On the relevance of accreditations of executive MBA programs—the perception of the customers

Abstract

Accreditation of MBA programs has become a subject of increasing importance to European business schools. The pros and cons of this quality improvement instrument have been well elaborated from a business school’s point of view. However, how students perceive accreditations has not been subject of research yet. In order to contribute to close this research gap and to gain some insight into the customers’ perception of accreditations, the authors have conducted an empirical survey amongst students and alumni of Executive MBA (EMBA) programs. Results of a multinomial logistic regression show that accreditation is by far not the most relevant criterion for the choice of an Executive program at this point in time. According to that and the low knowledge on accreditation among students and alumni one may raise the question why business schools invest so much time and effort in accreditation. Based on these results, the article implies possible shifts in the relationship between business schools and accrediting institutions.

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Fig. 1
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Notes

  1. 1.

    All types of MBA programs are included in this figure.

  2. 2.

    In addition, AACSB also accredits accounting programs.

  3. 3.

    In the course of the paper however, no distinction between institutional accreditation and programmatic accreditation will be made.

  4. 4.

    Authors argued on the possibility of considering only the respondents who know what an accreditation is. However, they decided to include all respondents since, even though one does not know what an accreditation is, it still has a signalling effect to some extent.

  5. 5.

    Mann-Whithney-U-Test was applied instead of a T-test since the variable “importance of the accreditation for the choice of a program” was not normally distributed.

  6. 6.

    Values for Nagelkerke and Cox and Snell above 0.2 are acceptable values, values above 0.4 are considered good values (Hosmer and Lemeshow 2000; Menard 2001).

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Correspondence to Bernd Helmig.

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Helmig, B., Bürgisser, S., Lichtsteiner, H. et al. On the relevance of accreditations of executive MBA programs—the perception of the customers. Int Rev Public Nonprofit Mark 7, 37–55 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12208-009-0044-7

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Keywords

  • Accreditation
  • EMBA programs
  • Higher education
  • Multinomial logistic regression
  • Student perceptions