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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

What factors cultivate innovation within the MBA: Studying three examples of curricular innovation
by Schramm, John David, II, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2012, 144; 3530054
Abstract (Summary)

This research explores the phenomenon of peerless curricular innovation, defined as an innovative course that exists at a top-50 business school, but has not been directly replicated by peer schools. These outliers achieve a demonstrated impact on their intended audience, and result from multiple collaborators – not simply a single course created by an individual professor.

In exploring this phenomenon, the primary research question focuses on what precipitating factors within a school of business nurture this type of peerless curricular innovation? What characteristics of a business school provide for the launch, evolution, and sustenance of innovation over time? Why do these programs thrive?

This research reviews relevant literature from management education and innovation theory and highlights where these literatures overlap. Then, two specific qualitative case studies of peerless innovation are presented from two schools at different places within the rankings, from different geographic locations, and serving distinctly different populations of full-time MBA students. From these two case studies a framework for the successful curricular innovations emerges. An unfolding innovation at a third school is then compared to this framework.

The researcher chose to study the Global Entrepreneurship Lab (G-Lab) course at MIT's Sloan School of Management and the Burkenroad Reports course at Tulane's Freeman School of Business. These existing innovations are then compared with the emerging innovation of the Launch program at NYU's Stern School of Business.

The intended audience for this research includes business school educators and administrators who continuously strive to improve their curricular offerings and to establish programs of distinction and influence. While extensive details about all three innovations are presented here, it is not the intent of this research to provide a roadmap for replication, for that would then prevent these particular offerings from remaining truly peerless. Rather this research is intended to be more like a compass helping others to consider the direction of their own school's current offerings and unique attributes. Business educators can then use this framework as they create innovations of their own, further extending the reach and impact of management education.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Naughton, Blake Ann
Commitee: Datar, Srikant M., Harper, Shaun R.
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 74/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership, Business education
Keywords: Action learning, Curricular innovation, Curricular revision, Experiential education, Management education, Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Publication Number: 3530054
ISBN: 978-1-267-67975-8
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