- 03 May 2010
- Research & Ideas
Why get an MBA degree? Transformations in business and society make this question increasingly urgent for executives, business school deans, students, faculty, and the public. In a new book, Rethinking the MBA: Business Education at a Crossroads, Harvard Business School's Srikant M. Datar, David A. Garvin, and Patrick G. Cullen suggest opportunities for innovation. Q&A with Datar and Garvin plus book excerpt. Key concepts include: Executives and business school deans raised multiple concerns about the MBA landscape when the authors interviewed them for an HBS Centennial colloquium in 2008 on the future of MBA education. The challenges: Stakeholders question the value-added of MBA degrees. And MBAs lack sufficient leadership development, a "global mindset," and skill in navigating organizational realities. Rethinking the MBA examines each challenge in turn, and provides six case studies of schools that demonstrate flexibility and innovation in MBA education. Closed for comment; 0 Comment(s) posted.
- 24 Jul 2009
- HBS Business Summit
Business schools are innovating and experimenting to change the MBA experience, and to help business education regain its relevance and value. Along with a changing curricula, programs are attempting to make the learning experience more interactive, engaging, global, and experiential. Closed for comment; 0 Comment(s) posted.
- 24 Nov 2008
- Research & Ideas
The MBA industry is in turmoil. Many business schools are revisiting their offerings to see if they still have relevance in the 21st century. And HBS is using its centennial year to convene worldwide experts on business education and plot its directions for the next 100 years. From HBS Alumni Bulletin. Key concepts include: Critics claim MBA programs put too much emphasis on theory and not enough on leadership in a global environment. A number of top MBA programs have retooled their offerings. HBS is looking at several change proposals, including the development in students of "soft skills." Whatever curriculum changes HBS ultimately adopts, the School will remain committed to the case method. Closed for comment; 0 Comment(s) posted.
- 28 Jul 2008
- Research & Ideas
Owners operating outlets across multiple markets have a variety of organizational models to choose from, including franchising. The decision is one of the most important they will make. A new Harvard Business School study looks at how 420 convenience store chains organized to serve diverse customers. Key concepts include: Even firms that have a standardized business face the challenge of serving customers with different preferences and behaviors when that model is stretched across multiple markets. By choosing to franchise, the firm minimizes exposure to risk in a relatively unfamiliar market; as a tradeoff, it also gives up some measure of control. Chains that don't franchise employ fewer corporate and supervisory staff relative to the number of store-level employees. Early evidence from ongoing research indicates that unit sales are lower for firms that expand into multiple markets without franchising or providing some incentive system for local managers. Closed for comment; 0 Comment(s) posted.
- 22 May 2008
- Working Paper
To what extent do balanced scorecards provide useful information for testing and validating an organization's strategy? Numerous case studies of balanced scorecard implementations document their use in translating organizational strategies to objectives and measures, communicating strategic objectives to employees, evaluating the performance of business units, and aligning the incentives of employees across business units and functions. There has been comparatively little research, however, on the potential learning and feedback role of balanced scorecards. Analyzing balanced scorecard data from Store24—a privately held convenience store retailer in New England—during the implementation of an innovative but ultimately unsuccessful strategy, this study investigates whether, when, and how information about problems with the firm's strategy was captured in the multiple performance measures of its balanced scorecard.
- 08 May 2008
- Working Paper
Organizational Design and Control across Multiple Markets: The Case of Franchising in the Convenience Store Industry
Chain organizations operate units that are typically dispersed across different types of markets, and thus serve significantly different customer bases. Such "market-type dispersion" is likely to compromise the headquarters' ability to control its stores for two reasons: Relative differences in local conditions make it difficult to monitor a store manager's behavior, and a chain with wide-ranging customer bases will have a harder time serving its customers and will need to rely more heavily on store managers' ability to adapt to local needs. This study identifies market-type dispersion as a factor that is systematically related to firms' organizational design choices. The results may help managers and consultants who deal with control challenges related to a chain's geographic expansion into different markets.