Career Choice in Management and Entrepreneurship
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Career Choice in Management and Entrepreneurship

A Research Companion

Edited by Mustafa F. Özbilgin and Ayala Malach-Pines

Although a large and steadily growing research literature attests to an interest in management and entrepreneurship, little research has focused on comparative assessment of the career choices and trajectories of managers and entrepreneurs. This timely book fills the gap by presenting an assessment of early influences on the career choice of managers and entrepreneurs, their attitudes at the start of their careers as students, and in their later employment experiences.
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Chapter 17: The Engaging Manager and the Role of Knowledge Absorptive Capacity: An Organizational Life-Cycle Perspective

Laura A. Costanzo and Vicky Tzoumpa


Laura A. Costanzo and Vicky Tzoumpa INTRODUCTION An overwhelming debate has generated around the issue of whether MBA or business management education in general is suited to form or train the future managers operating in increasingly competitive environments. In Mintzberg’s view, MBA programmes have failed to produce the right managers because they overemphasize analytical skills and underemphasize reflective practice, the role of context and the sharing of experience (Shepherd, 2005). Mintzberg (2004) argues that MBA education provides knowledge of the functions of business, but fails to educate in the practice of managing. In his argument, Mintzberg (2004) points out that MBA education should contribute to developing the ‘engaging’ type of management style, which is believed to be more appropriate to match the management requirements of today’s companies. According to Mintzberg (2004), the ‘engaging’ manager should have five mindsets of thinking: the reflective, the analytic, the worldly, the collaborative and the action. In Mintzberg’s (2004) perspective, a new type of management education is needed in order to concentrate managerial development around the five specified mindsets. In this chapter, we take forward Mintzberg’s (2004) argument by drawing on the theory of the organizational life cycle, which provides insights into the specific management requirements needed in the growth phase of the firm. We argue that the ‘engaging’ type of management style is particularly needed in the face of firms’ growth, where the management of organizations is confronted with survival challenges. In this stage, the firm’s capability to get access...

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