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Describe the culture of MICA which is RELEVANT from the students' perspective (has an impact on students' learning and growth). It is required that you use interviews with people to arrive at the answer. The interview guideline needs to be prepared on the basis of the conceptualizations of culture (Read from different sources)
Culture is the specific collection of values and norms that are shared by people and groups in an organization. Culture of the organization depicts the background thought of the organization and it becomes the focus of attention during periods of organizational change -management, strategies, business or employees.
Culture can have a huge impact on an organization's work environment and output.
Elements of the cultural web
The six elements that can influence the cultural paradigm of an organisation are:
StoriesÂ - The past events and people talked about inside and outside the organisation. Who and what the organisation chooses to immortalize says a great deal about what it values, and perceives as great behavior.
Rituals and RoutinesÂ - The daily behavior and actions of people that signal acceptable behavior. This determines what is expected to happen in given situations, and what is valued by management.
SymbolsÂ - The visual representations of the organisation including logos, how plush the offices are, and the formal or informal dress codes.
Organizational StructureÂ - This includes both the structure defined by the organization chart, and the unwritten lines of power and influence that indicate whose contributions are most valued.
Control SystemsÂ - The ways that the organization is controlled. These include financial systems, quality systems, and rewards (including the way they are measured and distributed within the organization.)
Power StructuresÂ - The pockets of real power in the organisation. This may involve one or two key senior executives, a whole group of executives, or even a department. The key is that these people have the greatest amount of influence on decisions, operations, and strategic direction.
Cultural aspects of MICA
MICA is known as the first residential academic institution in the country and perhaps in the Asia-Pacific region dedicated to meeting the needs of the integrated marketing communications industry.
MICA is contemporary, a place which gives the freedom to pursue what you believe in the most. It has established a name for itself in the industry for producing novel professionals especially in the brand management concentration.
Rituals and Routines
Many activities become rituals and routines at MICA. When students join the institute they expect to become part of the culture and to feel like a MICAN. They expect to be taught cutting edge communications and management subjects and a lot more than just academic pursuits. We don't expect to be taught simple finance or management related subjects but something that is taught with a perspective on society or communication.
If our curriculum was to become purely academic and our day was centered only on classes, students would feel that they were missing out on gaining a more hands on learning experience, which is primarily what people come to MICA for.
These rituals, for example community living, watching movies and advertisements to learn new means of selling and communication from them, show the core belief that we want to learn innovative practices through all sorts of new approaches. It is one of the only institutes that give aspiring students an opportunity to understand what the institute is all about by hosting City Meets. This is what sets us apart.
The logo with the two triangles
Chotta and Micare
Words like DCP and pfaff
Sprawling campus lined with red bricks
The students interact with each other face- to- face and through emails (relating to project work) and have batch meets to redress student problems.
For all student related concerns we have the MCSA that takes up matters with the administration and seeks to make positive changes.
All other student communication that is to take place with the administration should typically follow a structured pattern however some students feel that student processes are out of place currently (there is no single policy document).
In MICA of late there has been fairly strict implementation of rules, however still not as stringent as compared to some other B-Schools. These written rules are now adhered to because of the changes brought about by the new director. The students who perform badly have some rights curtailed (for example their activities for their respective committee may be reduced till such time their grades are up to an acceptable level. The students who do well in anything are always lauded and the director makes sure he lets people know of student achievements.
Ravneet Narang, as head of the student committee MCSA has the most power among the students and actively makes herself heard to voice student concerns. She takes up matters for the students with the administration and does her best to make sure all the grievances are looked into. Very often she herself gets things (that are in her power) sorted out and fixed in a very efficient manner.
As for the faculty, the Director Prof. Ranchhod, the Registrar Mr KGK Pillai and Professor Shubhra Gaur as the head of admissions have powerful roles to play in the functioning of MICA. They make the relevant changes in the organization and all decisions go through them before implementation.
Identify functional and dysfunctional aspects of MICA's culture/organization's culture in the light of the mission of MICA/organization-' "To develop innovative professionals in the practice, development, and management of communications to serve the needs of industry and society through education, research and advocacy".
FUNCTIONAL ASPECTS OF THE CULTURE OF MICA:
Students and faculty at MICA work in close collaboration with each other and share a symbiotic relationship.
Unique identity of students
Students at MICA are have a unique identity of their own. The expertise that they have are unmatched by any other B-school graduate in the industry, which improves their demand in the industry.
Emphasis on Innovation and Creativity
Students at MICA are encouraged to experiment with projects, subjects, career paths, etc. They are given complete creative freedom.
Students are provided with every possible infrastructural support which will help them in moving towards their goal.
Appreciation and Recognition
Students and Alumni's achievements are appreciated and recognized, encouraging them to achieve more and more.
The culture at MICA is very people oriented, which leads to a holistic development of the students, hence helping MICA to achieve its mission. All the curricular and extra-curricular activities are managed by students.
Strong Alumni Network
MICA's deep relationship with its alumni helps keeping it updated with the changes that are happening in the industry. This furthers the cause of education, research and advocacy at MICA.
Student exchange programmes at MICA provides students with a rich cultural and educational diversity, further strengthening their learning experiences.
Centers of Excellence
KEIC, Media Studies, Management Development Programme, Development Communications and Entrepreneurial Development Cell are some of the centers of excellence at MICA, which can be used by the students for to full advantage, to pursue their goals.
DYSFUNCTIONAL ASPECTS OF THE CULTURE OF MICA:
Change in positioning
MICA is a communication school and the course provided by it is not the general MBA. But by and large, it has mostly been seen as an MBA college like others. Now the administration is trying to position MICA as a completely communication school rather than a b-school. The image and culture of MICA till now is impeding this change.
The placements are somewhat suffering due to the current cultural image of MICA where it is not clear whether it is a C-school or a B-school.
MICA has a very different culture from other MBA institutes and because of this difference some new faculty especially the visiting faculty find it difficult to conform. Also, they bring a very different aspect and perspective to the institute which may dilute the current culture of the institute.
Lack of consistency
The duality of being a C-school and a B-school has created a confusion and lack of consistency regarding what really is MICA and what it stands for.
For new admissions, it is essential for the applicants to understand where they are applying and what the institute is all about. The values and culture of MICA may create a confused state for the aspirants who may refrain from applying to MICA by cornering it as a very specific king of business school catering to very specific aspirations of some students.
Devise an action plan (with specific steps) by which dysfunctional aspects of the culture can be changed in order to achieve the mission.
The change in positioning is an attempt being made by the organisation which will reap results gradually in the coming years, thus being patient is required at this time. The administration and the faculty are handling this change patiently but the students get agitated time and again, thus the first step to be taken is to explain the students the need for this kind of positioning, the modus operandi for this change to be brought about, the timeline when this change will start showing results and the benefits of this change.
The reason this change in positioning is required is that MICA has to maintain the niche place that it has developed over the years as a Communication School and that the students of MICA have an edge over other B-schools when it comes to marketing.
The modus operandi for this change to be brought about is that the course should be focused towards courses that fall within the purview of communication management.
The timeline for this change is two to three years and the benefits are that MICA will be the best in its likes.
The second step is how to change the positioning in the minds of the external environment. This can be brought about by word of mouth, good performance of students of MICA in inter-college events that are focussed on marketing, having a good industry interface, good work of MICAns in their corporate jobs.
One of the major reasons the placements are suffering is because of the above stated dysfunctional aspect of MICA, the unclear positioning of MICA. Once the above aspect is attended to, the placements will improve. Apart from that, the placements can improve by having a better industry interface, changing the view of the industry about MICAns that MICAns are not very serious when it comes to work and this change can be brought about by the students themselves for e.g. in their performance during their summer internships etc.
As mentioned above, MICA has a certain culture of its own. It functions in a very different way as compared to other B-schools, the new faculties need to be briefed about this when they come so that it is comfortable for both the students and the faculty. Also sometimes it might happen that a very senior guest faculty is coming, in such a case the students should be briefed about him/her so that they adjust their behavior accordingly.
Lack of Consistency and Admissions
All the efforts should be dedicated to either make MICA a C-school or a B-school. This needs conviction on the part of the administration, faculty and the students in the path they choose. The students who are applying to MICA and who compare MICA with other B-schools in jobs in sectors like finance and HR, should be explained that MICA has a niche in marketing.
Sample of an interview transcript
To understand the culture of MICA as an organization - answer the following questions:
Who are the key people within the organization - those that are successful, called upon to help out when problems arise, pitch in regularly without being asked to do so, are "visible" within the organization?
Ravneet, Professor Shubhra Gaur and Director Ashok Ranchod
How do the key players in the organization influence others? Do they speak up frequently if something does not appear to be right or they don't agree? Or do they remain silent because things just can't be changed from their perspective?
Ravneet - speaks upÂ
Professor Shubhra Gaur and Director Ashok Ranchod - make changes as they have the power to
How does your organization work with other departments?
I'm assuming other departments refer to AICTE etc, and since MICA is approved by AICTE, it must be working well. Question outside my purview.
What are the processes and procedures in place for your department? How about for departments you interact with regularly?
Outside purview again. Student processes - out of place currently - there is no single policy document, as far as I know. I think things are improving but that's a personal opinion
What are the rules of the organization? How about the "unspoken" rules?
LOTS of unspoken rules, for the better or for the worse. The written rules are now adhered to because of the changes brought about by the new director, however, the unspoken ones still remain.
What are the values of the organization - what is most important to them?
Culture, followed by community living. This is amongst students, and I believe this offers the maximum benefit from a place like MICA.
How do decisions get made within the organization? Who are the key players for strategic decisions? Who is involved in making non-strategic decisions?
The director takes ALL strategy calls. This is a good thing in my belief, as there is a single point contact for all processes. Of course, there is a hierarchy that exists, but the ultimate decision maker is the director
What are the key business priorities for the organization as a whole - what are the goals - this year? 3 years? 5 years? 10 years? Longer?
The long term goal is to make MICA a force to be reckoned with in the communications industry GLOBALLY. Globally is the key word here as MICA is already the best communications management institute in the APAC region.
How does the organization communicate: From within departments? From department to department? To external clients? From the leadership team? What works most effectively for communicating in each situation?
Within my department (I am assuming students are a department), communication is flawless, by word of mouth. Student-Prof communication is through e-mail, however, there are a lot of flaws like multiple messaging which is ironic, considering that it is a communications school.
How are meetings run within the organization - face-to-face? Virtual? Conference call? What is the best way for you to contribute in meetings within your department? How about meetings with various departments participating?
Face to face - lot of freedom, which is AWESOME.Â