BEYOND PROFESSIONALISM: FROM BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL TO PROFESSIONAL MANAGER - AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF EXECUTIVE MBA STUDENTS

MacMahon, Cormac (2019) BEYOND PROFESSIONALISM: FROM BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL TO PROFESSIONAL MANAGER - AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF EXECUTIVE MBA STUDENTS. Doctoral thesis, Waterford Institute of Technology.

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Abstract

Executive MBA programmes have long been synonymous with developing an eclectic mix of professionals into a professional cadre of executive managers. This exploratory study of professionalism in executive MBAs seeks to discover how their educators and learners perceive professionalism and identify the professional competencies, values and behaviours that they perceive learners develop, by which mechanisms and in what contexts. Semi-structured interviews with educators and learner focus groups provide a basis for thematic analysis. Findings suggest that educators and learners perceive professionalism to comprise synthesis and design skills, ethical disposition and behavioural moderation. Executive MBA programmes appear to reinforce these elements inversely to the proto-professional education processes of the archetype professions by intellectually anchoring in the business disciplines, providing reflective space for, and sharing learner experiences. Education processes that appear to support professionalism include curricula integrated across a broad range of business disciplines, andragogy, relationship learning, intertwining professional relevance with academic rigour and career development. Yet, educators imply a more holistic approach, beyond professionalism, to supporting managerial development. A synthesis of these findings with the literature yields a conceptual framework that contributes to our comprehension of the embeddedness of professionalism in executive MBA programmes by linking their processes and outcomes to relevant developmental factors of managerial professionalism. This study also enhances our understanding of executive MBA programmes. At the frontline between liberal and professional education, these programmes appear to align with one of three models that exhibit increasing levels of embeddedness of professionalism: a traditional model that siloes management knowledge; an intermediate model that bolts on professional development; and an integrated model that promotes synthesis and design. Whilst this study is limited to executive MBAs on the island of Ireland, contributions to management education arise from the international context in which MBAs are built on similar notions. Key Words - Professionalism, Management Education, Executive MBA, Educator and Learner Perceptions, Synthesis and Design, Ethical Disposition, Behavioural Moderation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professionalism, Management Education, Executive MBA, Educator and Learner Perceptions, Synthesis and Design, Ethical Disposition, Behavioural Moderation.
Departments or Groups: *NONE OF THESE*
Divisions: School of Business > Department of Management and Organization
Depositing User: Derek Langford
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2019 13:52
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2019 13:52
URI: http://repository.wit.ie/id/eprint/3361

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