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Explaining performance in an Executive MBA

By Alan Reeves and Russell Rimmer


The search for characteristics that predict student success is vital as MBA and executive MBA (EMBA) staff seek to attract new entrants. Using data from the University of Paisley’s EMBA over 1999-2005, the model developed and tested here synthesises rational choice theory and the student integration model (SIM), in conjunction with critiques of studentlearning. Information gleaned from student application forms indicated intentions of: integrating academically;integrating socially via networking; career progression; and, obtaining a qualification. Students seeking academic integration performed better (judged by higher graduate GPAs) than students giving other reasons. Students giving\ud networking as a reason for applying had slightly lower graduate GPAs. In the synthesised model, work experience should affect learning in graduate school. An alternative to the usual measure of experience used extensively in the literature was used. Breadth of experience along with sector of employment at the time of entry yielded significant effects for the experience measure in its own right and in its interaction with sector of employment. It is to be hoped the findings in the current paper will stimulate further research into the linkages between\ud graduate GPA, positions held and competencies, roles and tasks exercised in them

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