2019 EDSIG Proceedings - Abstract Presentation
Are MBA Programs Preparing Their Students for the Next Wave of Disruptive Technologies?
Robert Morris University
In the current competitive landscape to increase enrollment, many MBA programs are faced with the unique challenge of keeping their curriculum current while maintaining the level or rigor and quality for accreditation standards. Does the existing slate of MBA courses meet the needs and expected learning outcomes of the students? The inherent challenge with many technical programs is evolutionary nature of technology. For instance, within the past two decades there has been an unprecedented rise in the use of mobile technologies and thus entirely new business models catered to serving the mobile user (e.g. social media networks, vacation rentals, gig economies, and social entrepreneurs, etc.)
How often do MBA faculty update their course content, learning objectives, and student outcomes? How often should these courses be updated? A particular area of interest for many prospective students and employers is, how are MBA programs preparing their students for the next wave of disruptive technologies?
Clayton Christensen (1997) popularized the idea of disruptive technologies in the book The Innovator's Dilemma. According to the Disruptive Innovation Theory there are two categories of new technology: sustaining and disruptive. Sustaining technologies relies on small and incremental improvements to an existing technology. Disruptive technologies seek to fundamentally change or “disrupt” how we do things. For instance, within the automobile industry, sustaining technologies are pushing cars to get faster, have increased fuel efficiency, and provide seamless navigation while traveling. Whereas disruptive technologies are letting consumers decide whether ride-sharing is a more viable alternative for their mode of transportation.
Is there a connection between the university and disruptive technologies? As adult learners, graduate students are more likely to want their educational experience to be relevant to their job tasks and/or future growth opportunities (Wankel & DeFillippi, 2003). Where is the industry moving in the next few years as we begin a new decade? According to IBM, the top 5 trends for 2024 will be: digital modeling (virtual reality and simulations), blockchain to improve supply chains and sourcing, microbial genetics to prevent illness, artificial intelligence sensors for predictive analytics, and more sustainable chemical manufacturing technology to reduce the glut of recycled plastics (Berman, 2019). Are there many graduate programs that are at the forefront of these disruptive innovations? A peripheral review of the top ranked MBA programs suggests that many programs are maintaining status quo (courses: marketing, management, statistics, economics, accounting, etc.)
The purpose of this report is to propose an exploratory study on how MBA programs keep abreast of current technology advancements and disruptive innovations in their industry.
The following are several research questions for this exploratory research project:
How do MBA faculty ensure their curricula are up to date with current industry standards?
How do MBA faculty stay actively engaged with external stakeholders?
How do MBA faculty prepare for disruptive technologies within their respective industry?
How do these activities inform teaching strategies within the classroom?
Kim, P., Habowski, R., Metzer, R., (2019). Are MBA Programs Preparing Their Students for the Next Wave of Disruptive Technologies?. Proceedings of the EDSIG Conference
, (2019) n.5010, Cleveland, Ohio