"We don't need no education" - Or do we? Management education and alumni adoption of strategy tools

Paula Jarzabkowski*, Monica Giulietti, Bruno Oliveira, Nii Amoo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite concerns about the relevance of management education, there is relatively little evidence about whether graduates use the management tools and concepts they are taught. We address this gap with evidence from a survey of business school alumni adoption of tools typically taught in strategic management courses. Our findings show that four educational characteristics-level of formal education, frequency of management training, specificity of strategic management education, and time elapsed since formal education-drive adoption of strategy tools. Specifically, features such as postgraduate over undergraduate qualifications and frequent exposure to management training predispose greater user of strategy tools. However, other factors, such as time elapsed since formal education, are not as great a predictor of variation in use. We conclude with a predictive model of the relative weight and importance of educational and demographic characteristics on strategy tool adoption and discuss our findings in light of the relevance debate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-24
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Management Inquiry
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Oct 2012


  • management education
  • management training
  • relevance debate
  • strategic management
  • strategy tools


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