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Goethe Business School and Deutsche Telekom: The First Systematic Study of the Commitment to MBA Programs in German Firms

May 07, 2007

The MBA market in Germany and Europe has shown remarkable growth in recent years; for an increasing number of businesses an MBA is an accepted instrument for personnel development. The Goethe Business School together with Deutsche Telekom systematically investigated various questions. On June 26 they will present the results of the study: “Best Practices for Your Business: A Study of the Efficient Utilization of MBA Programs in Human Resource Development” to a round table of human resource professionals. The study makes clear that the use of MBA programs as a training measure is on the rise and will continue to increase in the future. This is demonstrated not only by a high level of participation in the study, but also by the fact that 81% of the study’s participating firms facilitate employee participation in MBA programs.

Significance of the MBA in the Field of Employee Development: Internationality and Practical Applicability as Dominant Selection Criteria

The paramount target groups for an MBA program are senior management (80%) and external experts (57%). As one would expect, a central requirement to a potential MBA participant is the excellent performance – according to 97% of the companies. Longer employment at the firm (78%) and demonstrated leadership potential (77%) also play an important role in selecting candidates.

The actual choice of candidates admittedly determined by the initiative of the employee candidates themselves (75%). Therein exists a danger that one supports those employees that can assert themselves well, but not necessarily the best candidates. Firms can avoid this problem only with transparent and well-thought selection procedures. The need to optimize processes also reveals itself in the finding that only 29% of the participating firms also make concerted efforts for continued development post-MBA.

Rankings, accreditations and the reputation of a business school play only a secondary role in the choice of an MBA program. Human resource professionals rely more heavily upon the internationality (which 79% of the firms require) and the practical applicability (a deciding factor for 64%) of a program. These two factors stand clearly atop the list of selection criteria. This is contrary to the self-perception of various German business schools and also differs from the situation in Anglo-Saxon countries.

The strong rate of participation in the survey emphasizes the considerable interest German businesses have on the topic of MBAs. Just under a third of the questioned firms indicate their future demand will increase. In the process, those firms that realise the highest return on investment (ROI) from the utilization of MBA programs as a training measure are those that imbed this tool as part of their highest-priority human resource development strategies and support the initiative through standards and transparent processes.

About the Goethe Business School (GBS)
Founded in 2004, the Goethe Business School is a foundation of Frankfurt University with close links to the department of Economics and Business Administration. GBS offers high-quality internationally oriented executive education programs for managers. A wide range of master’s
programs, open seminars and customized education will place the GBS among the small group of internationally recognized high-level business schools.