Business School Advice – Woxsen’s expert take on management education

Academicians at Woxsen School of Business state the need of a curriculum rehash, suggested changes, and its expected impact as per the changing business management dynamics in India

Management education continues to ride the tide in India as the total number of CAT 2018 applicants was registered at 2,40,338. And this is just one exam for MBA in the country. However, when it comes down to industries and jobs, a study by ASSOCHAM reveals that merely seven per cent MBA graduates are fit for employment across more than 5,300 B-schools in the country. Explaining about this gap, faculty at Woxsen School of Business, Hyderabad, said that these numbers call for a revision in the definition, pedagogy, and curriculum of management education.

Why is a rehash needed?

So far, management education curriculum has had a dominant share of theoretical knowledge and lengthy assignment submissions. And while that might have worked a decade ago, the current business industry dynamics need more from the management professionals of tomorrow. In the previous 5-7 years, the definition and functioning of organizations has radically evolved.

Be it the increasing number of startups or the integration of technology across various company processes, old pedagogy as well as curriculum pose a major disadvantage to the student. To decrease this gap between what is taught in the classroom and the knowledge-skills combination required on the field, B-schools ought to take a few strong measures and embrace the changes.

What should be done?

In reference to the changes, new B-schools in India such as Woxsen School of Business offer a keen perspective to Business education as they bring newer facets to the classic book-pen-notes education in India. And although the education paradigm in Kelloggs, Wharton, Yale or Berkeley are already pioneering business and management education, this happy change by Woxsen could displace older systems in Indian B-schools.

Expand the knowledge base

The primary change could be the change in a student’s perception about the required skill set. For instance, a student pursuing MBA with core specialization in marketing must not restrict himself to the knowledge of his/her specific domain. Certainly, a firm grip on the core subject is required, but it could further be coupled with the know-hows of operations, liaison, finance, and overall business development.

Such approach towards education would equip the same student to handle a marketing crisis situation as well as provide a comprehensive management direction to a startup in the initial stages.

Case-study driven academics

Experts at Woxsen School of Business suggest that the pedagogy needs to include a number of case studies. This would push the students to study the previous market incidents and analyze the strategic moves of the company that led to a negative or positive outcome. In addition, this is instrumental in bridging the gap between industry requirements, business needs, and how ongoing market conditions play a role in management decisions.

This method also introduces cross-functional thinking for MBAs, wherein they are able to create contingencies, map business plans and introduce innovation to otherwise bland business directives.

A blend of practical experiences

Furthermore, the frequency of mock presentations and crisis simulations could be increased either via curriculum or societies and groups. Hypothetical situations of different companies and industries could increase the innovation and creative ideation of students – something which is expected from management professional in a corporate setup. Also, presentations would improve their communication skills and enable them to explain their startup idea in a crisp, short, and effective manner. (Remember, elevator pitch?)

What is the expected impact?

Provided that these changes are implemented in B-schools across India, a street smart and knowledgeable crop of management professionals is expected to enter the country’s growing business world. With increased capability to manage and control business dynamics, the professionals would be able to harness the optimum amount of experience instead of applying theoretical knowledge to first-order management problems.

Combine this with enhanced subject-matter understanding and simulation experiences, the chances of witnessing another garage story such as Microsoft would certainly be higher.

All that said, one can surely hope for a transformation in B-schools in alignment with the new business definitions of today’s time for the benefit of the students and perhaps a rise in the figures of studies similar to ASSOCHAM.