Are Indian Management Institutions Responsive?

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Dr. Arup Barman

Dr. ArupBarman is a Associate Professor in the Department of Business Administration, Assam University, Silchar (Assam), India.

He is a recipient of Post Doctoral Research Award-2009 from SAB, UGC and scholarship to pursue the public policy research course (2010) initiated by Global Development Network (GDN) and CIPEC. The International Biographical Centre (IBC), Cambridge, England published his profile in the Dictionary of International Biography (edition-35, 36). In the March’2011, International Who’s Who Historical Society, USA enlisted his credential in International Who’s Who directory.

He is Assam University representative in the working group of Academic Guidelines Project for implementing the principles of United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) of UNO.

Management and its effectiveness are universal issues which have postured on the development or undevelopment of a country. Therefore, the educational system which produces this universal product of MBA assumes a considerable significance. The swing of a manager’s role in 21st century provides the context of the quality challenges which are faced by management schools in India. There are several challenges which require change in the structure and integration of management education with the corporate sector and non corporate sector. In this interconnected and borderless world of ours, it is immeasurably valuable for management educators of the world to learn from each other’s experiments, experiences and concerns.

The quality management for management institution should concentrate on better governance, contemporary curriculum, accountability and code of conduct, compliance with legislation, adaptability and standardization. It can be assured by regularly updating the curriculum which would unquestionably provide a cutting edge to the students over others. Proper infrastructure is equally important along with other things for providing quality education. Quality in management education can be guaranteed by effective organizational coordination which is possible by way of staff meetings, conferences, time-tables, programmes, check-list schedules, etc. There has to be a constant value addition through various types of courses which are offered to the students. Students should be given a wide exposure to the practical world along with the theoretical knowledge. This would facilitate them to correlate the theory with its application. It can be made possible by creating industry-institute linkages and also by way of adopting task based learning.  In the task based learning student themselves select a task relevant to local business environment and further they can experiment with his/her understanding. Students can also be exposed to the global environment by collaborating with foreign universities. Educational institutions are a part and parcel of the society. While designing various policies they should be in synchronies with the needs of the community.

All the above are a felt need for anyone who is concerned with the quality of management education. As institutions of higher education are involved in the development of current and future managers, Indian management education must declare its willingness to progress in the implementation, within institution (s), by following some principles, starting with those that are more relevant to its capacities and mission. These principles are well stated by global mission of UNGC as the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME). PRME seeks commitment from the educators i.e. Management System, Institutions and Faculty Involved. The 6 main principles of PRME are:

Principle 1 | Purpose: To develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy.

Principle 2 | Values: To incorporate into our academic activities and curricula the values of global social responsibility as portrayed in international initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact.

Principle 3 | Method: To create educational frameworks, materials, processes and environments that enable effective learning experiences for responsible leadership.

Principle 4 | Research: To engage in conceptual and empirical research that advances our understanding about the role, dynamics and impact of corporations in the creation of sustainable social, environmental and economic value.

Principle 5 | Partnership: To interact with managers of business corporations to increase our knowledge to face challenges in meeting social and environmental responsibilities and to explore jointly effective approaches to meeting these challenges.

Principle 6 | Dialogue: To facilitate and support dialog and debate among educators, students, business, government, consumers, media, civil society organizations and other interested groups and stakeholders on critical issues related to global social responsibility and sustainability.

This voluntary commitment to PRME principles can no doubt play an indomitable role in management of quality by voluntary spirit. But the question is that do Indian management education cares about these principles? From the directory of registration of participants to PMRE found that 11 institutions have been showing its commitment to PRME. All of them are second league B-Schools. Where are the top league B-Schools and others? Perhaps they are self-contained for costly accreditation of EQUIS, AMBA etc. Mere accreditation to such international bodies by Indian institutes does not indicate their responsiveness. The top league B-Schools should have to show its leadership by adoption of global principles to encourage the follower B-Schools and education as a whole for managing quality management education. The need of hour is that the top-league and all other B-Schools, big or small must show their commitment towards PRME before thinking of costly accreditation. Let Indian management education and institutes understand what Dr. R. K. Pachuri mentioned in a conference, “Besides local priorities and concerns and national goals and objectives, we now have to create a body of citizens (managers) who carry a global vision of the problems that humanity is facing today and the solutions which can work,”. He also added that, “At the core of this vision is the protection of this planet and preservation of our eco-system.” Let Indian management education become responsive through global principles and global competency by adopting PRME.