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BRM Interim Report

FACTORS INFLUENCING CHOICE OF MBA


SPECIALIZATION

Group Members:
Chanchala Bihani-15A1HP057
Kartik Mehta 15A2HP441
Sai Sailaja Pasumarthy- 15A1HP016
Sravya Medipally- 15A3HP643
Siddharth Jain-15A1HP104

Section: C
Name of the Faculty Guide: Dr. Sridhar Vaithianathan
Date of Submission: 13/01/2016

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
On the very commencement of this report, we would like to extend our sincere
gratitude towards all the people and sources who have helped us in this endeavor.
Their guidance, help, cooperation and encouragement, has helped us make
headway in this project.
We are ineffably indebted and thankful to our faculty Professor, Dr. Sridhar
Vaithianathans

critical advice, valuable guidance which supported us in

accomplishing this assignment. We extend our gratitude to Institute of Management


Technology, Hyderabad for giving us this opportunity.
We also acknowledge with a deep sense of reverence, our gratitude towards our
parents, who have always supported us morally as well as economically.

PREFACE
The purpose of this study is to establish the factors that influence the choice of
specialization of MBA courses by students at Institute Of Management Technology in
Hyderabad. The population for this study consists of 177 MBA students from
Institute Of Management Technology in Hyderabad. The nature of data collected and
used would be primary and secondary data. The research instrument to be relied on
for primary data collection will be a structured questionnaire that has both open
ended and closed questions. The questionnaire will be administered online. Data
collected will be edited for accuracy, consistency, uniformity and completeness and
the results will be presented in tables, graphs and charts.

INTRODUCTION & NEED FOR STUDY


Education is one of the core elements that contributes to the holistic development
of a person. Higher education has become necessary and very competitive in the
recent years. The reasons for undertaking an MBA program are diverse and usually
driven by personal needs and desires. The purpose of this research is to provide an
understanding of the factors involved in and influencing a students choice of
specialization in an MBA Program.
The need for this research is to provide an understanding of the factors influencing
a students choice of specialization in MBA program.
The study can also be help in projecting the expected number of students who
would be opting for various specializations in the second year. (This can be used by
the institute to manage capacity)

LITERATURE REVIEW
Education is one of the core elements that contribute to the holistic development of
a person. Higher education further develops a persons knowledge, skill and
character by going through a learning process. Higher education has become more
competitive in recent years due to individuals need to empower themselves, harsh
economy, tight measures of getting employment and reductions in government
funding and higher student fees. The reasons for undertaking a postgraduate
degree are diverse and usually driven by personal needs and desires. These include
expanding knowledge of a specific subject, improving career progression, increasing
the chances of getting a graduate job, a love of the subject and to enable lifestyle
changes by raising salary.
Our research is based on identifying factors that influence a students decision in
selecting a specialization. Psychological, Personal, Cultural and social factors have
been identified and defined (Wartimu J.W)

Personal Factors
People age and life cycle tend to influence and change the products they buy over
their life time. Tastes and preferences are also age related. Buying is also shaped by
the stages in the family life cycle- the stages in which families might pass as they
mature over time. Marketers can define their target markets in terms of life cycle
stage and develop appropriate products and marketing plan for each stage (Kotler,
2006).
Social Factors
A persons behavior is influenced by many small groups. A group is defined as two
or more people who interact to accomplish individual or mutual goals. Groups that
have a direct influence and to which a person belongs are called membership
groups. In contrast reference groups serve as direct points of comparison in forming
a persons attitude or behavior. People are influenced by reference groups to which
they do not belong. Reference groups expose a person to new behaviors and
lifestyle, influence the persons attitudes and self-concept and create pressure to
conform that may affect the persons product and brand choices (Kotler, 2006).
Cultural Factors
Culture is the set of basic values, perceptions, wants and behavior learned by a
member of society from family and other important institutions (Kotler et al,
2006).According to Gilbert et al (1995), culture is the complex of learned values and

behavior that are shared by the society and are designed to increase the probability
of the societys survival. Culture is the configuration of learned behavior and results
of behavior whose compound elements are shared and transmitted by members of
a particular society (Linton, 1945). Culture is thus a learned behavior as opposed to
genetically inherited capabilities, configuration of behavior rather than isolated
behavioral elements, the results of behavior which include such things as ideas,
value systems and knowledge. Shared behavior indicates that culture is passed
from generation to generation.
Psychological Factors
Motivation refers to the state or condition that prompts goal oriented behavior.
Motivation generally occurs with recognition of some needs or some problems that
can affect information processing or purchase behavior. Motivation involves both
energy and focus. Motivation involves both energy and focus. Motives themselves
may be obvious or hidden (William et al, 2001). According to Kotler, (2006), a
motive is a need that is sufficiently pressing to direct the person to seek satisfaction
of the need. Motivation looks at the factors that direct and energizes human
behavior and other organisms while motives are desired goals that prompt behavior.
Decision-making process
Decision-making process follow a number of stages, Studies using self-reports four
stages (Moschisand Mitchell, 1986). Four stages will be considered appropriate as
these covers all the important decision-making stages. It is also used by most
consumer behaviorists in explaining consumer decision making process (e.g.
Solomon, 1999).
Emerging global and industrial Factors
Many graduates want to pursue an MBA due to emerging global issues like;
advancing one Career, although it may be possible to climb the ranks over the
years, there are some careers that require an MBA for advancement. Examples
include areas of finance and banking and consultancy. Companies are encouraging
their employees to advance to study MBA programs in order to be promoted.
Earning an MBA does not guarantee career advancement, but it certainly doesn't
hurt employment or promotion prospects. Some individuals study MBA because You
Want to Change Careers When one interested in changing careers, switching
industries, or making oneself a marketable employee in a variety of fields. While
enrolled in an MBA program, one can have the opportunity to learn general business
and management expertise that can be applied to nearly any industry. One also
gets the chance to specialize in a particular area of business. Specializing in one
area will prepare you to work in that field after graduation regardless of your
undergraduate degree or previous work experience.

Given below in tabular form is a snapshot of the journal papers referred the
variables identified and the variables used in our study. It also gives a description of
the objective of research of the journal papers and the conclusions that have been
drawn by the researchers.
Sl
No.
1

Journal Paper

Objectives

Wairimu, Jane
W. "Factors
Influencing the
choice of
Specialization of
MBA Courses by
Students at
Institutions of
Higher Learning
in Kenya A
Survey of Nyeri
County."
International
Journal of
Business and
Social Science,
2010."
International
Journal of
Business and
Social Science,
2012.

How did
psychological
factors influence
the choice of
specialization
MBA courses by
students at
institutions of
higher learning in
Kenya?

Agarwala,
Tanuja. "Factors
influencing
career choice of
management
students in
India." Career

To identify
individuals in the
family and at
work in making
career choices.

Variables
Identified
Psychologic
al Factors
Personal
Factors
Social
Factors

How did personal


factors influence
the choice of
specialization
MBA courses by
students at
institutions of
higher learning in
Kenya?

Conclusion
It was
established
that
psychological
factors,
personal
factors and
social factors
are all
considered
into decision
making.

Variables
used
Psychologi
cal Factors
Personal
Factors
Social
Factors

What were the


social factors that
influenced the
choice of courses
in selection of
institutions of
higher learning by
students?

Also, this study

Cultural
values
Levels of job
in sectors

It concluded
that there
were
numerous
differences in
the finding
from this

Cultural
factors
Levels of
job in
sectors

Development
International,
2008.

seeks to address
the relationship of
cultural values of
individualism and
collectivism and
the conventional
career
orientations of
MBA students
from India.

study. It can
further be
concluded that
students
belongs to
different
educational,
economic &
social
background,
as well as
institutes they
attended differ
according to
the
importance
given to the
factors. The
results further
reveals that
not all choice
factors are
equally
important.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVE
Detailed below are the objectives of our study. Our primary objective is to identify
the factors that influence the choice of specialization in MBA program by students at
Institute of Management Technology, Hyderabad for the batch 2015-17.
Based on our literature review we identified five factors that influence the choice of
specialization in MBA Program namely personal, social, cultural, psychological and
level if jobs in different sectors. These factors have formed the basis for our
hypothesis.

Primary Objective:

To investigate the factors that influenced the choice of specialization in MBA


program by students at Institute of Management Technology, Hyderabad for the
batch 2015-17.

Hypothesis:

To establish if Personal factors influenced choice of specialization in MBA


program by students at Institute of Management Technology in Hyderabad.
To establish if Social factors influenced choice of specialization in MBA
program by students at Institute of Management Technology in Hyderabad.
To establish if Cultural factors influenced choice of specialization in MBA
program by students at Institute of Management Technology in Hyderabad.
To establish if Psychological factors influenced choice of specialization in
MBA program by students at Institute of Management Technology in
Hyderabad.
To establish if Level of Jobs in sectors influenced choice of specialization in
MBA program by students at Institute of Management Technology in
Hyderabad.

RESEARCH MODEL
Our research model consists of dependent and independent variables. Our
dependent variable is Choice if selection is finance and non-finance specialization.
Our independent variables include social, personal, cultural, psychological factors
and the level of jobs in various sectors. We will undertake discriminant and factor
analysis to identify the extent to which the dependent variables influence the choice
of selection of Finance and Non-Finance specialization in MBA program.

RESEARCH DESIGN
Research Methodology:
Empirical:
Empirical research is based on observed and measured phenomena and derives
knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief. Since we wish
to capture the thoughts and analyze the qualitative aspects influencing the choice
of MBA specialization we use empirical study because we wish to analyze which
qualitative aspect influences the choice of selection of MBA specialization.
Data Collection Method:

Primary and Secondary data will be used to conduct the research. The research
instrument that will be relied on for primary data collection will be a structured
questionnaire that has both open ended and closed questions. The questionnaire
will be administered online. For secondary data, a consolidated list of students of
batch 2015-17 along with their course application and background details from the
institutes database will be relied upon for analysis.
Sample Size:
Using a non- probability sampling technique of convenience sampling we have
considered a sample size of 177 students of Institute of Management Technology
Batch 2015- Study:17. Our primary respondents will be the student of the current
batch at Institute of Management Technology Batch 2015-17.
Statistical Techniques to Be Used:
1. Discriminant Analysis
Discriminant function analysis is a statistical analysis to predict a categorical
dependent variable by independent variables. Discriminant analysis is used when
groups are known a priori. In our project we have clearly identified the dependent
and independent variable and depicted the same in our model. Each of the
questions in our questionnaire have been categorized according to the factors
identified as per literature review. Each question becomes a variable for our
analysis.
2. Factor Analysis
Factor analysis is a statistical method used to describe variability among observed
variables. Our questionnaire contains questions related to each sub - variable which
captures information relating to the variable as well as sub-variable. We thus get the
information about the interdependence between the identified variables

Questionnaire Design:
Our questionnaire consists of 19 questions in total (excluding demographics). The
questions have been designed in such that it covers the five factors that have been
identified which influence the choice of specialization in MBA namely personal,
social, cultural, psychological factors and level of jobs in various sectors. Given
below in a tabular form is a detailed extract of the questions comprised in our
questionnaire with a clear indication of which factor each question pertains to.

Questions
To what extent have your
friends influenced the choice
of MBA specialization

Factor
Social
Factors

Definition
Social Factors
include influences
by the groups in

References
Wairimu, Jane W
(2012)

To what extent has your


social class influenced the
choice of MBA specialization
To what extent have your
parents influenced the
choice of MBA specialization
To what extent has your role
model influenced the choice
of MBA specialization
To what extent has your age
influenced the choice of MBA
specialization

society that one


moves in.

Personal
Factors

Personal Factors
include influences
by factors such as
age, tastes and
family- life cycle
stage

Wairimu, Jane W
(2012)

Cultural
Factors

Cultural Factors
include influences
by values,
perceptions and
behavior learnt
from society and
family members

Agarwala, Tanuja
(2008)

To what extent has your


family life cycle stage
influenced the choice of MBA
specialization
To what extent has your
occupation influenced the
choice of MBA specialization
To what extent has your
dream job influenced the
choice of MBA specialization
To what extent has your life
style influenced the choice of
MBA specialization
To what extent has your
personality influenced the
choice of MBA specialization
To what extent has your
ethnic background influenced
the choice of MBA
specialization
To what extent has your
ethnic background influenced
the choice of MBA
specialization
To what extent has gender
roles dictated by your society
influenced the choice of MBA
specialization

To what extent has customs


and norms of society
influenced the choice of MBA
specialization
To what extent has the status
accorded to you by your
society influenced the choice
of MBA specialization
To what extent have your
individual needs influenced
the choice of MBA
specialization
To what extent has the
reputation of the institute
influenced the choice of MBA
specialization
To what extent has the word
of mouth influenced the
choice of MBA specialization

Psychologi
cal Factors

Psychological
Factors include
influences by
mental state and
motivation levels.

Wairimu, Jane W
(2012)

To what extent has the


current industry trends
influenced the choice of MBA
specialization
To what extent has the
availability of high paying
jobs influenced the choice of
MBA specialization

Level of
jobs in
sectors

Includes
influences on
account of
emerging global
trends and career
advancement
requirements.

Agarwala, Tanuja
(2008)

SAMPLING DESIGN
For our research we have used non-probability sampling technique of convenience
sampling. Our target respondents are the students of batch 2015-17 of Institute of
Management Technology, Hyderabad. Our total sample size consists of 177
students.
We have taken a sample of the current batch of 2015-17 for the purpose of
convenience in getting their responses to our primary mode of data collection via
questionnaire. Following the rule of thumb of 7 respondents per question. Our
questionnaire consists of 19 questions thus requiring 133 responses. We have a
targeted sample size of 177 which falls well within the criteria of the rule of thumb.

EXPECTED RESULTS
Through this study we expect to identify the factors influencing the choice of
specialization in MBA by students at Institute of Management Technology,
Hyderabad.
Further, we expect to project the expected number of students who would be opting
for various specializations in the second year. This can be used by the institute to
forecast the demand for various specializations and manage capacity.

LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY


1. Applicability of Research:
Our research is applicable only in Hyderabad (India) restricted to IMT Hyderabad,
students of batch 2015-17.
2. Time Constraint:
The study can be extended to a larger population but, due to time constrains the
study has been restricted to the above mentioned geography.

RESEARCH PROJECT TIMELINE


Activities
(2015-2016)

2329
Nov

30
714Nov- 13
20
6
Dec Dec
Dec

2128
427 Dec-3 10
Dec
Jan
Jan

Project Kickoff
Proposal
Project
Submission
Questionnair
e Design
Sample
Design
Pre-Test,
Briefing and
Data Survey
Data
Collection
Interim
Project
Submission
Data
Tabulation
and
Electronic
Files
Data
Analysis
Reporting

Comple

1117
Jan

1824
Jan

2531
Jan

1-7
Feb

8
-12
Feb

Final Project
Submission

REFERENCES
1. Agarwala, Tanuja. "Factors influencing career choice of management students
in India." Career Development International, 2008.
2. Agrey, Loren, and Naltan Lampadan. "Determinant Factors Contributing to
Student Choice in Selecting a University." Journal of Education and Human
Development, 2014: 391-404.
3. Brewer, Kristen L. "INFLUENCING VARIABLES AND PERCEPTIONS REGARDING
MBA DEGREE PROGRAMS." Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 2012.
4. Carnasciali, Dr. Maria-Isabel. "Factors influencing students choice
engineering major." American Society for Engineering Education, 2013.

of

5. Kallio, Ruth E. "FACTORS INFLUENCING THE COLLEGE." Research in Higher


Education, 2013.
6. MUDHOLKAR, DR. BALAJI S. "A STUDY STUDENTS CHOICE FACTORS FOR
SELECTING B-SCHOOLS WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO MUMBAI." International
Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 2012.
7. Subramaniam1, Indra Devi. "Needs Analysis Survey of MBA Students: A Case
Study." International Journal of Business and Management, 2014.
8. Thompson, E Amy. "Factors influencing students choice of engineering
major." American Society for Engineering Education, 2013.
9. Wairimu, Jane W. "Factors Influencing the choice of Specialization of MBA
Courses by Students at Institutions of Higher Learning in Kenya A Survey of
Nyeri County." International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2010.
10.Wairimu, Jane W. "Factors Influencing the choice of Specialization of MBA
Courses by Students at Institutions of Higher Learning in Kenya A Survey of
Nyeri County." International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2010."
International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2012.