By John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog (since 2004).
Update: The Deming Scholars MBA Program is no longer active.
The Deming Scholars MBA Program [the broken link was removed] aims to build a foundation for leadership in the new economic age. It provides a small group of highly motivated students with a unique opportunity to develop expertise in Dr. Deming’s teachings and to build leadership skills within the framework of an outstanding program.
The program combines rigorous classroom study with an intensive practicum experience. Practica provide students with an opportunity to test theory, learn by doing, experience leadership and practice teamwork.
Each student spends a total of 28 weeks on site with one or more participating companies. Faculty and sponsoring executives work together to guide the students through their learning experience. As interns, students are expected to learn to apply systems thinking and methods to help the enterprise achieve its business objectives. Initially, their responsibilities revolve around listening, observing, learning and communicating. Later in the program, these responsibilities expand to include analyzing and coaching. Students receive $10,000 in stipend-scholarships from sponsoring organizations. Participating companies have included: ABC (New York), American Express (New York), Coach Leather (New York), Corning Life Sciences (New Jersey), GE Capital (New York, Connecticut), Henry Ford Health Care Systems (Michigan), Johnson & Johnson (New Jersey), McKinsey (New York), NASA (Washington, D.C.) (see more companies [the broken link was removed]).
The program includes 6 group projects and an 18 month research project that ties management practice and issues into academic literature. Students plan, facilitate, conduct and present at a symposium on Dr. Deming’s analytic papers.
The program is designed around 5 learning cycles [the broken link was removed]. In between each cycle is a practica working at an organization to provide real organization learning experiences.