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Wendy Robson (
Sun, 20 Nov 94 19:26:55 GMT

In article: <> writes:
# I just bought and read The Fifth Discipline last night and I figured
# that I'd be better off taking strategic planning first and then take
# economics, finance, marketing etc. later. I think this would give me a
# cross-functional approach. This is the exact opposite of what the
# school recommends.
# So in a nutshell, is a cross-functional approach effective if the
# re isn't proficiency in the component parts or functions? I'm
# guessing that seeing the forest before I see the trees will help me
# see and understand each tree because it will provide a larger context.
# Does not understanding each tree first affect my ability to see the
# forest?

Hi Andrew

I can only give MY personal response about why your Business School advises
you as they do, but I am the designer and Course Leader of a long running
and effective (the students have acquired long-term learning skills and
get jobs!) hybrid management MSc here in the UK (here MScs often cover much the same
ground as an MBA). I teach the programmes strategic management element (because
of the type of course it is this is an information and information management
'special' variant). I do put this unit at the end after the detail.
My rationale is that when we cover things the other way round students
find it difficult to 'trust' that they will understand the details and seem
to prefer to have a solid foundation of things they can compfortably do BEFORE
going on to the rather more abstract stuff.

I think you would be right if you are of a learning type that can say
'I won't worry what X [enter any functionally specific word/phrase or
idea] means until later'. Sadly many students require lengthy
digressions to explain X and thus loose the strategic management point being
made and so loose the value of looking at the forest.

A much lower level reason for taking the advice of the Business School is
that the content of the Strategic Management unit may well assume that
you have already taken the other units.

Good luck with your studies.
Wendy Robson ) | Not yet surfing the net!
\o/ )) | Almost always
~~~~~~|~~~~~~~~~))) | a bit out of my depth.
/ \ )))) |