Running Head: EMPLOYER PERCEPTIONS

Employer Perceptions of the Currency and Relevance of the University M.B.A. Program

Employer Perceptions TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................3 Background and Purpose .................................................................................. 3 Problem Statement ............................................................................................ 4 Research Objectives .......................................................................................... 4 Research Questions and Hypotheses ................................................................. 5 Importance of Study .......................................................................................... 6 Limitations ........................................................................................................ 6 Definitions ......................................................................................................... 7 LITERATURE REVIEW........................................................................................ 9 Knowledge Needed ........................................................................................... 10 Skills Needed .................................................................................................... 11 Summary ............................................................................................................12 METHODOLOGY................................................................................................. 13 Data Collection ................................................................................................. 13 Data Needed .................................................................................................13 Description of Data Collection Methods ..................................................... 13 Rationale for Data Collection Methods ....................................................... 14 Data Analysis ................................................................................................... 15 Description of Data Analysis Methods ...................................................... 15 Rationale for Data Analysis Methods ........................................................ 15 Anticipated Findings .................................................................................. 16 CONCLUSION....................................................................................................... 17

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Employer Perceptions Description of Administration of Research .................................................... 17 Cost Estimate of Research ............................................................................. 18 Qualifications of Researchers ........................................................................ 19 REFERENCES....................................................................................................... 21 APPENDICES Appendix A ...................................................................................................... 24 Appendix B ...................................................................................................... 28

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degrees in the United States as other countries develop their own programs (Graduate Management Admissions Council.A.) programs is growing and M.B.A. promote their brand and conduct market research. to employers who seek to hire M.A. 2008) . This research project fits well within the University’s strategy to partner with employers.B.A. programs is changing rapidly: there is increased competition for highly qualified students.B. and.B.A. to those who financially support students. graduates based on the knowledge and skills they expect graduates to possess. 2009).B. and fewer foreign students will seek M. programs are flourishing globally. as the landscape of M. .B. more schools are spending money to advertise their program. Rubin & Dierdorff. curriculum is viewed by hiring managers as being current and relevant based on the critical knowledge and skills needed in the workplace today.A. not least. This project is timely. Background and Purpose This survey project is intended to explore if the University M. This assessment is disconcerting to prospective students.A.Employer Perceptions Introduction 4 Despite the fact that enrollment in Master of Business Administration (M. It is anticipated that the findings of this survey will be used by University to refine subsequent market research. M. University began offering courses leading to a Master in Business Administration degree in 1983 as part of its successful adult-oriented Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) Program.B. The practical focus of the GPS program has recently enabled University to develop significant in-state corporate support. programs are increasingly criticized for their curricula that has only a small relationship to what is important for ultimate success in business (Pfeffer & Fong. 2002.

Finally. Gricenko Wells & Chrysler.B. employers and faculty while operating within limited resources.B.A. 2005). While many methods of data collection exist. The objectives the surveys hoped to gain are listed below. Van Auken. program is will be determined based on the responses obtained from the study. Much has been written about the seemingly short-sighted approach to create curricula to appeal to students or faculty.B. it was determined that the use of self-administered questionnaires would be the best. Determine if a survey research design is the most effective approach for collecting perceptions of the M. The perceived level of how current and relevant the M. Faculty must understand and support any change in curriculum as they are the ones enacting it. programs must define and evaluate their curriculum (Rubin & Dierdorff. programs.A.B. 2007).A. The University must determine how to best prepare students for the workplace of today and tomorrow in order to be attractive to prospective students and gain support and respect of regional employers.B. Tyson.B.A. program by hiring managers. Saunders & Smith. 2009).Employer Perceptions Problem Statement The multi-faceted predicament facing University administration involves balancing the needs of students. . 1. at the expense of the employer (Gupta. program. 2005. Research Objectives This research project is designed to measure the currency and relevancy of the University M.A. It is within this decidedly grey area that M. programs and online M.A. 2007. must distinguish itself from other regional M. There are also those who suggest that programs should focus on non-traditional courses to develop skills necessary to lead in the 5 "flat" global economy (Butler.

The questions will be analyzed using statistical methods based on the sample of completed surveys retrieved during the study.Employer Perceptions 6 2. 5.A. (a) Given a sample of hiring managers. what are the desired skills hiring managers want? . 3. Among a sample of hiring managers.A.B. Given a sample of hiring managers. (a) From the sample of hiring managers.B. Given a sample of hiring managers. and (b) desired skills.B.A. Research Questions and Hypotheses The purpose of this section is to determine the questions that the study hopes to answer. which indicate the overall intent of the study. what are the organizational characteristics of those who perceive the M. Is the implementation of a survey research design the most effective approach for collecting hiring managers’ perceptions of the M. program content as relevant. and (b) those who do not perceive the M. determine their: (a) desired knowledge areas. 4. what desired knowledge areas do they want? (b) Using this same sample. These questions are derived from the research objectives. 1.A. and (b) industry type. determine the organizational characteristics of: (a) those who perceive the M. determine if there is a relationship between any one of the desired knowledge areas and intention to support student enrollment. program content as relevant? 3.B. what are the organizational characteristics of those who do not perceive the M. program? 2.B.A. program content as relevant? (b) Using the same sample of hiring managers. program content as relevant. Given a sample of hiring managers. determine if there is a difference in “perceived relevance” by: (a) organization size.

Limitations The questionnaire determined appropriate for this research project and the method for sampling has restrictions that should be considered when analyzing the results. if any. This exploratory study seeks to uncover what hiring managers regionally think about the program and discover any weaknesses. . Based on the sample of hiring managers. 2008. program. The findings of this exploratory project will be used as a foundation for continuing market research. Although the measurements of the variables examined are real for the sample. is there a difference in “perceived relevance” by organization size or by industry type? H5o: There is no difference in “perceived relevance” for organizations with 1000 or more employees and there is no difference in “perceived relevance” for the service industry. What relationship exists based on the sample of hiring managers.A. This study is important as the results will help to create a graduate program that will stand apart from others.Employer Perceptions 4. p.A. however with the ever changing job market the University needs to know if what they offer to students is also meaningful to hiring managers. between any one of the desired knowledge areas and the intention to support student enrollment? H4o: There is no relationship between application of business principles in daily operations and intention to support student enrollment. it is not certain that the results are representative for the population (Cooper & Schindler.B. Importance of the Study University offers a core set of classes for the M. program so that it is current and relevant to hiring managers.B. 7 5. 376). It is anticipated that at the conclusion of the study University will have valuable information to use in redesigning or updating the M.

the term budgeting skills may be interpreted differently by an accountant than an engineer. 2010).The ability to implement fundamental norms. organization. or community. or values that represent what is desirable and positive for a person. and constrained timeframe for this research project will likely result in a high sampling error.com. rules. and help it in determining the rightfulness of wrongfulness of its actions (businessdictionary. group. or values that represent what is desirable and positive for a person. this can affect the results of the questionnaire Definitions Analytical skills . and help it in determining the .Specific skills relating to the understanding of expenses. Application of business principles . rules. A high sampling error reduces the likelihood that the sample will accurately represent the population (Cooper & Schindler). This research project includes a convenient sample size of approximately 30 hiring managers covering a limited geographical area.Fundamental norms. For instance. the measurements of variables must have enough variation in the results to reflect the population (Cooper & Schindler. group.The ability to use thinking and reasoning (Merriam-Webster. losses. and general accounting knowledge. Business principles .com) to 8 make sense of information regarding the organization and being able to translate that information in a meaningful manner. Budgeting skills . 2008). The sample size. Another limitation to consider when analyzing the results is how each hiring manager interprets the vocabulary used in the questionnaire.Employer Perceptions For a sample to closely represent a population. profits. or community. distribution method. organization.

and are meant to govern both (businessdictionary.The ability to focus on and complete multiple projects and responsibilities simultaneously.The ability to conceptualize. productivity and/or positively contributing problem solving.A sense of understanding for a particular matter. Out-of.the-box thinking skills . Principles are more basic than policy and objectives. Current – To stay updated with real-world events related to the work force and business practices. Multi-tasking . 2010). 2010).com. to understand how each department functions and the impact each department has on the entire organization. .The ability to analyze available information and use the appropriate knowledge to make an educated decision with the organization’s best interest in mind. Cross-functional knowledge. 9 Discipline specific job experience . Decision making skills .Knowledge and understanding of other departments within the organization.An innovative way of thinking. Perceive . but are valuable for consideration due to potential increase in efficiencies.The ability to use computer programs necessary for the organization. researching alternative solutions or methods which are untraditional to the organization. analyze.com. Critical thinking .Prior job experience related to responsibilities and/or duties of an organization. synthesis and evaluate information resulting in an educated conclusion (dictionary. apply. Computer skills .Employer Perceptions rightfulness or wrongfulness of its actions.

Knowledge Needed . especially those that emphasize specialization. in the late 1980's business schools began to rethink the customer orientation and view the employer as the ultimate customer. Today. 2007. as it is increasingly common for employers to finance all of or a portion of the financial burden of graduate education. This section seeks to uncover themes and findings concerning employer perceptions of M. & Smith. Literature Review The purpose of this exploratory study is to determine through a convenience sample of 10 hiring managers: (1) what employee knowledge and skill constructs are important. Stumpf & Tymon. skills and abilities employers expect from M. 2010). much of the present literature hold Porter and McKibbin's study (1988) as the seminal review of the knowledge.B. program content has relevancy and currency to their organization. and (2) if the University M. 2005. In fact.B. many business schools acknowledge the role of the employer as customer and are examining and reinventing their curricula to create the value employers expect (Livingstone. have been designed to attract and be responsive to students (Bisoux. with the matter at hand (dictionary. curricula and their need for knowledgeable and skilled employees. Tyson. 2007). 2002). graduates. Defining the customer is the first task for a business school interested in assessing customer needs.A.com. 2005. This is an important because much of the current business curricula.Employer Perceptions Relevant . 2007. Moore.Having a bearing on or a connection. However.A. 1999). related to the organization. Many institutions consider the student the primary customer. (Ryan.B.A. Gupta. S nders.

The Graduate Admission Management Council (GMAC) conducts annual corporate recruiter surveys for use by graduate business schools.Employer Perceptions 11 According to Tyson (2005. human resource management. Rubin and Dierdorff caution that emphasizing a knowledge-based curriculum may be less relevant to students who are generally attracted to skill-building courses. 236). 2007). communicating clearly. Northeastern University's College of Business Administration found that employers expect M.A. p.A.B.B. At a more granular level. business knowledge encompasses the functional curricular domains: economics. but are looking for graduates with intangible personal skills. . Rubin & Dierdorff (2009) found that "real world" managers indicate decision-making process management and human resource management are the most relevant behavioral competencies needed to be successful. hires. The School defined these capabilities as making timely decisions. technology management. and marketing. motivation and leadership are the most important competencies for M. strategy analysis. and driving effective action to deliver results. and corporate governance (2005). marketing and brand management. strategy. organizational structures and dynamics. graduates will be knowledgeable in financial accounting. accounting. such as the ability to lead teams and to use data effectively (Moore. decision sciences. supply chain management. learning. Similarly. finance. "Knowledge is executive base camp. graduates. The GMAC Survey Report (2010) revealed that knowledge of general business functions. At the same time.A.B. sales and account management." Tyson goes on to explain that the London Business School conducted extensive personal interviews with global business executives to discover their need for critical "global business capabilities" among M.

Large corporate human resource managers believe M. they are inclined to make hiring decisions based on "hard" technical skills (Rubin & Dierdorff. strategic and system skills. leadership. Likewise. the London Business School described corporate leaders wanting graduates to be more thoughtful. Development of soft skills. 2008). Navarro. communication. aware. McGee. and interpersonal skills.B. are the skills Bisoux (2005) identifies as important for employers.Employer Perceptions 12 The knowledge-based curricula of an ideal business school was summarized by Navarro (2008) to include multidisciplinary and integrative problem solving. flexible. team building and interpersonal skills.A. McGee. Skills Needed Proficiency in "soft skills" of team-building. 2009). program (Eberhardt. sensitive. however. are found to be important to long-term management success and should be integral in an M. communication. and adaptive . global perspective and information technology. The top skill sets desired by corporate recruiters as reported in the GMAC Survey Report (2010) include strategy and innovation management. 1997). and leadership. 2010). negotiation. and business ethics and corporate responsibility. experiential exercises. & Moser. Interestingly.all rather soft and indefinite attributes (Barker.B. curricula should better hone leadership skills by providing opportunities to gain practical experience. & Moser. such as communication.A. 1997. and should require that students practice public speaking and written communications that mimic the writing required in the workplace (Eberhardt. and . Bisoux describes how several graduate programs have responded to this demand by incorporating more communication activities within the course work by bringing in outside experts to co-instruct with faculty and hiring executive coaches to work with students. recruiters assert the importance of leadership.

A.A. Rubin & Dierdorff.B. it is anticipated that this exploratory research will help provide guidance to 's faculty and administration as to the balance of skills and knowledge appropriate for its customers. By investigating how the University M. 2004. Ryan 1999).Employer Perceptions management of decision-making. and found that recruiters considered 7 out of 12 skills less important than did program directors.85). 2009. Corporate recruiters considered "adaptable/flexible decision-making and execution in ambiguous and complex environments" the most important skill set.B. this research project is designed to look at a regional educational program and a regional employer base. programs should periodically examine whether or not their curricula meet the needs of employers. programs. M. followed by strategic thinking. and "integrative thinking/ability to see connections in disparate information" (Brooks.A.B. There is evidence that M.A. programs must balance the offering of skill building courses against the need for a broad understanding of core business concepts (Middleton. yet it is the ability to take appropriate action based on comprehension of information that makes a manager effective.B. Brooks (2007) relied on an earlier GMAC employer assessment to compare ratings by corporate recruiters and M.B. .B.A. program appeals to hiring managers. p. program directors on the importance of an M.A. skill set in the program curriculum. Whereas much of the literature centers on the largest corporations and top-named M. 13 creative problem-solving. Summary Skills are essentially learned through application and practice and are different than knowledge.

2010. program and elements of the managers' organizations. more specifically. public administration. and the intention to support student enrollment in the M. although if the respondent needs clarification regarding the questionnaire. phone or in-person to answer questions. the data collected will include the following hiring manager perceptions: the most important knowledge areas and skills. There is no follow-up planned. The types of organizations participating in the study include industries such as services.B. Description of Data Collection Methods The convenience sample for this questionnaire will include a minimum of 30 hiring managers in the Central Virginia region.Employer Perceptions 14 Methodology Data Collection Data needed This study will collect information from respondents to determine whether or not a selfadministered questionnaire is an effective tool for this research project.A. manufacturing. The questionnaire consists of five sections with a total of 23 questions. More precisely.A. This questionnaire will be distributed and collected July 7-19. program to organizations. the relevance of the M. Through the network of four surveyors. the surveyors will be available by email. the Charlottesville Metropolitan Statistical Area. . The data collected will also include organizational characteristics such as size as measured by the number of employees. these self-administered questionnaires will be distributed via email and personally delivered as a hard copy. and healthcare. program. Additional data needed consists of variables concerning the perceptions of hiring managers as to the M. profit or non-profit status.B. and industry type.B.A.

attitudes. The survey results will be shared with respondents who express interest in the findings. and opinions of the sample selected. interests. This study will measure the perception of how current and relevant the M. The use of convenience sample is appropriate for this study given the existing time and budgetary limitations. In order to measure these attributes. such as self-administered surveys.B. the self-administered survey appears to be the most appropriate data collection technique. program is. or preferences (Cooper & Schindler. 2008). . are the lowest in cost to implement. experimentation. Self-administered surveys are effective when trying to determine attitudes. Self-administered surveys have numerous benefits as a form of data collection and can be quite effective. 2008). and opinions. or observation are not as effective as communication-based research. They offer access to otherwise inaccessible participants. interests. Rationale for Data Collection Methods The type of collection method used for this project will be a self-administered survey.Employer Perceptions 15 Hiring managers will not be offered any incentive. and can offer rapid data collection capability (Cooper & Schindler). intentions.A. to gather information on opinions. which is evaluated based on the attitudes. require minimal staff. Moreover. this is an exploratory study that will be used to shape additional research studies in the future. cover large geographic regions. However. Surveys are categorized under the communication approach as a form of data gathering (Cooper & Schindler. Techniques such as secondary data. the surveyor’s relationship with the managers will positively influence the managers’ willingness to complete the survey.

descriptive analysis will be used. In order to analyze this data. Data analysis for question 5 seeks to determine the difference in “perceived relevance” by organization size and by industry type.A.Employer Perceptions Data Analysis Description of Data Analysis Methods 16 Regarding question 1.B. Research question 2 asks for the organizational characteristics of those who perceive the M. program by hiring managers. which asks if the implementation of a survey research design is the most effective approach for collecting perceptions of the M. the data will be analyzed using descriptive analysis to include measures of central tendency and deviation. Descriptive analysis will provide a statistical description of the variables and will provide insight on central tendencies and deviation in the data. no data will be analyzed. a descriptive analysis will be conducted to include measures of central tendency and deviation. Research question 4 asks if a relationship exists between any one of the desired knowledge areas and the intention to support student enrollment. program content as relevant. Since there is no data collected. no data will be collected. In order to analyze this data. several analytical methods will be required for data reduction. correlation and regression analysis will be used. .B. In order to analyze results from the data collected for research questions 2 and 3. For research question 3. Rationale for Methods of Data Analysis Due to the differences between the types of survey questions that are being asked. The Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) method will be used to analyze differences in program relevance based on organizational size and industry type.A. which asks for the desired knowledge areas and skills the sample of hiring managers are looking for.

it is anticipated that self-administered survey research is the most effective means of gathering data. attitudes. Organizations are anticipated to prefer graduates with a solid foundation of business knowledge and skills as the organization can provide specialized training as needed for employees. degree and a specialized M.A. Anticipated Findings Concerning research question 1. and preferences. organizations complain that graduates of M. 2007). Ideally. program content as relevant. degree (Gupta. & Smith. For desired skills. organizations with 1000 or more employees will perceive the M. intentions. organizations are anticipated to find decision-making important.Employer Perceptions Correlation analysis and regression analysis is an appropriate means to reduce data collected for research question 4 since the purpose of the question is to investigate the 17 relationships between variables concerning desired knowledge areas and the intention to support student enrollment.B. For research question 3. In order to gather information on opinions. the most important knowledge area for hiring managers would be the ability to apply business principles in daily operations.A. The anticipated finding for research question 2 is that in the sample.A. One study that analyzed the trend between what M.B. According to Pellet (2007). programs consisting of compartmentalized courses fail to grasp how courses link together in the work environment. For research question 5. communication-based research using self-administered surveys is the most effective method (Cooper & Schindler.B.B. analysis of variance (ANOVA) will be used since it is appropriate for instances where differences in three or more groups are investigated.B.A. 2008). hiring managers want to . programs teach and what hiring managers want concluded that there is no preference between a general M. Saunders.A.

Employer Perceptions 18 hire M. graduates with decision-making skills that address challenges that business leaders face (Gupta. and teamwork is extremely valuable and sought during employment selection and hiring (Kleiner. target due dates and responsible team members. It is anticipated that the service industry will perceive the M. Saunders.A. Each of the team members has contributed to this assignment.B. In today’s business. Many employers seek a relevance that can vary from one employer to the next (Gosling & Mintzberg. Table 1 below identifies the steps in this project.B. If an employer perceives a knowledge area in the course descriptions that the employer feels is lacking in his/her organization. 2006). it seems logical that the employer would encourage student enrollment in hopes to fill the gap in knowledge. 2007). leadership. relevance is constantly changing and is dependent on what employers feel is currently impacting the world around them. relevant. The results are expected to generate a wide variety of responses depending on the industry type. The findings for research question 4 are predicted to indicate that there is a relationship between any one of the desired knowledge areas and intention to support student enrollment.A. Additionally. Conclusion Description of the Administration of Research This research project is a being conducted for the Business Research and Methods course study team assignment. Table 1 . & Smith. The anticipated response for research question 5 is that there is a difference in “perceived relevance” by organization size and organization type. being knowledgeable in soft skills such as communication. 2007).

Sasha. Sasha Ben Thea Ben. Ben. Eri. Thea Ben. Thea 19 Cost Estimate of Research The estimated costs of the research project are identified in terms of direct. Eri. tangible and intangible costs and are listed in Table 2. indirect. Table 2 . Thea Thea Sasha Ben Sasha Eri Thea Eri. Eri. Sasha. Eri. Eri. Sasha. Thea Ben. Sasha. Thea Ben. Sasha. Thea Ben. Eri. Sasha.Employer Perceptions Research Project Timeline and Responsibilities Steps Pre-test Distribute Survey Written Proposal Introduction Problem Statement Research Objective/Questions Importance of Study Limitations and Definitions Literature Review Data Collection Data Analysis Conclusion Present Research Proposal Analyze Survey Results Present Research Findings Date 6/25/2010 7/7/2010 7/12/2010 7/7/2010 7/7/2010 7/7/2010 7/7/2010 7/7/2010 7/7/2010 7/7/2010 7/7/2010 7/9/2010 7/12/2010 7/20-28/2010 8/2/2010 Responsible Team Member(s) Ben.

631 Qualifications of Researchers Each of the surveyors is enrolled in the University M.000 Instructor Labor ($100/hr) Total Direct Indirect Costs Researcher Tuition ($2. and to determine appropriate conclusions given the data analysis.459 Opportunity costs included in labor $4.000 $12. Thea Grover-Patrick has 25 years of healthcare management experience.504 Course Textbooks ($331) Total Indirect Total Costs $1. Collectively. including 15 years in marketing and business development. to utilize statistical methods to analyze business dilemmas. and with the oversight of the course Professor. the surveyors are qualified to conduct this research project.B.Employer Perceptions Research Project Estimated Costs Tangible Costs Direct Costs Paper (1 ream) Ink cartridge (1) Researcher travel ($0.376) $9.160 hours Intangible Costs 20 Researcher Labor ($100/hr) $8.324 $10.5/mile) $6 $25 $600 Researcher time . She has conducted and participated in numerous . which requires students to study data gathering methods. program and currently participating in the Business Research Methods and Applications course.A.828 $23. the surveyors have over 40 years of related experience.

Mr. Chamber of Commerce where she contributed to an economic study on local businesses and future development. and the coordination of focus groups. and has participated on several projects requiring statistical analysis in order to interpret raw data for publication. Ms. Sasha Moran has research experience stemming from her work for the Amherst. Virginia. . Kim has worked for the National Ground Intelligence Center for six years.Employer Perceptions research projects including the design and analysis of customer and employee surveys. Ms. Grover-Patrick has a Bachelors of Arts in Economics and Business. 21 Eri Hino regularly performs research analysis daily in order to stay current with business trends in the retail manufacturing industry. Moran has Bachelors of Arts in Business Management. Hino has three years work experience. Mr. Benjamin Kim has Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Kim has over 10 years of experience conducting data analysis using Microsoft Excel. She has a Bachelors of Arts in Economics. Ms.

4(4). (2005). .B. McGee. L. D. (2008). B. The extreme MBA makeover. 26-33. (Document ID: 13059164). Dictionary. Unpublished doctoral dissertation.). BusinessDictionary. P. December). T. Management education as if both matter. University of Nebraska. (2006. Retrieved June 27. H.businessdictionary. (2007).com. (2007).A. (2010). Retrieved June 16. U.Employer Perceptions References Bisoux.com/ Butler. P.. Business research methods (10th ed. 293-296. master's of business administration curriculum in developing those skills. Retrieved June 18. C. 37(4). 2010 from http://dictionary.com. New York: McGrawHill/Irwin. NE. Retrieved June 16. News & World Report. (1997). S. Journal of Education for Business. from ABI/INFORM Global.reference. The soft side of the M. (2010). Gosling. Business concerns regarding MBA education: Effects on recruiting. J. Management Learning. & Moser. BizEd. 72(5).S.S. 2010 from http://www.. 142(12). 22 Brooks. Lincoln. 2010 from Academic Search Complete database. Retrieved June 18.. & Mintzberg. 74-78.com/browse/ Eberhardt. 2010 from Academic Search Complete database. Corporate and academic views on the importance of an MBA graduate skill set and the effectiveness of the U. 2010. 419-428. Cooper. & Schindler.

U. Retrieved July 5. Retrieved June 30. BizEd. 2010 from Academic Search Complete database.(3904). C. MBA: Priceless commodity?. Business Week. Retrieved June 20. Miriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Cooperate recruiter survey. 82(6).. . Traditional master of business administration (MBA) versus the MBA with specialization: A disconnection between what business schools offer and what employers seek. 2010 from Business Source Complete database. Kleiner. The MBA core curricula of top-ranked U. P. P. 307-312. October). 2010 from Academic Search Complete database. BizEd. (2007). & Smith. Retrieved June 13. T. 2010 from http://www. (2010). Saunders.S. (2004. (2008). Application trends. (2007)..S. 6(4). Repositioning the MBA. Livingstone. (2007). (2010) . Retrieved June 13. P. (Document ID: 712216011). (2008) . D.Employer Perceptions 23 Graduate Management Admissions Council. Academy of Management Learning & Education.com/dictionary/ Moore. J. Retrieved July 18. Retrieved June 28. Navarro. 108-123. Is The Focus Too Fine?.com/NR/rdonlyres/57F459C7-48E1-4C77-8A15B003E04FF8D8/0/CorporateRecruiters2010SR. 2010 from http://www.pdf Graduate Management Admissions Council.gmac.pdf Gupta. 2010 from Business Source Complete database. 7(1). 6(3). Middleton. 142(12). Journal of Education for Business. from ABI/INFORM Global. 92. L. 2010. The soft side of the M. Retrieved June 18.com/NR/rdonlyres/1AD421DA-0AD5-4328-B34D97D981FAA05A/0/AppTrendsSurvey2008SurveyReport. business schools: A study in failure?. 50-54. Retrieved June 15. News & World Report. (2007). 2010 from Academic Search Complete database.merriamwebster. 2010 from http://www. 50-56.gmac.A.B.

208-224. (2002). Retrieved June 20. 78-95. 91-95. (2009). knowledge. BizEd. & Chrysler. (2005). and teaching methods in explaining Master of Business Administration . Management education and development: Drift or thrust into the 21st century? New York: McGraw Hill. Gricenko Wells. L. How relevant is the MBA? Assessing the alignment of required curricula and required managerial competencies. Trends in business curricula: The view from AACSB... L. Stumpf. CEO Magazine. J. Ryan. Retrieved June 16. 2010. The relative value of skills. 8(2). 44. 2010 from Academic Search Complete database. (2002). L. Pfeffer. On managers not MBAs.Employer Perceptions Pellet. 2010 from Business Source Complete database. Van Auken. 62(1). & Tymon Jr. J. Business Communication Quarterly. 1988. W. R. E. Retrieved June 13. 24 Porter. 2010 from Business Source Complete database. C. Retrieved June 13. (2007. 2010 from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.. & Fong. 2010 from Business Source Complete database. E. & McKibbin. C. Fixing the flawed MBA. & Dierdorff. S. Academy of Management Learning & Education. 44. 4(2). 227. Academy of Management Learning & Education. Rubin. (2005). Academy of Management Learning & Education. 1(1). (Document ID: 1320709901). Why integrated education over functional?. The end of business schools? Less success than meets the eye. Retrieved June 13. July). Retrieved June 18.. Tyson. S. 235-236.. from ABI/INFORM Global. L. (1999).

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Current content: means the program content in its totality is appropriate for current business practices in the organization. 5. Your answers will be used to better understand employer perceptions of an MBA program. (Do you use it?) 1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree 3. Would you hire a graduate from this MBA program? __ Yes __ No . Section 1: Perceptions of MBA Program 26 Directions: Section 1 contains 6 questions.Employer Perceptions Appendix A Employer Perceptions of the Currency and Relevance of an MBA Program Thank you. I believe the MBA program content provided is current to the management/leadership needs of my organization. I would encourage my workers to enroll in an MBA program such as the one described. 1 2 3 Strongly Disagree 4 5 6 7 Strongly Agree 4. for taking time to complete this questionnaire. in advance. Instructions: Please review the attached course descriptions and program description of an MBA program. share your ideas with us. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree 2. with no reporting of individual answers. This survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. For questions 4 through 6. The MBA program content could be more current to the management/leadership needs of my organization if courses in “X” were offered. select the best answer to each question. which is divided into 5 sections. Answers will not be shared and all answers will be reported as summaries. Afterward. The MBA program content could be more relevant to the management/leadership needs of my organization if courses in “X” were offered. please answer the following questions. 6. I believe the MBA program content provided is relevant to the management/leadership needs of my organization. with 1 = Strongly Disagree and 7 = Strongly Agree. each measuring your perception of different knowledge areas. (Does it keep with the times?) Relevant content: means the program content in its totality is applicable to the organization’s work. For questions 1-3.

2. 3. It is necessary to my organization that employees are knowledgeable about business principles and practices. SUM 100 Percentage Section 3: Perceptions of Desired Skills Directions: Section 3 contains 7 questions. 5. 4. Percentage . Designate a percentage of importance for each knowledge area. assigning lower percentages for skill areas that are less important and higher percentages for skill areas that are more important. My organization desires employees who are out-of-the-box thinkers. The sum of all 7 skill-areas must equal 100. 2. Knowledge area 1. My organization desires employees who have good analytical skills. each measuring your perception of different knowledge areas. My organization desires employees who are skillful in critical thinking. 4. assigning lower percentages for knowledge areas that are less important and higher percentages for knowledge areas that are more important.Employer Perceptions Section 2: Perceptions of Desired Knowledge 27 Directions: Section 2 contains 4 questions. My organization desires employees who have good computer skills. 3. A zero may be used if an area is not important at all. Skill area 1. each measuring your perception of different skills. The sum of all 4 knowledge-areas must equal 100. Designate a percentage of importance for each skill area. It is necessary to my organization that employees are capable or applying business principles in daily operations. My organization desires employees who have good budgeting skills. A zero may be used if an area is not important at all. It is necessary to my organization that employees understand cross-functional management. It is necessary to my organization that employees have discipline-specific job experience.

Automotive Repair. The number of total employees who work at my organization is: ____ Less than 100 ____ 101 – 500 ____ 501 – 1000 ____ 1000+ Section 5: Tell us About Your Workers Directions: Section 5 contains 2 open-ended questions. Electric. My organization is in the ______ industry (choose one): ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Agriculture. 7. please explain___________________________ 3.Employer Perceptions 6. Government. SUM Section 4: Tell us About Your Organization Directions: Section 4 contains 4 questions. Workers at my organization are encouraged to further their education. My organization is: ____ Non-Profit ____ For-Profit 28 100 2. Legal Services. Select the best answer to each question. . Insurance or Real Estate Services – Business Services. My organization desires employees who are skillful in decision. Forestry and Fishing Mining Construction Manufacturing Services – Transportation. Sanitation or Communications Wholesale Trade Retail Finance. Education Services.making. etc. Gas.) Other. Please answer each question. or Social Services Healthcare Public Administration (Post Office. 1. ____ Yes ____ No 4. My organization desires employees who are able to effectively multi-task.

Employer Perceptions 1. Managers and leadership in my organization need skills in: Thank you so very much for your time. . My organization encourages development of skills in: 29 2.

chi-square. survey and experimental research and the applications of research design and statistical techniques (to include hypothesis testing. the various methodologies and processes used to analyze a research problem. it will provide sufficient reading material for those who do not. management. it is meant not just for HRM practitioners but also for managers and future managers in their dealings with their human resources. It is designed as a readings course. Specifically. students are asked to regularly report on outside readings from the business press that support or amplify concepts and issues discussed in class. finance. sampling. regression analysis. All courses in the Master of Business Administration program are designed to recognize the global impact on business and industry. Although. As a contemporary issues course. These include. data types. The course will discuss the role of business research within a business enterprise. and the application of scientific methods in business. economics. observation. which demonstrates the application of the scientific method to a real world. presuming students have a fundamental awareness of the field. but are not limited to. planning. and strategic planning. interspersed with cases and experiential exercises designed to promote understanding. Students will discuss how managers apply the scientific method to business decision-making and how managers utilize the findings of research performed by others. Required Courses in the MBA Program Contemporary Issues of Human Resource Management (6 weeks–3 credits) This course is a study of the contemporary issues facing managers. students will learn about research problem definition. it is expected to evolve as the issues evolve. 30 The program concentrates on the functional areas of business. The curriculum is structured sequentially. While the course will draw heavily on the field of human resource management. The Master of Business Administration program requires the completion of a 41-credit core curriculum. Business Research Methods & Applications (10 weeks–4 credits) This course prepares students to understand. In addition to assigned readings. accounting. The course will culminate with a research project. business-related issue. All courses consist of weekly four-hour class meetings. control and . perform and interpret business research within an organizational setting. data collection. and analysis of variance).Employer Perceptions Appendix B MBA Program Description The Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is designed to develop and enhance the management and analytical skills necessary in public and private industry. Operations Management and Analysis (9 weeks–4 credits) This course will study both the quantitative techniques of operations research and decision science as well as the concepts and techniques related to the design. with participants taking one course at a time. correlation.

and a framework for ethical decision making. both domestically and internationally. and how managers can use the accounting information system more effectively. legal. The course is concerned with both organizational and management theories as well as practice. the course focuses on the major areas of management where management decision making and commercial activities are proscribed by the expectations and regulations of society. The course examines individual behavior. Further. The workshops are geared to provide students with an opportunity to experience behaviors reminiscent of actual situations faced on the job. Marketing Strategies (6 weeks–3 credits) This course is a study of advanced marketing management. and societal expectations encountered today. and competitive environments of marketing will also be studied. The focus of this course will be on the application and interpretation of these analytical techniques and solutions. These situational experiences are related to a series of readings and class discussions that summarize the relevant theory and provide practical skills and information. promotion. Beginning with a review of the American Legal System. Prerequisite: Business Research Methods Comprehensive Managerial Accounting (10 weeks–4 credits) A course designed to integrate the general accounting principles of financial and managerial accounting techniques and uses of accounting from a management perspective with graduate level instruction. and finally the organization system. . and distribution concepts and issues will be analyzed through case studies and practical exercises. group behavior. costing methods.Employer Perceptions 31 improvement of manufacturing and service operations. standards and systems of planning and control. Focus is on using accounting information to help the student develop an understanding of how certain accounting data are used in the management planning and control processes. The importance of quality and customer service will be stressed. price. The course design uses case studies integration so students can focus on how managers can better manage because of what accountants do. each workshop focuses special attention on the skills that managers demonstrate in developing positive relationships with—and motivating others—in the organization and in attaining personal success. The global. social. Product. regulatory environments. construction of mathematical models and advanced quantitative decision techniques will be used for solving operational problems in manufacturing and service operations. Organizational Behavior (6 weeks–3 credits) This course is a study of organizational behavior and its application to the understanding and development of an effective workforce. technical. Legal Aspects (6 weeks–3 credits) A review of the legal and ethical issues directly affecting practicing managers in the organizational structures. economic. Analytical methods for solving management problems. Emphasis will be given to the preparation and analysis of financial accounting managerial reports.

skills. but are not limited to. Advanced Managerial Economics (10 weeks–4 credits) Managerial economics is the study of the synthesis of economic theory. Topics include. financing and currency exchange. Prerequisite: Business Research Methods International Business (6 weeks–3 credits) This course provides an introduction to the opportunities and constraints posed by the expanding business environment. and more advanced financial topics such as hybrids. Graphical tools. Due to the increasing importance of international trade in the United States. This includes integration of economic theory and methodology with analytical tools for application to decision making about the efficient allocation of scarce resources in public and private institutions. the significance of cultural/regional/political influences. decision sciences. a discussion of trading blocs. with team presentations during the last class period. and international trade theories and guiding principles. a review of legalities/trade regulations and cooperative working arrangements. problems. convertible bonds/stocks. the following: An overview of the global economy. Comprehensive Financial Management (10 weeks–4 credits) The major focus of the course is how to determine the optimum cost of capital. cases discussions. mathematics and statistics. and articles are used to illustrate the application of theory to a variety of real-world decision situations. and various fields of business administration studies. Students will conduct relevant research that applies to their own workplace. illustrations and cases related to international concerns are covered in this course. questions. and preferred stock required rates of return. Additional subject areas include lease versus buy decisions. short case problems. Examples. student study teams will arrange for guest speakers who hold leadership roles within the community. Prerequisite: Business Research Methods. Key topics include interest rate structures in the economy. The distinction between the concepts of leadership and management will be explored with an emphasis on leadership values. During the course. the theoretical solution for maximizing stockholder wealth. Comprehensive Managerial Accounting . bond valuations. and mergers & acquisitions. This course includes a major study team project to determine the optimum cost of capital for a major corporation. and knowledge needed for success within everyday work settings. options. Social/ethical aspects of financial decisions are discussed. This course offers a rigorous treatment of economic theory and analysis with a focus on the techniques that make it useful for the decision-making process.Employer Perceptions 32 Contemporary Issues in Leadership (6 weeks–3 credits) This course provides a critical review of current thinking with regard to the application of leadership and followership principles. Current theories will be discussed with a focus on their relevance within an organizational setting. and a microcomputer approach are introduced to assist the student in gaining greater insight regarding economic relationships when actually employing economic theories in the decision-making process. several ways of determining required rates of return for common stockholders. Managerial economics examines how these disciplines interact as the domestic or international firm’s attempts to reach optimal managerial decisions. This course examines how these disciplines interact.

Employer Perceptions 33 Strategic Management (7 weeks-3 credits) An in-depth analysis and evaluation of the organization‘s corporate and business strategies. it requires the integration and synthesis of knowledge acquired in the program via application of acquired functional skills to strategic decision making. Prerequisite: Completion of all core courses. The emphasis is to engender within the MBA graduate a futurist perspective on comprehensive strategic decision-making. . As the capstone course in the MBA program.

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