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Title: The impact of foreign higher education on management practices : the case of MBAs in Greece
Author: Fotopoulou, Dialechti
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 714X
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2014
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This study explores the impact of the proliferation of MBA degrees on managerial practice, looking at the case of Greece. Originating in the United States, MBA degrees provide generic management education, in line with the emphasis on tertiary generic skills encountered in Liberal Market Economies (LMEs). More specifically, this study evaluates whether MBAs offered in Greece are broad replicas of those encountered in LMEs, or whether they have very distinct features, mirroring their social context and the specific sectoral composition of the Greek economy. Moreover, by acknowledging the role of individual action in promoting change at firm level as well as the impact of managerial education on practice, the study further explores whether Greek MBA graduates can be considered evangelists for the LME model. In order to address these research aims, the current study uses a multi-method approach including both qualitative and quantitative methods. These involve a documentary analysis of MBA programmes’ curricula offered both by public and private Greek universities, semi-structured in-depth interviews with academics teaching in the MBAs, and finally a questionnaire survey of Greek MBA graduates working as managers in Greece. At a theoretical level, the study gives evidence on how changes in the nature of higher education may shed some light on the main dynamics of broader institutional change. At an applied level, the study finds that the main impact of the MBA degree on practice has been in terms of broad content, and a lack of rootedness of MBAs in specific technologies, industries and processes. Hence, the study finds that Greek MBAs have many similarities with the traditional LME type MBA, the most significant being the promotion of general management as opposed to industry specific knowledge. The broad management curricula of the Greek MBA represent a significant movement away from the traditional approach of specialized degrees and professions, towards general management. Thus, there is a tendency to the generic, which is conducive to engendering a world view closely aligned to the shareholder model of LMEs. The latter is primarily concerned with viewing the firm instrumental terms as a vehicle for the generation of shareholder value, rather than something with distinct industry and regional specific characteristics to be nurtured for the benefit, not only of owners, but for stakeholders as well. This in turn may contribute to broader socio-economic change in Greece.
Supervisor: Wood, G. T. ; Psychogios, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available