AnCaps
ANARCHO-CAPITALISTS
Bitch-Slapping Statists For Fun & Profit Based On The Non-Aggression Principle
 
HomePortalGalleryRegisterLog in
 

 Why MBA Programs Don't Produce Leaders

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
CovOps

CovOps

Female Location : Ether-Sphere
Job/hobbies : Irrationality Exterminator
Humor : Über Serious

Why MBA Programs Don't Produce Leaders Vide
PostSubject: Why MBA Programs Don't Produce Leaders   Why MBA Programs Don't Produce Leaders Icon_minitimeWed Dec 26, 2012 3:40 am

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), over 150,000 students graduate with their MBA in the United States every year. That’s a whopping 25% of all Master’s recipients (compared to Computer & Information Science at only 3%).

Why MBA Programs Don't Produce Leaders 300pxharvardshieldbusin



Two years ago I contemplated joining their ranks. I remember sitting at a kitchen table editing drafts of my Harvard Business School essays. Despite the impending deadline, I couldn’t find the motivation to complete my application. In my head, I reviewed reasons why my Bain colleagues encouraged me to go to business school. “The network,” they said. “A two-year vacation,” I heard from some. But I wanted to learn, grow, and develop as a leader. Could business school offer that?

Business Schools Have An Identity Crisis

Business schools have always juggled two missions: educating practitioners and creating knowledge through research. Fifty years ago, as explained in the 2005 HBR article How Business Schools Lost Their Way, business schools shifted their focus from the former to the latter. Management became a science rather than a profession.

This shift had profound implications. Business schools rewarded professors for publishing their research in academic journals, and their curriculum began to reflect the narrow focus of the faculty. Business school professors became increasingly disconnected from practicing managers and leaders. By the mid 2000s, it became clear that business schools had swung too far in one direction.

A Change In Image, Not Substance

Critics called for a re-emphasis on organizational leadership as a distinct profession and prescribed a number of curriculum changes to restore balance between academic rigor and everyday usefulness.

In response, business schools repositioned themselves in the educational marketplace. For years they had touted the MBA degree as a sure path to career advancement and higher salaries, but they started to change their tune. Now, the mission statements of the nation’s top business schools claim to convert today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders. Chicago Booth is pretty representative of the rest:

Since 1898, we have produced ideas and leaders that shape the world of business. Our rigorous, discipline-based approach to business education transforms our students into confident, effective, respected business leaders prepared to face the toughest challenges

This new rhetoric was just that: rhetoric. A 2008 study of the top 50 U.S. business schools found that the “ideal curriculum remains far more of a normative construct than a positive reality.” In 2009, Joel Podolny, dean and VP of Apple University, promoted the same solutions that had been advanced earlier in the decade. MBA programs were failing to change.

When I sat there, questioning my business school plans, I was unaware of these criticisms. Yet, the inner conflict I felt was real, and I abandoned my application. I’ve since learned that business school, despite its good intentions, makes little difference in molding leadership potential. Its very nature is at odds with its purported mission.

What Continues To Plague MBA Programs

Three major disconnects prevent business schools, especially full-time MBA programs, from developing leaders.

1. Leaders understand people. MBAs, on the other hand, boil everything down to numbers

Data and analysis are important facets of any business endeavor and receive top billing in MBA core curricula. The 2008 survey I cited earlier found that analytical courses were required at a significantly higher percentage of MBA programs than those about soft skills. In fact, there are only two soft skills courses that more than half these programs require. I think that MBA programs overemphasize technical skills.

Henry Mintzberg, a professor at McGill University and author of the book, Managers, Not MBAs, agrees. He says that soft skills don’t receive enough attention in business school education:

Most professors do not care about them or cannot teach them, while most of the younger students are not ready to learn most of them. And few of these skills are compatible with the rest of the program—they get lost amid all the hard analysis and technique

Businesses are simply organizations of human beings with a shared, profit-driven mission. Leaders understand that the most effective way to accomplish their goals is to get the most out of their people. Unless someone is working for a consulting firm, investment bank, or private equity firm, the likelihood of working on a team of MBAs is rather low. In reality, teams are comprised of people in diverse roles with varying skills. Making the most of these differences is what makes leadership more art than science.

2. Leaders see the big picture. MBAs, unfortunately, learn about business in discrete parts

Mintzberg says that conventional MBA programs provide “specialized training in the functions of business, not general educating in the practice of managing.” In school, MBAs become adept at analyzing well-defined problems in functional silos. But this isn’t leadership. Again, Mintzberg explains:

Most work that can be programmed in an organization need not concern its managers directly; specialists can be delegated to do it. That leaves the managers mostly with the messy stuff—the intractable problems, the complicated connections. And that is what makes the practice of management so fundamentally “soft” and why labels such as experience, intuition, judgment, and wisdom are commonly used for it

MBAs don’t develop this kind of judgment in business school. Only 36% of the top MBA programs require General Management in its core. Even Harvard’s case study method can’t replicate the highly contextual and nuanced nature of real-life business problems. To be effective, leaders have to maintain a holistic point-of-view, integrating knowledge of separate business functions to arrive at sound decisions.

3. Leaders execute. MBAs focus on strategy, divorcing it from implementation

A good strategy is critical to success in a dynamic, competitive industry. MBAs spend two years framing issues, analyzing problems, and devising recommendations. But business schools have once again misplaced their emphasis—a good strategy is never enough.

While strategy is important, execution is the hallmark of great leaders. Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor at Stanford, uses a sports analogy to explain:

Doing the right thing is important, which is where strategy comes in. But doing that thing well—execution—is what sets companies apart. After all, every football play is designed to go for a huge gain. The reason it doesn’t is because of execution—people drop balls, miss blocks, go to the wrong place, and so forth. So, success depends on execution—on the ability to get things done

Execution separates good companies from great ones. Oftentimes, taking no action is worse than implementing a half-baked plan. It erodes morale and impedes learning. Sometimes a strategy has to emerge through trial and error – and that kind of iteration is okay. But don’t tell that to an MBA.

Leaders Aren’t Created In A Classroom

Make no mistake: an MBA isn’t worthless. I’m stuck, however, on a fundamental flaw in the approach. I don’t see how full-time MBA programs can whisk students away for two years and still profess to develop leaders. Leaders are created in the crucible of life, not a classroom.

I’m experiencing my own graduate school in New York City. The sidewalks are my hallways; the buildings are my classrooms. Every day there’s a new lesson to learn—I just have to pay attention.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhansen/2011/10/04/why-mba-business-school-not-leaders/
_________________
Anarcho-Capitalist, AnCaps Forum, Ancapolis, The Dark Side, OZschwitz Contraband
“The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual, crime.”-- Max Stirner
"Remember: Evil exists because good men don't kill the government officials committing it." -- Kurt Hofmann
Back to top Go down
RR Phantom

RR Phantom

Location : Wabbit Hole
Job/hobbies : Cayman Islands Actuary

Why MBA Programs Don't Produce Leaders Vide
PostSubject: Re: Why MBA Programs Don't Produce Leaders   Why MBA Programs Don't Produce Leaders Icon_minitimeWed Dec 26, 2012 5:47 pm

Down with leaders!
_________________
Anarcho Capitalists Retail , OZschwitz Downunder BoutiqueAnarcho-Capitalists,AnCaps Forum,Anti-State,Anti-Statist,Inalienable Rights Defenders,Non-Aggression Principle,Non-Initiation of Force Principle,Rothbardians,Anarchist,Capitalist,objectivism,Ayn Rand,Anarcho-Capitalism,Anarcho-Capitalist,politics,libertarianism,Ancap Forum,Anarchist Forum,Vulgar Libertarians,Hippies of The Right,Forum for Anarcho-Capitalist,Forum for Anarcho-Capitalists,Forum for AnCap,Forum for AnCaps,Libertarian,Anarcho-Objectivist,Freedom, Laissez Faire, Free Trade, Black Market, Randroid, Randroids, Rothbardian, AynArchist, Anarcho-Capitalist Forum, Anarchism, Anarchy, Free Market Anarchism, Free Market Anarchy, Market Anarchy
Back to top Go down
CovOps

CovOps

Female Location : Ether-Sphere
Job/hobbies : Irrationality Exterminator
Humor : Über Serious

Why MBA Programs Don't Produce Leaders Vide
PostSubject: Re: Why MBA Programs Don't Produce Leaders   Why MBA Programs Don't Produce Leaders Icon_minitimeWed Dec 26, 2012 6:04 pm

Yeah, let's get at them...

All follow me!

Devil lol
_________________
Anarcho-Capitalist, AnCaps Forum, Ancapolis, The Dark Side, OZschwitz Contraband
“The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual, crime.”-- Max Stirner
"Remember: Evil exists because good men don't kill the government officials committing it." -- Kurt Hofmann
Back to top Go down
 

Why MBA Programs Don't Produce Leaders

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
 :: Anarcho-Capitalist Categorical Imperatives :: AnCaps & Psychology, Edumbcation, Even IndoctriNation-