a year ago
Very good question. Your management has to be supportive and it has to be discussed upfront and very clearly. Most Exec programs require written reference letter to authorize admission in the first place. I would position this in context of your career ambitions and company's strategic plan.
Recommendation letter will play a critical role in the admission process. I believe the majority of MBA programs require two recommendation letters. One of the letter should be from a direct manager. However, if your relationship with direct hiring manager isn’t that great, you can request school for a waiver. If you are in one of those lucky positions where you don’t have just one direct manager. In that case you have an option of who to approach.