The Techno-MBA: One alternative for knowledge workers

Thomas Lee Vernon, University of Pennsylvania


The purpose of this study was to examine Techno-MBA Programs, a new curriculum combining elements of a traditional management education with information technology (IT), and to suggest successful implementation strategies. Faculty and administrators from five Techno-MBA programs were interviewed and asked a series of questions designed to determine: implementation strategies; the relationship between the type of program, student population (full-time or working professionals), and use of distance learning or other computer technology which would transcend the traditional boundaries of time and space. The results suggest that larger, well-established schools tend to take a more conservative approach to adding techno-MBA content to their curriculum, while stressing fundamentals such as finance, marketing, operations, systems analysis, and data modeling Faculty tend to be full-time and tenured, and students are usually enrolled in full-time degree programs. At smaller schools, there was more of an emphasis on hands-on skills rather than theory, faculty are a mix of tenured and working professionals or all working professionals. Students are typically part-time working adults. In the future, techno-MBA programs will have to compete for students in the continuing education market against newer alternatives such as corporate universities, commercial distance learning programs, or self-directed learning initiatives via the Internet. These university-based programs may be at a disadvantage in terms of overall cost and perceived value of the degree. Competitive strategies might include: repackaging the Techno-MBA program and selling it as an experience or transformation rather than goods and services, or engaging in relationship management, and selling continuing education to alumni on a lifetime basis.

Subject Area

Business education|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Vernon, Thomas Lee, "The Techno-MBA: One alternative for knowledge workers" (1999). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9963098.