In this article, we consider Human Resource Development (HRD) in the People's Republic and analyze the value of an MBA in a transitional economy. MBA education is growing rapidly in China, while at the same time business schools in America are facing declining applications and mounting criticisms of the product. Should then the Master of Business Administration (MBA) be valued differently in a developing economy, or is it open to the same criticisms leveled at it in the west? We use the 'resource-based' theory of the firm to attempt to answer this question. We trace the development of MBA education in China between 1984 and the present, placing this process in the context of the country's radical educational, economic and political changes. We ask if the Chinese government has adopted the same approach to fostering MBA provision as it has to nurturing business growth. If so, what might we learn about possible future trends in tertiary business education? In order to look more closely at the practicalities of the Chinese MBA, we briefly consider the development of one of the earliest programs in China-the European Union-funded China Europe International Business School (CEIBS).
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