The Future of the MBA: Designing the Thinker of the Future

The Future of the MBA: Designing the Thinker of the Future

The Future of the MBA: Designing the Thinker of the Future

The Future of the MBA: Designing the Thinker of the Future

Synopsis

The MBA is probably the hottest ticket among the current university graduate degree offerings--every year, more than 120,000 students enroll in MBA programs in the United States, and the estimates in Europe do not lag far behind. In addition, job prospects have never looked better for business school graduates; corporations are hiring more business school graduates every year, and compensating them more handsomely.
The Future of the MBAprovides a sorely needed detailed and systematic review of the major contemporary debates on management education. At the same time, it makes a striking new proposal that will certainly have an impact in business schools: that managers need to develop a series of qualitative tacit skills which could be appropriately developed by integrative curricula brought from different disciplines, including sociology, philosophy, and other social sciences. Moldoveanu and Martin, both involved in the greatly respected integrative business education program at the Rotheman School of Management, provide a guide on how to design a reliable integrated program for management students. One of the main assets of the book is that it relies not just on speculative thinking, but on real life experience, and that it also includes case studies that will appeal to practicing managers. As an authoritative reference on MBA education, it will appeal to faculty and staff of business schools, as well as students in related fields like education and public policy.

Excerpt

We see others not as they are, but as we are
The Talmud

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is a currently successful North American-originated cultural artifact and socioeconomic phenomenon that has gained worldwide acceptance, consisting of a two-year educational experience in which college-trained students with typically two to four years of work experience get the opportunity—on passing through a selective filtering process—to “train for managing a business.” Demand for the mba degree currently exceeds supply by a healthy margin, and the top “producers” of mba trainees are large, profitable, and growing enterprises. However, a number of vehement critiques of the mba degree have emerged. They raise questions about its economic, intellectual, practical, moral, and “all-things-considered” value and about its relevance and viability that translate into questions about its near and long-term future. These critiques—which we review and discuss here—are pursued along different lines and on different grounds, but they share a focus on the “future of the MBA”—about which they are pessimistic on the basis of their evaluation of various current trends.

Discourse about the “future of X” is, of course, predicated on the assumption that X—or some essential set of characteristics of it—will endure, such that X-in-the-future will still be recognizable as a continuation of X-now. There is, however, no reason to assume that the future-ofthe-MBA will result in the MBA-of-the-future—it may, for instance, end up in extinction. Therein lies a dilemma the critiques jointly face: because they criticize the mba phenomenon vis-à-vis a set of goals and objectives that are presupposed by the current institutional, economic, and intellectual . . .

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