The need for an MBA qualification
A business administrator or manager must “own" his part of the task of running the organization completely and know everything about it before he can “manage" it. He must anticipate the challenges ahead and create strategies and policies to take the enterprise forward. He must be able to design a plan and develop a strategy for the implementation of the plan. He must understand all the ways that a particular piece of work can be done. He must have a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of his human resources and must be able to make optimum use of the human resources available to the organization. He must then divide the task and assign each division, set deadlines and meetings, monitor progress, guide the process of the task until its completion. Then he must be able to analyze and assess the value of the work done vis-à-vis what was needed to be done.
In a nutshell, a manager or business administrator must ensure that the organization fulfills its raison d’être and maximizes its profits. For these and a myriad other functions, a business needs a corps of employees who understand its operations and have the wherewithal to make daily decisions, deal with the challenges of running the company and take the company forward towards its future goals.
In order to do this, the manager or the administrator of a business must understand and have a good idea of the entire gamut of activities and operations required to run a business.The first year of any MBA course does just that. It gives students an insight into the overall structure, functions and divisions of any business enterprise. In the second year, a student may choose a specialization in broad operational areas such as Finance, Human Relations, Administration, Accounting, Organizational behavior, Marketing, etc. The specialization a student chooses indicates his interest area and perhaps demarcates his desired roles in the organization and his key responsibility areas.
The need for a specialized higher education in commercial knowledge probably became necessary as factories expanded their operations and scope after the Industrial Revolution. By the end of the 19th Century, the single owner of a big factory or an expanding enterprise could no longer handle every aspect of his business on his own. He needed knowledgeable people to take over certain key administrative areas. The time was ripe for management professionals.
In his foreword to Tuck and Tucker, Paul Danos gives Dartmouth College the credit for beginning the first University to recognize the value of a graduate degree in commercial studies:
A simple idea—giving broadly educated students the education needed for a career in business leadership—formed the origin of the MBA degree. The values Dartmouth President William Jewett Tucker and Mr. Edward Tuck articulated over one hundred years ago led to the creation of the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration in 1900..2