About This Blog

Would you like to earn an MBA degree from Yale University? You had better check your savings account; it’ll cost you over $140,000.

Is that too rich for your blood? Are you willing to settle for a respected state institution like the University of Connecticut? That’ll cost you over $80,000 if you’re a non-resident, and over $50,000 if you’re a state resident.

Heck, even Baruch College of the City University of New York will charge you almost $20,000 for four terms of tuition. And that doesn’t cover student fees, textbooks, living expenses, and the hours and hours of time that could otherwise be dedicated to earning money.

In an era of limited resources, why do so many men and women spend so much money on academic business degrees? And how do so many academic business programs manage to attract these men and women to their doors?

You may be a skeptic who believes that they only enroll in these programs because academic degrees look attractive on professional resumes. After all, it’s certainly true that degrees from prestigious institutions can lead to better employment opportunities.

And yet, even if you don’t believe that the educational content of their courses can help them become better managers in the real world, you must acknowledge that employers must think so. If they didn’t, then they wouldn’t hire any graduates of these programs!

Our Dedication

This blog is dedicated to business professionals who believe that the tools and techniques that are taught in academia are valuable to practitioners in the real world. Likewise, it is dedicated to academics who produce research that guide the application of these tools and techniques, and who labor in real and virtual classrooms to help their students learn these tasks.

In other words, this blog is positioned at the nexus of business practice and academic theory. Whenever we see a business problem that calls for a solution that is taught in academia, we’ll write about it. And whenever we encounter an academic theory that can be converted into a pragmatic solution, we’ll cover it too. Metaphorically speaking, we’ll do our best to explain how to use hammers when we see nails that need fixin’ … and we’ll also do our best to help those proverbial carpenters locate the loosest nails.

But why is our blog titled AQ/PQ? What meaning does that mysterious acronym convey? It is a euphemism that we are using to describe professionals who possess qualifications as both academics and practitioners. As a publication that transcends the boundaries of theory and practice, our blog focuses on integrating the work of such AQ and PQ individuals.

Who Are “We”?

But who, exactly, are “we”? Who are the writers and publisher of this blog? And why do we care about developing and applying academic solutions to “real world” business problems?

“We” are the professionals of Enterprise Management Corporation (EMC), a boutique management consulting practice that was founded by Michael and Maureen Kraten in 1995. At that time, Michael was employed at one of the eight largest accounting and consulting firms in the world, and Maureen worked at one of the world’s ten largest banking institutions. EMC has since evolved into a multi-faceted firm that includes management consulting and content production and distribution of business training and development materials.

EMC is still led by the two of us, Michael and Maureen Kraten; we are the writers of this blog. We teach accounting, finance, and business economics courses at a pair of AACSB accredited colleges of business in the northeastern United States as well. We now define ourselves as “academics first” in terms of where we spend most of our time, and we measure our success by the number of business practitioners whom we help to succeed in the classroom and in the boardroom.

What Comes Next?

So where do we go from here? Considering that 2008 — the year that just ended — in many ways posed the greatest challenges to society since the Great Depression, we certainly do not suffer from a scarcity of topics to cover!

Nevertheless, we will do our best to address the questions that our colleagues, students, and clients pose to us. Casual readers of this blog are welcome to use the contact information in the margin of this web site to send us their own questions, thoughts, suggestions, and opinions.

The general length of each blog posting (with some modest variation on rare occasions) will be approximately 800 to 850 words, i.e. the length of a typical New York Times column. We will generally publish each new posting every Monday morning at 12:01 am Eastern (USA), though we always reserve the right to issue brief mid-week postings as well.

If you’ve made it to the end of this posting, then you must indeed be interested in our work. We welcome you to join us in the weeks and years to come!