Executive MBA programs: what do students perceive as value for their practices?

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Ana Claudia Souza Vazquez
Roberto Lima Ruas


This paper explores MBA students' perceptions about their learning process and the outcomes of development of capabilities and competences. A qualitative exploratory study was conducted between 2004 and 2008 with 160 students enrolled in 6 different MBA programs in Brazil. The data were collected at group activities using a questionnaire to lead the participants to identify the contents and experiences from their MBA's that were associated with the development of capabilities and competences relevant to practice. Examining the current literature and its indications of a myriad of pedagogical approaches, we discuss the MBA educators' pedagogical planning for developing capacities and competences without considering which knowledge is valued as relevant by students. Our results identified three aspects as the most relevant in MBA students' learning experiences: (a) openness to exploit new ways of interpreting the world; (b) development of specific capabilities; and (c) development of relational competence. The main contribution of our study is to highlight the students' active engagement in the learning opportunities created by MBA educators and their outcomes. Based on the evidence, we argue that the pedagogical planning developed by educators should consider MBA students as the protagonist of their management education process.


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Vazquez, A. C. S., & Ruas, R. L. (1). Executive MBA programs: what do students perceive as value for their practices?. Journal of Contemporary Administration, 16(2), 308-326. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1415-65552012000200009