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RAO, ACADEMIIC GUIDE, ICFAI UNIVERSITY, INDIA ABSTRACT Indian management education system, no doubt, survived and succeeded in establishing its wings spread across all sectors in India. Yet there are number of grey areas. We produce quantitative management graduates but not qualitative. It is a matter of great regret to note. The article highlights, the strengths and weaknesses of the present management education. It focuses on ‘what they do not teach in B schools?’ in detail because the author has rich experience in this field being a visiting faculty for ICFAI University as he takes classes for management graduates (MBA). And also he is a permanent faculty in an engineering college and he regularly takes classes for engineering graduates (B.Tech). He found out various tools and techniques to improve upon the present method of management education based on his 25 years of previous work experience that includes business experience apart from his multiple academic qualifications in management and other diversified fields. At the end, there is a clear-cut message to bring out the best leaders and gurus in management from India across the world. INTRODUCTION: India has around 1400 Business schools accredited by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and produces management graduates seven times than that of United Kingdom. But we could not produce the best business leaders and managers across the world from our B Schools. We often glorify frequently about our quantity of management education but not about the quality. Presently Harvard University stands first in the top US list of B schools and INSEAD stands first in the non-US list of B schools in the world. What is the official ranking of Indian management institutions across the world? Unfortunately none of our B schools stands in the top 100 list. What ails our B schools? It is high time we introspected honestly and thoroughly. B SCHOOLS AND MBA: Every year nearly two lakh MBA aspirants take part in Common Admission Test (CAT). Right now there are 1.25 lakh full time students and one-lakh distance education students pursuing MBA. What makes them to be crazy after MBA tag? Is it because it offers wider opportunities to grow professionally or to get fat pays and perks? It is, in fact, a debatable issue. Especially after the opening up of Indian economy in early nineties, many private players jumped into the bandwagon of creating many B schools with money spinning attitude. It is very difficult to predict how many institutions will survive and succeed and how many will go into the dustbins of history. The institutions are in a great hurry to create managers in quantity but not quality. Students are also, in general, find it fancies to go for such courses so as to have firm foothold in their career. Statistics reveal that IIM-A selects one out of 400 aspirants as against the one in 20 aspirants of US B schools. Newspapers and magazines also come out with screaming headlines about the prestigious degree. Such headlines make the students crazier after MBA degree. The MBA degree has its brainchild of American educational system and in early fifties Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) have been established in India to provide management education. Ever since, IIMs have become the official, authoritative and commendable institutions in India. Although it is nearly more
than half a century, we could not produce Indian management gurus across the globe and it is a matter of great regret to note. The business education system is American in content and context and also by nature thus resulting in creating critical gaps in the system. MANAGEMENT EDUCATION IN ENGG. STUDENTS: The present trend indicates that there is more number of people of technical background (B.E and B.Tech) entering B schools. The MBA enhances career prospects for engineering graduates. Engineers, by qualification, are sound technically and can excel as technical leaders. But having an MBA becomes another extra lifeline to scale the corporate ladder quickly. The combination of technical and managerial skills will prove handy and make the people as an effective business leaders and managers. It is because of these reasons the engineering graduates need to pass in managerial subjects in engineering education to groom them as effective managers. The subjects like ‘Management Science’ (M S) and ‘Managerial Economic and Financial Analysis’ (MEFA) have been added in the JNTU (Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University) syllabus for engineering graduates. In Management Science, the basic concepts on management like production, work study, statistical quality control, material management, marketing, human resource management, SWOT analysis, Programme Evaluation and Review Techniques (PERT) and Critical Path Method (CPM) etc., have been briefly covered. In MEFA, the basics of managerial economics, financial accounting, demand analysis, demand forecasting, demand elasticity, theory of production, cost analysis, break even analysis, types of capital, capital budgeting and all the fundamentals have been covered. The author is working as a permanent faculty in an engineering institution and the students asked on the very first day about the reason for inclusion of these two subjects in their academic curriculum. The author took pains in explaining the same since he had industrial and business experience besides academic management qualifications. Everybody is a manager whether at home or in office or in outside because everyone manages one way or the other many things in daily life. Learning management concepts at the academic level supplement the natural and practical skills in day to day managing. MANAGEMENT EDUCATION IN NON-PROFESSIONAL DEGREES: In India, there is a strong need to encourage students of Arts, Commerce, Science and Computers to go for MBA courses. And also inclusion of management subjects or topics or concepts in these areas will enhance their exposure to the field of management so that they can gradually develop an aptitude for management. When these non-professionals degree holders go for placement they find fully equipped to face the day to day challenges at their work place. In fact, the strength of non-technical graduates outnumbers technical graduates. As a result, there will be steady and strong growth of appetite for MBA qualification. Ultimately we can expect more number of managers from all fields of study. WEAKNESSES IN PRESENT MANAGEMENT EDUCATION: Henry Mintzberg is one of the strongest critics of MBA degrees. He found out many defects in the present management education system. The present system does not encourage entrepreneurial skills and abilities. It does not lay stress on ethical part of education. It is not able to inculcate or cultivate industry or sector specific skills. There are set of skills required for each sector, segment and industry. The inability to focus on the same became a major area of weakness. Real industrial problems are neither thought nor taught. It is not able to cater
to Indian type of education and on the contrary, it began to believe in aping American method of education, which at times found to be highly irrelevant and superfluous. It does not focus on Total Productive Maintenance (TQM) where teams are forged and motivated to contribute their best without any egoistic considerations. It is devoid of multicultural experience. It is highly commercialized and commoditised. It is like a shop where goods and services are offered in exchange for money. Of course, no qualifications can be provided without money, as it is essential to ensure circulation of the entire organizational set up effectively. The degree of commercialization and commoditisation has become rampant. It is filled with antiquated, outdated and condemned pedagogic and teaching skills and needs to be overhauled thoroughly and immediately. STRENGTHS: The present management education survived for nearly five decades in India and struggling to expand beyond national and geographical boundaries. With the boon of rapid changing technology and communication, the educational system is undergoing drastic changes although the pace is slow. The students in B schools develop the ability to network and grow fast. The alumni links serve as strong launching pad. WHAT THEY DO NOT TEACH IN B-SCHOOLS? B schools teach the theoretical concepts and aspects, which will help the people to get tuned with the corporate terminology right from the school itself and also the meanings of the related concepts. The tools and techniques, which were taught in school, help them equip to take over the managerial/leadership roles in the corporate world. In fact B schools’ objective is to groom the business leaders for tomorrow. It is always an well-admitted fact that there is vast chasm between theory and percept. The B school product when he finds himself in the hot seat in the industry, he finds himself suffocated as he finds vast gap in his dreams and realities. He needs to get his hands dirty in the real organizations, which he might have fantasized, from a totally different perspective. The ability to deal with the people can not be taught in B schools and even if it was taught, it is very difficult to implement, as there would be so many bottlenecks. B schools only teach how to do but the corporate world only, indeed, teaches the practical way of learning. It is like learning how to swim, i.e. whatever the person learnt such as tools and techniques by way of theoretical explanations in school, he can only learn when he gets into the deep waters of the corporate world. Traits like diplomacy and tactless and emotional intelligence can be learnt only by practical experience. The books and B schools have certain limitations. The efficiency and efficacy can be learnt only by involving oneself in real like situation. However the case studies one might have come across by way of thorough reading in school, the real life is total different from fantasized reel life. In a nutshell, a person comes from reel life to real life. The concepts like brainstorming, reverse brainstorming, lateral thinking, vertical thinking, out of the box thinking, emotional intelligence, change agents, mind mapping, morphological analysis, six thinking hats, synectics, Type A personality and Type B personality could be better be understood and felt in the real corporate life.
B schools equip tons of information, data, knowledge, and case studies, which can help to get tuned with the real problems in the organizations to some extent. But it can not be summed up altogether that they produce the best managers in the industry. B schools do not teach entrepreneurial skills and risk taking abilities. They teach about soft skills and communication skills, which can best be experimented in the battleground of corporate life and can be perfected. If the tools of efficiency are taught in B schools, the tricks of effectiveness is learnt in corporate world. B schools do not talk much about building relations. Whatever the little so taught becomes too little in the practical life. In real business, it is always the products or services, which speak in volumes to the customers initially and the subsequent transactions, depend on relationships to a greater extent. Ultimately it is the satisfied customer who turns again and gives business. Therefore, much of the business solely depends on building relationships, which is again missing in B schools. B schools do highlight on evolutionary approaches but not revolutionary. But the practical business mostly talks of revolutionary approaches.
To lay more stress, if ‘what B school teaches’ is one side of the coin then the other side of the coin is ‘what one learns in organizations’. And the coin will have complete value only when these two are clubbed together. The combination of two sides creates a complete corporate personality. FILLING THE CRITICAL GAPS: There is a strong need to lay stress on the Indian-industry oriented management education. This does not mean to do away with the American methodology of concepts and teachings. What is now needed is glocal approach i.e. the combination of global and local approach. The visiting faculty usually teaches in more than one institution and teaches more than one subject. As a result their approach is short term oriented and less focussed. Where as the permanent faculty works under one roof in the same system and subjects resulting in staying highly focussed in his approach. These people tend to have long term orientation and it pays off heavily for the students. There is vast chasm between the salaries of academic and non-academic professions. At the industries, pay and perks are heavy and the best brains are naturally going to non-academic line. This does not mean totally that those who work in academic profession do not posses brighter talents and skills. There may be a segment of brains that would like to work in academic line because of their taste for teaching. The vast gap between these two in terms of salaries needs to be narrowed down and addressed. Sometimes, the teaching faculty may work outside on part time basis to generate more income. This again contributes in less concentration in teaching. Recruiting the faculty who possess diversified academic back ground, experience and expertise will bring quality of education as these people can combine their multiple skills learnt from academic field along with their industrial or business experience. Similarly industries must come forward to encourage the trainee management graduates to do project work in their organizations which will enhance competency and confidence.
The present management education refers to many case studies related to other countries. Although it is good to have a feel of the case studies of foreign land, there is an element of nativity lost in teaching. It is necessary to generate our own case studies and explain the concepts or topics with native examples for understanding and enhancing the qualitative education. It is like, when you in Rome do as Romans do, but not as Greece do. The need of the hour is to create glocal mindset in the minds of management graduates. Indian B schools must evolve its own tools and techniques in teaching and tune its B schools as the battlegrounds to create global management gurus. CONCLUSION: AICTE has a pivotal role to play in streamlining and overhauling Indian management education system with many checks and balances. Late Dhirubhai H Ambani and Laxmi Niwas Mittal have become corporate legends not by doing MBA but by business acumen and right application of available resources. MBA helps in enriching the minds of the business managers and leaders. MBA does supplement and does not substitute business acumen. Sound academic background with strong business and industry insights along with stimulated and simulated case studies can bring out the best results in quality of management education in India. MESSAGE: The best business managers and leaders can be created only by a successful synthesis of academic theory and business practice or industrial experience. The business education should be based on practical or simulated and effective case studies. If the educational infrastructure is sound then one can expect a strong superstructure in future. Imagine an India with a population of a more than a billion can produce how much number of Jack Welchs’ and Peter F Druckers’. T H E E N D (The author, Prof. M.S.Rao, is working as an Academic Guide in ICFAI University taking classes for management graduates and is also taking classes for engineering graduates in an engineering college. He talks over All India Radio on various topics. He is a professional trainer in soft skills, communication skills, personality development, motivation, and equity investments. He can be reached at email: email@example.com). H.No: 6-18-188, New NGO’s Colony, Nizamabad-503002, INDIA.
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