Do MBAs destroy value?

MBA programs help students gain general human capital which may give them a feeling that they can solve problems in a broad range of contexts. Some have lamented how this can result in arrogant behaviors that make them hard to work with. Scott Adam captures this problem admirably below. It might make sense to use this to imbue students with a sense of caution as they enter the workforce.

Contributed by Russ Coff

Class Closers

  • “On the first day of class I choose a simple, one-page Fortune article that seems to cover many complex strategy issues.  I have students attempt to summarize and describe the strategy and its merits and limitations to the class.  In the closing session, I bring out the article again and repeat the exercise.  I use this to dramatize how much the students have learned.”
  • “I close the class by outlining the different aspects of business and corporate strategy in a general framework and then ask for students to explain how the class has helped them to make sense of each aspect.  Its pretty exciting to see them show how much they have learned and helps me to re-tool the class for the next time I teach it.”
  • “I close the class by taking the basic strategy tenets and apply them at the level of the individual — to show how the students can use what they have learned to further their own interests, in addition to those of the firms for which they will work.”

Contributed by Mason CarpenterMason Carpenter

Jeopardy: Course Closer

Jeopardy – was used in the final day of class as a way to wrap-up all the topics we used.  I would set up the white board with the categories and dollar amounts.  I also would have two Daily Doubles and more recently have added a final Jeopardy question.  The ‘prize’ is that the winning team gets the maximum class participation score for that day (basically a double A grade), whereas the losing team gets a regular A.

I update some of the questions year to year.  As you can see, they are a mix of course ideas and fun topics.  I would read each question to the class with one exception.  For the category ‘Before and After’ (which is the hardest), I would put the question up on an over-head projector so that they could read and think about it.

Jeopardy Questions