Hiring Managers' Perceptions of the Value of an Online MBA
Jeffrey S. Bailey, Walden University, United States
Walden University . Awarded
Researchers have theorized that online degrees are less valuable in the perception of hiring managers. The research problem addressed in this study was the lack of understanding regarding factors influencing hiring managers' perceptions of online degrees and whether obtaining a degree from a for-profit institution influenced that perception. It is important for education institutions to understand the impact of degree program content and hiring managers' perceptions of value. The purpose of this study was to identify the factors that are considered as adding value to an online MBA. The research questions addressed the perception of online MBAs from the hiring manager's viewpoint. A qualitative study using grounded theory methodology was designed using 20 semi structured interviews of hiring managers from a cross-sectional sample of business sectors. Interviews questions were derived from literature and previous research. Data were analyzed through a coding process to theorize central themes of factors perceived as influencing perception. The results suggested that generally, hiring managers saw little difference in whether the degree was obtained online or in a traditional manner and also saw little difference in whether the school was for-profit or not-for-profit. The results of this study can be used by education institutions to design MBA programs that are perceived as having value by the hiring manager and gives students confidence that their online MBA will be accepted as equal to a traditional MBA. Implications for positive social change include educational opportunities for students who may be geographically and time restricted that could increase their social and economical status.
Bailey, J.S. Hiring Managers' Perceptions of the Value of an Online MBA. Ph.D. thesis, Walden University.
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