Saїd Business School announces major redesign of its flagship one-year MBA programme

Oxford (PRWEB UK) 3 June 2014

Professor Tufano said: ‘Like all business schools, at Oxford we make ongoing adjustments to our programmes to keep in step with changes in the external business environment. But a year ago we began a thorough review of the MBA programme to ensure that it was the best and most relevant programme it could possibly be, and would best equip our future leaders for the challenging careers they will experience. The new Oxford MBA is now an even more powerful, rigorous and innovative programme with a range of exciting and valuable elements from which our students will benefit.’

In the redesigned programme, courses in core business disciplines have been extended and strengthened, providing our MBA students with a solid grounding in fundamentals, which can be followed up with more advanced treatment of the topics in elective courses. Learning in the core areas will be enhanced with extended pre-arrival preparation materials and ongoing support courses. A wider range of electives will be offered, including a selection of inter-disciplinary and jointly developed courses that bring in knowledge from the wider Oxford University.

An enhanced talent development initiative will underpin formal learning, providing MBA students with the opportunity to work with an executive coach and to build skills to enhance learning and career development. The talent development programme focuses on giving students the skills they need to create impact, influence and lead effectively. Students choose from a menu of options, depending on what they individually wish to develop. Options include workshops focused on topics such as presentation skills, networking, time management, personal impact and confidence. At the heart of the redesigned MBA are three cross-cutting themes related to the world-scale challenges shaping today’s business environment: the global rules of the game; entrepreneurship; and responsible leadership. These themes are addressed in specific interdisciplinary modules and extend through the other parts of the programme from core and elective courses, GOTO (Global Opportunities and Threats: Oxford), to guest speaker sessions and student-run conferences and competitions. ‘We believe that future business leaders will be confronted with these complex global issues and firms will require people who have a wide range of skills and abilities to navigate the challenging landscape of global business. Knowledge in these areas is relevant whether you are working in finance or social enterprise, in a big firm or small firm, anywhere in the world’ said Dr Dana Brown, MBA Programme Director.

‘At Oxford we want to encourage our MBAs to challenge the rules of the game and to rethink those rules, so we want to focus in depth on exactly what those rules are’ said Professor Tufano. ‘We are going to explore the institutions that structure capitalism – the unwritten rules, norms and laws that shape the global economy; the international institutions, agreements, differences and disputes across borders which influence or constrain business opportunities. From the basis of sound knowledge, our MBAs should be questioning the status quo and asking how fit for purpose these rules are. They can identify the mechanisms to influence or indeed change the system. We have a young and innovative group of faculty with deep insight in this area, as well as learned colleagues from across the University, who together are going to take forward this exploration. As a result, our students will be well equipped not just to play the game but to change the game.’

The new entrepreneurship theme is focused on a distinctive business approach. ‘We define entrepreneurship as the ability to effectively deploy resources to devise business solutions to complex and multifaceted challenges. Entrepreneurship is a mind-set from which all organisations doing business in the 21st century can benefit’ explained Dr Brown. Through collaboration between the MBA programme, the Entrepreneurship Centre and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, the School offers an extensive portfolio of activity and support in this area, including a redesigned Entrepreneurship Project in which students work in teams through the stages of taking a business idea to fruition’.

Responsible leadership is the third theme. ‘We are taking an interdisciplinary view of the role of the corporation in society, and the related ethical and governance challenges that confront business leaders’ said Dr Brown. ‘We want to explore what leadership means in the 21st Century in a global context. This will be an energising and challenging course which will move from the systems and societal level to the individual, and examine students’ own values, career goals and responsibilities as leaders.’

‘You may ask why we have undertaken such a major review’ said Professor Tufano. ‘After all, the programme was running really well and our students were thriving. Put simply, we wanted to future-proof the Oxford MBA. The business world is currently experiencing a period of unprecedented transformation. Rapid global economic growth, technological developments and the global financial crisis radically altered the landscape for business. Competitiveness now requires companies to think well beyond the scope of standard business models to address world-scale social, environmental, political and economic challenges. This environment needs individuals who can inspire and influence a wide range of stakeholders, and who can demonstrate responsible leadership in the face of complex and often conflicting interests. We wanted to be sure that our MBA will fulfil the needs of today’s students working in this environment.’

For further information or to speak with Professor Tufano or Dr Brown, Please contact the Press Office:

Clare Fisher, Head of Public Relations

Mobile: +44 (0)7912771090; Tel: +44 (0)1865 288968

Email: clare(dot)fisher(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk

Josie Powell, Press Officer

Mobile: +44 (0)7711387215; Tel: +44 (0)1865 288403

Email: josie(dot)powell(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk

Notes to editors

1    About the MBA

2    About Saїd Business School

Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a young, vibrant, and innovative business school, but yet deeply embedded in an 800 year old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas that have global impact. We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We seek to be a world-class business school community, embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems.

In the Financial Times European Business School ranking (Dec 2013) Saïd is ranked 12th. It is ranked 14th worldwide in the FT’s combined ranking of Executive Education programmes (May 2014) and 24th in the world in the FT ranking of MBA programmes (Jan 2013). The MBA is ranked 5th in Businessweek’s full time MBA ranking outside the USA (Nov 2012) and is ranked 5th among the top non-US Business Schools by Forbes magazine (Sep 2013). The Executive MBA is ranked 23rd worldwide in the FT’s ranking of EMBAs (Oct 2013). The Oxford MSc in Financial Economics is ranked 6th in the world in the FT ranking of Masters in Finance programmes (Jun 2013). In the UK university league tables it is ranked first of all UK universities for undergraduate business and management in The Guardian (Jun 2013) and has ranked first in nine of the last ten years in The Times (Sept 2013). For more information, see


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