Business School Bosses Expect MBA Fundamentals To Change Over Next Five Years


More than three quarters of Business School leaders believe the fundamentals of the MBA will change within the next five years, and more than two thirds think the content could be improved, research from the Association of MBAs and Business Graduates Association (AMBA & BGA) reveals.

The AMBA & BGA Business School Leaders Survey, which polled 358 decision makers at Business Schools across the world, also showed two thirds (67%) believe that the delivery or content of their MBA program could be improved.

AMBA Research and Insight Manager Will Dawes said the findings demonstrated that most leaders believe that MBA delivery methods are likely to evolve over time and that there was scope for improvement in MBA delivery.

“Indeed, leaders predict that core elements of MBA provision will change in the next decade, which will pose strategic questions about how Schools shape their own future,” he said.

As part of the survey, Business School leaders were asked how likely or unlikely it is that the fundamentals of the MBA are likely to change within the next 10 years.

More than three quarters (77%) think that it is likely, which includes two in five (40%) who think that it is ‘very likely’.

Slightly more than half (54%) agree that ‘my Business School’s campus is being run as efficiently as it could be’. Conversely, a quarter (25%) disagree.

The research also found that approximately one in six business school leaders (16%) were ‘very confident’ their curricula meets the needs of tech employers, a figure which rises to three in five (60%) when the figure is combined with the proportion who are ‘fairly confident’.

Three in 10 (29%) are ‘not very confident’ and 1% are ‘not at all confident’. It is also notable that one in 10 (10%) ‘don’t know’, suggesting that there is some lack of awareness about how MBA programmes support technology focussed employers.

“It could be argued that some of these technologies not only offer an opportunity to be integrated into the curriculums at Business Schools, but also have the potential to be further applied in how Schools are able to operate,” Mr Dawes said.

The research exposed low levels of agreement when it comes to the integration of digitalisation into Business Schools. Just three in 10 participants (30%) agree that their campus’s operations are fully digitally integrated. Conversely, two in five (40%) disagree. Meanwhile, slightly more than two fifths (43%) agree that ‘decisions at my Business School are primarily informed by data’, and just 6% strongly agree.

A quarter of Business School leaders (25%) strongly agree that ‘my Business School has implemented new innovative ways of delivering programmes in the past year’. Overall, almost two thirds (64%) agree and slightly more than one in seven (15%) disagree with this statement.

Half (50%) agree that ‘my Business School is well prepared to embrace the opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution’, but just 13% strongly agree.

‘This report demonstrates that technology is firmly in the consciousness of the most senior individuals running Business Schools. Leaders are broadly optimistic about the future of the sector and appear to view new technology to be an important factor in their vision.

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (