With companies seeking to increase organizational efficiency while promoting prosperous growth, creativity has become one of the most important leadership qualities sought after by employers. This has put a demand on Masters of Business Administration (MBA) graduates to possess creative skills, as well as a dependency for MBA students to acquire a quality MBA education. Although business education has entered into new domains of online learning, the criticism remains that business education does little to foster or strengthen students' creativity skills. Thus, with the evolution of online education arises a need to research the effectiveness of creativity within these new domains. This phenomenological study analyzed MBA alumni's perceptions about the fostering of creativity skills within an online MBA program. A qualitative study was conducted with 25 participants from 3 separate U.S. and internationally based online MBA programs in order to gain insight into the needed improvements and or positive instructional design elements, facilitation practices, and technological media tools that foster creativity in online MBA programs. This study addressed the following research questions through the lens of MBA alumni: 1. What are alumni perceptions regarding facilitation (of instructors) that either enhance and or stifle creativity skills in an online MBA program? 2. What are alumni perceptions regarding instructional design elements (exercises, assignments, and or activities that are built into curriculum) that either enhance and or stifle creativity skills in an online MBA program? 3. What are alumni perceptions regarding technological media that either enhance and or stifle creativity skills in an online MBA program? Among the findings of this study was the discovery of several themes that concur with experiences that foster creativity skills in online MBA programs: 1. Informal and flexible instructors and course content equates creative learning opportunities. 2. Various active facilitating methods foster a learning process. 3. Latitude of creative learning is enhanced by the freedom and flexibility of students' choices. 4. Program content and delivery are driving factors in incorporating new knowledge and or creativity skills. 5. Technological media tools and opportunities that are driven by the student lead to the learning and practicing of creativity.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Master of business administration degree -- Evaluation; Creative ability in business; Distance education

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Allen, Mark;