Monday, 11 March 2013

The Essence of Management Education

The mis-directed perspectives in Management education


As a fall-out of a long deprived society fast turning into a consumerist society where conspicuous consumption is the main parameter of wealth; a direction less education system, where people develop skills which are not required by the industries; and a complete lack of manpower planning as well as educational planning by the designated authorities have created a situation where people believe that only a ‘professional degree’ would open the doors of opportunities.

Degrees like MBA, BE in Computer Science, and B. Tech in Biotechnology are thought to be the key to success in getting a good job.



In case of MBA, the situation is aggravated by the media which project a few elite management institutions as gold mines for the talented. The media writes about a few of the students of these institutions who have lapped up international jobs with salaries paid in dollars. They make these institutes and in turn make MBA degree as an object of desire. They project some heroes. Media need heroes and sensational news. The institutes and a few students of them provide just that. In the process, media does not write about a large no. of students from these institutes who do not get good jobs. Media does not write about the real stories behind those astronomical starting salaries.

In a world where CTC (Cost To Company) is quoted which includes the cost of training, guest house accommodation and even transport allowances, the media ignorantly or intentionally misses the point. The institutes also quote the average salary or the median salary. The institutes also quote the highest salaries. But nobody quotes the minimum salaries.

In this Mecca of propaganda and misleading information, the real meaning of management education and the life skills that a management education can build in a person die a silent death!

What is the real essence of Management Education?


From the perspectives of education and context of learning, right management education can add tremendous value to one’s life. It can develop essential life skills and competencies in a person with which he/she can rule the world, hands down. What are those essential life skills and competencies that management education can develop in a person?

1. Ability to focus on goals and outcomes – determination and perseverance.

2. Ability to plan effectively and work assiduously towards a plan. Remaining flexible to alter the plan as per ground situation.

3. Ability to work with others in a team – work in a collaborative manner

4. A mindset to take initiatives and responsibilities; a mindset to be accountable.

5. A mindset to face crisis and challenges with ease; a problem solving mindset.

6. Skill to explore, understand and expand horizons – an eternal hunger to ask what, where, why, when, who, how, how much – an eternal desire to know more and get to the roots of issues.

7. Skill to understand what matters and what not – ability to cut through the clutter of humongous information, conflicting objectives, conflicting relationships, organizational politics and understand what is critical –ability to prioritize.

8. Ability to access large amount of data and the ability to select, comprehend, organize and interpret relevant data and eliminate the unnecessary data – making sense of the data. Skill to research for
information and learn more, continuously.

9. Ability to see an integrative picture – how everything are linked together and how outcomes happen.

10. Ability to utilize conceptual understanding in addressing real life issues and problems; ability to weigh solutions to problems and every issue from the perspectives of cost, return, risk and overall benefits for all
stakeholders of the solution.

11. Ability to communicate Рability to reach out effectively to different types of people with élan Рability to communicate effectively in a variety of situations.

12. A clear understanding that hard work and positive attitudes matters, the most.

Barring perhaps Performing Arts, sports or any other professions in which one may succeed with individual talent, all the above skills and competencies are absolutely necessary to be successful in any field that we can think of.

Whether one uses these consciously or unconsciously, these are basic skills and competencies that are powerful and useful in everything we do. These are the life skills or understanding that a good management education can impart.

Besides these, a good management education also makes people aware about a wonderful concept called ‘passion’. Passion of making things happen. Passion of achieving things worthwhile. Passion of adding value to lives. Management education also promotes objective thinking. It’s a wonderful education.

This article is shared by Dipankar Sarkar, Head-Admissions, Placement, MDP Calcutta Business School

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