New York Times - The Anti-MBA


Of all the management courses in all the world, there are probably a few others that tell students they will need hiking boots and waterproof jackets.

However, it is hard to think of anywhere outside of the International Masters Program in Practical Management that begins by telling the students that most graduate business degrees “are destructive” or that the case-study method, the hallowed approach adopted by Harvard and many of the world’s other leading business schools, is actually “demeaning.”

But then, most management courses don’t have Henry Mintzberg. A professor of management studies at McGill University in Montreal, Dr. Mintzberg holds two graduate degrees in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But since at least 2004, when he published his book “Managers Not M.B.A.s,” he has acquired a hard-earned reputation as the scourge of conventional management education. The rise of the business-school-trained M.B.A., he says, is “a menace to society.”

The I.M.P.M. is a 16-month course whose most recent session began last week with a module here in the Lake District of England.

With Jonathan Gosling, now at Exeter University, Mr. Mintzberg founded the I.M.P.M. in 1996 as a kind of anti-M.B.A. Instead of recruiting students in their 20s or early 30s with little or no business experience, the I.M.P.M. requires candidates to have at least 10 years of management experience.