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The Problem With America's MBA Programs

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The Problem With America's MBA Programs [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2010, 20:39
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Last October, in the throes of the Washington Redskins' worst football season since 1994, I wrote a lengthy critique of team owner Dan Snyder's highly questionable managerial skills. In essence, I likened Snyder's appalling track record to those of leaders at businesses such as AIG (NYSE: AIG), Bank of America's (NYSE: BAC) Countrywide mortgage division, and General Motors.

Oddly enough, one major institution saw the parallel as well. According to a recent post on czabe.com, the website of sports-radio personality Steve Czaban, an MBA class at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business has taken up the "Snyder Case" as a means to illustrate how to not run a business.

This development is great news in some sense (the validation is nice, for one thing), but definitely not in others. In fact, I'm significantly more dissatisfied now than I was before.

The pot calling the kettle black
Snyder's various NFL-related failures justify extensive public examination, but I can't help stewing over the larger irony at hand. The giant business-school machine is precisely what has spawned -- or at least helped spawn -- so many of the money-can-solve-all, greed-is-good types that brought down my favorite football team and our economy to begin with.

The McDonough case study only scratches the surface of a much larger issue. If business schools are studying the Redskins to learn how to not run a business, shouldn't the Redskins organization study business schools and learn how to not create leaders?


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Re: The Problem With America's MBA Programs [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2010, 16:17
The article commits a fallacy in stating that because some MBA grads are crappy that there is a problem with the system in training all MBA students in America.

Their sample is small, but also prominent, which helps overshadow this fallacy.

A more interesting study would be to see the contribution that all American-trained MBA students make in their business controlled for other factors.

It may be the case that MBA grads were given CEO positions in part because of their title while those without the MBA title were able to get to the top by relying only on their skill set; perhaps the latter group is more skillful at management because they had to prove themselves more.
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Re: The Problem With America's MBA Programs [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2010, 05:14
I think the biggest thing missing in MBA programs is a focus on entrepreneurial thinking.

The focus is too much on big business because that is where most of the students come from.
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Re: The Problem With America's MBA Programs [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2010, 14:45
wasabiventures wrote:
I think the biggest thing missing in MBA programs is a focus on entrepreneurial thinking.

The focus is too much on big business because that is where most of the students come from.


It's also where most of the students head after they finish their MBA, and students choose electives they believe will best prepare them for their future career.
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Re: The Problem With America's MBA Programs [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2010, 14:50
Jerz wrote:
wasabiventures wrote:
I think the biggest thing missing in MBA programs is a focus on entrepreneurial thinking.

The focus is too much on big business because that is where most of the students come from.


It's also where most of the students head after they finish their MBA, and students choose electives they believe will best prepare them for their future career.


Yes, and sadly, I think that is what is wrong with the American economy.

But I am getting too macro-economic.
Re: The Problem With America's MBA Programs   [#permalink] 22 Mar 2010, 14:50
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