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Rethinking the MBA: Business Education at a Crossroads Hardcover – April 13, 2010


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Rethinking the MBA: Business Education at a Crossroads + Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession + From Higher Aims to Hired Hands: The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; First Edition edition (April 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422131645
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422131640
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #768,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Is business education becoming more like the liberal arts? If the question is, 'are we trying to teach more about how to be a well-rounded human being who happens to be practicing business,' the answer is absolutely, 'yes.'"

—David Garvin in The Atlantic, July 14, 2010

About the Author

Srikant M. Datar is the Arthur Lowes Dickinson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard University. David A. Garvin is the C. Roland Christensen Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. Patrick G. Cullen is a research associate at the Harvard Business School.

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Customer Reviews

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ho Kheong Tan on November 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a must read for educators and MBA seekers.
I hardly come across a book that was written with such details and clarity. It is amazing that 3 academics from Harvard Business School were able to write with such clear prose, discuss the MBA programmes of top 20 US MBA programmes without biases, and include detailed description of the MBA programmes and maintain exhilarating reading pace.
For the educators, Srikant M.Data, David A. Garvin and Patrick G. Cullen described how the top MBA programmes are using innovative approaches to a address 8 social and business concers;
1. Gaining a global perspective
2. Developing leadership skills
3. Honing integrative skills
4. Recognising organizational realities and implementing effectively
5. Acting creatively and innovatively
6. Thinking critically and communicating clearly
7. Understanding the role, responsibilities, and purpose of business
8. Understanding the limits of models and markets
The authors' insights and description of how top Business Schools design and develop their programmes could also be used in any Undergraduate programmes .
For MBA seekers, the authors devoted 6 separate chapters to provide detailed description of courses at 6 top US Business School;
1. University of Chicago Booth School of Business
2. Insead
3. The Center for Creative Leadership
4. Harvard Business School
5. Stanford Graduate School of Business
6. Yale School of Management
MBA seekers will have better understanding of and preparation for the demanding and torturous training programmes that they will undergo. At the same time, they could judge how these programmes will meet their needs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fred Cheyunski on April 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
For this reviewer, it was interesting to get the authors' take on business education's current status and prospects (with his background as a consultant for major firms and since being a B-school graduate, former staff member, adjunct faculty and visiting class speaker some time ago, the update was appreciated). Like other reviewers, this one concurs that the book is well researched and written. However, while the authors present the dilemmas schools confront, they (not surprisingly given their vantage as professors) seem to take quite an optimistic view with respect to schools' ability to respond, which remains to be seen.

After a helpful overview, the authors summarize their findings such as the declines in 2 year full time curricula in favor of condensed, part-time and/or executive programs. A brief historical overview explains the delicate positioning of business schools in universities and the pressures for more scholarly and academic rigor over the years. Detailing the criticisms of B-schools, they explain ways schools are often over analytical, do not address important business needs, and underemphasize important topics and skills.

The authors go on to highlight eight broad needs including the importance of developing global perspective, leadership skills, cross-functional integration, comprehension of organizational realities, creativity and innovative thinking, oral and written communication, understanding of the role and purpose of business as well as the limits of markets and models. They review a wide range of programmatic and curricular responses in leading schools. The authors indicate that schools are generally more responsive to the first 3 needs, but are still wrestling with how to respond in other areas.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on November 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Authors Srikant M. Datar, David A. Garvin and Patrick G. Cullen have done their work very well. Their examination of the current state of the master of business administration (MBA) degree touches on the nature of education, the nature of higher education as an institution and culture, and the conceptual and practical demands that business places on education and employees. Though one might question citing the best MBA programs in the U.S. to represent business education as a whole, the authors' examples are nicely specific, their prose is clear, and their commentary is honest and revealing. getAbstract recommends their book to a cluster of readers: those seeking MBAs, those running MBA programs, anyone in human resources and anyone interested in corporate culture. This text could also serve as a model of disciplinary self-evaluation for educators running other programs.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hamid Noorani on May 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is well-researched, well-organized, well-written, and very timely. For all who help develop the future leaders of the world, this book is a wake-up call. It highlights the growing gap between what we teach MBA students and what the real world demands of them. Globalization and technology have changed the world, and MBA schools need to adapt by re-thinking the skills they impart to their graduates. Highly Recommended.
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