Personal Mastery in Management Education

A Case Description of a Personal Development Trajectory in Graduate Education
  • Peter Berends
  • Ursula Glunk
  • Julia Wüster
Part of the Advances in Business Education and Training book series (ABET, volume 1)


Traditional approaches to management education are deeply rooted in a mechanistic view of organizations. They nurture the illusion of control and predictability by treating management in a highly detached way, assuming naive causality and subject-object separation. In these traditions, the human context is considered of minor importance to managerial effectiveness. Daily practice of management, however, shows a different picture. Acting in the social domain of organizations requires a level of personal mastery and wisdom in dealing with complexities that mechanistic approaches to management education ignore.

As a response to this misalignment, several authors have called for a recalibration of management education so that more space is created for developing personal mastery among (future) managers. This paper describes such an effort. It presents the case of a one-year personal development trajectory that our Business School introduced in its graduate program of management. We believe that the design of this trajectory offers unique opportunities to prepare students for managerial reality. As such, we hope it inspires other institutions to develop comparable initiatives and to compare their effects systematically.

Key Words

Management education personal mastery development trajectory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Berends
    • 1
  • Ursula Glunk
  • Julia Wüster
  1. 1.Faculty of Economics and Business AdministrationMaastricht UniversityThe Netherlands

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