Sunday, August 18, 2013

Online MBA's Mirror Global Business Needs

A paper by Jonathan Hochberg discussed the nature of online and hybrid MBA classes (2006). As technology becomes more advanced a higher percentage of executives are opting for online based classes due to their need for flexibility and non-location specific learning. The trend upwards in online MBA attendance is increasing as students opt for colleges that offer worker flexibility. 

The paper also indicates that more students are choosing to go to school part-time as they cannot afford to financially leave their jobs while trying to obtain an advanced degree. Their choices are based in either fully online or in hybrid programs. Each has their own particular benefits and detractors but are preferred as two options over traditional educational systems. 

The two models are seen as familiar to executives and working adults as well as beneficial for enhancing skills. The hybrid and online systems are more relevant in a globalizing economy whereby virtual project teams and occasional face-to-face meetings are more likely in multi-national firms. Online education is seen as an enhancement to these needed virtual communication skills. 

Ethics is seen as more important in online educational which emphases avoiding plagiarism and developing original creative work. Ethics in global networks and business helps to ensure that there is a level of trust between the varying workplace entities that may not socialize or relate to each other on a daily basis. Likewise, cross cultural and cross border business with different laws requires basic ethical standards. 

As citizens of developing countries seek access to higher education opportunities and working executives desire to update their skills they will need to balance the needs of their employers with their desire to obtain an advanced degree. New technology, lowering trade restrictions, and virtual communications are likely to continue encouraging the growth of online MBA programs. 

Hochberg, J. (2006). Online mba programs: emulating global business. Distance Education Report, 10 (2).

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