It is no surprise that even B-schoolgraduates underestimate the role of research in strengthening management education. Though research has two aspects—fundamental and applied, students seem to identify only with the latter. So what exactly is contemporary management research?
Management profession has changed significantly, but management education has not. With reducing information asymmetry around research advancements in various fields, the practising companies and consultants from all fields are venturing in research in their own way. This trend is weakening the case of management as a legitimate academic domain.
Apart from identity crisis of management degrees, with increasing globalisation and differences in perspectives of understanding of business, management education is facing fundamental issues.
Firstly, the learning crisis emanates from an inadequate adaptive pedagogy which does not impart experiential learning. This issue gets further compounded by lack of research to introduce the social, economic and ethnic realities. Secondly, a skewed curriculum is diminishing the relevance of management education. Knowledge of management has three domains - phronesis - wisdom to do what’s good and how much is possible in the given context, episteme – theory and techne – hows of things. Mostcourses deal with episteme and techne, very few deal with phronesis.
The third and most important, faculty! The lagging rate of growth in the number of quality faculty as compared to student enrolments in B-schools. For example, in India there are about 4,000 B-schools producing 350,000 graduates each year, with an approximate faculty strength of 30,000. There is a need for 16,000 faculty members.
Another issue is narrow perspective. There is a need for a global outlook in the curricula including the promotion of a global perspective, questioning of the status quo and reinforcement of individual identity and cultural tolerance. The next issue is, the underbelly of placement data.
Now-a-days, business programmes are more about networking, screening and recruitment services. All these activities have no inherent capacity to grow and sustain the discipline. Focus should be on research and, placements can be seen as by-products of the learning process that a graduate experiences in these institutions. Finally, the output of B-schools which lack in values and ethics.