Is the MBA an international standard ?

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Ancien directeur des relations internationales de l’AACSB, Directeur du MBA de management hospitalier (ESSEC)

Seminar How to teach management (Gresup) | Tuesday October 17, 2000

The introduction of the MBA into the French grandes écoles (prestigious state-run schools at university level with competitive entrance examinations), and more recently into universities, appears definitively to open the way for a worldwide training standard. Originally conceived in the United States, this degree shows all the signs of becoming an international point of reference. Richard Edelstein emphasises the extent to which the European, and particularly the French, perception of this degree is misleading. Far from being an homogenous “product” even in the United States, the MBA is even more heterogeneous abroad. To understand the establishment of the MBAs in France requires one to think about the evaluation criteria and the training content. One also has to consider the development of an elite group and the role of the manager. Finally, should each country adopt training and evaluation criteria or resist bringing them in ? During the discussion, it was concluded that institutional, cultural and historical forces ensure that the MBAs are modified to suit the local environment.

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