Distance learning is becoming an increasingly utilised medium of management education and training. It provides the opportunity to reach large numbers of practising managers who would otherwise be outside the spectrum of educational development. The contribution that the MBA in Retailing and Wholesaling at the Institute for Retail Studies makes to this process is examined, arguing that distance learning is best understood as a process of skill acquisition. The MBA provides the basic rules and procedures which the individual supplements with practical experience. Distance learning, however, poses a series of specific problems; there is a need to address the issues of quality and competency. Five factors deemed critical for the success of the Institute′s programme are identified and a series of conclusions about the successful implementation of distance learning, drawn from the practical experience of running an MBA programme are presented.
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