The Real World MBA

Posted in Pulpit by Harsha on April 12, 2007

As much as "The Apprentice" sucks, the idea is great. By putting a group of people on the spot, with the pressure of real results for their work and consequences for their actions, it ties competence to performance to rewards. But that seems to work only well on TV!

If you’re outside the MBA system, you probably look at it skeptically. You either think its a bunch of baloney or feel all that these kids learn are buzzwords and theories. So I want to explore an idea.

But you see, in the real world..

We hear that phrase often. If we’re really so disconnected in the classroom, then why are MBA programs continuing to dish out irrelevant crap? I’m not saying teaching Porter’s 5 Forces or Theory X/Y is irrelevant. I’m questioning the opportunity for real-time applicability by students (experienced or otherwise). While at school, it is concentration of theory and while at work, it is all too real. It’s more interesting and valuable if one could meld the two worlds together and apply all this theory on a live example in real-time, namely the institution itself.

In our radically transparent world, what’s a better way than to lay the organization threadbare for review!

Accounting, Marketing, Corporate Strategy and Finance students will apply the concepts taught in the class to improve the efficiency of the institution and treat it like any other non-for-profit business entity. Grades will either be metrics-based (admissions, transfers and honors) or report based (success of career fair and sponsorships for class events). This will give the institution access to the minds of many talented people, who’ve paid to ‘work’ there, and help it compete in the education landscape. This is how the true value of the MBA will be harnessed.

This link is an excellent article on Wikipedia on the history of the MBA.

– Harsha Raghavan


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