What is the Best Way to Develop New Managers? Problem-based Learning vs. Lecture-based Instruction

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What is the best way to develop the next generation of managers and leaders? The present study takes aim at directly comparing the effectiveness of problem-based learning with the more traditional, lecture-based instruction, as well as a hybrid approach, on student learning in the management classroom. It seems clear from the literature on problem-based learning in medical schools that problem-based learning has a positive impact on the acquisition of problem-solving skills but either a negative impact or no impact on knowledge acquisition. The present study was designed to directly assess the differential impact of problem-based learning and lecture-based instruction on both the acquisition of problem-solving skills, specifically critical thinking skills, and knowledge acquisition in the management classroom. Findings parallel those found in medial school classrooms. Implication for instruction and curriculum design in the management classroom are considered.