Management education in India is fast undergoing a radical change. The two current developments sweeping India, namely liberalization and globalization, have had a considerable impact on management education.
You can teach all sorts of things that improve the practice of management with people who are managers. What you cannot do is teach management to somebody who is not a manager, the way you cannot teach surgery to somebody who’s not a surgeon. ― Henry Mintzberg
It is a well-admitted fact the Indian management education is struggling very hard to survive with the rapid changing global scenario. It is at the crossroads where it needs direction and vision immediately. Hence, as a management educator and guru, it is my responsibility to highlight the challenges in the Indian management education to make it relevant with the changing times and technologies.
There is a lukewarm response to management education in India. People often question me in various forums about the fate of Indian management education. I am deeply pained about it. There is a decreased interest in MBA courses across India. I would like to address the challenges associated with management education in this article.
Challenges in Indian Management Education
The management education in India emphasizes mostly on theory, not on practical education. When you look at engineering education, there are laboratories to experiment and verify the theoretical aspects. However, the same is not possible in the management education. Hence, the management educators emphasize on case study driven education to ensure takeaways to the students. They are supposed to create case studies as per the profile of students to share their knowledge. It is also essential for students to have some industry experience to enable them to relate what is taught in the classroom. Unfortunately, students in India pursue from KG to PG without any break. Hence, they don’t have any industry exposure and find it tough to digest the management education in the classroom.
Most of the management education across the globe is case study driven and the management educators are a blend of industry, teaching, training, research and consultancy experience. They are able to leverage their experience and share their knowledge with students who already have some years of industry experience. Such management education helps ensure effective takeaways in the students. The students will be able to relate the theoretical aspects with their practical knowledge. When such students hit the industry, they will be able to leverage their management education in the corporate world. They will be able to customize their knowledge as per their verticals, sectors and industry. On the other hand, when you look at management education in India, it is mostly faculty-centric, not student-centric. It is not customized as per the aspirations of the students. It doesn’t cater to students as per the industry expectations resulting in a huge gap between industry and academia.
Tools and Techniques to Ensure Quality Management Education
The industry has certain expectations and the educational institutions are unable to match as there is no effective industry-academic interface. Here are some tools and techniques to adopt to ensure quality management education to students.
Make management education student-centric, not faculty-centric.
Interact with industry to find out the pulse and craft management curriculum accordingly.
Impart practical education to students. Encourage them to interact with industry regularly to get adjusted and mould as per the industry expectations.
Ensure that aspiring management students have minimum industry experience to enable them to understand and acquire knowledge in the classroom.
Make sure that the faculty has the diversified experience including industry, teaching, training, research, and consultancy.
Provide team teaching in the classroom where two educators teach to students – one from industry; and another from teaching. It helps students connect theory with practice quickly.
Encourage innovation and creativity in education. Avoid memory based management education to students.
Avoid outdated courses and streams. Introduce courses which will be in great demand in future. It helps students ensure employability and employment apart from enlightenment.
What worked in the past will not work in the future. Hence, create new courses and customize them as per the aspirations of students and expectations of industry. If the Indian management education has to survive, it is essential address the challenges and reinvent with the rapid changing times and technologies. It must be in tune with dynamic global business environment. To summarize, the industry must come forward to support management education. The government must fund to encourage research in faculty. There must be support from all stakeholders including industry, educators, students, educational institutions, government and thought leaders to streamline Indian management education.