How Relevant Is the MBA? Assessing the Alignment of Required Curricula and Required Managerial Competencies

June 2009
Academy of Management Learning & Education;Jun2009, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p208
Academic Journal
Masters of business administration (MBA) programs are being met with escalating criticism from academics, students, and various organizational stakeholders. Central to these criticisms is the contention that the MBA is wholly out-of-touch with the "real world" and is irrelevant to the needs of practicing managers. Examining this contention, we investigated the relevancy of MBA curricula in relation to managerial competency requirements. Relying on an empirically derived competency model from 8,633 incumbent managers across 52 managerial occupations, our results showed that behavioral competencies indicated by managers to be most critical are the very competencies least represented in required MBA curricula. Findings further indicate that institutional factors such as media rankings and mission orientation have no effect on the alignment of MBA curricula with critical managerial competencies.


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