MBA Resources


Efficient organization: How an MBA helps business leaders

Graduates of a Master of Business Administration degree program can possess many traits desirable to top businesses. Perhaps the most applicable among those skills is an understanding of how to drive efficiency in all aspects of an organization.

The word efficiency is thrown around a lot but rarely defined. In this instance, efficiency is the ability to produce the best possible outcome with the least possible waste. Too much of one and not enough of the other doesn’t, by definition, create efficiency.

A study, published in the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Organization Management, of 400 business executives and managers, found this principle of efficiency is at the very core of decision-making. Of all the behavioral skills considered integral to their positions, the ability to “demonstrate an understanding of what is important and what is not” scored highest. That is, in a nutshell, what efficiency is all about: discerning what matters to future success and what may be holding things back.

So what is it about an MBA that inspires business leaders to become more efficient in how they organize, analyze and manage?

Decision-making efficiency

MBA programs train students to thrive in management positions where high-stakes decisions are made amid rapidly changing environments. These jobs are not for the faint of heart, but they are necessary in a world where innovation and disruption happen often.

A leader may come to a conclusion after weighing all relevant details, but the best, most efficient leaders will do so while drowning out the white noise that could otherwise cloud their judgment.

Organizational efficiency

It usually takes the detached, bird’s-eye vantage point of a thoughtful leader to root out workplace inefficiency and eliminate it by initiating intelligent change. According to one McKinsey study, 57 percent of all human resources decisions involve efficiency.

As leaders know, improvement is never as easy as it appears at first. That’s where MBA core competencies such as Organizational Behavior and Development can make a difference when it comes to increasing efficiency among staff members. First and foremost, foundational studies like these drill the fundamentals of how best to design streamlined workflows, establish hierarchies and maximize productivity with a finite workforce. Furthermore, classes in Organizational Behavior and Development also include education on matters like effective communication, conflict resolutions and the importance of motivation, which all lend themselves to efficiency. Team members that lack guidance on how to collaborate equally or how to respect one another will suffer perpetually from costly, time-intensive projects. Efficiency, therefore, comes from leaders who understand group dynamics and can leverage their expertise to overcome obstacles that prevent teams from succeeding.

Departmental efficiency

Financial Efficiency: From an economic standpoint, efficiency allows businesses to operate cost-effectively while still adhering to standards set by shareholders and customers. Business leaders account for the financial repercussions of every action they set in motion and the same for every reaction those actions cause.

A head for efficiency, learned through MBA coursework, teaches leaders how to reap the most value while expending low costs. What is profit but evidence of efficient money management writ large? Many MBA courses can prepare individuals for the responsibility of managing funds and estimating the net worth of their decisions.. And because efficiency lies at the heart of profitability, a leader with an MBA has the potential to buy in low on lucrative opportunities the moment they arise, not to mention navigate long-term expenditures with partners in ways that benefit all involved.

Marketing Efficiency: Even the most straightforward marketing campaigns have a great deal of strategy behind them, combining a company’s past performance with public perception, merchandising and a wealth of projected brand goals. The distillation of all those ingredients is an art, and it involves two levels of efficient decision-making, both taught through MBA-level strategic marketing courses.
First, business leaders can learn the role of marketing to a business behind the scenes and away from the consumer, and how marketing integrates organizationally with the greater enterprise. Second is user experience, how an individual casually interacts with a brand before, during and after a purchase. Research and advisory services firm Corporate Executive Board (CEB) surveyed thousands of marketing leaders and consumers and found that professionals who could streamline their marketing journeys by as little as 20 percent increased their chances of cinching a sale by 96 percent. Again, here we see efficiency taught through MBA core competencies driving leaders to excel.

Do you hope to be a more efficient leader someday? Take the first step to earn your 100% online MBA. Maryville University offers a highly accredited graduate education tailored to the demands of today’s working professionals.

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