Disrupt or be disrupted

Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)

Published by

Jossey-Bass

ISBN

9781118602393

RRP

£26.99

Reviewed by

A P Sutcliffe PG Dip CCI, MBCS

Score

4 out of 10

This book is actually a series of essays written in the style of academic papers that investigate the reasons why people should consider working towards a qualification for Master of Business Administration (MBA).

It highlights the value of the advanced training to the various organisations that encourage their personnel to seek this award; and it also covers the reasons why educational establishments should promote the qualification and the potential value of this in the future.

Each chapter is a separate thesis written by different authors, covering a specific consideration or area of particular interest. The essays conform to a high level of academic rigour; each makes use of considerable referencing to provide both background and justification for the arguments put forward.

They also make the point that as part of a longer term view, the MBA can provide a competitive advantage for those people that achieve the award and for the organisations that employ them.

However, it’s clear that the book is aimed primarily at the academic world far more than at those who would consider undertaking the training for the MBA qualification. Whilst the arguments are sound, the style of writing is unlikely to attract any potential students from amongst business personnel as it is extremely dry and quite tedious in places, which doesn’t make it easy to read.

The essays do highlight the challenges that most organisations face and suggest reasons why the MBA programmes will offer genuine value to those businesses; however, although it refers to a number of real-world examples, there is very little detail provided.

They also discuss the needs of the business school to promote the value of the qualification and to ensure that the curriculum they offer remains appropriate; but I’m not sure that they adequately address how this will actually relate to the potential student or their employer.

I doubt that most of the senior managers that I have worked with would even complete reading a single chapter, let alone the entire book as it doesn’t address the topic in the way that would make sense to them or provide justification for the value of an MBA in a format that they would understand or appreciate.

This is a pity as there is no question that it does make some relevant arguments and provides some justification for undertaking the MBA training.

I suspect that this is the sort of book that would be left on a coffee table primarily to impress people.

Further information: Jossey-Bass

January 2014