Each January presents the opportunity to participate as a judge in the annual Concordia MBA International Case Competition. Thirty-two university teams of enthusiastic and ambitious young MBAs analysing, strategizing and recommending solutions to the corporate challenges that they are presented.
It does raise the question in my mind of encouraging the arrogance of MBAs to think they can solve corporate issues in a quick study without any relevant experience. Imagine - if they can solve these cases in two hours, what could they do in a couple of years as CEO! Brings me back to Henry Mintzberg and the admonition to focus on creating better managers not MBAs.
Relevant prior experience is the first requirement before embarking on the study of management. The case study is a gross oversimplification of business dynamics and trivializes the need for industry and functional knowledge and experience in addition to leadership and management skills. Perhaps it adds some realism to textbook theory and allows a more complete strategic view of the corporation, its stakeholders and its environment, but in the absence of relevant experience it will be a limited academic exercise.
You be the judge.