BUSINESS SCHOOLS SHOULD BE MORE LIKE REAL WORLD EXPERIENCES
- Can our business colleges and graduate schools (MBA) have more real word experiences for their students?
- Should we try to develop our business college curriculums to portray real world working environments?
Yes we can and should, to enhance the students’ value to their future employer.
From a practical position, as a former student, as a business manager, and as an instructor, it is my experience that we are insufficiently training our business management college students to be timely contributors in a real world work environment. This is due to the lack of practical exposure to what really happens in our day-to-day business office work environments. As educators we must treat our students, as professionals as if they are in a real world work environment. While attending real work environment meetings, the staffs gather and exchange information as from a case study. At the end of the meeting, tasks are distributed to staff members, for the development of alternatives and best possible solutions for future actions. The tasking has specific areas of concern with desired outcomes. The tasking requires solutions to be complied at a definite future point in time. In the real world we send our staffs to do some research and to return with solutions in formats that are simple to understand, showing that the staffs understand the problems with solutions. We ask for the following to be outlines as such:
A SET OF LOGICAL STEPS TO SOLVE COMPLEX SITUATIONS
- Define the major facts in the case study or problem situation.
- What are the major problems confronting the organizations?
- What are the possible solutions or alternatives to solve the major problems?
- What are the best choices, and the rational for each choice?
The logical step headings can change yet what management wants are solutions that work and do not generate additional problems in the future.
We as educators are trying to teach the logical steps to be taken to solve problems. The current format, to determine learning of these steps, are examinations that have significant time constraints, for possible solutions in the form of case study questions and the best choice with rational for those choices. To simulate real world work experiences educators should develop and or use complex case studies that reflect industry of today and present the student with tasking to solve the inbuilt case study problems. This is undisputable from the students, instructor, or business managers’ perspective, of what should be given to students so they can become functional in the work environments as soon as possible. Yet we fail miserably because of our rigid system of well-defined procedures for determining educational growth of our customers, our students. We should set the situation as a real world work environment as stated below:
- The best solution or solutions to comprehensive case studies.
- The joint work environment for solution determination.
- The proper amount of time and resources to develop the possible alternatives.
- Best-case solutions for given case study problems.
That also is indisputable.
For our students to achieve the best-case solution, the appropriate time and resources must be made available to research each situation. The student should then develop a comprehensive report to management (the instructor) indicating the thought process that drives to a specific solution. The presentation or at least a formal document addressing the logical steps taken that determines the best solution and why that solution was chosen. Business Managers should expect nothing less and so should Business Management instructors.
How can this be accomplished in the educational setting? The requirements should be no less than what would occur in the real world work environment. By the development of complex take-home examinations to be accomplished in a timely fashion with a final deliverable that is a formal presentation in a professional manner. The presentations, either as a brief or point paper, the instructor’s choice, should contain the four logical steps to solve complex situations.
As in formal presentations, Business Managers (the instructor) should evaluate the product presented taking into consideration the four logical steps and how well the students captured the intent of each step. Of major concern should be the logic used, the alternatives presented, and the final recommendations with supporting rational. That mimics the real world and we should do no less.