On some level, every organization is a form of business simply from a functional standpoint. Various organizations have elements of finance, personnel, management, strategic planning, accounting, and legal affairs. Therefore, some professionals may be tempted to approach leadership and organizational management from a strictly business perspective and not get distracted by specific cultural elements. The question in the school setting is whether this is an appropriate approach or if there is something unique about the perspective of a trained educator.
By the numbers
The MBA graduate is not the only type of professional who can lend a quantitative approach to the educational experience, but business training may help to contribute a business operations perspective to the school setting. Education is not immune to organizational inefficiencies, particularly in school systems that have been operating with similar procedure for a number of years. In addition, the MBA graduate may be trained in various elements of organizational life and their presence can add a different perspective to the culture of the school.
Many MBA programs spend time training their students to think about the future and they cover topics such as strategic planning so that graduates have to tools to actually meet organizational goals. The MBA graduate in an educational administration position may be able to lead the school in an organizational direction that emphasizes growth, productivity, and evaluation. Again, this isn’t to say that educators are unable to do this, particularly since educational planning is typical covered in many teacher-training and administration programs. However, the MBA graduate may bring broader or more universal tools to the process.
A lack of perspective
There are some downsides to putting an MBA graduate in an educational position. One problem is that an MBA graduate may lack a basic understanding of curriculum, pedagogy, and school culture. There can sometimes be an arrogance attached to business in that professionals may feel that business principles can apply to any industry. Some of the same challenges have occurred in the medical industry, as accountants are charged critiqued for giving input into medical decisions. The MBA graduate may have a sense of organizational life, but there are subtleties and idiosyncrasies to education that must be understood. In addition, it always helps to have people in educational positions that truly care about schooling and are willing to put time and resources into certain intangible aspects of the process that may not have an obvious benefit from a business standpoint.
A need for change
Clearly, today’s educational realm has some issues that have taken years to develop. There are plenty of problems that can be identified but there are fewer solutions. Putting a business mind into an educational position may present some problems since they are not the traditional person who may fill that role. However, education at a variety of levels may need to rethink their traditional procedures and reach out to a different set of professionals who can lend their expertise and experience. Education isn’t just about business, but there is certainly a business aspect to education that cannot be ignored.
More from this contributor:
Lessons Learned from Columbine
Why Students Cheat in the Classroom
Top 5 Ways to Lower Stress in College