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Author: goofnoff Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 449470  
Subject: Need some information Date: 11/15/2012 1:01 PM
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Are MBA candidates required to have that part of their brain removed, that part that is necessary for logical thinking, as a requirement for graduation?
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Author: steve203 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408622 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/15/2012 1:32 PM
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Are MBA candidates required to have that part of their brain removed,

No so much a labotomy, as being trained to be a "joiner". Tell the boss what he wants to hear, kiss his backside, dress like him, drive the same kind of car he does, have the same politics. That's why nothing much ever happens at US companies. New management is the same as the old.

Sometimes, with the firm about to collapse, desperation forces the board to look outside their own golf club. Then stuff happens.

Chrysler adds 1,250 jobs, reaffirms commitment to Michigan auto workers

DETROIT -
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne announced the auto maker will continue the company's commitment in Michigan by investing more than $240 million and adding 1,250 new jobs to three assembly plants.


http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/news/Chrysler-adds-1-250-...

See also Carlos Ghosen at Nissan.

For orchestrating one of the decade's most aggressive downsizing campaigns and spearheading the turnaround of Nissan from near bankruptcy in the late 1990s, Ghosn earned the nicknames "le cost killer" and "Mr. Fix It."[4] After the Nissan financial turnaround, he achieved celebrity status[5] and ranks as one of the 50 most famous men in global business and politics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Ghosn

And Alan Mulally

Alan Roger Mulally (born August 4, 1945) is an American engineer and business executive who is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ford Motor Company. Ford, which had been struggling during the late-2000s recession, returned to profitability under Mulally and was the only American major car manufacturer to avoid government-sponsored bankruptcy.[3][4] Mulally's achievements at Ford are chronicled in the book, "An American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company" by Bryce G. Hoffman published in 2012.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Mulally

Steve

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Author: steve203 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408624 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/15/2012 1:44 PM
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On that "joiner" thing. Take a look at the admission criteria for the University of Michigan

http://www.collegedata.com/cs/data/college/college_pg02_tmpl...

Why should "Extracurricular activities" or "Volunteer work" have anything to do with access to education, other than preselect students for their willingness to kiss people's backside?

Steve

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Author: WendyBG Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408626 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/15/2012 2:03 PM
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<Are MBA candidates required to have that part of their brain removed, that part that is necessary for logical thinking, as a requirement for graduation? >

I took MBA courses in 1979-1986. Since I was working full-time in NJ, I took night courses at Pace University in NYC. I took 58 credits out of a 64 credit MBA -- not finishing was one of the worst decisions I ever made.

The years I studied bracketed the gradual end of the great inflation of the 1970s and the collapse of American industry. My full-time job was industrial water treatment in heavy industry, so I watched as my customers in northern NJ shut down manufacturing plants that had been in operation for decades, throwing out thousands of manufacturing workers.

At the time, the teaching was that high inflation was normal. The U.S. would be fine as a "post-industrial" economy. MBA management courses taught how to calculate ROI before spending money internally on equipment and personnel.

I watched on the front line in horror as managers withheld maintenance funds from powerhouses because the ROI was too low.

I was horrified at the concept of a "post-industrial economy" because it was obvious that people wanted to buy things and that the U.S. would lose jobs but go into a trade deficit if these things were manufactured outside of our country.

I was also horrified that an accounting/ internal finance book taught that the job of a company's management was to increase the share price of the stock. There wasn't a word about customer satisfaction, improvement of product, quality systems, etc. or anything about increasing the long-term value of the company.

MBA students are not having their brain removed. They are being taught a distorted set of values by the economists who run the leading MBA programs (e.g. Wharton, Harvard) that direct the values taught in the books.

My predictions came to pass. The "post-industrial society" led to an explosion of the trade deficit.

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/BOPBCA

The industrial workforce was gutted, though new manufacturing orders recovered due to the use of automation.
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/AMTMNO

Weekly Hours of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees: Durable Goods is currently the lowest it has been since the end of World War 2.
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CES3000000034
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CES3100000034

Decades of MBA courses have taught managers that their job is maximizing corporate profits after tax. They have accomplished this task brilliantly.
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CP

So, you see, MBA courses do not remove the brain of the student. They do define the objectives of the future business managers.

Their objectives are so different than yours that it appears that their brains were removed. However, this is a value judgment. In fact, they have succeeded in increasing their own managerial compensation to unprecedented levels, while increasing corporate profits as they were taught to do.

Wendy

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Author: tim443 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408627 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/15/2012 2:06 PM
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Are MBA candidates required to have that part of their brain removed, that part that is necessary for logical thinking, as a requirement for graduation?


I don't recall seeing any post op scars on Banker Lady (MBA from Queens University in Kingston ON) or her hubby (MBA from Berkeley) but I suppose laser is possible? Do you have a more specific complaint?

They are both very smart people who occasionally do things a bit different then I would.


Any <somewhat amused> mouse

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Author: steve203 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408630 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/15/2012 2:37 PM
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There wasn't a word about customer satisfaction, improvement of product, quality systems, etc. or anything about increasing the long-term value of the company.

The B school I was in in 82 was real big on "mission statements". Everyone claimed to wish to offer "high quality products that meet customer's needs". These mission statements were, of course, ignored.

I can do the beady eyed beancounter thing as well as anyone, Accouting and Finance were a snap. Being a slave driver comes easily. I would have fit well in corporate America, except for one thing. I can't stand stupidity and group think, and stupid group think makes my blood boil. This tends to make me insubordinate.

Fortunately, I figured out long ago that I was never going to climb any corporate ladder because I couldn't stand the morons whose butts I needed to kiss to get there.

Steve

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Author: rubberthinking Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408633 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/15/2012 2:57 PM
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I can do the beady eyed beancounter thing as well as anyone, Accouting and Finance were a snap. Being a slave driver comes easily. I would have fit well in corporate America, except for one thing. I can't stand stupidity and group think, and stupid group think makes my blood boil. This tends to make me insubordinate.

Fortunately, I figured out long ago that I was never going to climb any corporate ladder because I couldn't stand the morons whose butts I needed to kiss to get there.

Steve

ditto....I have agreed with Steve on a lot of things over the years....but I never tell him....LOL

Dave

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Author: goofnoff Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408635 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/15/2012 3:28 PM
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Fortunately, I figured out long ago that I was never going to climb any corporate ladder because I couldn't stand the morons whose butts I needed to kiss to get there

I share your pain.

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Author: Watty56 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408639 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/15/2012 4:22 PM
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There is a reason that it is called a Masters of Business Administration and not Masters of Business Management, or Masters of Business Leadership.

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Author: WatchingTheHerd Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408657 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/15/2012 8:27 PM
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Are MBA candidates required to have that part of their brain removed, that part that is necessary for logical thinking, as a requirement for graduation?

========================

I don't think that a "logic-ectomy" is required as part of the typical MBA program. The problem is that entry requirements for most MBA programs don't exactly require any concrete expertise in any particular area in which logic skills can be demonstrated or improved upon.

I suspect most programs over the past 40 years have indoctrinated their students with the idea that a business is a business is a business is a business. Once you sit in the driver's seat, identify the brake, the gas, the gear shift, the headlights, the windshield, the instrument gauge and steering wheel, all businesses pretty much drive alike as a manager. If you can drive one, you can drive them all.

Uh huh.

In reality, the "handling" of businesses varies TREMENDOUSLY as a function of the product or service being sold, the mix of raw materials and intellectual property involved in delivering the products and services and even the random hiring or firing of the right (or wrong) employee. Luck out and hire the right talent and personality at the right time and watch that person attract other good talent to the firm and the company takes off. Hire the wrong person who lacks skills, alienates subordinates and peers and drives people away from the company and watch it sail off into mediocrity or collapse.

If you really want entertainment, try attending an MBA Economics class as a engineer the day marginal cost is explained graphically using calculus concepts to a class consisting primarily of people with undergraduate business degrees. I'm not saying that every non-engineer who ever earned an MBA was analytically / quantitatively challenged, but on average the analytic / quantitative skills of the typical MBA pale in comparison to those of most undergraduate engineers.

As someone with a undergrad engineering degree, an undergrad minor in economics and an MBA, I'm confident that the insight and discipline provided by an undergrad engineering and econ background with maybe one or two classes in things like business law or managerial accounting vastly outweigh that produced in an MBA curriculum. A BS and BA minor might not have the same paper clout as an MBA but in terms of actual skills provided, the MBA is almost worthless.


WTH

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Author: tim443 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408661 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/15/2012 9:50 PM
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As someone with a undergrad engineering degree, an undergrad minor in economics and an MBA, I'm confident that the insight and discipline provided by an undergrad engineering and econ background with maybe one or two classes in things like business law or managerial accounting vastly outweigh that produced in an MBA curriculum. A BS and BA minor might not have the same paper clout as an MBA but in terms of actual skills provided, the MBA is almost worthless.


WTH



Interesting, Banker lady had a Biotech Science Masters before taking her MBA, the people on the course called her "the Talent". Her hubby had an Economics Masters and a law degree and was teaching economics at Berkeley (while getting paid with an MBA because he didn't have a green card). Not all MBAs are just Greenies with no skills. ;-D

Any <frankly I thought they were all perpetual students who should have got a JOB> mouse

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Author: PolymerMom Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408666 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/15/2012 11:08 PM
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Yeah, they called it "increasing shareholder value". A pox on bean counters!

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Author: WendyBG Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408668 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/15/2012 11:58 PM
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<I suspect most programs over the past 40 years have indoctrinated their students with the idea that a business is a business is a business is a business.>

The CEO of Maidenform (a ladies' undergarment business) was once hired as the CEO of U.S. Steel. I couldn't believe it when I read about it.

< in terms of actual skills provided, the MBA is almost worthless.>

I disagree. Classes in finance, economics, accounting, marketing, organizational behavior, operations management, international business policies, etc. are certainly worthwhile for the technical person with good math skills who wants to enter the business side.

I presume that MBA-level classes, including detailed case studies, are far above the level of business BA classes, which are often attended by mediocre students (which means that they are probably designed for mediocre students).

<If you really want entertainment, try attending an MBA Economics class as a engineer the day marginal cost is explained graphically using calculus concepts to a class consisting primarily of people with undergraduate business degrees. >

Many of the people in my MBA classes were hopelessly bad at math, especially calculus. I will never forget the deer-in-the-headlights look in the rest of the class when I solved a complex exponential equation in my head in about 10 seconds in class -- not an impressive task for the average chemist, physicist or engineer.

I take most issue with the values imparted with the skill set, such as maximizing the short-term stock price while damaging the long-term value of the business.

Wendy

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Author: salaryguru Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408670 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/16/2012 12:18 AM
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Spreadsheets are the ultimate evil to reasonable decision making. Every time a number is entered in a box in a spreadsheet, a lie is perpetrated. No expense and no income is ever truly attributable to a single box no matter how finely accountants try to parse the choices. Worse, no spreadsheet can ever answer the question: How much money should we spend on research today? . . . never mind answer the question about which research should be funded. For that matter, spreadsheets don't tell us squat about how much to invest in customer service or the type of customer service to provide in order to maximize company growth and stability in the future.

The problem isn't MBAs. It is executives that want spreadsheet and graphical solutions to problems that require more thought, knowledge and expertise than that.

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Author: WatchingTheHerd Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408671 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/16/2012 12:45 AM
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< in terms of actual skills provided, the MBA is almost worthless.>

I disagree. Classes in finance, economics, accounting, marketing, organizational behavior, operations management, international business policies, etc. are certainly worthwhile for the technical person with good math skills who wants to enter the business side.

I presume that MBA-level classes, including detailed case studies, are far above the level of business BA classes, which are often attended by mediocre students (which means that they are probably designed for mediocre students).


=======================

I'm not disagreeing with your disagreement, just clarifying a few of my comments.

An MBA isn't TOTALLY useless if you didn't have a terribly broad or rigorous undergrad curriculum. I would bet most MBA level business classes ARE more detailed than undergrad business school courses. However, from my personal experience, there wasn't a single class in my MBA curriculum that was more difficult than any of my core engieering classes, required courses in physics, calculus and chemistry or undergrad economics classes. To a person, the reaction of my fellow engineers to the coursework in the MBA curriculum compared to their undergrad life was -- You gotta be kidding. This is grad school work?

For much of the "softer" MBA coursework involving organizational design and human behavior, goverment policy and marketing, I often found myself saying "Duh..." or "No ****"" to much of the material while some of the material clarified some useful, concise paradigms that are helpful in framing analysis of a few issues that crop up in operating a business. However, in the real world, I find most managers and execs pay lip service at best or completely ignore most of the lessons to be had from those "soft courses." But I have a much more precise vocabulary to use in explaining exactly what it is they're ignoring... (smile)

Someone getting an undergrad degree in any one of these technical areas then taking a few "elective" undergrad courses in accounting (financial or managerial) or marketing would likely end up with a stronger set of analytical chops then someone with an undergrad business degree and an MBA. For someoe with one of these harder core undergrad backgrounds, the additional analytical "heft" gained by getting an MBA isn't nearly as big as one would think -- something to think about when each year of that MBA coursework might set you back $40k to $50k and take you out of the workforce during that time if you go full time.


WTH

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Author: Donna405 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408674 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/16/2012 12:58 AM
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<<Why should "Extracurricular activities" or "Volunteer work" have anything to do with access to education, other than preselect students for their willingness to kiss people's backside?>>

This denotes what type of leader the student can be.  Although, this was not required when I entered college in 1962, it was a plus on the decision of whether we would be admitted or not.  

I would certainly pick a student who has a "B" average with the extracurricular activities as well as volunteer work versus a student with an "A" average and nothing else.  In this day and age, we must be mult-faceted.  

Donna (who has never kissed anyone's "backside", for any reason....)


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Author: tim443 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408680 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/16/2012 7:42 AM
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Worse, no spreadsheet can ever answer the question: How much money should we spend on research today? . . . never mind answer the question about which research should be funded.

salaryguru

PERK!!!


I was looking for a place to put this, thanks.


Tim

U.S. Innovation Falling Behind

The guy is selling a book but he has some interesting points about “losing manufacturing”.
My own opinion is that the western nations sold themselves a bill of goods on the subject and the Chinese and others were quite willing to take up what we threw away.

Tim

http://watch.bnn.ca/#clip807798

The Close : November 15, 2012 : U.S. Innovation Falling Behind [11-15-12 4:50 PM]

Robert Atkinson, President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation says innovation in the U.S. is slowing he joins BNN with some policies that can turn this around.


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Author: steve203 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408694 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/16/2012 10:37 AM
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Information Technology and Innovation Foundation says innovation in the U.S. is slowing he joins BNN with some policies that can turn this around.

Innovation's greatest roadblock is management, as in only management is allowed to have an idea.

Eons ago, at the pump seal company, I watched the presentation on their new "pre-engineered" seal line. The idea of the line was to have a limited number of seals with wide application that they could have in stock for immediate shipment.

The problem I saw was in creating the new line, they created an entire new series of maintenance parts that they needed to inventory, in addition to the maintenance parts for the other seals they already had on the shelf. After the presentation, I approched the honchos and said "if you make the insert holder (a non maintenance part) pilot on the stuffing box, instead of having the insert itself pilot, then you can use all the standard inserts (a maintenance parts that requires replacement from time to time) that you already have in inventory. I was, in effect, told to go back to my cube, sit down and shut up.

I was long gone by the time that company spiraled into the dirt and was sold to a pump OEM.

By the time I was at Radio Shack, I had learned to keep my mouth shut, no matter how obvious the solution to a problem was. Others had not had the learning moment I had at the pump seal company tho. Every year at the annual meeting, some store manager would get up and ask a question that management didn't like. Bernie Appel would roar "I've been in this business for 40 years and I know everything". In spite of several management changes, the attitude persists and RS is spiraling into the dirt.

Steve....has no patience with stupid group think at the top

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Author: WendyBG Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408704 of 449470
Subject: Re: Need some information Date: 11/16/2012 11:23 AM
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<For someoe with one of these harder core undergrad backgrounds, the additional analytical "heft" gained by getting an MBA isn't nearly as big as one would think -- something to think about when each year of that MBA coursework might set you back $40k to $50k and take you out of the workforce during that time if you go full time.>

I did a double major in chemistry and biology as an undergrad (with math and physics thrown in). I was in the lab for hours every day. However, I still made time for "softer" liberal arts subjects, such as acting, art history, music, psychology and classics, for pure enjoyment.

The benefit from "softer" classes isn't quantitative, since they are not as "hard" or mathematically rigorous as science. The benefit is qualitative, learning context and a way of framing the world.

The "analytical heft" of an MBA isn't meant to be on a par with the "analytical heft" of a hard science or engineering -- but that isn't the purpose. The purpose of an MBA is learning how to manage a business, much of which is "soft" skills, such as understanding an organization or managing the flow of a project. The context is largely holistic, not analytical.

I humbly suggest that you rev up your corpus callosum and engage your right brain along with your left brain ;-).

What annoyed me was that the context of the MBA was ivory tower and didn't agree with my real world, hands-on experience in the industrial field.

As for cost, my company kindly footed the bill and I studied at night, so classes didn't interfere with my full-time job (or my love life). There was no opportunity cost -- it was all gravy.

Wendy

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