There's been all kinds of trash talk about whether the modern day graduate with an MBA is worth his or her salt.....
Last week's article in Ad Age" adds fuel to the fire, much to the chagrin of American Universities. The article, entitled "M.B.A.'s May be a Marketing Liability" highlights a recent survey of 22 consumer products companies, including General Mills, Post, Nestle, Pfizer, Hazbro and others. It also used scanner and panel data from VNU's ACNielsen.
In short, the study shows that marketers from companies with significant market-share gains are far less likely to have M.B.A.s than those from companies posting significant share losses. Further, the study shows that marketing executives from underperforming companies were twice as likely to have been recruited out of M.B.A. programs than marketing executives from out-performing companies.
The article is worth a read, and here are a few more highlights (as quoted or as summarized from the article):
In a consumer driven society, we need people who understand business and think like customers – people who understand how to create comprehensive, measurable user experiences that drive solid results. The article indicates there's a strong benefit in hiring individuals with practical, hands-on experience and maturity... especially in competitive markets. However, as product commoditization places an increasing emphasis on the comprehensive customer experience, there's also increasing demand for individuals with new skillsets; individuals who understand cross-channel experience management, integrated marketing, interaction design, usability, cultural ethnography, analytics and more.
What's your opinion of the modern day M.B.A.? When you look at the performance of individuals possessing an M.B.A. degree vs. other individuals in comparable positions, do you find anything that's missing? What qualities are most important as you consider hiring innovative, seasoned professionals? Weigh in by leaving a comment!
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