Out of touch MBAs add little to the bottom lineOn 25 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Jonas Ridderstrale, author of the best-selling management book, FunkyBusiness, likes to refer to the old joke about MBA standing for ‘mediocre butarrogant’. And it’s not sour grapes – Ridderstrale has an MBA himself.According to him, MBA graduates share a “dirty little secret”. The secret is that they all study the same books. His point is that MBA graduates cannot give your organisation a competitiveadvantage if they are just introducing the same business models as their peersin competitor organisations. Research by the Work Foundation, revealed exclusively in this week’s issueof Personnel Today (Features, page 21) questions the value of MBAs and whethercompanies are getting any return on course fees of up to £60,000. Organisationsare spending at least £10m a year on people who repay them by leaving thecompany within a year of graduating, the research shows. From the graduates’ point of view, the MBA brand is as powerful as ever asit is a passport into the lucrative world of international consulting. Nearly aquarter of MBAs work in consulting, and less than one in 10 were doing sobefore they took the degree. Even if the MBA graduate stays you probably have no measure of how effectivethey have been. Little or no work has been done on assessing MBA graduates’contribution. Which brings us to the biggest concern of all: hardly any MBAs cover HRmanagement and few offer training on personal development and leadership. Inother words the MBA concept is looking increasingly out of touch with the realworld where it is recognised that in the knowledge economy it is people whoprovide the only source of competitive advantage. It is time companies stopped being star-struck by MBAs and started asking ifthey are worth the paper they are printed on. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.