Author(s): Dr. Randall D Fisher
The primary question researched for this paper is: How successful are MBA programs in meeting the competency needs of employers who are hiring MBA graduates? In the ever-changing business landscape, it is essential that MBA graduates possess the expected competencies employers require in the 21st-century workplace. Employers are seeking talented MBA graduates that can apply soft skills, such as have practical work experience, critical thinking, and advanced problem-solving skills. In this study, a systematic review process was applied by performing a data triangulation assessment from the perspectives of the three stakeholders in the MBA education-employment continuum: employers, students, and degree-granting institutions. An aggregative and configurative approach was used to examine 53 empirical studies, 14 informal gray published articles, and 10 employer-related surveys. Notably, the findings revealed a lack of empirical data demonstrating that competency skills employees gained in an MBA program have an impact in the business world. Thus, concluding that employers and university administrators should collaborate to collect evaluation data based on job performance and together design a universal set of business management competency standards to ensure that MBA degree programs strengthen alignment with workplace needs.