Date of Award

6-8-2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Cathy Kaufman, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Robert E. Millward, D.Ed.

Third Advisor

Susan A. Rieg, Ed. D.

Abstract

The motivation for this study was the need to understand why a gap still exists between what business schools teach and what businesses expect their entry-level management employees to know. This gap was identified more than 20 years ago in studies sponsored by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the premier business school accrediting body. The majority of undergraduate programs today follow a function-based curricular model that was developed in the middle of the last century. A small number of schools have made significant changes in both content and pedagogy to develop process-based programs that also emphasize team building and other people skills, making their graduates more marketable. This exploratory case study examined one of these early-adopting schools to discover the motives, methods, benefits, and challenges of such a program. What this study found was an undergraduate school that followed a visionary dean and a dedicated team of faculty to build an innovative, team-taught core that trades depth of topic for breadth of understanding to give students both a well-rounded view of how business operates and people skills employers want. In the process, they made a broad and lasting connection to business, created a culture of learning, and encouraged a community of scholars.

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