`B' Schools Adapt to Meet Demand

By David C. Walters, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, November 16, 1992 | Go to article overview

`B' Schools Adapt to Meet Demand


David C. Walters, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


PROSPECTIVE students are weighing the costs and potential benefits of a master of business administration (MBA) degree carefully these days.

Graduates of prestigious schools still stand a good chance of landing a lucrative job after graduation. But with unemployment rolls swollen with laid-off middle managers, the $100,000 cost of an MBA (including tuition, expenses, and lost salary) is becoming more daunting than ever.

Just as manufacturers churn out new models to try to cling to market share, business school deans are scrambling to revamp curricula and faculty.

"Business schools grew up in a period of relative tranquility," says John Rosenblum, dean of the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. "One could settle on a win- ning strategy and ride it for years.

"Now, what's not changing in the business world?" he asks. "Change and complexity are the rule."

To cope with this change, schools are revamping their programs in four areas. They are preparing students to do business in global markets; lead companies by using "soft" management skills; make decisions by using broad, long-term analysis; and consider ethical dimensions of their actions (see box, right).

Institutions like The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Columbia Business School at Columbia University in New York, and Harvard Business School at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., have completed or are considering significant changes to their curricula and core requirements. Schools are being challenged to impart skills and knowledge that will remain relevant five or 10 years after graduation.

Business schools have traditionally given students a thorough training in the use of quantitative decisionmaking tools, such as statistics, accounting, economics, and financial and marketing analysis. But more corporations want newly minted MBAs to have participatory leadership styles. "Soft" skills, such as communicating effectively, negotiating, and having the flexibility to handle constant organizational change, are sought by companies.

"Business is about results. It's not fundamentally about ideas," says B. Joseph White, dean of the University of Michigan Business School in Ann Arbor. "There are a lot of good ideas out there, but if you don't have the leadership, communication, and negotiation skills to put ideas into action, you can't produce results."

Determining what priority to give "hard" quantitative training and fuzzier management skills has long been debated in business education. In 1959, two reports - one from the Ford Foundation, the other from the Carnegie Foundation - criticized the lack of research and academic substance in American business schools. A wave of reforms ensued that boosted their academic focus.

Mr. Rosenblum describes the debate as a "struggle between managerial relevance and academic rigor in both teaching and research."

Today, the pendulum is swinging back toward results-oriented management training. A 1988 report sponsored by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business recommended that the nation's businesses develop mission statements to help their customers (students and the companies that hire MBAs) differentiate among them. The AACSB reports that since 1987, freshman interest in undergraduate business majors has declined by one-third, implying a tightening of the supply of potential MBA students. The business-school industry is a competitive and crowded one, with about 700 schools offering a range of degrees. …

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

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

`B' Schools Adapt to Meet Demand
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.