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Literature Review on Management Education in Business Schools

Info: 1208 words (5 pages) Example Literature Review
Published: 10th Jun 2021

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Tagged: BusinessEducationManagement


In these days, a position of ME (Management Education) has been changed in business schools. Business studies are expected to connect to students' future. In the late of 19th century to early 20th century, business schools had existed to raise the position of business managers (Thomas, et al., 2012). From 1950, business schools had began to focus on management analysis due to shourtage of research. As has been shown, business schools has evolved with the times.

On the other hands, necessary significance of existing business schools has disappered recently. Many succesful managers has not graduated from business schools or has dropped out business schools, such as Steve Jobs who establishes "Apple" and Bill Gates who establishes "Microsoft". Looking at such cases, business schools will be waste of time for students who want to be successful managers. The traditional purposes and teaching methods of business schools are considered as the underlying issue of this situation. This study recommends that ME should focus on students' value and identity more than business and management techniques. To focus on this, this study will argue that ME should change the educatinal purpose.

Firstly, this literature review will reconsider definition and purpose of ME, and then suggest how business school change to achive new goals.

Traditional ME

Nowadays, there are many business schools to grow business talents around the world. Some argue that it does not need to teach the reality because business schools do not need reality to improve just business techniques to be excellent managers. However, Grey objected traditional business schoold becuase business schools are not significant without discussion of business reality. As there is no way to measure if MBA students can be better managers than non MBA students, in fact, some people think they do not need MBA. The demand of MBA has been increasing in the business market as companies want to employ human resources having business knowledge, yet students think graduating from business schools are qualification for job hunting due to trends of traditional business schools. Thus, they are equal of people who do not have business knowledge.

In addition, Jonathan et al protested ME for preparation of managers and education without context and own experience. Management is practice, not profession, so ME cannot be consisted of only knowledge.

Hence, current ME tends to be detached from experience. Without experience, business schools do not need exist for students although the demands of it has been rising.

The purpose of ME

Business schools take important role in terms of employment form the facts that the demand of MBA has been increasing. For this facts, business school should change the purpose of existence, not for training managers. Grey argues that ME should have responsibility to suit for managers. To do this, ME should focus on not only skills but also students' value and identity. He called this is "Socialization". Otherwise, managers might cause worst working conditions in the world despite of the facts that they were in business schools. This issue caused by how to teach skills. Although managers who caused such poor environment and were in business schools have business knowledge, they misuse these techniques in practice. Thus, not to induce this problem, ME needs "Legitimacy" what business schools offer and use acceptable manegical language. In summar, Grey argues business schools should focus on "Socialization" and "Legitimacy".

Moreover, Jonathan et al expressed students need wisdom and sensitivity that successful managers have already developed. So, business school should focus on practice more than unpersonal knowledge. They discussed the importance of practice and practical business knowledge can be equipped through only practice. For example,  They suggested practice must include into daily ME curriculm. For example, MBA students can topic what they concern at work into business schools. In doing so, students can gain business experiences, but Jonathan et al also argue knowledge is helpful when students face issues. In that way, combination between experience and knowledge is effective.

Therefore, business schools should focus on students value and identity through business practice, not to improve business techniques.

Critical ME

To implement "Socialization" and "Legitimacy", Grey introduced effective methods for business schools which is "Critical ME". "Critical action learning" is based on experience more than knowledge taught by textbook. In doing so, business mangers can adopt to practice used by own experience correctly. With mixture between critical theory and reflection, students can confront business problems in a class without techniques.

As well as, Jonathan et al proposed method mixing theory and experience. Weaving pracitce into curriculm is effective to improve critical thinking. As has been said, they encourage students to work during course. With bringing the topic what students want to solve at work, they can solve this topic by linking to their experience.

Also, students come to classroom each couple of week or they can communicate frequently with their tutor remortly which are "close learning" to know theory. In that way, students can equip business knowledge with working experience.

Consequently, combination between theory and experience is successful to study business knowledge.


In the conclusion, ME should change and adopt new theory to grow and produce business human resources. First of all, ME should not follow with tradutional style because business schools do not need to exist with traditional purpose. Business schools must exist to produce business person, not to prepare for business management. Next, the purpose of ME should be changed. Business schools have proceeded with traditional style so far to prepare for managers. In particular, they give students business techniques. However, ME needs not only business techniques but also experience to consider specific subject. For that reason, ME curriculm should include business experience more.

As has been discussed, opportunities of working experience can help students to enrich business knowledge more than studying business techniques. Also, business schools should focus on students' value and identity more than techniques. Thus, business schools might be better what they evaluate students based on practice than exams or dissertation.


Grey, C., 2002. What are business schools for? On silenece and voice in management education, Journal of Management Education, 26(5), pp.496-551.

Jonathan, G., and Henry, M., 2006. Management Education as if Both Matter, Management learning, 37(4), pp.419-428.

Thomas, H., Thomas, L., and Wilson, A., 2013. Journal of Management Development, The unfulfilled promise of management education (ME): the role, value and purpose of ME, 32(5), pp.460-476.

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