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UNDERSTANDING REALITY OF INDIAN MANAGEMENT
-MY JOURNEY FROM MANAGER TO ACADEMECIAN & TRAINER *B.R.Virmani

To commemorate the completion of 35 years of service to the Nation, Indian Society for Training and Development (ISTD) brought out a special volume covering memorable experiences in Training, which includes experiences of the Senior Trainers, which could be useful for Training Professionals. This article is a modified and enlarged version of the article, which was published in the book. It highlights some of the issues relevant to integrating practical experiences with the academic knowledge. It highlights that, in the absence of proper blending of Theory and Practice, we find a tremendous gap between the two, One which we project on paper and the other which we follow in reality, which is termed as” Dualism” in Indian Management. Based on various Research work undertaken by the Author, number of issues have been raised about the role of Management Development Teachers/Institutions, Faddism in Management, functioning of Indian Bureaucracy etc. and how Training could be made effective through proper understanding of REAL world of the Managers and the Organizations in India.
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Introduction: “At times successful careers are not planned. They develop when people are prepared for opportunities because they know their strengths, their methods of work and their values. Knowing where one belong can transform ordinary person – hard working and competent but otherwise mediocre – into an outstanding performers “– (Peter F.Drucker) The above quotation from Peter F.Drucker to an extent applies to my Professional Career. My experience as an academician and Trainer is a story of an unplanned career. It developed because I was prepared for the opportunities, which came in my way, and I fully used them in terms of creation of knowledge through Research, dissemination of knowledge through Training and Application of knowledge through Consulting. After completing my Masters’ Degree in Social Work from Delhi University, like any ambitious young person, I had aspirations to join a large organization and grow to the top positions. I was lucky to be selected as a Management Trainee in a large Multi Product Organization – Sahu Jain Group of Companies and placed in their Head Office at Calcutta. I was also lucky to be placed under a boss, Dr. Ram S.Tarneja who was at that time Director (Personnel) of the Group. Dr. Tarneja believed in encouraging and developing youngsters, giving them ample opportunities to innovate and develop. Being placed in the Head Office and directly under the Director gave all the opportunities to get involved in evolving policies for the entire organization, especially more so when there were hardly any corporate planning and systems prevalent in the organization at that time. I was also involved in doing Man Power Planning for Organizations like Bennett Coleman & Company Limited (Times of India Group), Punjab National Bank etc. which were part of Sahu Jain Group of Industries during the early 60s. It was very exciting to initiate and develop Journalists Trainee Scheme for
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B.R.Virmani is the Founder Chairman and Director of the Centre for Organization Research and Development in Management(CORD-M), Hyderabad Web: www.cord-m.com / www.indianmanagement.org Email: brvcordem@rediffmail.com / cordem@hotmail.com IJTD JOURNAL xxxvi: 3, July – September (2006)

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Managing Director and also their family members. They believed in the blending of Management with the Culture in which one is operating. I also took up part-time jobs as Procter of the University Hostel. I was also lucky to be posted at a position which brought me in contact with the top management team comprising of the persons like Mr. I always raised the issues of Cultural factors in Management with my teachers. During my stay in USA. so long as end objectives were clear and in the interest of organization. During my classes. Galbraith. American Experiences – Cultural Dilemmas My stay in America during the MBA Programme was a great learning experience. These gave me ample opportunities to get to know about Western Culture and also the value of work. Interestingly they never asked me to sign any bond or contract as they had full faith that after completing my studies I would return to join the organization. Mr. Film Projectionist and even Snow-Remover/Cleaner on the roads. However. I always felt handicapped due to a lack of knowledge of the total Management functions and often expressed this to my boss Dr. Kenneth J. and at times they would go out of the way to make me comfortable and some of them became my life long friends. Within two years of my joining as a Management Trainee in Sahu Jain group of companies. I was able to clearly differentiate as to what was workable in Indian Environment and what was peculiar to West and not relevant to India. it is always appreciated even if at times there are differences with regard to strategies in achieving the goals. I was even invited to give lectures on Cultural factors in management with reference to India. who was Chairman of the group.the Times of India Group and the first few batches of Journalist Trainees recruited at that time are now prominent Journalists in their profession. helpful. Some of them believed that Management concepts are universally applicable while others believed that one has to blend them with the peculiar Culture of the country. My initial academic background was a Masters Degree in Social Work with Specialization in Personnel Management as there were no Management Institutes those days in India and normally the Personnel Professionals had a Social Work background. I had also found my American friends to be very warm hearted. S.Jain. Interestingly on few occasions. Another lesson was that if one is Honest and Sincere to the job and is clear in what way one can contribute to the development of the organization. During the course of my stay in USA. Trust and Honesty pays in the long run. This gave me an insight into how family managed large industrial groups operate. There were various occasions where I differed and expressed counter views which we were able to sort out. This was contrary to the impression I had that Americans are generally self centered. My First lesson in Professional Life was that Hard Work. Door to Door Sales man of Encyclopedias. I was lucky to get Assistantship for an MBA at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.P. He encouraged me to approach American Universities to get a qualification in Business Management. Ram Tarneja. after joining the Industrial Organization. I had opportunity of hearing Management Professionals like Peter F. This taught me that any stereo typing of people may not be a right approach to life. 2 . Drucker and Economist. USA. Having worked with a family owned organization. Ashok Jain. Proximity to the top management enabled me to not only get long leave to complete my studies but they even agreed to pay 50% of my salary in India for the leave period. Most of my friends in America were Americans and they would invariably invite me to spend holidays with them and with their families.

On one hand my top bosses like Mr. the salary and perquisites offered by ASCI were no where close to what I was getting. entertaining and developing contacts with Ministers. Many a time I expressed my disenchantment informally to the top management colleagues and even family owners of the group. However. In those days. I was spending more time getting the licenses renewed or getting new licenses for expansion during the controlled economy regime. except. However. In this article I would like to share some of my experiences as a Researcher and Trainer. Ashok Jain of Sahu Jain group wanted me to continue with them. important clients etc. I was married. S. club membership etc. I choose the later option and returned to India and my old organization. car. This eventually resulted in my getting an offer from Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI). then in due course I can earn additional income as Consultant. I realized that as one reaches at the top. Hyderabad who were looking for Practicing Manager with some academic orientation as their faculty. Trainer and a Consultant in Management. possibly an MBA degree from USA was valued in India. it was a very tough decision to change my profession altogether. Also. There was a dilemma of a comfortable financial position with all the perquisites but less job satisfaction. However.Experiences of Top Management Position After completing my Masters Degree in Business Management I had either to work in America or pursue further studies there or return to India. On reflection now. I was given the position of Deputy Chief Executive of the Paper and Forest Division of the company. America at that time was at its boom and jobs were easily available. My long stint of over 25 years with ASCI was a great learning and rewarding experience of life which drastically changed my thinking and personality. I have no regrets. placed at their head office at Calcutta (now Kolkata). It took almost one year to decide and opt for the latter. 3 .Jain and Mr. which could be of interest to HRD professionals. On the other hand was a possibility of greater job satisfaction but a major sacrifice of financial comforts. every time I got the feed back that these functions are essential for the top management functionaries. close to the owner family members of the Industrial group. Faculty in Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) Though I had become a hard core Manager. I also had a job waiting for me in India in my old organization. Initially I had enjoyed the new position and the status. after my return from America I got associated with various Management Professional bodies. Secretaries. It was not only monetary loss to me but could also affect my family and their living style. the job profile starts changing.P. which in a way had sponsored my studies in America. This kind of work was not gelling with my values and I always felt uncomfortable and started thinking if there could be any position which will keep me close to the management profession and at the same time would not involve pleasing a certain group of people to get the things moving for the organization to function smoothly. I felt that one does not need a management degree for this kind of work. At a young age of 27 years. I was told that once I establish my credibility. This was a beginning of my journey from the World of a Hard Core Manager to Researcher. driver. None of these perquisites were available in ASCI. Subsequently my responsibilities increased and I became part of the Top Management. and had a child and was enjoying all the perquisites of a furnished house. I also got the opportunity to use my Management Education in developing Corporate Strategies in the initial Three or Four years.

My initial few months in ASCI posed certain dilemmas. In many cases they found they already knew what I was giving them and if I took a very academic approach (taken from the Western Books studied by me during my MBA studies). it also turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I found that most of the participants had rated some of the sessions not covered in the programme. Their suggestion that I undertake a detailed study on Training Evaluation and prepare a note on the 4 . A representative of a Publisher (S Chand & Co) was visiting ASCI in those days and they readily agreed to publish my study and research findings in the form of a book. This was a lapse on my part as I had changed some of the lectures but forgot to advise my secretary to do the necessary modifications in the Evaluation Performa. MANAGEMENT RESEARCH AND CONSULTANCY EXPERIENCES Management and Graduate Engineers Trainee Schemes The study of the Management Trainees Schemes enabled me to get greater insight into the Training and Development of fresh graduates joining an organization. the participants were given the Evaluation Performa which included some of the topics which were dropped and not covered in the programme. Mr. Some of my colleagues at ASCI felt that my study could be useful to various organizations and I should get it published. My first Research Project was on the problems of Management Trainee Schemes as my career had started as a Management Trainee too. Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) primarily conducted Training Programmes for Managers in Industry and in Government who already may have around two decades of experience and were much older to me in age. but in a way. was of the view that research has been one of the weak areas. Later when I went through the evaluation Performa. The book received a tremendous response and excellent reviews. In one of these training programmes.P. I would remain handicapped. Based on the study I prepared a report. N. I discussed these aspects with my colleagues and I was readily offered funds for researching on any appropriate topic as at that time the principle of ASCI. At this stage I felt that unless I do some real research into the world of Managers. This made me question the relevance of the Evaluation Method. N. Sen. which was published through FICCI.P. Very soon I discovered that managing an Organization is quite different from communicating and convincing senior managers through Academic lectures. On the last day of the training programme. Evaluating Management Training and Development After joining ASCI. This was my second Research Project. Mr. which would be funded by them. I realized my mistake. Subsequently the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) approached me to conduct a similar study of the Graduate Engineer Trainee Schemes in India. This prompted me to first explore the world of practicing managers and administrators in different type of organizations. The study involved interviewing almost 300 Managers who were either Management Trainees at that time or Joined as Trainees and had risen to the top positions in their organization. I discussed this issue with some of my colleagues as well as the principle at that time. At the end of every training Programme there was a participant’s feedback form as a part of Evaluation of Training Programmes. I asked my secretary to issue the same Evaluation Performa which was issued in the earlier programmes. They would not easily accept what we taught unless they found it was something different and practical in their own set-up. Sen. I was asked to design and direct a Training Programme for Managers especially in the area of Personnel/Human Resource Management. they found it irrelevant.

who were also engaged in doing research on Training Evaluation. I prepared a 5 . prompted me to think in terms of various models of Training Evaluation. While there I got attached to Oxford Management Centre (Now Templeton College). This resulted in another Research Project on the study of Collective Bargaining process and its impact on Participative Management.K. I returned to India at ASCI. Hogarth of INSEAD. I found that the major hindrances to participation in management were the old British Adversarial Approach to Labor Management relations based on collective Bargaining. As a resource faculty. it transpired that most of the employees at the workers level felt that to the extent that the decisions effect them. they should be involved in the decision making process of the management. which included Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Bonn (Germany). During the Course of our Research we were in touch with each other sharing our views and research findings. France.K. At Oxford. My publication in the area of Training Evaluation and workers Education and Training resulted in an invitation to visit South Korea and participate in UNDP Programme on Human Resource and skill development in the context of Technological changes. This eventually resulted in my entry into the area of Workers Education and Training and publication of a book on Workers’ Education. Evaluating Workers Education and Training I started my research on The Evaluation of Management Training. I visited some of the German Academic Institutions. During the course of the study. I discussed the issue of Evaluation with the faculty of the Center. John Burgoyne of Manchester Business School.. During the course of discussion they suggested that I should not only study Training Evaluation of Managers but also of workers both in Germany as well as in India and they may be willing to finance the project. Friedrich Ebert Foundation agreed to finance the study of Workers Participation in Management of various countries and suggest some models for India. Workers Participation in Management and Collective Bargaining During the course of the study of Workers Education.subject for further discussion with the faculty and colleagues. Economic Restructuring. especially since they too. and they concurred that it could be an interesting area for further studies. I prepared a research proposal for a financial grant from Indian Council for Social Sciences Research and surprisingly they fully accepted the proposal and agreed to give a substantial financial grant for research on Training Evaluation which eventually resulted in publishing of 3 books on the subject of Evaluating Management Training and Development. Technology Transfer and Human Resource Development. I took up the study of this subject in U. were not satisfied with the Evaluation System of Training Programmes. U. Subsequently I got a Fellowship from the British Council to spend a year at Oxford University as Queen Elizabeth Fellow. During the course of my returning to India from Oxford. As a part of the study I got the opportunity of meeting Dr. Subsequently after completing my fellowship. All these studies resulted in Publication of 3 books on the subject of Participative Management and Collective Bargaining and its impact on Industrial Relations. Accordingly. I was given a research grant to further pursue my study on Evaluation of Training. I continued my research in Training Evaluation in India.

In one of the conversations. which may not solve the problem. then they can be free to suggest or criticize government policies. During the course of the study of Technology Transfer. Transfers etc. Dharma Vira also expressed similar views. I was lucky to be associated with Persons like Mr. To get postings. on many issues. My Publisher (Sage) requested me to bring out 2nd edition of my book on Economic re-structuring. Bureaucrats and Technocrats. he advised me that during my tenure with ASCI. Therefore since politicians 6 . This resulted in widening the scope of the study to include Economic Re-structuring of various Eastern countries like Korea. Mr. Dharma Vira. Deshmukh mentioned to me that though ASCI was started with the initiative of Prime Minister. However.special paper for the programme. Tea and other social activities. I did notice lopsided investment policies of countries like Thailand and Malaysia. as in those days there was a tradition in ASCI that whenever there is a meeting of the Governing Board. Deshmukh. C. so long as he was sure that the decision was in the public interest and eventually the politicians accepted the same. Technology Transfer and Human Resource Development covering the East Asian Economic Crises. Rajeev Gandhi. The views of Bureaucrats and Technocrats were that the political executives should only lay down broad policies and rest should be left to the Bureaucrats and Technocrats. During my tenure with ASCI. possibly not much attention was paid to this aspect and after about 2 years of the publication of my book on the subject. Mr. Mr. Deshmukh. Singapore and India. it transpired that Technology Transfer is very much linked to Economic Re-structuring in terms of Government policies and development of Infrastructure.D. John Mathai but they wanted ASCI not to take any financial grant from the Government and once they are financially independent. Mr. Malaysia. During presentation of the paper an idea was generated that there is a need for a Research study on Technology Transfer and Human Resource Development based on the experiences of countries of the Eastern and Far Eastern Region. I did mention about the possibilities of Financial and Economic crises in these countries unless the economic and investment policies are changed. Prakash Tandon. countries like Thailand. ASCI. a faculty member was assigned to a Governing Board Member whose role was to interact socially with the Governing member during informal gatherings like Lunch. Mr. The objective was that it will result in better understanding between the faculty members and the members of the Governing body. One of the issues discussed in the programme was the relationship between Politicians. the Bureaucrats have no accountability except that they can at the most transfer them for inefficiency. Understanding Indian Politicians and Bureaucracy Immediately after joining ASCI. they are willing to sacrifice their ethics and values and then pass on the blame to the politicians. I should freely express my views without any fear. While studying the Economic re-structuring. Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi differed with him but.D. Interestingly the politicians view was that while they are very much accountable to public and the Prime Minister. Thailand. I was also involved in series of Training programmes conducted at ASCI for the Ministers and Secretaries to the Government of India during the Prime Minister ship of Mr. He quoted so many instances where. he stood to his grounds and conviction. Dharma Vira during the first year of my joining ASCI. wherever appropriate. I had opportunity of coming in contact with Personalities like Mr. Dharma Vira mentioned that the present day Bureaucrats have a tendency to blame the Politicians for all the problems though he felt that it were the Bureaucrats who are to be blamed. and Malaysia did face major Economic crises as warned in my book. Mr. Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru and the then Finance Minister Mr. Therefore. C. IPCL-Baroda and Friedrich Ebert Foundation came forward with the Research grant to undertake the study.

that in reality they do not find much conflict between the Bureaucrats and Politicians. the major benefit was that prior to the Training there used to be lot of inter-ministerial and inter-departmental misunderstandings and conflicts. Chidambaram himself where a decision was taken that those who opt or are selected as faculty for training institution will be paid extra allowance as well as benefits so that they attract better persons as Trainers posted in the Government Training Institutes. their view has to prevail and not those of the bureaucrats. as a routine they forward their petitions to the concerned Bureaucrats. They were of the view that in many cases the bureaucrats take “Careerist” views. We had suggested decentralization of UGC and our report was implemented by his successor Prof. when the Bureaucrats stood to their ground and Politicians could not do much in those cases even when the decision taken by the Bureaucrats were not to the liking of politicians. However. because they are unanimous in major issues. I also got the opportunity of re-structuring University Grants Commission (UGC) when Mr. This assignment resulted in publication of articles by me on Financing Higher Education. Mr. during the Training they stayed together for a week and developed a better understanding of each other as a result of which the inter-ministerial issues are sorted out without much delay due to the personal rapport and understanding developed during Training. APJ Abdul Kalam was it’s head on Employee Appraisal System and Enhancing Managerial Effectives as at that time he had felt that there was resistance from the very Senior and Older scientists for allowing Young-Scientists to take up major responsibility in the new projects.N. However. His view was that the Training attended by them at Hyderabad may not have resulted in improving Administration of the country.have accountability and can be removed by the Prime Minister and the Public during elections. Sangma who was the Minister for Labor/Textile at that time. Man Mohan Singh was the Chairman of UGC. They also quoted a few cases. The last day of the Programme was attended by Mr. During the course of my tenure in ASCI. I got the opportunity of organizing a Training Programme for Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). I met some of the Ministers and Secretaries to the Government of India who had attended the Training Programme at Hyderabad. As a part of my research on Evaluation of Training. Mr. The first person I met was P. Ram Reddy. The Bureaucrats have a tendency to take only those decisions which help in boosting their career and the public good is incidental to the job. transfers etc. knowing fully well that in some cases the decision taken by them are expedient. Whenever a member of the public approaches them. after a gap of 6 months after training. We discovered that originally UGC was created to ensure proper quality of education but over the years it degenerated primarily to be a Bureaucratic funding organization. and may not be in the long term interest of public. A few of the outspoken Secretaries and the Ministers were of the view. In many cases. 7 . Abdul Kalam himself actively participated in the programme and sought my advice on redesigning of the Appraisal System for the Scientists. The politicians are always under pressure from the public to redress their grievances and help them. when Mr. the Bureaucrats go out of their way and bend the rules with the hope that they will get help from the politician in the case of their postings. Another benefit of the training Programme for the Ministers was the importance given to the Training. C. Chidambaram who was Minister for Personnel at that time requested me to organize a three days workshop at Hyderabad for the heads of the Government Trainings Institution in India on “Training Evaluation”.

I had always found that there was a difference between stated and actual management practices. However. The study for the first time led me to understand the problems of rural India where more than 60% of the population reside. The same article was reprinted again after a gap of Ten years as it was found still relevant. which is not resistant to pests at the same time. This set me thinking as to what is the ‘Some How’ management in reality and resulted in a research project on the Study of Indian Management which resulted in the publication of a land mark and oft quoted book on Indian Management in 1991.My experience of understanding Indian Bureaucracy resulted in Publication of an article on Management in Government in the Journal of Planning Commission. if any. there have been far reaching changes in the world scenario. During the course of my visit to Far Eastern Countries. Trade unions and Government policies while the employees blame the management for being hypocrites. I realized that their Management styles and Practices were quite different from what I had observed and read in Western Countries. which I had read and practiced during my experience in USA and in India. Reality of Indian Management. and study of the Japanese system of Management. I had always faced a difficulty in transplanting Western Management concepts. to evaluate the training activities of the National Institute of Agriculture Extension Management (MANAGE). The Indian Society for Training and Development (ISTD) suggested that I re-visit and re-write my book on Indian Management. the work did proceed and the managers’ perception was that inspite of various limitations they are ‘Some How’ able to manage. there was lot of poverty and suicides by the Cotton Growers. The Management normally blames the employees. The role of the MANAGE was to help various Government functionaries in transferring Agro-based research to the field and the farmers. These assignments took me to various states in India and interact with the farmers in rural areas to find out the impact of Training. In the course of my research in India. This partly reflects the gaps between thinking of Government functionaries and that of the Farmers and the real issues are not properly tackled. I found a perception gap between the government functionaries and the farmers. can give them better earnings. it transpired that some of them did changed to Maize cultivation or even fruit trees like Mangoes. This led to the publication of the book “Reality of Indian Management” (In press). taking into account the new reality and changes in management practices. During this assignment. but the monkeys destroyed the Maize crop in Andhra Pradesh or the Wild Cows (Neel gai) destroyed the Mango trees in Uttar Pradesh. In India. they laughed it off perceiving it as only attitudinal problem and they felt that more Attitudinal Change Training is required for the farmers. Since the publication of that book in 1991. I discovered that a substantial number of them are small and marginal farmers living below poverty line. During my interaction with farmers. Understanding Rural India and Agriculture Sector My study on Training and Evaluation resulted in my getting an assignment from the Ministry of Agriculture. The Government functionaries perceived this was due to the mental attitude of the farmers and their resistance to changing the cropping pattern from Cotton to Maize or any other product. When I mentioned this to the Government functionaries. For example. so they reverted back to the Cotton. Government of India. My entry into the Agri field resulted in getting a number of 8 .

Government of India to evaluate and re-structure the functioning of Agri-Extension Education and Training in India. I was invited by the Indian Society for Training and Development (ISTD) to be the Chairman of the Editorial Board of their prestigious Indian Journal of Training and Development (IJTD). In the near future I do hope and wish to spend more time in the Agri-sector as I feel that this is one of the neglected areas. Considering all these activities. National Mineral Development Corporation. Starting a Second Career Peter F.Business Management (PGPABM) at MANAGE. JAIPUR. Training and Research. With the help of Heritage Foundation. These studies resulted in getting another major project from the Ministry of Agriculture. a series of workshops have been organized on “Second Career Options” discussing not only employment prospects for the so called retired persons but how they can lead a purposeful life. This gave me an opportunity to give multi-dimensional thrust to the Journal by including articles on Training and Development of Personnel from the Non-Formal sector like Agriculture. Indian Oil Limited. Research on Reality of Indian Management and Training for various organizations especially in the areas of Training Evaluation and Employee Development and Managerial Effectiveness. The major focus has been Agricultural Sector. We tried these experiments in Organizations like Indian Air Lines.assignments like launching of Post Graduate Programme in Agri . Another interesting area of activity has been spreading the message of a “Second Career” for those who retired from their jobs. having tremendous potential for improvement of the life style of a vast majority of people living in poverty. Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation etc. and to an extent succeeded in bringing them together to make their organization more healthy and vibrant without discussing Bargaining issues. After leaving ASCI in 1999. Another interesting area is to bring Trade Unions and Managements together in the interest of the Organization through inter active workshops. My entry into Agriculture area has prompted me to spend at least major part of my activities in Agrisector. 9 . the Centre for Organization Research and Development in Management (CORD-M) doing selective consultancy. National Institute of Personnel Management (NIPM) and National HRD Net work. Workers Skill Development. Women Entrepreneurs etc in addition to Management Training and Development. Once they are formally retired from official working organizations they should think of starting a Second Career which could be of help to the community at large also. I started a small organization. Drucker strongly advocated that a person should never retire in life. Hyderabad and at National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (NIAM). Hyderabad and in association with Professional Bodies like Indian Society for Training and Development (ISTD). I find myself much more busy and active then I was at ASCI or in Industries and hope to continue till my health permits and work in the areas which are beneficial to the society and at the same time contribute to my continuous learning and development. School Dropouts. Subsequently the Government of Andhra Pradesh asked us to evaluate the Agriculture Land Purchase and Allocation Scheme and Skill Development Programme for the under privileged in Rural areas. These experiences have been documented as articles published in various journals.

Management Educational Programmes offered by some of the Management Institutions attempt to inculcate certain knowledge. Relevance of Management Education. which is workable in the Indian context but not necessarily in line with what was taught in the management institution. there should be a simultaneous endeavor to explore and study the various factors that affect management education and training. Study of such facts of management education would help in proper understanding and appreciation of various underlined factors and specifications of the variables that affect outcomes.In the subsequent part of this paper I have discussed some of the important findings of my research specially relating to some of the issues of Management Education and Training which could be of interest to researchers. the modus operandi of the education process. which do not gel with the management concepts taught in the institutes. It takes them quite a few years to understand the organization dynamics and arrive at various compromise and evolve their own style of management. to the subsequent impact of management education on the managers efficiency and its effect on the organization. some pilot studies of few selected organizations were undertaken to ascertain whether management education did result in organizational improvement through changed or different managerial behavior. The issue here is that any advancement of management education would require appropriate human resource who are fully well versed with the complexities of today’s management. but such packages cannot be received and absorbed unless they are: . Very little research has been done to show whether and to what extent. these diverse training institutions have succeeded in their difficult task of preparing the managers for coping with their responsibilities after completing their education. which were found culturally alien and not applicable to the value system of the home base. The manager's world is more complex than any academic model and usually less theoretical. It is relatively easy to devise ideal teaching packages. In spite of huge investment in management education. selection of suitable students/trainees with management aptitude. specially more so when the world scenario and technology is changing so fast that quick managerial obsolescence in itself becomes an issue. This raises the issue of the relevance of education. With the diversion of sizeable economic and human resources into the strategic area of national development. who play a leading role in inculcating the right managerial values and concepts among the existing managers as well as future managers. Part of the problem was also in the management concepts. concepts and techniques so as to equip the prospective managers in dealing with growing complexities of organizational management and also to prepare them to shoulder higher responsibilities and improve their decision making skills. right from identification of management education/training need. very little has been done in India to systematically study and evaluate its impact and in trying to improve the management education from the point of view of organizations. so that it may yield beneficial results to the organizations. Academicians and could be areas of further research and training. They find that there are too many pushes and pulls and pressure forces. This gets linked to the development of appropriate faculty first. 10 .Relevant to the needs of the day. The preliminary findings indicate that students in the initial years find a gap between what was taught and what actually happens in an organization. With these objectives in view. especially in the Indian context.

 are unable to interpret economic. and sets out to inculcate these attitudes in the manager by putting him/her through a teaching programme. the practitioner sees himself/herself as the controller of management development and the manager is developed as a passive product of the programme.Grounded in managerial experience. what knowledge. It is assumed that the management teacher or practitioner knows.Indicative of future solutions to future problems.. The important issue here is also how relevant the socializing process is to the future needs of the future manager. and . shared. it is assumed that the teacher is taking responsibility. catalysts. In this approach. facilitators. This poses a question of how individuals in occupational groupings and managers in particular come to have attitudes. 11 . Thus. New understanding of people in the organizational system–and this could only be achieved by project or research-based work. These constraints pose corresponding problems for management teaching and tend to eliminate teaching methods which:  do not take into account the environment of those on the other side of the classroom in their work situation. political and social indicators and  are unable to take a managerial view of the problems. objectives and value systems with a view to bring about changes. if necessary. technical. which are to some degree. legal. The aim of discussing all these aspects of management growth and education is to evaluate our activities. management institutes must endeavor to attain• • • New techniques of aiding learning. for achieving something and setting out to achieve it. The combination of all three may help towards meeting the requirement but this is rare. The important and relevant question is to find out as to what part the management institutions and the management teachers can play in the socializing process. or by having managed someone or something. teaching methods. or finds out from job descriptions and specifications. Many describe their roles in a humble manner as sounding boards. This is called the “socialization process”. There could be a possibility that we may be preparing “present managers for past problems” or justifying the “current management practices” or may be teaching something which is irrelevant to the manager's world in the Indian context. provider of resources and ultimately the resources themselves. based on his/her special expertise. The third constraint stated above cannot be fulfilled solely by the knowledge of outputs of the Indian (or Western or Japanese) Educational System or by high technical expertise. It has been agreed that management education has its impact through influencing attitudes as well as developing instrumental skills in getting things done. skills and attitudes a manager needs for his job. Role of Management Development Teacher/Institution There is a lot of ambiguity with regard to the role of Management Development teachers and practitioners. New knowledge of the work environment. In this case. in our activities to develop managers in the real sense.

(1) Greed to make fast bucks. Some of the relevant issues related to management education and organizations are: 1.• • New relationship between the learner who pays to learn and the learner who is paid to learn (formerly known as teacher). there are a number of management theories emerging. The proliferation of management theories and prescriptions are driven by two human instincts. and A new approach to the whole question of relationship between life. or it is a source of information and a useful mental exercise which does not meet the present needs of the organization? 2. work and the learning process. or as something that is right to do. Do the organizations value management development and development of its human resources as a matter of faith. rather than objective analysis of the “fads”. Another fad relates to the terminology of managing people in organizations. 1996:2001) Practitioners are more influenced by management writings in the popular or business press. For example. Is education relevant to the needs of industry and business. It is interesting to see how our attitude to learn has changed over the last few years from the “little learning is a dangerous thing" point of view. (2) Fear of becoming bankrupt. Total Quality Management (TQM) was one of the recent themes.S. there is a backlash against “Reengineering” as many believe that it ignores the human side of the organization. but they are short lived as fads and die in a short span of time. all such research is based on assumptions in terms of what the practitioner has done to the manager in terms of change in knowledge. However. Do the training institutions offer management programmes because they can make a constructive contribution to management education. Another recent fad has been the “Business Process Re-engineering” which according to some is a resurrection of F W Taylor’s Scientific Management. (Micklethwait and Woodridge. Many practicing managers consider today even TQM passive. Western Management professionals. this theory is showing no signs of materializing even in advanced countries like the U. and attitude and the further consequences of these changes as a result of the methods he/she used. which captured the interest of practitioners and became a Mantra of the fashionable business managers and the management institutes in the 80’s and the 90’s. Although a large amount of effort has gone into the area of evaluation research in Western countries. Though these results are presumably intended to contribute to the grand theory of management. to the concept of whole organization as a learning system. Faddism in Western management and its implications for Indian Managers Every now and then. and the U.K. specially the Americans are unable to decide the nomenclature for the Management of 12 . or a matter of prestige or is it a tame belief that some benefits are bound to accrue without knowing how and what? Little research exists in the history of management knowledge and how it should be integrated into the Indian context. skills. or are they unaware of the kind of impact they should make and how to make it? 3.

should be towards research. This dualism gets reflected in a wide gap between stated policies and actual policies & practices followed in reality. two thirds had fallen from the list within five years. The result is that with a change in technology.people. are essential to the development of management education. Some of the suggested areas of research could be as follows: 1. values and historical background is quite different – results in further confusion. transplanting the same to Indian situations – where the environment.e. education and training in management are geared to achieve short-term. Yet. 1991: Virmani. new products. We ought to understand how far the teaching of their 13 . Human Resource Development (HRM). The yardsticks of performance management and appraisal systems in most organizations are based on how much result has been achieved in the immediate past. specially the development of human resources. quick results. All these structures and systems pressurize the employees to produce quick results. with latest technology. innovation of new products and processes gets subsidiary treatment. rather than purely teaching techniques. once prosperous organizations fail to respond to the new challenges and gradually start decaying. Why organizations fail? One of the studies in America indicated that in spite of new management concepts emerging in the last few decades. 2006). An important value judgment is implied here: Should management teaching be directed primarily towards the needs of the organization or towards those of the individuals? There is also the issue of off-the-job teaching or on-the-job teaching. though often denied formally. In their book “In Search of Excellence”. Thus when western management itself is passing through a confused stage of evolutionary process and does not find many of its fads workable. not following what they preach. of the forty-three organizations identified as excellent. Even compensation and reward systems are based on immediate short-term results. Human Resource Management (HRM). In the mean time new organizations. The Indian Organizations and the management institutes too are not far behind in moving with these fads. new processes and systems emerge and the existing. only one third of the leading companies identified in 1970’s still existed today. which appealed to managers. ignoring long range planning. Human Potential Development and the latest fad is that a separate Human Resource (HR) function in an organization. Research and Management Education It would therefore appear that the thrust of management development. in the process de-emphasizing long term planning. The problem with Western management (particularly American) and business schools appears to be that management systems. They have changed it from Labor Management to Personnel Management. leading to “dualism” in Indian management (Virmani and Guptan. itself is redundant and the same could be outsourced. which can play a crucial role in advancement of management education. Peters and Waterman identified eight properties of successful companies. This dualism eventually results in conflict as the management blames the employees for not allowing than to follow the “modern” concepts of management while the employees blame the management for being ‘hypocritical’ i. How Managers Learn: The question of what a manager learns and how he/she learns it. to move their organization ahead.

It has been realized that many of the conceptual schemes and managerial practices. Real Behaviour is what counts. when industry requires caution. The content should be designed to result ultimately in a change of management behavior. during the author’s study on management trainee schemes in Indian organizations was the big gap between the managers’ perception of the trainee’s attitudes towards their training programme and their job-satisfaction. social. risky. partly due to the lack of effective monitoring devices. deliberative managers. When they are imported into a developing country. This equips us with a better idea of how managers perceive different ranges and patterns in determining how we ought to set about teaching future managers in different professions or environments. and the trainee’s own attitude towards the same. at the moment. Skills and Demands of Managerial Jobs and Roles: There are hardly any studies in India on Managerial Behaviour. This creates barriers that interfere with the learning process. we can only guess at the relationship between what the managers say they are/do. and this perceived gap resulted in high turnover. if it is great then we ought to simultaneously improve the manager's teaching apparatus as a part of curriculum. the creation of case studies derived from the “home” organizations. The managers perceived their trainees to have a more positive attitude towards their training scheme than trainees themselves do. as well as learning apparatus. by being bold. and what they really are/do. 2.G. the study of the organizational environment. Transfer of Managerial Technology from Foreign countries to the Indian setting: The problems arising out of transfer of managerial technology from Western countries to our Indian conditions is an important aspect to be dealt with. Does a manager manage better by being able to write a computer programme or operate a nation state? What are managerial skills that he/she could be taught to perform that will improve his/her contribution to the firm? What could be the optimum use of theory and practice in the teaching activity and how it could be achieved? In any case. However. However. which form the substance of management education. envisaging major interest in the transfer of intellectual. 4. economic and managerial technology from advanced to developing countries are pointers towards the need to evolve methods appropriate to the belief system of our country rather than trying to apply foreign techniques indiscriminately. and the investigation of the nature of social contract between the manager and his/her firm. we have also to consider the knowledge that is imparted. An interesting fact which came to light. logical and so forth. Redding at the University of Hong Kong and by Paul Streeton in England. How the transfer of learning is affected: Current disenchantment of management teachers with business games as a medium for the acquisition of decision-making knowledge is based upon criticism that it only teaches managers how to play business games. either by design or accident. Research work done by Virmani and Guptan in India. since he/she bears a teaching responsibility also.superiors influences managers and. 14 . research into the transfer of learning could embrace such matters as: the use of projects. Besides this technique. 3. the imported management curriculum must be modified in terms of both content and process in the light of prevailing culture. were evolved in industrialised countries. they often are in direct conflict with the traditional values. to yield positive results in the recipient country. risk-minimizing. S.

These might arise due to the conflict between his/her personal needs and the organizational needs thus posing a problem in identifying the actual teaching needs for the organizational managers. seminars etc. c. the teachers of management need to critically analyse and distinguish between those types of training which the manager can see to be immediately relevant and those which may be relevant to him/her in the future. obsolescence or old age). Conclusions: For the advancement of management education in India. the organizational problems and the global scenario in which the organizations operate.5. Perception gap between Manager Needs and Training Needs: There has also been found to be a gap not only between what the manager says he/she does and what he/she thinks he/she ought to do but also between how he/she perceives the needs of the organization and the actual educational needs for successful management. If we are to seek improved managerial effectiveness. The teacher should also be aware of what the organization wants for the manager and what he/she wants for himself/herself so that a policy is formulated which embraces both sorts of training towards management development packages. Research needs to be undertaken into the nature of the manager’s selection by his/her company: what are the criteria for selection for management development and how far should on-the-job performance (or lack of it) affect the design of development programmes. what can be done in the classroom away from work. which rewards the effective manager whilst encouraging the ineffective one. Managerial Effectiveness: Once again. transfer. 6. and it also poses the problem of evaluation. questionnaires. 7. Some of the major areas of research could be summarized as follows: a. Countries like Japan and Germany did not have business management schools 15 . and would provide answers to questions such as: how much pre-course conditioning is possible or desirable (reading. The teacher must be able to distinguish between what can be done in the classroom at work. little is known about the ways in which ineffective managers may become effective (by challenge. This calls for an initial focus on research for development of the human resources connected with management education. Despite attempts to professionalize management teaching a large number of the traditionally managed Indian organizations still do not insist upon minimum managerial qualifications. opportunity or experience) and effective managers become ineffective (by promotion. Research is needed to determine the relevance of the teaching material to managerial requirements.). This however has design implications that may move towards uncomfortable conformism. Research in this area would centre on the function of the organization in arranging for suitable management development. it is important how the persons connected with management education and management institutions fully understand the Indian environment. perhaps we could create an atmosphere. and what cannot be done in the classroom at all. which will then become behavioral criteria rather than one of morale raising or knowledge absorption. Management Institutions and Educational Needs: To successfully identify the actual needs of the manager.

R. 1985. References 1. 1975 5. New Delhi – 1991. S. Paper presented at the meetings of the New England Psychological Association.R. World Development. there is a tremendous need to have updated adequate information.R. Collective Bargaining. storage and retrieval systems to monitor relevant and requisite information from a plethora of relevant and irrelevant data that is published daily. when the rewards come from quick consulting. yet these countries advanced tremendously. Volume 2. 7. as no longer the fountainheads of change and creative education. as changes in fundamental disciplines. Workers participation in Management. Participative Management Vs. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. and playing “professional games”. Pp. Casey.11-34. but as warehouses of “latest fads” in management education. and Seth. Evaluating Management Training and Development.R and Klaus J Voll.Chand. 2. Workers’ Education. d. on management institutions and in industry continue to mount. Vision Books. In India’s fast changing national and international environment there could be a grave danger that those connected with management education become outdated in their specialties and in the allied fields at a faster rate than ever before.till recently. ‘Managerial Beliefs among Asian Managers’. Paul. Virmani B. Streeton. New Delhi. there could be a danger of us being perceived by many. Redding G. October-December 1974. B. We should undertake some research study to determine the appropriateness of the western or Japanese managerial technology based on cultural beliefs and value systems prevailing in India. Vision Books. and T. This gives an indication that there is a need for the improvement of evaluation systems for management education. ‘The Limits of Development Research’. the knowledge turnover is very fast. ‘Organizational Socialization in the Early Career of Industrial Managers’. 3. Virmani. how many of us have time to read and do basic research in our Indian context. Vision Books. 8. Virmani B. Kansas City 1976. Mcmillans’ India Limited. New Delhi. Schein. As a consequence. 6. Premila. In the management field.. 1963. Research is needed in the area of transfer of managerial technology from advanced to developing countries. 16 . November 8. All of these activities are taking more time and could detract from our most basic responsibility of research and research-based teaching and consultancy. Management Trainee Schemes. Proceedings of the Academy of Management 36th Annual Meeting. Virmani B. Virmani.10-12. No. delivering short papers and talks. Edgar H. 1993. New Delhi – 1977. Therefore.R.. B. 4. Frankly speaking. New Delhi.

M. Prof. Virmani. Dr. R. 1991. Sinha.B. H. Dr. New Delhi. Thousand Oaks. Late. N.9. Late. Ram S. London – 2000. Mr.R. Lord Bill McCarthy.N. Kala.K.R. A. C. Dr. Pachauri. Virmani. Sage Publication. Jain and Mr. 1999 – Second edition 12. and Rao. Dr. Late. Response Books. 5th Edition 10. Managing People in Organizations – Challenges of Change. Vision Books.K. Dharni P. Dr. Dr. (2007). Ramaswamy. E. B.K. New Delhi. Dr. B. K. Narasimham. Thousand Oaks and London.. Economic Restructuring. New Delhi. Mr. Sunil Unny. Mr. Paul Streeton.. Dr. Virmani. Virmani B.P. Virmani B. The Challenges of Indian Management. 13.R. Indian Management. and Guptan.D’souza. B.R. Rose Mary Stewart.R. Late. Dr. Maheshwari. Dr. B. Sage Publications. Late Mr.S. 17 . S. Klaus J. Ashok Jain. Mr. New Delhi. Indian Society for Training and Development.. Dr.A.P.L. Singh. Besant C. Tarneja. Y. Sen. 11. Sage Publications New Delhi.. Response Books. Response Books. Thousand Oaks and London. Voll. Choudhry.Venkata Ratnam. Raj.Sarin. Technology Transfer and Human Resource Development. 2006.R. Dr. J. Desmond Graves. Note: Author is thankful to the following persons who played substantive role in his development and /or facilitating various research projects: Dr.K. Management Training and Development – An Evaluation Approach. Reddy.

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