Extending the Experience: Bringing Boards of Directors to Bear on a Business

Tom Davis, Ron Magnuson


As part of its implementation of a required capstone course for all MBA candidates, the University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business has stretched the boundaries of the traditional experience-based learning (EBL) modality of an online business simulation to incorporate oversight of student executive teams by boards of directors while the students run their simulated companies. This model grew out of the school’s desire to extend the learning beyond the online simulation to include interaction with a real life board of directors that provides corporate governance, models experiences that students will have with boards in their future careers, and requires students to develop and demonstrate proficiency in communicating effectively and influencing stakeholders. The boards in turn provide an invaluable real world component to the simulation while creating a permeable boundary between the classroom and the business world that is mutually beneficial to the university’s outreach and to alumni engagement.

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