Using Critical Problem Based Learning Factors in an Integrated Undergraduate Business Curriculum: A Business Course Success


  • Christopher M. Scherpereel
  • Mary Y. Bowers


University management education continues to be criticized for not meeting the needs of its most important stakeholders: students, graduates, and the business community. Such criticism stems from evidence that management education is not promoting the learning needed to build essential business knowledge and competencies. It appears management education is failing to listen to its customers and is not providing graduates with experience in developing leadership and teamwork skills, solving problems, and dealing with ambiguity. The silo approach long used in traditional management education prepares graduates to function vertically when businesses now operate horizontally. To better serve management education stakeholders, Northern Arizona University’s College of Business Administration developed and offers a course called BizBlock. BizBlock integrates core undergraduate business courses early in the business curriculum and uses problem-based learning (PBL) strategies. Anecdotal evidence suggests that by combining functional integration and PBL educational approaches, management education stakeholder needs can be better met.