MBA Research focuses its research, curriculum and instructional materials design, and assessment activities on four business-related clusters: Business Management and Administration, Finance, Hospitality and Tourism, and Marketing. Its research efforts incorporate both primary and secondary research based on business sources rather than educational sources.
Business-based research provides a mechanism for the identification of current, actual skills and knowledge needed by employees in the workplace. In this way, students know that when they complete Business Administration programs, they will have the know-how sought by employers.
These research efforts with business resulted in the identification of similar, overlapping skills and knowledge across the four clusters. This common know-how is the Business Administration Core which is composed of the following topics: Business Law, Communication Skills, Customer Relations, Economics, Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurship, Financial Analysis, Human Resources Management, Information Management, Marketing, Operations, Professional Development, and Strategic Management. This represents the first tier of specificity.
Each of the four clusters contains content that is common to its pathways and is known as the Cluster Core (the second tier of specificity). Each of the clusters is composed of five pathways, and each pathway contains content that is common to the jobs in it (the third tier of specificity). Finally, there is content that is specific to a job or product, and this is known as Specialties (the fourth tier of specificity).
Instruction should be designed to move from general to specific, setting up the high school curriculum around the content in the Business Administration Core and the Cluster Core. As students progress in their education, they should acquire content increasingly more specific to their area of interest in business. The content within each of the tiers is organized into Standards, Performance Elements, Performance Indicators, and Objectives. Each Performance Indicator is assigned to a curriculum-planning level based on the job level at which it is first needed within businesses. These curriculum-planning levels progress from simple to complex and are: Prerequisite, Career-sustaining, Specialist, Supervisor, Manager, and Owner. MBA Research’s philosophy is that the curriculum should be organized from simple to complex, thereby enabling students to acquire foundational understanding and skill before they acquire more advanced management-level skills.