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MBAs Part of Problem

April 24, 1988

Columnist James Flanigan's misgivings about the ability of U.S. managers to be competitive ("Workers Now Competitive, but Managers?" April 3) reminded me of an experience I had at the Harvard Business School some 25 years ago. The school had advertised a two-day seminar for New England businessmen called, as I remember it, "Control Problems of the Executive."

By the end of the first day, I was wondering what kind of a weird world the Harvard MBA was being raised in. The professors made no bones of the fact that they regarded the factory floor as the least important part of a business. The business office was the place where the company made or lost money. One of them stated that he could save more money with a calculator in a week than a factory manager could in a year with all his new machines and production ideas.

Of course, at that time, the Harvard MBA was everybody's fair-haired boy and the school's curriculum was widely imitated. With this kind of nonsense passing for a business education, is it any wonder that American business has gotten completely off the track and become hopelessly uncompetitive?

JAMES B. STAMPS

Seal Beach

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