On the road to Abilene: Time to manage agreement about MBA curricular relevance
Substantial evidence demonstrates that sound management practice is critical to creating effective organizations. Despite this fact, recent research suggests that courses designed to inculcate human capital competencies are wholly underrepresented in MBA curricula. Scholars have attributed culpability in various directions, collectively suggesting a broad devaluing of management education from one or more stakeholders including recruiters, business school policy makers, faculty members, and students. We bring forth evidence that reveals considerable agreement across stakeholder groups regarding the importance of emphasizing human capital competencies in MBA curricula. That is, contrary to conventional notions, business school stakeholders largely agree with practicing managers that human capital competencies are among the most important to be trained within MBA programs. This evidence suggests an Abilene paradox (Harvey, 1974) wherein the status quo of curricular misalignment is maintained due to a mismanagement of agreement. As such, we argue management faculty must deploy an evidence-based campaign that productively surfaces this agreement and moves MBA programs toward enacting appropriate curricular change congruent with managerial realities.
Robert S. Rubin and Erich C. Dierdorff. "On the road to Abilene: Time to manage agreement about MBA curricular relevance" Academy of Management Learning & Education 10 (2011): 148-161.
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