Management education, training, and development in Great Britain : a case study of the Strathclyde MBA programme
The purpose of the present research was to evaluate the MBA programme offered at Strathclyde Business School to determine whether the MBA programme is designed to meet the needs of local industry or whether a 'mis-match' does in fact exists between industry and the MBA programme. By systematic evaluation of attitudes displayed within the student, employer, and academic communities. In general, the findings of this research clearly indicated that there is a perceived 'mis-match' between the industrial world and the MBA programme. The results of this research and the comments of the target group (business/industry) supported many other research studies that MBA programmes in general are characterised by lectures and academic theories, and therefore, are not suitable for the contemporary business organizations. Chapter 1 is a general introduction to the present research study. Chapter 2 examines the growth of formal management education and training in Great Britain, and attempts to describe the attitudes and opinions of British industry toward the formal management courses offered by various British colleges and universities, with special reference to the 1960s and beyond. Chapter 3 focuses mainly on discussing the 'mis-match' described by many writers between the MBA programme and British industry, and attempts to demonstrate how and why the MBA programme is unsuited to British industry. Chapter 4 focuses on five interviews with key administrators involved in the Strathclyde MBA programme since its inception. Each interview relates to a different time period. Chapters 5, 6, 7 and 8 are based upon an analysis of questionnaires that were distributed to the new (incoming) MBA students, MBA graduates, MBA staff, and business/industry. The questionnaires contain various questions related to individual experience with the MBA programme, and information on the attitudes, opinions, and recommendations of respondents. In addition, the various comments received from respondents were considered to be a valuable source of information for the analysis. Chapter 9 discusses in detail the 'mis-match' widely hinted at in the literature review (Chapters 2 and 3) between the MBA and the target group (business/industry). The evidence presented in this chapter centers around issues related to sponsorship and recruitment of MBAs, communication (relationships) between the business scnool and the industrial world, and the MBA curriculum including: course content, teaching methods and teachers. Chapter 10 presents a brief summary of the various findings discovered throughout the present research studies. In general, the findings clearly indicated that the present MBA programme needs to be closely studied and revised to meet the needs of business and industry. Recommendations for change and improvements in the MBA programme centered around a course content relevant to the real needs and requirements of tne local companies and organizations, teachers who are skilled at handling group dynamics and influencing the content of the discussion in the classroom, and a variety of teaching methods with active involvement of the student in the learning process. More important, as emphasized throughout this research study, a better communication process between the business school and the industrial world was clearly required and needed to eliminate the present 'mis-match' between the MBA training and the industrial world.