A Narrative Inquiry of the Non-financial Satisfaction of Holding an MBA

A Narrative Inquiry of the Non-financial Satisfaction of Holding an MBA

Author: 
William C. Hudson
Program of study: 
Ed.D.
Abstract: 
The level of advanced education in the United States and specifically in the Oklahoma City area indicates a slowing of those holding advanced degrees. This narrative inquiry study investigated the nature of non-financial satisfaction and value or the lack thereof as derived from holding an earned Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, as revealed by the post-degree lived experiences of corporate officers and senior executives working in the Oklahoma City area. Specifically, it was unknown whether the post degree non-financial satisfaction and value was worth their investment in completing the MBA degree. This study examined the lived experiences of the participant group shared through life stories about this phenomenon. Data collection occurred through direct semi-structured interviews. The participants shared life stories about realizing nonfinancial satisfaction in terms of opening doors and opportunities, experiences of accomplishment, personal satisfaction, setting examples for family members and other students, the satisfaction of fulfilling promises to family members, and creating a point of differentiation in the job market. The study created a narrative text documenting the value and worthiness the MBA degree provides, which goes well beyond the investment of time, money or personal sacrifice to earn the degree.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to my wife, Jill; children, Madison, Dexter, and Evan; family, and friends. These people have provided the inspiration, patience and encouragement to ensure this journey was completed. Through all the twists and turns, through all the frustrations and joys, with all the high points and the many low points these people have held their faith in my ability to see the success that comes with achieving this high honor. Clearly, education is sometimes a lonely marathon, particularly at this level; however, it is the people important to the runner that makes the finish line seem every bit closer with each word, paragraph, and page. Finally, I offer two mottoes that have shaped and driven my journey in that they hold true today just as they did when they were coined. The first motto comes from the United Negro College Fund stating, “a mind is a terrible thing to waste” (2011, Young & Rubicam). The line was first offered in 1971 as part of a campaign launch written by advertising executive Forest Long. The second motto comes from the Boy Scouts of America stating, to “be prepared” offered by Baden Powell, founder of the modern Boy Scout movement in America (1971, Boy Scot Handbook). Thank you is only the beginning of the gratitude I owe you, my beloved love ones!
Acknowledgements: 
The accomplishment of this writing is only possible because of the support from my dissertation committee Drs. Vandermark, Rudebock, and Kass along with Pamela Westbrook who provided the guidance, insight, and discernment to ensure that what I wrote was clearly what I thought, and what I thought was soundly what I meant. Additionally, I want to thank Eric Klabe, Academic Representative and Angela Hightower, Financial Advisor for their specific and dedicated service. Having a team of individuals who care enough about my success to go the extra twelve miles has clearly made this journey achievable. The great numbers of people in my everyday life, my co-workers Chelsea Lockhart, Jennifer Wilson-Murphy and Troy Thomas along with my fellow faculty members have all been so helpful through this journey. Each of you has contributed true to your personality, your position, and your passion. I thank each of you and hope you know that you share in my celebration of this milestone.