Managers Not MBA Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1251 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Business - Management

¶ … Managers

Over the past several decades, the sophistication of running businesses has increased steadily, along with the growing competition, globalization and change of pace. A few decades ago, organizations began demanding more extensive experience, and ever greater numbers of graduating MBAs were grabbed no sooner had they received their diplomas. As the economy boomed in the 1990s, the number of MBAs continued to grow by leaps and bounds, as well. From 1996 to 2001, the number of these business degrees expanded from 94,000 to 116,000 annually, according to the U.S. Department of Education. In the meantime, other individuals (also older) who had many more years' experience but only undergraduate degrees either were being downsized or losing their status to these younger arrivals.

According to professor of management studies at McGill University, Henry Mintzberg in his book MBAs but not Managers, most of these MBAs have the credentials, but not the experience necessary to succeed in their new positions. He stresses: "Conventional MBA programs do not work because they pretend to create managers out of people with no experience or expressed leadership. Leadership is a natural quality, and teaching it to someone who has never managed is like teaching psychology to someone who has never met another human being."

Al Vicere, professor of strategic leadership at Pennsylvania State University says that the MBA is "very much seen as a degree that, regardless of what your background is, certifies you as somebody who understands running a corporation, running a business, running an organization, and doing it effectively."Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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Mintzberg argues that despite the certification, the skills are bogus. "The MBA programs are so standardized and designed for people without experience that they have nothing to do with management. They're about business, but they don't turn anyone into a leader or manager." Instead of hands-on learning about business activities and people, they book learn such cut-and-dry subjects as accounting, finance, and marketing. Even when grads have been employed as managers, no one discusses what they have experienced, adds Mintzberg. Regardless of their experience, or lack thereof, these grads are asking for top salaries (and, are told they will get them from the day they are in high school and thinking about what career to follow. It is like the movie "The Graduate," when Dustin Hoffman was told to remember the one word "Plastics.")

This is not surprising, given how professional degrees are increasing in importance. Where undergraduate degrees in education, library science, social sciences, and the like used to mean something, they are becoming equivalent to high school degrees. More and more elitist businesses, nonprofits and educational organizations want that Master's Degree. The problem is the same as with the MBA, these students may have the piece of paper, but not the experience. Nor do they really know what they want to do. Earlier generations immediately went to work right out of school and stayed with the same company until retirement. The younger generations are much more choosy about what they do, for how much and for how long. As Jack Welsh at GE preached, loyalty was not important. "Loyalty from the customer is all that matters. With employees, all you end up with is empty promises." This type of thinking heralded in a whole new breed of employee.

Part of the problem, of course, is that many of the professors who are teaching the courses have been behind the walls of ivy for too many years, and not in the halls of companies themselves. For example, the number of schools such as Northeastern where students actually spend an extra year in school completing an internship in their field of study are not very many.

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