Education and professional development is considered central issues in civil service development and public administration reform. While this may be true, the content of such programs bears equal influence in skill acquirement, which in turn, has an impact on managerial performance (Perry, 1989). The contemporary economic and social environment poses numerous and complex challenges to public leaders, who need to be equipped with the adequate set of skills and competencies in order to have a proper response. The present paper aims to find out the whether the current educational programs from the business field can be a solution for preparing the next generation of public (and private) leaders. My argument is that the latest developments in public management reform (New Public Management, Good Governance and Public Entrepreneurship) combined with new demands for effectiveness, efficiency and high quality public services could increase the relevance of such programs. In support for this I presented a series of research results that point to a set of common leadership challenges that transcend the public-private divide. Finally I explored the offerings of the top 5 MBA programs in the world to see whether this is reflected in their educational programs. Not surprisingly, three out of the five programs analysed offer dual degree programs that combine business and public management education as a solution for the leadership challenges that lay ahead.
contemporary business education leadership challenges MBA/MPA public vs private public administration public management graduate education