Helping MBA Students Work & Live Smarter
Group Work & Collaboration Tools for MBAs
Group work in MBA programs is an integral part of the learning process. For the MBA, the addition of a team and related team activities to their already busy lives adds another dimension of complexity that must be proactively managed. MyeEMBA can help you optimize your group work and collaboration assignments to benefit variable group-life situations.

Important Aspects of MBA Group Work & Collaboration

MBA group work usually involves the completion of an assignment where the deliverable is prepared collectively by a team or group of students. MBA programs generally address the teaming aspect as part of the curriculum. However, more often than not, the work-flow or logistical aspect of most group or teamwork is overlooked.

Most MBA program participants do not see the importance of good work-flow management skills or the important role that technology can play in supporting their work and learning. In most cases, when MBAs are assigned to a team or work group, they are receptive to suggestions provided by any one member of the team or group.

Another way for you to differentiate yourself from the team or group while being supportive is to provide suggestions for work-flow management or technology usage, especially since most of the work results in a fairly standard set of deliverables, such as written assignments or presentations.

Work-Flow Management for MBA Group Collaboration

Learning work-flow management skills and how to use collaboration technologies to support your work can be done easily prior to the start of your program. The result is a more efficient and effective team, which can reduce individual and team workload as well as time commitment.

MBA participants have selectively developed their technology skills over the years, primarily to support their work environment, which may be helpful while they are enrolled in an MBA program. However, there is a high probability that proficiency in the use of a software application for work may not be supportive of the MBA program or, if supportive, may only use a small percent of the application's capability. For example, Microsoft Word, a widely used application, is mostly used as a word processing package. However, Microsoft Word has document reviewing tools that may not be used in the work place, but could be very useful in team-based or learning group MBA program assignments. 

Group Work & Collaboration Technology

There are low cost or even free collaboration technologies that would enhance an MBA team’s performance. With minimal effort, an individual can learn to use one or two collaboration technologies, whether or not the MBA program provides them. The use of the new-found skills can be used to differentiate the individual or group from the rest of the class.

MBA Group Work & Collaboration Issues

To illustrate the complexities of group work and collaboration, assume that your EMBA program assigns you to a team that has five team members in addition to yourself. To accomplish team assignments, the team must meet on a regular basis, perhaps weekly. Two of the team members travel domestically three or four days per week for their employer. One team member lives approximately 60 miles from the campus, which is located in a major metropolitan area.

How will your team cope with the issues relating to these three team members?  How can you meet face-to-face on a weekly basis? Is everyone willing to give up his or her weekends to meet? The typical solution is to work with the most familiar tools, mobile phones and email, both of which are readily available; however, they can be ineffective and inefficient for most of the requirements of an MBA program. 

MBA Group Work & Collaboration Resources

There are technology support tools that can benefit MBA student teams that have to cope with work-life issues. Few MBA programs provide a complete suite of tools to support teamwork and collaboration, especially when team members are geographically dispersed between face-to-face class meetings. Furthermore, if the tools are provided, the programs seldom provide enough instruction for students to see the benefits of the technology.

The technologies that are available and fit the needs of most MBA program participants can be classified as: Voice/Video Conferencing Tools, On-line Meeting Tools, and Collaboration Tools. Each of the links in the box above provide a listing of the technologies that are available and appropriate for MBA teams to use. Many of these technologies are free. Additionally, getting started guides will be provided as they are developed.
Collaboration Tools
Online Meeting Tools
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