Content written by Fernando A.D’Alessio, Beatrice E.Avolio, and VincentCharles and published by Thinking Skills and Creativity
MBA News Digest Comment: None.
Extracted Content: Abstract – Developing critical thinking abilities is an essential aspect of education which has been the endeavor of many instructors throughout the years, as it is believed that it can lead to higher academic performance. The present paper aims to analyze the impact of critical thinking on the academic performance of the executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) students. The present paper performs multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVAs) to analyze the impact of critical thinking on the academic performance in a sample of 1,620 MBA students, in each of four academic areas (i.e., Operations, Marketing, Finance, and Strategy & Leadership). The critical thinking variable is measured using the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) test and the academic performance variable is measured by the average grades obtained by the MBA students. In terms of findings, it is reasonable to advance that critical thinking has a positive impact on the average academic performance of MBA students. The analysis and interpretation capabilities are involved in the planning process, while the evaluation of arguments, inference, and deduction are important for decision-making. Both sets of skills are trained in the Marketing and Strategy & Leadership courses, with better results than those obtained in the Operations and Finance courses that demand more mathematical-analytical capabilities, verification of information, and capacity for decision-making, and with a view to solving problems in a more structured way. Critical thinking, broadly defined as the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement, has not been previously studied, to the best of our knowledge, in relation to the academic performance of MBA students.