I. Comparison of Resources:
IT has challenged the Simon School to view its world differently in an Executive MBA market that now includes online schools, such as UNext’s Cardean University, in meeting the growing expectations of its students and sponsoring organizations. In comparing growth rates (Table 1) and rankings (Graph 1), Cardean appears to hold better prospects for future growth over the next 10 years. The resource-based view of their respective programs suggests that Simon must confront the e-learning challenge in order to succeed in capturing the Executive MBA market.
Cardean University and Simon have an array of unique resources to meet the demands of tech-savvy students and sponsoring organizations. Their unique resources include strategic assets compared in Table 2. Perhaps the most notable differences are with the amount of accessibility and flexibility to the work/life schedules and lowered opportunity costs for Cardean’s participating students and firms. Simon’s declining EDP enrollment (125 in 1999 vs. 76 in 2003¹) shows that these costs may be important to local firms.
II. Competitive Strategy for Cardean to enter the Executive Program:
Collaboration: Use existing alliance framework from Cardean to capture the EMBA market and continue to focus Top 5 ranked business school curricula. Add specific corporate requirements to curriculum through joint ventures with companies such as GM, Delta, Shell, Thomson and others.
Lowering Costs: Tuition is not the main cost concern here, rather opportunity cost. Focus on reducing these costs within the corporate view.
Differentiation: Improve reputation and marketability of a Cardean diploma by:
i. Accrediting programs and developing international learning opportunities.
ii. Encourage highly reputable leaders in industry to endorse, participate in, and accept the program.
iii. Marketing correlation between Cardean MBA and top salary opportunities.
iv. Virtual simulation learning – more learning by doing- offering major projects requiring simulated decision making using MBA tools.