We propose a pedagogical approach that expounds theoretical knowledge through exposure of students to practical experience as effective for developing professional skills. We use decision making as proxy for the relevant critical skills of effective managers. The approach entails reinforcement of abstract constructs with the know-how of managerial decision making among undergraduate business students. To substitute for apprenticeship, we suggest hands-on practice, such as in a simulation, where students apply business concepts so they can experience managerial decision making and the workings of business. Instruction on decision making generally assumes a rational procedure entailing: Defining a goal/problem, generating and evaluating alternative solutions/actions, choosing an optimal action, implementing the chosen action, and evaluating outcome. This approach to learning might lend to a theoretic appreciation of a process of decision making that students might commit to memory. However, for skill development, students need opportunity for involvement and practice. The proposed approach enables students to practice rational decision making in real time so we can monitor incremental skill improvements.
"Developing Managerial Expertise: Experiential Learning of Professional Skills,"
Southwestern Business Administration Journal: Vol. 16
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.tsu.edu/sbaj/vol16/iss1/3