By Program Director Richard Mimick
In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing, global marketplace it is critical for business students to be up to date and able to use the managerial and leadership skills required for current job markets. The Division of Continuing Studies at the University of Victoria offers a Certificate in Business Administration-Fast Track Option (CBA-FT) utilizing an integrative general management (IGM) approach to meet these needs.
Looking at businesses in a holistic manner establishes that success is contingent upon integrative management. In other words, integrative management is looking at the business as a whole with a general management perspective rather than specific business functions individually. Successful leaders today must have this perspective.
In our program, students learn how to assess the external environment (political and legal, economic, societal, technology) and prevailing industry conditions, which organizations have little or no control over but must operate within. This assessment indicates opportunities and threats and the industry key success factors (KSFs) which must be considered to make sound business decisions.
An internal analysis drills down into the functional strengths and weaknesses within the business units (finance and accounting, marketing, operations, human resources, technology/digital) to evaluate and make appropriate decisions to enhance its overall strategy and performance based upon ever-changing industry KSFs.
The IGM approach, plus appropriate capital and operating budgets and effective internal communication throughout the organization, ensures that silos are broken down and integrative holistic decisions are appropriately made. For example, marketing and sales would not make pricing decisions without understanding the cost structure of the products or services. The program also uses a highly sophisticated strategy simulation normally restricted for use in large firms.
The CBA-FT program, often called a “mini-MBA”, is international in scope, with past students coming from 62 different countries, ensuring learning and working in an authentic cross cultural environment. Class sizes are small, usually not exceeding 30 students, and the faculty are highly accomplished both in academics and real world professional experience.
If you would like to develop this perspective, investigate the CBA-FT program at the University of Victoria.