Interpersonal Skills in MBA Admissions: How are They Conceptualized and Assessed?

Beenen, G., Pichler, S., & Davoudpour, S. (2017). Interpersonal Skills in MBA Admissions: How Are They Conceptualized and Assessed?. Journal of Management Education, 1052562917703743.

Posted: 28 Jun 2017

See all articles by Gerard Beenen

Gerard Beenen

California State University, Fullerton - Department of Management

Shaun Pichler

California State University, Fullerton - Department of Management

Shahin Davoudpour

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

Employers and students concur that soft skills or interpersonal skills are critical to managerial success, yet we know little about how MBA program admissions professionals conceptualize and assess these skills in the context of global management education. Such practices have key implications for interpersonal skills curriculum and training in MBA programs around the globe. A survey of 182 MBA admissions professionals from 24 countries revealed surprising agreement in how interpersonal skills were conceptualized, and suggest interpersonal skills and soft skills are not synonymous. Results also indicated that only 30% of U.S. and international MBA programs use specific criteria to assess applicants’ interpersonal skills, with the remainder using nonspecific criteria or no assessment method. We discuss the need for more rigorous assessment of interpersonal skills in MBA admissions, closer coordination between admissions officers and curriculum developers, and tighter alignment between interpersonal skills assessment and MBA curriculum and learning outcomes.

Keywords: Interpersonal Skills, Management Education, MBA Admissions

Suggested Citation

Beenen, Gerard and Pichler, Shaun and Davoudpour, Shahin, Interpersonal Skills in MBA Admissions: How are They Conceptualized and Assessed? (2017). Beenen, G., Pichler, S., & Davoudpour, S. (2017). Interpersonal Skills in MBA Admissions: How Are They Conceptualized and Assessed?. Journal of Management Education, 1052562917703743., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2992968

Gerard Beenen (Contact Author)

California State University, Fullerton - Department of Management ( email )

United States

Shaun Pichler

California State University, Fullerton - Department of Management ( email )

United States

Shahin Davoudpour

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
125
PlumX Metrics