Employers' perceptions of the profile of MBA graduates

  • L Louw University of Port Elizabeth
  • JK Bosch University of Port Elizabeth
  • DJL Venter University of Port Elizabeth


The research on which this article reports, deals with the opinions and perceptions of 245 employers of the profile of MBA graduates. The research findings form part of a more comprehensive study on the status and nature of the MBA programme in South Africa. This article reports on the following research objectives:

To establish the profile of the ideal and the actual MBA graduate. To assess whether significant differences exist between the profiles of the ideal MBA graduate and the actual MBA graduate. To extract factors relating to the employers' perceptions of the ideal MBA graduate. To elicit the opinions of employers on the future development of the MBA programme in South Africa.

The main research findings indicate a disparity between the profiles of the ideal and actual MBA graduate. In terms of specific variables that can shape the profile of MBA graduates, it was found that employers were neither satisfied with the liaison between employers and business schools nor with the MBA graduates' proficiency in leadership, interpersonal, entrepreneurial and communication skills; and that they were concerned about the integration of knowledge across functional areas. Noteworthy the following: employers stated that graduates seemed excessively concerned about earning top-level salaries and that their expectations often exceeding their experience and ability. The article concludes with the most prominent findings with respect to the profile of MBA graduates and the future development of South African MBA programmes.

South African Journal of Higher Education Vol.16(2) 2002: 158-165

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1011-3487