Decomposition as a Complex-Skill Acquisition Strategy in Management Education: A Case Study in Business Forecasting
Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education
Graduate business education has been criticized for utilizing simplistic teaching strategies that compromise the presentation of real-world complex skills in the classroom. In this article, we propose that complex management functions can be effectively taught using decomposition strategies. We demonstrate the usefulness of this strategy in the domain of business forecasting by comparing the forecast accuracy of students instructed in decomposition (RBF-Instructed) with that of students not exposed to such instruction (Uninstructed), as well as with an expert system called Rule-Based Forecasting (RBF). RBF-Instructed students demonstrated significant improvements over Uninstructed students and were at least as accurate as the RBF system. Our findings suggest that academics engaged in teaching complex domains can benefit from building their teaching environment on a decomposition framework.We further suggest strategies for measuring the effectiveness and endurance of classroom knowledge thus imparted. Implications for academia and practice are discussed and a research framework is proposed.