The MBA in French universities : a risky undertaking ?

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Jean-Claude THOENIG

Research director, CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique : National Centre for Scientific Research), Professor at the INSEAD Business School

Seminar How to teach management (Gresup) | Thursday October 22, 1998

Are there similarities or differences between university and the MBA? The criteria which define and explain the functioning of the MBA are institutionalised today. They have become key success factors, in other words points of reference for the most prestigious training courses. If this is the case, then one has to understand the effects created by these criteria, in particular the tendency towards standardisation. A comparison between management teaching in Germany and the United States introduces the factor of cultural specificity and outlines the connections between the MBA, the university and various companies. Management training is strongly marked by the culture in which it finds itself and this factor was at the centre of the debate. Firstly, the "French management training model" evoked lively discussion. For some people there is no such thing ; for others it exists to a minor extent while many people wish that it were stronger. Next, the place for "thinking" in management teaching was debated. Finally, the MBA model appears to be one of many to be found in management training and it suggests a variety of options.

The entire article was written by:

Gilles GAREL

This session was published in issue n°17 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Mélanges insolites .

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