Reforming Management Education in India to Foster Native Experience

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ABSTRACT

Management Education in India has not grown in an evolutionary manner. American experience was grafted on to an existing educational system and did not emerge from the native educational and business context and culture. Its development has been random and its objectives, content, pedagogy and other aspects need re-examination in relation to the needs of India.

The statistics provided by All India Council for technical education (AICTE), the governing body of technical and management education in India states that there are 1608 institutes offering MBA degree and 391 institutes offering PGDM. For last two decade huge surge has been observed in the number of business schools. Mushrooming of management Institutes, with some notable exceptions, have largely become, mere business entities dispensing very poor quality education.

Though All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is the governing body for technical education in India, it is also authorized as a governing body of management education by creating a management education board as subsidiary of AICTE. But as the number of management institutions has grown, AICTE is unable to create adequate machinery for monitoring the quality standards in the management institutions.

This will be clearer by the quotation taken from (Business Today, Oct. 3, 2010, From the Editor)

"Professional for beautiful, slim MBA Punjabi girl…Boy to be MBA, Engineer, CA. not too long ago, in the matrimonial Ads crowding our weekend newspapers, brides or grooms looking for a mate proudly proclaimed that they were "BA pass", the key to a happy life. No longer, though. India produces millions of job seekers every year, but many of them are not employable. We are starting to suffer painful muscular cramps caused by a skills scarcity. We do not have teachers or engineers, but we produce so many management graduates that "MBA pass" is becoming the lowest common denominator."

From the above lines it is clear that products of Indian B-schools are losing their credibility in Indian market as well as in global market. The declining state of overseas placement record in IIM-Ahmedabad, one of the best management institutes in India can be considered as a proof of it.

The number of offers by overseas companies in 2008 was 79.

Acceptances were 75.95%.

The number of offers by overseas companies in 2009 was 20.

Acceptances were 100%.

The number of offers by overseas companies in 2010 was 08.

Acceptances were 100%.

So As the Indian B-schools are not able to fulfill the ever changing expectation of corporate world with their present education pattern. And now it has become essential to re-examine the entire structure, content, purpose and pattern of Management Education in India in order to produce skilled Indian managers.

Introduction

In this age of globalization, changing economic conditions and cut throat competition, the role of management education has become very crucial for the success of an individual and organization. So the academic programs in management education needs a constant modification and up gradation to cope up with this changing and challenging business environment. Earlier the management education was seen as the most lucrative degree for getting a good job but in late 90s the development of management education in India began to lose the respect of employing organizations and has created a negative image of the management degrees and diplomas. Except from a few institutions that are known to maintain there standards of their academic excellence. Management education, at this juncture, needs a critical examination as only developing talent can take India forward. This paper examines the status of management education, along with the issues that need to be addressed, and a possible direction so that management education in India can be rejuvenated. So it could regain its lost sheen.

Evolution of Management Education:

Global Scenario:

The first management education program started at MIT in 1931.The second was at Harvard, dating back to1943. The first review of business education that has been reported in the public domain was from University of Pennsylvania in 1931 (McFarland1960), which stated that schools of business should establish a genuine discipline to be credible.

Indian Scenario:

In India it was started in 1954 by the Indian institute of social welfare and business management in Calcutta. It was a part time course for practicing executives. Similar programs were started in the Delhi school of economics in Delhi University and in Madras in Andhra University.

In 1959, George W. Robbins associate dean graduate school of business administration, university of California, Los Angeles was invited at the instance of the planning commission through the good offices of Ford foundation to recommend on educational program for management. Who recommended the following-

"An institute of management should be established on an all India basis. It must be regarded as a high priority national asset, indispensable in the development of the resources of management, i.e. the man power to translate natural resources, technology and human talent in to effective organizations to produce wealth. Accordingly, it must receive financial support from industry and government adequate for its needs in a planned, phased development. Further, that the institute should be a post graduate centre of teaching and research where attention is focused on the most difficult problems of management rather than on the routine of business practices, and where education and training include the acquisition of knowledge, attitude and skill of management in business (Report by Dean Robbins submitted on December 20, 1959 to ford foundation, p.4).

This report was accepted by the Government of India and it was decided to set up two institutes one in Kolkata and the other in Ahmedabad. The institute at Calcutta was set up in November, 1961 in collaboration with Alfred P Solan School of Management of MIT, USA. The institute at Ahmedabad was set up in June 1962 in collaboration with Harvard Business School, USA. Later six more institutes of Management were set up in Bangalore, Lucknow, Indore, Kozhikode, Shillong and in Ranchi etc.

Management Education:

In its simplest form "Management is the art of getting things done by others even when they are not willing to do and also maintaining the quality of their work" But it is not as simple as it sounds. For fulfilling these two a manger needs to have certain qualities within him.

Global scenario of management education:

Global competition is changing the relationship between management education and business. Continuous changes in both technology and economic systems, along with the speed of change, require executives to be engaged in a constant learning process. Management education has become a major profession that attracts considerable attention across the world. Evidence of this is the inception of a new journal: ―Academy of Management Learning and Education by Academy of Management in 2002. Though the market has been growing, there have been attempts to assess the adequacy of efforts at various points of time. The global management education market is estimated to be US $22 billion (Friga, Bettis and Sullivan 2003). It is growing at the rate of about 10-12 percent per annum.

US is the largest market, about 900 American Universities offer a master in business (Pfeffer and Long 2002). Since the market is lucrative and entry costs are relatively low, there is continuous growth of new entries. As competition is increasing the reputed schools are globalizing and branding their products. This is likely to seem a reputative and brand driven growth. Although the general value chain of business schools has remained relatively unchanged over the past 50 years, business schools have created some unique characteristics in their value chain that have molded their strategies over time. The sources of value creation are branding and niche development. Simultaneously corporations are intensifying their efforts for the development of management education.

Indian Scenario of management education:

Management Education in India has not grown in an evolutionary manner. American experience was grafted on to an existing educational system and did not emerge from the native educational and business context and culture. Its development has been random and its objectives, content, pedagogy and other aspects need re-examination in relation to the needs of India. In an increasingly globalizing economy, organizations are becoming more complex and businesses more competitive. The skills demanded for the Indian managers are changing. It has become essential to re-examine the entire structure, content, purpose and pattern of Management Education.

Current Status of Management Education in India:

The number of B-Schools in India is mushrooming, The statistics provided by All India Council for technical education (AICTE), the governing body of technical and management education in India states that there are 1608 institutes offering MBA degree and 391 institutes offering PGDM. For last two decade huge surge has been observed in the number of business schools.

The rate at which new institutions are coming up is shown in the figure below:

Figure: Management Institutions from 1950-2010

Source: www.aicte.org as visited on Friday, October 08, 2010, 3:40:00 pm.

The absence of any significant expansion in different sectors of higher education by the government has created a space for the growth of private providers. Mushrooming of management institutes, with some notable exceptions, have largely become, mere business entities dispensing very poor quality education.

While giving sanctions to a large number of institutions AICTE is unable to create adequate machinery for-

Development and training of faculty to teach in management courses.

Monitoring quality standards in the institutions.

Development of research to make or adapt educational courses relevant for Indian situation.

Encouraging or commissioning development of teaching material on the scale needed.

Location

Case 1

2008

Case 2

2009

Case 3

2010

Offers

Acceptances

% Acceptances

To Offers

Offers

Acceptances

% Acceptances

To Offer

Offers

Acceptances

% Acceptances

To Offer

Overseas

79

60

75.95

20

20

100

8

8

100

Domestic

336

182

54.17

283

225

79.51

331

271

81.97

Total

415

242

58.31

303

245

80.86

339

279

82.30The picture of current status of management education in India will be clearer by having a glimpse of overseas placement record of IIM-Ahmedabad one of the best management institutes in India

Source: IIM-A, alumnus, vol.52, no.2, June /July 2010, page no.43

Case1.

The number of offers by overseas companies in 2008 was 79.

The acceptances were 75.95%.

Case2.

The number of offers by overseas companies in 2009 was 20.

The acceptances were 100%.

Case3.

The number of offers by overseas companies in 2010 was 08.

The acceptances were 100%.

It shows that the interest among the students towards overseas companies has grown tremendously but the charms of overseas companies in Indian B-schools continue to decline. Though inflation can be considered as an important factor during the year 2008 and 2009, but it can not be true for the year 2010. Above picture gives a clear indication that the Indian management institutes are losing its charm of global players.

What is being served?

The managers, the torchbearer of capitalism seems to be in disrepute. In the aftermath of the slowdown, the list of complaints is long- dodgy ethics, the lack of ability to handle crisis (real ones!), people management only in name, and a general crisis of trust.

Some even have asked is the manager's reputation beyond repair? B-Schools globally are churning away to answer this question. This crisis has brought into sharp focus the inability of managers to effectively deal with real world issues.

Companies are now clearer about what their newest managers should be all about. They are seeking people managers not just bookish knowledge; they want workplace savvy MBAs who can hit the ground running; and they are demanding that graduates have a clearer sense of the many ethical issues they will face.

Now a days as the level of competition is very high, corporates are not willing to spend much time and money over the training and development of fresh management graduates.

As quoted by Dr. Rajan Saxena, NMIMS, Mumbai

"These days corporate expect grads to deliver from day 1. They also expect young MBAs to be people managers."

Source: Outlook, Sept. 27, 2010, page no.68.

So there is a strong need felt to make adequate changes in the pattern of current management education system which can fulfill the expectations of the corporate world. The management education system in India emphasizes on the following aspects-

Theory Oriented Teaching Methodology:

Besides few institutions which update their programs and teaching methodology, most of the institutions are using substandard teaching methodology which focuses on theoretical aspect of the problems and concerned with the function of management such as Marketing, Operations and finance but did not develop skills in critical thinking, problem-finding and problem-framing, and are ill-equipped to identify and frame unstructured problems managers routinely encounter. Moreover, they focus on theory, models and statistics which develop analyst rather than leaders and entrepreneurs who know how to get things done.

Course Structure:

The course structure of Indian business schools are based on American experience and it has not grown in an evolutionary manner in Indian business and cultural context. That's why the graduates of these Indian business school are not equipped enough to effectively deal with real-world issues of Indian business context.

Unavailability of skilled faculty:

The dramatic growth in the number of B-schools in India has created tremendous challenges to find quality faculty and to train them according to modern business thinking.

Most of the Indian institutions engage part-time faculty or individual on contract who teach a course and in most cases, have little involvement either with the institution or the students. A few faculty members without any experience join institutes on low salary and carry a heavy teaching load; they have neither time nor the necessary background to take up research or development of teaching material. They give lectures mainly drawn from text books.

Problems and Suggested Frameworks:

Here we have stressed over the problems and suggestions are given categorically.

Alumni Network:

Alumni are considered as the representative of any institute who can help the institute in the following ways.

Branding the image of institute

Help in the placement of the student

Help in the financial needs

Acquaint the institute with the current corporate situation

Provide genuine feedback.

Suggestions:

Every institute should develop a strong alumni network.

Alumni meet should be made mandatory and to be held periodically.

Alumni funding system should be developed for Channelization of fund by alumni.

Benefits:

It will increase the connectivity among alumni and will help in the placement of the students.

Shortcomings:

It needs to employ extra man power and money which will be extra burden to the administration.

Course Structure and Teaching methodology:

Course structure and teaching methodology of management education should be designed in such a way that it can create a balance between theoretical aspect and its application which can boost creativity and innovation among the students. And could fulfill the industrial expectations.

Alumni may also involve in the advisory committee. Alumni can provide better suggestion about changing corporate trend, and may help in the advancement of course and growth of the institute as well.

Suggestions:

While designing the course structure of management education there should be a participative approach where the persons from industry and academicians sit together and discuss the current trend of the market.

The course structure of management education should have a proportion of practical and theoretical aspect it may be in different ratios say 40:60.

The government of India should form a research and development centre, whose job is to analyze the industrial expectations, market trends and to bring proper changes in the course at regular intervals.

Benefits:

It would help to fulfill expectations of the corporate world and will help to improve the quality of the students.

Shortcomings:

Indians are psychologically resistive enough, to adopt changes.

Pedagogical Changes will create scarcity of skilled faculty.

Faculty Development program:

Skilled faculty is considered as the backbone of any good institute and it is seen as the scarcest resource in India. The facilities for faculty development are highly limited and are not effective. Hence it's a challenge in India to find quality faculty and to train them according to modern business thinking.

The world class B-Schools have three types of faculty- regular faculty, visiting faculty, adjunct faculty, lately a few B-schools have also developed called "clinical faculty".

Regular faculty: The permanent research and teaching faculty at the institute they form the majority of the academic staff and are expected to undertake research, teaching and some academic administration.

Visiting Faculty: Visiting faculty is a group of academics from other schools who visit these schools for a limited period say (six month, a year).

Adjunct faculty: Adjunct faculty is a group of faculty from local school or from industry who may come to teach a course or more, during a specified term.

Clinical faculty: Clinical faculty is a group of faculty who have almost all the privileges of a regular faculty except that they have been selected on the basis of outstanding teaching skill.

Suggestions:

Faculty exchange program should be made mandatory for all the institutions.

Certain eligibility criteria must be defined for the appointment of faculty member and it should be strictly followed by every institutions. Like

Each faculty member must be PhD.

Candidates having industry exposure should be given privilege.

Focus on the development and training of faculty to teach the management courses.

Benefits:

It will help to overcome the scarcity of skilled faculty and will make faculty more productive and efficient.

Shortcomings:

It will require extra fund to meet the expenses of such kind of development program.

Faculty motivation:

As faculty is the most important factor for the success of any institution. They must be motivated in the following ways-

Suggestions:

Institutions must have a compensation structure based on demand/supply situations and merit. E.g. providing housing, insurance, medical facility, security etc.

On an annual basis each faculty should be evaluated on their performance on certain dimensions such as- research, teaching and administration.

Faculty should be rewarded for excellence and be punished for laxity.

The faculty should be motivated to self govern them self and they does not have to seek any permission to be away from campus. Having proper reason.

Benefits:

Faculties will take more interest in discharging their duties.

Shortcomings:

It will give birth politics among the faculties.

Governing board:

Though All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is the governing body for technical education in India, it is also authorized as a governing body of management education by creating a management education board as subsidiary of AICTE. But as the number of management institutions has grown, AICTE is unable to create adequate machinery to monitor the quality standards in the management institutions.

Suggestions:

A separate entity with the name of "Indian Council for Management Education (ICME)* should be created" that should have the following key element in its governing system-

It should represent an international group of professionals from business and academics.

ICME* would empower all the IIMs (zone wise) to monitor quality standards in the management institutions falling in their respective zones.

* ICME is the suggested name

The suggested model would look like this:

Govt. of India

ICME

IIM-I

As governing body

IIM-B

As governing body

IIM-L

As governing body

IIM-A

As governing body

Their Respective Zone

Their Respective Zone

Their Respective Zone

Their Respective Zone

(e. g. RJ, GJ) (e.g. MP, MH) (e.g. KA, AP, Goa) (e.g. UP, UK, HP, HR, J&K, PB, Delhi)

IIM-S

As governing body

IIM-R

As governing body

IIM-K

As governing body

IIM-C

As governing body

Their Respective Zone

Their Respective Zone

Their Respective Zone

Their Respective Zone

(e. g. WB, Sikkim) (e.g. Arunachal, Assam, (e.g. Jharkhand, BR, (e.g. Kerala, TN, LD, A&N)

Meghalaya, Manipur, CH. Orissa)

Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland)

Structure of the Suggested Model for Governing Body

Benefits:

It will distribute the responsibility and accountability and will help in effective monitoring.

Shortcomings:

It will require going through a complex legislative process and will take time.

Infrastructure:

Infrastructural facilities is the basic need of the students as well as faculties that must be fulfilled like-

Suggestions:

All colleges must have in-campus residential facilities for both male and female students and it should be made compulsory for everyone to take hostel.

They must have the accessibility to library for 24 hours.

Every student should have a laptop with the latest technologies, and these campuses must have wireless computing network so that student can access the laptop anywhere in campus.

Benefits:

It will provide a world class infrastructure to Indian B-Schools.

Shortcomings:

Funds provided by the government will attract malpractices.

Internal environment:

Internal environment of institutes have its direct influence both on students and faculties. It includes the relationship among the students, as well as relationship between student and faculty, faculty student involvement will germinate new ideas and will make student goal oriented.

Suggestions:

In campus housing of student and faculty will strengthen their inter-personal relationship.

Cultural activities, annual meet must be organized periodically (say, once in year, half yearly, quarterly etc.)

Students must be motivated to take the real world issues as a challenge which will boost understandability, analytical power and decision making ability of the students.

Ragging should be confined in three words i.e. introduction, interaction and welcome. For this there must be a platform of open interaction between seniors and juniors that will make a healthy relationship among the students and will create a healthy environment in campus.

Benefits:

It will create a congenial environment in campus.

Administration:

Administrative approach of Indian management institutes looks very similar to the bureaucratic set up of Indian universities irrespective of whether the institute is a part of a university or not. There are many administrative problems that have posed as handicaps to the development of the department. The departments of management are considered as similar to the other department in the university which is primarily concerned with classroom teaching. And most of the time the faculty (most scarce resource) is wasted in doing other jobs much below their own skill

Suggestions:

The department should be treated as separate entity and it should not be under the direct control of university.

The roles of director need to be redefined and he must be empowered to take decisions independently and manage funds related to academic activities. Director should be asked to lay out their vision for the future of the school and should be made accountable.

The funds generated by the department of management should not merge with the general budget of the university and this money should be available to the department for their development activities.

Faculty of management department should never be engaged in other activities (viz. Admission, coordinator of different activities etc.)

Benefits:

It will make administration self dependent and accountable.

Shortcomings:

Independence in fund management related to academic activities may involve corruption.

Social Responsibility and Ethics:

Management institute should produce a manager not only for the business purpose but also to discharge social responsibilities. Because a manager has more opportunities than others to set ethical tone for companies. They are the key

People to act ethically or unethically. The values held by the top managers are important in promoting ethical activities.

Suggestions:

The management institutes should organize workshop to teach their students moral values and ethics.

Course should be design as that it can teach how the values and ethics can be applied in business.

While making a decision a manager may ask himself three key questions-

Will it work? (Pragmatic approach).

Is it right? (Ethical approach).

Is it pleasant? (Affective approach).

Benefits:

It will motivate students to discharge their social responsibility.

Student welfare program:

Students are the main concern of any management institute, so institute must

Focus on the following issues pertaining to student welfare.

Suggestions:

Student exchange program should be made mandatory among management institutes.

Management institute should develop creativity and innovation among the students through various programs.

Management institute should promote student-faculty involvement so students can share their views with faculty members without any hesitation.

Institute should try to create such an environment where student feel encouraged to participate in different activities i.e. cultural activities.

Institute should try to create a sense of team work by employing them to solve the real world problems.

Benefits:

It will make student more Creative and innovative.

Shortcomings:

Success of this will depend upon the mutual effort of faculty and students.

Selection Procedure:

There are lots of flaws in the student selection procedure. Which need to be

Addressed-

Suggestions:

There should be a common admission procedure at all India basis.

25% of seats should be reserved for the candidates having minimum 2 years of industry experience.

Benefits:

Common selection procedure will result good intake.

Shortcomings:

It will de motivate the students having no industry experience.

Miscellaneous:

Stop the mushrooming of business schools by lessening the role of private players.

Institute can act as a consultancy for the companies by helping them in strategy formulation for their product for that particular region where the institute is located. And in return companies would provide financial assistance.

Institutes should tie up with companies and train their faculties so that they can get aware of present business environment and can mould their students accordingly.

Conclusion:

Though managers cannot be created in classrooms and only Practicing managers can profoundly improve their capabilities. So in order to fulfill the ever changing expectation of corporate world it has become essential to re-examine the entire structure, content, purpose and pattern of Management Education in India in order to produce skilled Indian managers.

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