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Differential Choice Behavior Among MBA Aspirants

CASE STUDY, BUSINESS ANALYTICS
Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, 11 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Gyan Prakash, Sangeeta Sahney and Anaswara K.R, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

Case Preview

Differential Choice Behavior Among MBA Aspirants

 

Rajesh Kanwal (Rajesh) was the Program Administrator of Master of Business Administration (MBA) course at a prestigious business school in India. Lately, quite a few professors discussed with him that they had observed certain sense of detachment from studies in a sizeable number of MBA students. The professors also noticed that different students had different expectations from the business education they were pursuing. Rajesh suggested a link between the students’ current academic performance and their entrance test scores, but the professors were quick to point out that they had already ruled out such a scenario after thorough analysis. This made Rajesh very restless. Being a scholar of critical thinking in management decisions himself, his thinking genes were activated and he indulged in a Socratic line of questioning to logically deal with the issue. Some of the questions that kept coming back to him were:

a) Is the institute’s flagship program floundering?
b) What makes some of the students disenchanted with their studies, while others seem to be doing quite well?
c) Could it be that some students were mostly concerned about the end results (such as high paying jobs)?
d) Is the school treating students with different expectations equally?
e) Has he gone overboard with his responsibilities or done too little at times? If yes, how should he arrest the consequences of his actions/inactions?

................................

‘Elite’ Business Education and the Race to the Top

While trying to resolve the issue at hand, Rajesh started mulling over the state of MBA aspirants in India and the notion of return on investment from MBA degree. As is widely known, hundreds of thousands of MBA aspirants apply to business schools in India every year in pursuit of management education, higher salaries and opportunities to climb up the corporate ladder. According to an article in The Economic Times, in 2013, in India, 385,000 MBA degrees were awarded. Experts opine that there is a widely accepted notion of return on investment from MBA degrees, which forms the basis of most business school rankings worldwide. In fact, these rankings have been found to have likely effects on access, choice and opportunity outcomes globally............

Consumption Values of MBA Aspirants

Rajesh noted that some students have inherently different consumption values and this could explain the observations of the faculty of his school..............

Choice Behavior of MBA Aspirants

Rajesh knew that there are primarily two types of MBA aspirants in India (which actually complicated his job). The first type comprises the cohorts who join MBA programs right after college, and the second group typically has some work experience before applying to business schools. At the first glance, it does not seem that these groups may have inherently different expectations from MBA education. However, Rajesh believed that their varying ranges of life experiences may give rise to somewhat dissimilar expectations............

Issues and Interpretations

On the basis of her analysis, Deepti prepared a PowerPoint presentation to highlight her findings. She markedly pointed out that students with and without work experience perceived the value of business education differently and this could be the crucial point requiring action.

Rajesh was apparently very happy about the results and thanked Deepti for her insightful research into the matter. It was now up to him to draw more subtle inferences from the data and engineer calculated tweaks in the flagship MBA program, which would resolve the ongoing issues reported by his colleagues...........

Assignment Questions

I. How do consumption values of MBA aspirants with work experience compare with those without it? Elaborate by drawing references from the case.
II. What could be the implications of the study undertaken by Rajesh Kanwal on business schools?
III.............

Exhibits

Exhibit I: List of Components under Different Consumption Values

Exhibit II: Variance Analysis of Different Components

Exhibit III: Rotated Component Matrix showing Factor Loadings

Exhibit IV: Extracted Components and their Loading Factors (Final Survey)

Exhibit V: Stepwise Statistics in Discriminant Analysis

Teaching Note Preview

Differential Choice Behavior Among MBA Aspirants

 

Synopsis

This case study discusses a critical management decision pending in front of Rajesh Kanwal (Rajesh), an MBA Program Administrator at a prestigious business school in India. Lately, Rajesh noticed that lax attitude towards studies had become far too common among many MBA students even though this didn’t have any noticeable correlation with their entrance test scores, which could be directly related to their academic performance. Rajesh then explored how the preference patterns (i.e., consumption values) with respect to selection of business schools varied between aspirants with and without work experience. This was done by collecting data from students at top business schools across India. Rajesh, who commissioned the study, looked forward to drawing actionable inferences from the survey to resolve the issue at hand.

Case Positioning and Setting

The case brings to light an intricate managerial dilemma and the potential audiences are students majoring in business management (MBA/PGDM courses), psychology, etc. Students specializing in marketing, business analytics, business intelligence, etc., would find the case particularly educative. Pre-requisites are minimal and there is very little possibility that the addressed audience would need any external assistance. Analytical and interpretative aptitude is however, necessary to get the very essence of the case.

Assignment Questions

I. How do consumption values of MBA aspirants with work experience compare with those without it? Elaborate by drawing references from the case.
II. What could be the implications of the study undertaken by Rajesh Kanwal on business schools?
III. What are the steps that Rajesh Kanwal can take to make the MBA program more attentive to the
needs and expectations of the students so as to address the concerns raised by his fellow professors?
IV. .................


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Abstract

This Case Study discusses a critical management decision pending in front of Rajesh Kanwal (Rajesh), an MBA Program Administrator at a prestigious business  school in India. Lately, Rajesh noticed that lax attitude towards studies had become far too common among many MBA students even though this didn’t have any  noticeable correlation with their entrance test scores, which could be directly related to their academic performance. Rajesh then explored how the preference patterns (i.e., consumption values) with respect to selection of business schools varied between aspirants with and without work experience. This was done by collecting data from students at top business schools across India. Rajesh, who commissioned the study, looked forward to drawing actionable inferences from the survey to resolve the issue at hand.



Pedagogical Objectives

  • To learn the approaches to study choice behavior in a given situation
  • To analyze the methodical trends of evaluating the usefulness of an MBA degree
  • To study the differential choice behavior among aspirants with and without work experience
  • To interpret the results and make actionable plans to create more customized MBA degree programs

Case Positioning and Setting

The case brings to light an intricate managerial dilemma and the potential audience are students majoring in business management (MBA/PGDM courses), psychology, etc. Students specializing in marketing, business analytics, business intelligence, etc., would find the case particularly educative. Pre-requisites are minimal and there is very little possibility that the addressed audience would need any external assistance. Analytical and interpretative aptitude is however necessary to get the very essence of the case.



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