Back to the classroom for these Executive MBA professionals: Straits Times

Back to the classroom for these Executive MBA professionals: Straits Times

Back to the classroom for these professionals – Executive MBA Insight

The following Straits Times Article on December 27, 2017 discusses the importance of classroom interaction and discussion as part of leadership education at the MBA level.

The growth of the Internet has paved the way for the evolution of many interesting developments in multiple industries.

The education sector is one that embraced such changes.

With the swift development of online classes and programmes at all levels, students are now able to choose from a plethora of digital options that supplements classroom learning. In some cases, these online offerings completely replace the need for a physical environment.

Business schools around the world, too, are adapting to this change in delivery, with more and more beginning to offer online MBA or Executive MBA (EMBA) programmes.

However, many busy professionals are still choosing to pursue these programmes in the conventional way: a classroom setting.

Why do these high-flyers deem the classroom experience such an important factor in executive education that they are willing to sacrifice time outside of work for it?


For students who thrive on face-to-face communication, there is simply no replacement for a multi-sensory and ‘live’ classroom setting. It is easier for them to go the extra mile in their learning when they can actually see peers who are just as inspired as they are to learn new things and share their thoughts.

Dr Farok Contractor, distinguished professor in the Management and Global Business department and a lecturer in the Rutgers Business School Executive MBA program, concurs.

He said that the demographic of those pursuing a Rutgers EMBA comprise middle- to senior-level executives who have broader, interdisciplinary, multifunctional responsibilities.

“In short, persons who will be, or already are, key players in their companies,” he added.

For these people, Dr Contractor said, there is no substitute for face-to-face environments where complex, integrative, broad-based leadership ideas are discussed.

He said: “Very simply, the role of managers at senior executive levels involves top level strategy and leadership, which has to integrate concepts and personnel across the various departments and divisions of a firm. Such integrative skills cannot be taught online.”


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Peter Chiong, MBA
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Harley Davidson Asia Pacific
Rutgers Executive MBA Program, Class of 2016 Rutgers Executive MBA Program,
Class of 2016

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