career preparation and higher education in general and the special place of business education therein. Student needs and characteristics were discussed in relation to the demands and requirements of business organizations in order to develop basic criteria for a sensible and practical program of business education in the future. In Chap. 5 the question was raised as to whether there were elements in business careers which could properly be the major concern of higher education. This was answered in the affirmative, and it was suggested that the "quality of creative synthesis" required in a wide variety of jobs in business at all stages of a business career should be the central concern of the business schools. It was pointed out that this quality will become even more important on the business scene in the foreseeable future.

The importance of a broad general background and the need for college trained men in industry was documented with comments from observers of the business scene and with data from published studies of business leaders. It was also pointed out, however, that while there clearly is a demand for men with many different types of academic backgrounds, current practices in recruiting of college graduates by industrial concerns are somewhat at variance with the published statements of many business leaders expressing the view that a liberal arts background

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