Tag Archives: HBS

Lessons from a Masters In Business Administration: Leadership and Corporate Accountability Class

Leadership and Corporate Accountability Class: Leadership & Corporate Accountability Classes teach MBAs to avoid chasing money down sewers. Ethical moments do not come with labels. M x F = D which means that a court decision (D) is the product of a legal model (M) and the facts (F). Is bluffing true ethics? Business seems to be about playing with a set of rules, and not seeking the higher ground. If you found out that hackers had broken into your credit card system you are obligated to tell your customer immediately. If you are bluffing your business with people’s lives in the balance, you are breaking an ethical code in many peoples opinion…think Jeff Skilling at ENRON. HBS shoulders a lot of blame over the years in business, so they have tried to quantify ethics, and leadership to counter-act this problem. People are taught accounting on the condition that they do not then manipulate their company’s earnings or minimize taxes to such an extent that it amounts to crime or ethical problems.

Lavish Executive Compensation: mediocre CEOs in the US and Europe are habitually paying themselves as if they are entrepreneurs or athletes. Is this wrong? Friedman hated the idea of companies donating to museums or sending employees to work in homeless shelters. That is robbing shareholders. Companies have a moral and economist purpose. The best employees want to work for good companies with good cultures, not just maximizing ones.

[This is a synopsis of several books on the MBA experience including What They Teach You At Harvard Business School by P.D. Broughton]

Lessons from a Masters In Business Administration: An MBA Is About Taking Control

MBA = Taking Control: Business school is about gaining control of your financial future. HBS believes that their experience training can also be applied to other spheres- politics, education, health care, the arts. Business culture is pervasive so learn it from within.

Case Studies Are A Learning Device: The entire HBS curriculum is built on the law school model of case studies. The question you will be asked each time is: What would you do? How do you think about solving a given problem? There is a difference between people who are tough-minded, and people who are tender-minded according to Malcolm McNair. Toughness refers to the intellectual apparatus, and toughness of spirit. It is the attitude and training that allow us to seize facts, and make courageous decisions. They know the answer is not in a book, but in real life cases. Grading will be for your benefit as a student, but will not be used by recruiters.

The Baron & The Two Peasants: learning accounting: Imagine a Baron in a small patch of present day Bavaria. The baron is responsible for the well-being of many peasants who occupy the lands around his stately castle. The baron has two peasants whom he asks to farm two different hectares of land. He supplies them equally with seed, fertilized, oxen, and allows them both to lease a plough. The two peasants Sam and Jesop return a year later with different amounts of wheat with the conditions of other resources having deteriorated over the year.

Q: Who was more successful?

This is an accounting case as you are now expected to determine which peasant was more successful. An MBA should be expected to generate an income statement and balance sheet for the two farmers. So, you might need to depreciate the oxen, and you might put the full value of Sam’s plow under ‘costs of goods sold.’ As you begin to play with the empirical figures, you’ll see that the answer of who was more successful shifts according to your metrics. There is no right answer. So the lesson in accounting is actually to use common sense rather than cling to rules.

[This is a synopsis of several books on the MBA experience including What They Teach You At Harvard Business School by P.D. Broughton]