The Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) or Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a postgraduate generalist management program designed to cover all essential management functions. MBA is also the term for the academic degree acquired through this degree. Since about 2009, numerous moderate specializations have developed under the label MBA, which are also recognized by the accreditation agencies.
A Master of Commercial Science (MBA) was first awarded in 1902 at the Tuck School of Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire (USA). Harvard University was the second university in 1921 to offer such a program. Universities in the United Kingdom followed. However, the importance of the MBA – compared to the Bachelor and also in absolute figures – remained low. It was only since the 1950s that curricular standardization and profiling have been established, which has firmly anchored a number of compulsory subjects such as accounting and finance. With the beginning of the 1970s the MBA study of the American economic press was prompted by a negative future due to falling student numbers due to a lack of demand for MBA graduates, against the backdrop of the increasingly bad economy and later the oil crisis. The opposite happened, and the supply of MBA programs quadrupled in comparison to the previous year.
In 1989/90 the economist Rainer Marr and the Association for the Advancement of Continuing Education at the University of the German Armed Forces Munich e. V. founded the first MBA study program in cooperation with the Henley Business School in the United Kingdom. The first purely German MBA was created in 1990 at the Europa-Institut of the University of Saarland. One of the first German universities of applied sciences with an MBA program was FHW Berlin in 1993. In the 1970s, curricular innovations such as planning games and training firms were introduced to the training. Since the 1990s, the increasing internationalization has shaped the image of MBA courses. Communication skills are becoming increasingly important today.
As an early example of a MBA program developed from an industry (here insurance), an MBA program is being developed in cooperation with the FernUniversität Hagen and the University of Wales, which has been organized since 1990 by the Allfinanzakademie. The MBA program was offered in the two variants “General Management” and “Finance management & Controlling” as part of a 24-month study period. Scholars were taught exclusively by university professors, who came to a large part of the FernUniversität Hagen. This example shows that commercially-oriented industries recognized early on the meaning of the MBA for employees in their sector and wanted to create appropriate offers. In the course of time it was not uncommon for industry-related MBAs to be freely accessible as the content of the teaching was mapped across the entire sector.