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Every year a number of students graduate with Masters Degrees in business management programs with the intention of popping into major corporations as Chief Executive Officers. However, this has its own shortcomings because Masters Degree programs does not only fail to develop managers, but breeds a dysfunctional style of management that undermines our societies and organizations. Organizations need leaders who are endowed with human skills, and not professionals with the academic qualification. Indeed, leaders cannot be created in a learning environment but can only arise in a working context. In his provocative, brilliant, and engaging best, Mintzberg criticized how managers involve themselves in getting classroom knowledge, and how effective work management should be done. He further offered a controversial and thoughtful idea on how both can be reformed, and how business schools can be transformed to became effective schools of management.
Managers cannot be created in a classroom environment. However, managers who are already working can get time to extensively learn from their own experience, and this helps them restrain from work related pressures. As already seen, managers cannot be created, however, they should actively be engaged in learning and this means that learning should only relate to personal work experiences. Unfortunately, however, a number of Degree programs for these people mainly rely on other people's experience of the first generation as well as the artificial experience of the second generation, while ignoring their own natural experience. In 1996, a group of people started international Master's Program in Practicing Management at McGill University.
Accordingly, they wanted those who wished to participate in this program to stay on with their job but be guaranteed enough time to learn. In this case, they were required to go back and forth so that they could translate their working experience in to the learning environment, and their classroom knowledge into their working environment. Moreover, they needed to come up with good approach to classroom knowledge and relate it to the working environment. This was to be done through bringing into place the third-generation learning strategies. From these assertions, it is true that for managers to get any meaningful and relevant knowledge from classrooms, then classroom activities must be reinforced by the different activities on the job. By so doing, learning will not only be extended to the participating managers, but equally into their specific organizations.
Arguably management development programs heavily rely on discussion and lecture of cases. This means that the development programs only rely on learning from experiences of other people. This is termed as 'first-generation management development'. For some time, it has worked out very well, but could not go far. This is because learners were seen as vessels into which knowledge is simply poured into. Consequently, people should actively be engaged in learning that relates to their personal experience, otherwise the kind of knowledge that managers get from classroom is irrelevant to their profession.
The second-generation experience was meant to create experiences for learning. This started in Europe and was meant to engage managers in learning programs and later on send them to their working places or that of others so that they can use their acquired classroom knowledge to improve management projects. This looks fine but still there are a few problems associated with it. For instance, a good number of these learning programs involve more actions than learning, and this means that they just became organizational development programs in the name management development. Arguably, this is like having the relevant experience but missing its meaning. In this case, therefore, management development is all about having the relevant meaning in the working environment.
Take an example of two managers who are ever busy with their work. Do they really need classroom programs to create more work? Moreover, one wonders if there is any need for them to get the artificial learning knowing too well that they have relevant experience to tackle any situation which may arise at work. From the above arguments, it is clear that managers are not created in classrooms. To be a good manager, one needs to combine a good deal of experiences, craft, and a good amount of art, sight and vision, as well as some amount of science, especially, in the form of technique and analysis. Notably, students who lack managerial experiences may not have the craft and lack the basis for the art. As a result, therefore, necessary training programs have heavily relied on science and this leaves a poor impression on management.
On the other hand, classroom can be an ideal place of improving the capabilities of individuals who are practicising management. Unfortunately, a number of the MBA programs for such people just do what the regular programs do with those students lacking experience. In this case, they simply rely on other people's first experience and the artificial experience of the second generation hence, ignoring the natural experience of the managers. Most management programs are designed to those people lacking managerial experiences and denigrate experience. This as well leaves a vague impression of management, which has a corrupting influence in its application. Classrooms cannot produce ideal leaders but those already in managerial position could significantly improve their effectiveness if given a chance to learn from their own work experience. Mintzberg believes that a more reflective approach to education in management and an approach to management that is more engaging are necessary in training management training.
One of the major assumption underlying the formal education system is that students are likely to retain knowledge acquired in school and then apply it else outside classroom environment. One, one wonders if these assumptions can be regarded as being accurate. According to research, it has been established that most students do not use the knowledge acquired in the classroom environment. A considerable amount of knowledge gained could be retained for a long period of time but the long term retention highly depends on the mastery of information during the initial stages. From the research done, it was established that students who took managerial course and got high grades, when tested after 5 years, their average retention was about 30%. Managerial courses attract wrong people- too analytical and impatient, with very little experience. These could be good traits for the students; however, they can as well be tragically ill suited for the managers themselves.
MBA programs give a wrong impression of management in that managers are important people who are disconnected from the daily routine work of producing services and making products. The impression created is that the responsibility of the managers is to deliberate strategies which should be implemented by everyone else, and by spending a couple of years in classroom, they are ready to manage anything. Even by managers doing courses in "management, and "strategies", the truth is no one becomes a manager by going to class. Arguably, management is neither about science nor a profession. Instead, it is a practice that heavily depends on craft and art. Craft can only be learnt through experience. Indeed, art can be admired in classroom by reading all visionaries of various cases. However, voyeurism can not be regarded as management and cannot develop creativity. As a result, therefore, teaching people who have never practiced any form of management is a waste of time, and it demeans management.
Imagine of a situation where MBA students are dropped into a classroom consisting of experienced managers. The students are likely to get it fine as long as the class sticks to /techniques and theory, but when it is turns to applications; the students are likely to get lost. In this case, therefore, the classroom application of such students will always be lost. Notably, managing organizations is a complex issue and requires a tacit understanding, which can only be gained in an organizational context. Any person interested in management should be ready to learn its practices. They should simply find a good job in a given industry and then stick to it rather wasting a lot of time and money in class learning things which cannot be applied in the working environment. The society does not require case- study managers who move from one industry to another.
One simply needs to prove himself / herself and would be tapped in a managerial position, and that is when the management education starts. Simply live it and experience it (Charles and Bob, p. 43). However, while trying to acquire formal management education, one should look into programs that build into their own experience and allows them to share it with the practicing managers. For instance, the International Master's in Practicing Management advices managers to reflect to reflect their own experience while on work. As discussed, managers will never be created in classrooms but practices of those already in management can be improved.
It is alleged that more than 70% of the world's Chief Executive Officers do not have MBA degree. Of the remaining 30%, more than half of them have done nothing great which they could have not done with their Masters. As a result, therefore, Masters Programs are of course great and necessary, but cannot sufficiently make one to be successful in his/ her managerial posts. For one to be successful as a manager, he/ she needs to demonstrate certain credentials and attributes that can make a difference to an organization. By acquiring some of these attributes, one's chances of success are enhanced. Arguably, most MBA aspirants tend to take very expensive management courses because they believe that it can enhance the careers in their current jobs or by changing their employers.
With these diplomas and degrees, they tend to have some form of hope that in future they can rise into managerial positions. Well, there is nothing wrong with this kind of ambition. Indeed, one will never progress without having any ambition. However, ambitions can only lead to success when accompanied by the right measures of engagement and ability. Moreover, pursuing a Masters Degree is a very wise way of spending time if one does not have a job, as it is a career-expanding investment. MBS programs should, nonetheless, not serve as "ladder to be a leader". In my own opinion, it is not enough for one to find a ladder so as to be a leader, instead one should get a ladder to enable him/ her become 'result-oriented' leader. The results, in this case, include people results, customer results, and the investors' results.
Manager effectiveness is a very important aspect in success of any company. Most companies require managers who have a high potential management to help them in their current and future work. Indeed, most companies consider individuals who have undergone classroom training as to be highly proficient in their work hence easily offer them managerial posts. Classroom instructions are essential to managers as it enables them easily perform supervisory jobs. As a result, therefore, most firms give management posts to those who have undergone classroom training (Levensale, etal 2009).
On the other hand, management programs bridges the gap on what one already knows and what they need to know when in a managerial position. Notably, one can either get classroom training either through the organization, universities or in seminars. However, lectures have been severely criticized by most experts by alleging that they only give passive learning devices and only focuses on a one way communication to students, who can in this case not get the opportunity of clarifying the materials. Basically, they fail to maintain and gain learner attention unless it's done by somebody who has the ability to promote meaningful questions and discussions.
Classroom training is, however, essential to trainees as it enables them to learn the duties and responsibilities of a manager in a working environment. As a result, they are able to fulfill the companies' expectation as required. On the other, classroom teaching enables trainees to learn about the company's procedures and policies, as well as familiarizing themselves with the job functions of their employees. The courses offer learners with the knowledge of solving human relations problems as well as skills of supervision, leaderships, and communication strategies.
Management studies in career development are sometimes overlooked by those who are in managerial positions. These people tend to disregard and function of management studies, and instead concentrate more on serving their clients. It should be understood that personalities of different managers varies greatly and some may fit into managerial posts more than others regardless of the academic qualifications. Nevertheless, it is good for managers and other employees to properly understand the importance of management studies in improving their career. By so doing, managers will be in a better position to place their clients in the correct job position. People who have undergone classroom training tend to posses excellent leadership skills that make them fit into managerial positions. Moreover, these people are able to motivate others and make them feel competent at their respective jobs.
Other than being excellent managers, they are likely to lead other employees in doing good work. As a result, therefore, those with academic qualification may feel underutilized if given a job that does not match with their qualifications (Bersin etal, 2009, p., 75). Management studies in career development should be learnt from books that are easily available in most bookshops and libraries. The books provide employers with tips on how to place people on jobs that best match their talents. Moreover, they provide them with knowledge and skills on how they can improve their art in their career management
In conclusion, common knowledge dictates that lowly paying jobs are associated with those who have little education. This means that the more educated one is, the more the chances are in getting managerial posts regardless of his competence in work. The common stereo type is that a great amount of education is necessary for one to be deemed to run managerial posts. In this case, white collar jobs are require more work knowledge hence, requires great education. Therefore, it should be understood that education is a major determinant in social mobility in workplace. However, it is also true that leaders cannot be created in a learning environment but can only arise in the working context.
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