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BW Businessworld

Need For Well-rounded Management Education

‘Course facilitators need to develop into educational leaders to radically re-engineer education and cater to the global demand for effective leaders across industries’

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Change is a perpetual phenomenon and an indispensable part of the wheel of life. The world needs visionaries who can steer their organisations through the turbulence of the uncertain future to reach the shores of prosperity. 

A well-Rounded management education is needed to build a strong foundation for leadership that forearms people to deal with future challenges. The B-schools have realised the need for a responsive framework of education that requires course instructors to reinvent the curriculum, to support learning, and become a launchpad for the leaders of tomorrow. Course facilitators need to develop into educational leaders to radically re-engineer education and cater to the global demand for effective leaders across industries.

Some of the trends and innovative practices that may shape the future of management education are outlined below:

Technology: The rapid progress and adoption of technologies, ushered by the ICT revolution, have the maximum impact on industry and society and, by extension, on management education as well. Neural networks and predictive analytics are disrupting HR planning and talent management landscape (from resume parsing software to knowledge management and expert systems that empower succession planning and performance management). 

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and cloud computing have revolutionalised manufacturing and quality control, bringing control of the process on the click of an app button. Pattern recognition and advanced forecasting abilities have empowered financial planning, research, and analysis. 

Industry 4.0: As the world moves towards the new industry paradigm, leaders need to execute the transition smoothly. Contrary to the popular belief, Industry 4.0 is not merely about the technological shift but is multidimensional, and includes other aspects like policies, practices, standards, etc. Dealing with it holistically is important for it to be understood correctly. 

Pedagogy: Educational psychology recommends innovation in pedagogical tools to achieve learning objectives effectively. Experiential learning, in particular, emphasises learning through experience and reflecting on them. Successful innovations in pedagogy like the case method, simulations, etc. can be attributed to this school of thought. The gamification of the evaluation and credit system to resemble performance management systems in the workplace may exist.

With advances in the field,  new methods for designing learning experiences for B-school students have arrived and will be prominent in the future: virtual reality management simulations, computer-aided case simulations, etc. 

Research: Researching skills provide leaders with an edge by helping them understand the interknitted, intricate relationships amongst emerging technologies, concepts and philosophies. Course developers should make courses research-oriented. The B-schools should foster a culture conducive for research, through a reward and recognition system for voluntary research initiatives.

The future of management education is about highly adaptive pedagogical practices: leveraging technology to provide an edge, imparting knowledge through well-designed experiences, cultivating a culture of collaboration and collective wisdom and igniting purposefulness among the students to transform them into responsible leaders of tomorrow. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Himanshu Rai

The author is Director, IIM Indore

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