We have all seen and experienced corporate scandals of unimaginable proportions in many companies in Zimbabwe since dollarisation. These failures cut across so many sectors of our economy today. In the financial sector it is properly dressed and it is called “curatorship,” in other sectors there is no name for it. Shareholders, clients and employees are left shell shocked when their beloved firm suddenly succumbs to death. The surprising thing is that we have very educated managers but the company performance we are seeing does not match their credentials.
In 2011 we undertook a survey of employed Zimbabweans. 47.78% of the participating 858 employees were managers. 47.90% of the participating managers held a post graduate degree, 26.70% of the managers had an undergraduate degree and only 21.00% had a diploma. Many organisations are putting preference on applicants with a post graduate degree when managerial vacancies arise. The most popular of these post graduate degrees is the Master of Business Administration.
Zimbabwe has 13 operational universities. These are University of Zimbabwe, National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe Catholic University, Midlands State University, Zimbabwe Open University, Lupane State University, Great Zimbabwe University, Solusi University, Africa University, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Bindura University of Science Education, Women University in Africa and Gwanda State University. Of these 7 offer an MBA program.
It is often assumed that once a person has gone through an MBA program their performance significantly increase. If anything, the harsh operating environment that charesterised our economy between the period 2007 – early 2009 put to test the caliber of our MBA graduates. If indeed the goal of undertaking an MBA is to enhance understanding of business operations and together with it overall managerial competency why do we have so many qualified managers but yet so many poorly performing companies? This research has been done with this perspective in mind.
A questionnaire with 5 questions was emailed to managers and executives on our email mailing list. The questions asked the respondents for their opinion on a variety of issues related to MBA education in Zimbabwe. A total of 62 executives of varied age groups, education levels, gender and functions responded to the questionnaire. SurveyMonkey was also used to collect data. In all instances, all universities were listed and the executives were asked to rate/ select the appropriate university depending on the question. Collected responses were subsequently analyzed and interpreted to the production of this report. All analysis was done using SPSS.