Dynamist Blog

What You Won't Learn in Business School

Blogging at Organizations and Markets, Professor Postrel identifies a major gap in MBA curricula:

A peculiar fact about business schools (at least in the USA) is that project management is not part of the regular MBA curriculum. Why is this peculiar? Only because a huge percentage of the work managers do is organized into projects, the success or failure of strategies often rests on the quality of execution of projects, and many of the principles and techniques of good project management are not immediately obvious. But hey, if anyone needs to know about this trivial stuff they can always go to a two-day workshop and get a certificate (probably from an engineering department). Or learn it on the job, which in this context often means screwing things up and trying to guess what you did wrong.

No need to dirty our students' hands with all that icky planning and critical-path stuff--the organization faculty can stick to motivational theory, the operations faculty to stochastic modeing, and the strategy faculty to the resource-based view. Then we can all feel elegant. And our students can elegantly screw up product development, new process installation, quality-improvement initiatives, marketing campaigns, and all the other project-based activities where they are supposed to add value to the firm.

Read the rest, with comments, here.

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