Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Developing 21st Century Business Leaders through Practice: The Organizational Dynamics and Role of Librarians and Other Facilitators of Experiential Field-Based Learning In U.S. MBA Education
by Cullen, Ann, Ph.D., Simmons College, 2017, 258; 10602667
Abstract (Summary)

This exploratory study identified the types of experiential field-based learning (FBL) courses included in the top 20 U.S. two-year MBA programs identified by the 2015 U.S. News & World Report ranking. The foci of FBL courses are consulting projects in which students work outside the classroom to develop recommendations for solving a real business problem posed by a company or organization. This research analyzed the organizational structure of these courses and in particular, how business librarians, faculty, career services professionals, and other expert advisors supported the student teams in these courses. The research utilized a mixed methods approach, which began with an online survey of business librarians from the 20 programs, and continued with interviews, website analysis, and the development and analysis of six in-depth case studies. Theoretical support for this research drew from the field of sociology, with a dual focus on role theory and the concept of “jurisdictional claim” posed by Abbott’s 1988 theory of professions.

This research informs new ways to conceptualize the design of FBL courses and the structure of embedded librarianship support with social network models that represent the engagement levels of various roles. Beyond the opportunity to work on real business projects, some additional benefits to students of FBL identified were practicing teamwork and learning from the field of consulting to apply to this work. The diverse roles that provided team support also helped the students learn how to make effective use of knowledge experts. Constraints to this pedagogy included working within an academic timeframe and having access to enough individuals with the right expertise to provide the customized attention required. Other factors included contending with project sponsors that changed their project focus, adapting roles and infrastructure to support FBL, and adequately communicating learning outcomes to all stakeholders.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Abels, Eileen G.
Commitee: Applegate, Lynda M., Matarazzo, James M.
School: Simmons College
Department: Library and Information Science
School Location: United States -- Massachusetts
Source: DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Library science, Pedagogy, Business education
Keywords: Business education, Library science, Pedagogy
Publication Number: 10602667
ISBN: 9780355188424
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