Expanding Your Career, The Secret of Earning MBA Degree from top Universities

2012-03-25 17:20

In every Master of Business Administration degree all over the world, in whatever university or business school or management college, at the core of the coursework and research is a course in strategy - business strategy.

The course business strategy superimposes all other courses you will be dealing with in an MBA programme. For example If you study an MBA course in company finance you have to study business strategy, you study a course in international business you have to deal with business strategy or you study the course in human resources management you have to grapple with business strategy. Strategy is everything in an MBA degree, it is the sine qua non of Master of Business Administration degree.

So what is the secret of mastering business strategy course to ensure that you succeed in your noble MBA studies? The crucial secret is to master the thinking of the top five business strategy professors in the world. These top five professors, their textbooks and multimedia lecture series will be the core of your studies of business strategy.

So let us look at these top five are business strategy professors with their backgrounds and their field of interests. They are:

Professor Gary Hamel

Gary Hamel is the current visiting professor at the London School of Business and Management. Hamel considers and compares the current business and management practices of organizational hierarchy as “the Soviet Union” under Joseph Stalin. And so professor Hamel teaches that “be willing to challenge management dogma - challenge the embedded and unexamined wallpapers in organization”. Hamel is calling for a total revolution in business management. He makes the case for reinventing management for the 21st century and creating a culture of innovation in an organization.

Professor Michael Porter

Michael Porter takes a more traditional approach. He is an all rounder Harvard Business School professor of strategy and head of Institute of Strategy and competitiveness. Michael Porter approach to strategic planning is very negative. He warns CEOs against threats to their business. Consequently since 1974 he has been educating people about five threats to business success. These five threats he calls five competitive forces that influence an organizational strategy.

These five "competitive forces" are:

- The threat of entry of new competitors (new entrants)

- The threat of substitutes

- The threat of bargaining power of buyers

- The threat of bargaining power of suppliers

- The degree of rivalry between existing competitors in an industry

In order to uncover these threats companies has to go on a elaborate strategic planning session or retreat for brainstorming, discussion and developing a document that will be called “strategic plan”.

Professor Henry Mintzberg

Henry Mintzberg is the professor of management at McGill University in Canada where he has been teaching for 44 years (since 1968). Mintzberg is against traditional way of strategic planning where top executives of a company are going out for strategic planning session to develop a strategic plan. His view is that strategy emerges at the operational level. For example a company may be focused at producing and marketing tomatoes but as it does business of producing and marketing tomatoes interacting with customers it realises that people love onions not tomatoes anymore - in this way the strategy has emerged over time to focus on producing onions - this has happened without any long range formal strategic planning session.

He argues this as follows:

Emergent strategy is a set of actions, or behavior, consistent over time, "a realized pattern [that] was not expressly intended" in the original planning of strategy. When a deliberate strategy is realized, the result matches the intended course of action. An emergent strategy develops when an organization takes a series of actions that with time turn into a consistent pattern of behavior, regardless of specific intentions. "Deliberate strategies provide the organization with a sense of purposeful direction." "Organizations ...[may] pursue ... umbrella strategies: the broad outlines are deliberate while the details are allowed to emerge within them" (Mintzberg, 1994, p. 23-25)

Professor CK Prahalad

Indian born, Indian educated and Harvard PhD graduate CK Prahalad together with Gary Hamel developed the strategic concept of core competencies of an organization - that is as an CEO in an organization you study and learn about the organization’s core strengths and competencies, and then you go on maximising / exploring and exploiting those competencies for maximum profit or leverage yourself against your competition.

Professor Venkatram Ramaswamy

Indian born, Indian educated Venkatram Ramaswamy is the professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan (US). Together with CK Prahalad they developed the concept of co-creation. Co-creation is a concept that discusses the interaction of new technologies like youtube, facebook and so on with business strategy development processes. Companies are no longer in business of strategy development process alone anymore but they are daily interacting with individuals in society at large especially individual buyers to develop new ideas for business advancement and business innovation. These co-creation process takes place everyday and is not part of a strategic planning session or retreat.

Chris Kanyane has a Master of Business Administration Degree from Management College of Southern Africa.

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