We've sucessfully hired a few MBA's in our company. They get to sweep floors a few years, then might
be taught to stock shelves. If it appears they can work, they might eventually be assigned paperwork
tasks and gradually acquire a little actual responsibility. Any corporation stupid enough to drop them
into anything resembling a top tier is doomed.
Every public company in the US would seem to be doomed then.
Roger - corps are dropping like flies, and generally due to sheer stupidity ... lemming mentality. If one
corporation shoots themself in the foot, their competitiors will do exactly the same. Whenever possible,
I try to deal with privately-held manufacturers which are at least somewhat buffered from the worst of
this, though there is usually some smart-alec MBA who manages to make a mess before eventually
getting fired. It's a parasitic profession, kinda like going to a surgeon who had never even taken a
biology class or dissected a frog first. Part of my job is predicting what direction mfgs will head into.
If a bunch of twenty-something MBA's get dropped into the hierarchy, it's time to run away from that
outfit - fast. Or if you work for someone like that, look for another job fast. Usually the only person
more incompetent is the CEO who hired them.
Most good MBA programs require substantial experience to get in. So if people are hiring MBAs with no experience maybe they should start hiring from better schools. MBAs in the US are like law degrees. Universities open new law school and business departments all the time because they are cash cows. The humanities department doesn't pay the seven figure salary of the basketball coach. So as with most things in life as a student and as a hirer you have to use your sense of discretion... and common sense. That's the whole point of targeting your recruiting efforts and actually interviewing the candidates.
My confusion arises from the basic question: Where's the The Buck Stops Here paperweight?
Inexperienced MBAs can and often do point in silly long-term directions. But doesn't the boss' desk still have that paperweight sitting on it? And the veto power that goes along with it?
So what gives?
Are these guys all asleep at the switch? And if so, where then is the institutional dead-man switch? The one designed to keep the train from jumping its tracks and causing horrendous train wrecks (re: Kodak)? I thought that was supposed to be the members of the BODs? Or did somebody weld that switch shut too?
"When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."
— Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932
Best of all is the Bonuses paid for the losses !!!
I once worked for a company that was losing money. A new board of directors and CEO appeared by some mysterious process that no one understood. One of the first things they did was to give themselves a deferred compensation package, payable within three years, with a minimum cash payout worth more than the entire net assets of the company, and this was only the tip of the iceberg with regard to the shady dealings.
Authorities from several levels of government were alerted, but they did not lift a finger. A few years later the company was de-listed from the stock exchange for not having an elected board of directors, but it was too little and too late, well after many shareholders lost virtually all of their money invested in the company.