A Research Companion
Edited by Mustafa F. Özbilgin and Ayala Malach-Pines
Chapter 17: The Engaging Manager and the Role of Knowledge Absorptive Capacity: An Organizational Life-Cycle Perspective
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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