THE popular adage charity begins at home is apt when one considers whether professionals really walk the talk. Do they really imbibe such concepts in their lives? Do they really practice what the preach? This article tries to decipher whether professional institute of learning like that of business schools, leverages the concepts within their own fore walls or they are only preached while the lessons are delivered to the students/ trainees. It's often said that the best teacher always motivates his pupils to learn something by conducting it, which necessarily means business schools should first use those concepts within their own campus in order to create that drive in the mind of the student. As rightly said charity begins at home. Opines, Prof. Lalit Khullar, Head, TIME, Nagpur, `Management institutes should showcase their own organization to drive home the finer points of management learning'. It is precisely because of these reason the hallowed walls of Indian Institute of Managements portray the practical usage of all management concepts essential from all the stakeholders perspective. However, all concepts pertaining to management might not gel well with an educational institute having a not for profit motive. The following few pointers may throw some light on the same.
Educational institutes ideally should not involve in explicit and aggressive marketing as their objective is to impart education, a not for profit cause. How many advertisements do you get to see of IIT, IIM, IISc, talking about their core competencies or let's say the Unique Propositions? The mere utterance of brand IIT, IIM or IISc itself oozes confidence in the minds of the students, parents, industry, and society and large. It's their contribution towards the nation and equity developed over the period of years, which results in an immediate brand recall. Even in the west, where the prevalence of established private universities is in vogue, seldom do they involve themselves in active marketing. In fact overt and aggressive marketing by academic institutes raises a big question in the mind of the stakeholders pertaining to their real credibility. The next time you see glossy and luring advertisements in the print and electronic media or any other promotional methods think twice before you make your decision. Raunal, a management student with an institute known for their tall promises, and aggressive marketing adds, `the claims and the actuality at the ground are as diverse as that of chalk and cheese'. Is it not what your marketing management faculty teaches you `selling hopes and dreams'? Perhaps imbibing a right concept at a wrong place!
Have you ever heard business schools speaking openly about their faculty turnover ratio? It's a hush-hush affair, but if one is to believe the insiders from the academic industry, then their numbers can portray a more dangerous picture vis-a-vis that of the Information Technology (IT) and IT enabled services sector, the two criminals in terms of high employee attrition. However, this is not a routine and rather an exception as good business schools have very good retention rates as compared to the run of the mill ones. A business school imparts the lessons of employee selection, induction, training, motivation and retention finally leading to the consumer (end user) satisfaction. How many business schools in the country can keep their flock of knowledge workers (read as faculties) happy by providing them a congenial working environment, support for individual growth commensurate with that of the organization trajectory, deserving pay packets and sops etc.? If one leaves apart of a few schools of repute, most of them are either naive to these concepts or feels walk the talk here does not fit well as the motive is not for profit only on paper, and something different in reality. Institutes spending huge sums in frequent recruitment advertisements points towards two clear flaws within their setup, one they are unable to retain good people as their disguised profit motive is at loggerheads with many an academicians and two they are always in the lookout for fresh, young blood in stead of experienced hands as the letter is more expensive than the former. Interestingly, a good business school would always try to retain their senior pros for providing the best services to the students and parents. Frequent chopping and changing of faculties affects the uniformity of academic delivery, thereby downgrading the standard. On quizzing the management to know about the reasons of frequent advertisements being floated, the common response is that our expansion plans needs to be supplemented with additional hands. The reality can be traced by knowing the history of the attrition rate of the faculties and staff of the college, from existing and old staffs, students, parents, industry etc. if they are unable to put their own house in order by applying these fundamental concepts of management, how can you think of becoming a human resource manager par excellence after specializing in HR? Do they really practice what they preach? It's for the parents and students to decide, as it's the hard earned money and the precious time, one is investing.
The concepts of financial management are taught to a nicety to all prospective managers during a management program. To what extent the same principles are applied within the organization is a moot question? Dr. Sanjay Kavishwar, Coordinator and Faculty Finance, TIME, corroborate saying that only a handful few institutes like TIME, IIM etc. implements all the financial decision making tools for the overall improvement of the institute. For the rest, it's only managing their own coffers at the cost of the students and their parents.
Author is Faculty- management at Tirpude Institute of Management Education- TIME, Nagpur.