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INTRODUCTION

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Every book, whether on martial arts or on management, is written with a particular reader in mind, and this one is no exception. Having spent 25 years teaching MBAs at business schools in the UK, in continental Europe, in the Middle and Far East, as well as in southern Africa, I have continually asked myself the same questions. Firstly, why do we separate off the so-called ‘specialist’ business subjects, such as finance and marketing, from so-called general management, that is strategy and organization. It has never made sense to me, cutting such parts away from the whole. Secondly, as I have travelled around the globe, I have also wondered how we can claim that the same MBA syllabus, that we might teach in Boston or Birmingham, is equally relevant in Madrid or Madras. Finally, and perhaps most poignantly for me at this stage of my ‘midlife’, I ask myself why such a standard curriculum has been worked out for the 28-year-old MBA, whereas nothing equivalent has been formulated for the 38-or even 48-year-old executive.