Professionalizing global management for the twenty-first century

Ángel Cabrera, David Bowen Bowen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose - This paper seeks to argue that global management should be considered by practitioners, educators, regulators and society at large as a true professional discipline. While in its current form it may not meet all the defining criteria of a profession, true professionalism is the best guiding principle as progress is made. Design/methodology/approach - The paper reviews recent critiques of management education, synthesizes the generally agreed criteria of a profession, and applies that framework to the case of management. Findings - Global management needs to further develop a body of knowledge that is both theoretically grounded and instrumental for practice; it needs to raise the bar in terms of professional qualification through existing accrediting bodies; and it needs to articulate and formally adopt a set of core values and principles of conduct, determining how it serves the broader interest of society. Originality/value - It is important that all key actors assume true professionalism as a guiding principle for the future. The challenges ahead need to consider the ongoing construction of a solid body of knowledge, the revision of MBA degree requirements and the establishment of a set of core transcendental values that should guide professional practice. Academic institutions and practising executives alike must share a commitment to building a global management knowledge base that will not only improve the quality of management practice, but also earn management its professional status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-806
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Management Development
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Competences
  • Management development
  • Professional education
  • Professional qualifications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


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