MBA – An Indian Way

December 26, 2008 at 6:25 am 1 comment

Whenever I see an MBA course curriculum in India or whenever I talk to any fresh MBA student coming out of an Indian B-School, I wonder, what are they (B-Schools) trying to produce? They claim, we are producing future managers / business leaders. They again say, these bunches of students are specialized in Finance, these are in Systems and these are in Marketing. I again wonder, are they really managers? Are they really business leaders? Or, just domain experts?

I believe, there are two aspects of a manger. First is technical aspect, which includes the knowledge of domain, business and the second aspect is, behavioral aspect , which includes, understanding human behavior, interpersonal skills, informational expertise, decisional skills, etc. I also believe that achieving technical aspects of management is easier than achieving behavioral aspects of management.

My intention is not to blame the entire education system of India but just to emphasize on few things which should be given more importance. Let’s see how we can incorporate these behavioral aspects in our MBA course curriculum.

 When we say interpersonal skills, it includes day-to-day interaction with employees, motivation, direction and organization. The course should concentrate more on case studies, games, and scenario based role-plays to develop this skill. These techniques would be more effective than giving lectures on a particular topic.

When we say information expertise, it includes information elicitation, requirement gathering. It may be within organization, and also from outside organization. To develop this expertise, students need to be motivated towards reading, reading some good books, be selective in choosing these books, talking to different people at different level, getting a feel of competitors plan, monitoring the business scenarios. Some games can also be developed to get a real feel on all this.

The last and most important skill could be decisional skill. It includes entrepreneurship development, developing a zeal for initiating new things, developing responsibility and ownership, developing mindset towards hunting / searching for new opportunities, distributing responsibilities to balance the work, risk analysis, going for corrective action, change management, resource allocation, resource management, human skills, cultural influence, conflict management, staffing, socializing, planning, etc. There are few other trend setter decision making techniques like Snap Decisions, Grid Analysis, Pareto Analysis, Six Thinking Hats, etc. All of these skills can be developed through mental games, case studies and several scenario based role-plays.  B-Schools must try to focus on these techniques rather than going for normal classroom based lectures.

Few B-Schools have already realized this and they are transforming their curriculum. I hope to see more such new teaching technique embedment.  


Entry filed under: General, India, Management, Organizational Behavior. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Writer's Block  |  December 26, 2008 at 10:27 am

    A MBA course today has become a money-spinner machine. In India, institutes will charge upwards of 5lacs even when their course doesn’t deserve a third of that value. Abroad, they will charge upwards of 10lacs (after currency conversion) and the value of the course will be peanuts.

    As much as I can see, there is little innovation going on in the MBA curriculum, both in India and abroad. Having said that I think that the Indian MBA courses are still better off. I’ve seen the MBA curriculum in most UK universities and realize that they do not make their students work even half as hard as Indian universities do. You often wonder what they are charging so you much money for.

    I am not happy with my MBA degree even though I have gained it from a ‘prestigious’ UK university. It hardly makes any difference at the end of the day if I do not get a deserving job. In fact I feel that getting a MBA is not worth it, for it only adds a degree to your list of qualifications, the rest of it has to be done on the job and by getting a relevant work experience. You end up developing your soft skills more on the job than in a MBA course. Getting a degree (and work experience) in your chosen field of work eventually turns out to be more beneficial in the long run.


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