'It all starts with an insight into the economy'

The MBA - is it worth it? More importantly, is it worth the investment made by companies in sponsoring developing leaders on the programme? It can be argued that underdeveloped managers are a greater cost to a company than the once-off investment of a qualification such as the MBA. However, such a statement needs some substance, so one has to ask: "What value can an MBA graduate add to my company?"

The MBA - is it worth it? More importantly, is it worth the investment made by companies in sponsoring developing leaders on the programme? It can be argued that underdeveloped managers are a greater cost to a company than the once-off investment of a qualification such as the MBA. However, such a statement needs some substance, so one has to ask: "What value can an MBA graduate add to my company?"

We are operating in an ever-changing, fast-paced, highly competitive and global world of work, but how does one respond to this environment? According to academic Charlene Lew, the first step would be to gain an understanding of this distraught business world.

"It all starts with an understanding of the economy and how businesses can contribute to the invention of products that will increase the country's resources.

"With that comes an understanding of economic concepts, such as 'inflation' and 'consumer price index'. A simple insight into managerial economics, such as supply and demand, and opportunity costs, helps MBA graduates to understand the role of profit maximisation endeavours in the firm and how economics inform organisational decision-making," said Lew.

"By aligning the company with the government's economic policies, the manager with an MBA can oversee the financial management of the firm. And, by understanding the company accounts, the manager can assess the performance of the business. With the well-acclaimed holistic viewpoint of MBA graduates, productivity is seen in terms of the input that all the role-players in the firm must play.

"The MBA also equips the manager, as a strategist, with tools with which to assess profitability through, for example, indicators of return on investment or residual income, to mention but two." - MBA.co.za

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