Reorienting the Management Education in India


Swadha Aggarwal

Research Scholar, USMS, GGSIPU, Dwarka, Delhi

*Corresponding Author Email:



With the liberalization of Indian Economy and IT revolution in the post-1990, B-schools have expanded scope of specialization in finance, and marketing areas during the last decade. The phenomenal growth of MBA or its equivalent Postgraduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) was largely triggered by the growth of corporate sector and industrialization in India. Since Business School graduates played a critical role worldwide in building competitiveness of enterprise and industry, MBA education emerged as the most wanted subject in higher education. Increase in demand for professional managers has also fuelled the growth in number of Business Schools in the country. These MBA institutions have produced a large number of successful business leaders and entrepreneurs who have commanded respect not only in India but internationally. Undoubtedly, India boasts of one of the largest universes of B-schools, but we stand nowhere on the global stage. Our top B-schools lag behind on vital international parameters like research, rankings and accreditation. The Indian MBA education is currently passing through a turbulent period. There is absence of an integrated structure that can monitor and regulate the management education in the country. Lack of an integrated education policy for management education is one of the most serious voids in our current system. There seems to be a clear mismatch between the skills that are being taught and developed in these institutions and the employer’s expectations from the hired business graduates who will make future managers. This paper aims at identifying the key skills that are essential to make a successful manager, who can perform his duties well and is well equipped to fulfil the employer’s expectations.






The economic development of a country is highly correlated with the development of higher education. India has witnessed a tremendous transformation in its management education in the 21st century. Indian business education institutions have witnessed a staggering growth and are functioning in a highly dynamic environment. Globalization has led to an increased demand of management education within the country.


It has transformed the conventional approach of the system with a more efficient professional approach; and has led to the development of new management courses that hold more relevance in today’s time. In the modern economic scenario all over the world, management as a stream of education and training has acquired new dimensions. The field of management is dynamic in nature, which leads to the introduction of new tools and techniques for better efficiency and productivity of future manager. Business schools are mushrooming in the country and nearly one lac management graduates pass out every year in India, providing a tremendous potential to contribute to the creation of a 'knowledge society’. The nation’s education system has this unflinching ability to provide the best-in-class theoretical education, yet inadvertently, it has not been able to transform it into a viable catalyst for progress. The challenge is to develop a place, where leadership is promoted and nurtured with a long-term vision. There is a need to understand and predict the future expectations from business leaders. Many will say that this future is international, and the challenge of increasing globalization is one that students and schools should be looking to meet. There are several challenges of management education which require change in the character and structure of management education, integration of management education with corporate sector, up gradation of curriculum and course content for better understanding of the business dynamics, aim at improving the practical orientation, designing of different programs for executives, maintenance of an efficient and effective regulatory system of check mushrooming, and emphasis on research. To make businesses sustainable and socially relevant, managers have to demonstrate competence, leadership, team spirit, strong moral ground, ethically sound character and empathy for the needy. Young managers have to serve the companies with a larger purpose of nation-building with honesty and integrity intact. It has become imperative to not just produce managers, but to nurture future leaders for the country who will strive hard to take India to new soaring heights.


The need of the hour is to identify the huge scope of management studies in not only in business scenarios, but also in other sectors such as the government, services, agriculture, health and other social organizations.  At present, there is poor conceptualization of the management education as it does not completely incorporate all the aspects that are required for a holistic growth of the economy.  This paper aims to identify the skills set that are essential for the development of a successful manager, as the current performance of a majority of them are not at par with the expectations. Management education in India calls for a reorientation.



Afza (2011) stated that although India produces a large number of management graduates, the scope of advancement on curriculum, pedagogy, and innovation is immense. He identified that there is an urgent need to welcome and enable the establishment of a new wave of management schools of excellence, which would be a role model for a number of other schools. The circumstances today, of an increasing demand in the market for good quality management graduates, provides a great opportunity to rethink the ways in which management schools can produce excellent managers.


Gupta (2012) stated that India, despite having a large pool of talent and some of the best educational institutions, there is still a need to develop a theoretical framework which is embedded within the structural and functional arrangement of our system. He concluded that in this process, we have to increase the fitness of our management education system so that it can belong to local as well as global environment.


Bhandarker (2008) notes that the Indian businesses of tomorrow will need managers and leaders who can thrive amidst the challenges of living and working in global world, and who can prepare organisations to cope with ambiguities, uncertainties and complexities. Her prescription for developing MBAs as leaders is a focus on four clusters: the intra-personal, which includes self-awareness, emotional self-awareness, intentionality, resilience, optimism and empathy; the “influencing others” cluster, which includes emotional expression, interpersonal connections, constructive discontent, and trust; the “managing complexity cluster” which consists of intuition and creativity; and “managing diversity”, a tolerance for ambiguity and flexibility.


Balaji (2013) identified that the business schools face several challenges in terms of imparting of quality education. External environmental forces and stakeholders continuously put pressure on the business schools to adapt to the changes happening in the business world.  The rapid trend of globalization and technological changes have made difficult for organizations to survive in the competitive world. The managers need to improve their skills to combat the sudden changes in the external business environment. In order to meet the challenges of the future, the reform of the higher education could be unavoidable. The management education institutions need to strike a balance between the cost and quality of education being imparted. He concluded that one of the major criticisms of MBA schools is the mounting gap between theory and practice.


Sanchita and Goel (2012) stated that despite a significant growth in the management education in India there are still challenges that need to be addressed through appropriate policy formulation and its effective implementation. To develop India as an education hub for becoming a prosperous partner in global economy, we have to strengthen higher education in general and management education in particular with research and development in terms of balancing quality and quantity. They further stated that in order to respond to the global challenges more strongly than ever before, India today needs a knowledge-oriented paradigm of development to give the country a competitive advantage in all fields of knowledge. To utilise the human capital of India in an effective manner, calls for manpower planning for matching demand and supply of skilled personnel, training of manpower for reducing mismatch between the abilities and the jobs on offer and above all mechanism by pairing people with jobs through information network.


Rao et al (2014) developed a paper with the objective to understand what insights employers can offer on the knowing, doing and being dimensions of the formation of an MBA graduate, that management education institutes can use to rebalance their curricula.  After conducting a survey, they identified certain functional roles that need to be fulfilled by fresh MBAs, which are: business development, sales and product management, client and customer handling, finance, and brand management. The key skills required for a successful manager were found to be leadership, creativity and innovation, critical thinking, communication, and understanding the purpose of business, as these seems to be high on the radars of the Indian employers. They identified a few set of differences between the various B-schools, i.e. Tier- 1, Tier -2 and Tier- 3, with Tier -1 representing the top notch B-schools within the country, Tier-2 depicting the middle level B-schools and Tier-3 representing the lower grade of management schools. In terms of integrity, Tier-1 B-schools were found to take fewer shortcuts. Tier -3 students were found to be more aware of the ground realities and were thus more prepared to solve real life problems. In areas of confidence and exposure, Tier -2 schools were found low in self-confidence and have very poor exposure to the business, making them ill-prepared to join a firm. However, Tier- 1 students were found to be more rigid in their choices and MBAs from other institutes are relatively open and flexible in terms of taking up roles and are willing to sweat it out.


John and Panchanatham (2011) developed a paper that examined the Indian management education system to find out ways for quality improvements so that business schools respond to current changes. It was concluded that management education will continue to be in demand in future, but the existence of an institution shall depend upon the quality of education and training offered. The management schools have to understand the implications of the changes and accordingly train students to implement corporate strategies. So, it is an immediate requirement to shape the management education in accordance with the global changes to improve competitiveness.


Management Education- Historical Perspective:

In 1931, the first management education program at MIT. The second was at Harvard, dating back to 1943. University of Pennsylvania in 1931 released a report (McFarland 1960) that stated that schools of business should establish a genuine discipline to be credible. Carnegie Foundation brought out a report on management education in 1959 (Pierson 1959). This report stated that schools of business have changed very little since the 1931 report of Bossard and Dewhurst. They have failed to identify and establish a genuine discipline characterized by its own body of subject matter, its own theoretical problems, its own research and its own methodologies (Pierson 1959).


It raised key questions concerning the role of the management department among the traditional groups in schools of business. As a solution, it suggested that sub-disciplines should grow, leading to specialization. However, management faculty was subsequently advised to not adhere too much to the historical traditions of management education.


Management education should be much more holistic in character. It needs to be more integrated — incorporating a number of functional, quantitative, non-quantitative and analytical fields including the humanities and sciences — to educate the “whole” manager to meet the responsibilities and challenges of the future. With time it was concluded that management educationists require a reorientation in terms of not just the curriculum but also the teaching methods so as to develop such managers that can view the business scenarios from a holistic approach.


Growth of Management Education in India:

There is a need to qualitatively strengthen our higher and management education to become a thriving global economy. Through the initiatives taken via the Five-Year Plans and the policy changes in the eighties allowed the participation of private and voluntary organizations to set up management institutions on self-financing basis. The growth of management education in India has been fairly recent as compared to the US. However, this growth in India has been recent. At the time of inception of introducing MBA program, it was not accepted as a good idea, as corporate thought that business could not be taught within four walls, same opposition as the idea of teaching entrepreneurship is facing now. Due to this, funding from corporate and support was not substantial, thus B-schools were mostly driven by academicians, and knowledge was imparted only through books and not through the experiences of the veterans. Through relentless efforts a time came when MBA was seen as a ticket to the best jobs in the country and their demand increased in industrial circles. Opening of the Indian economy in 1991 and the adoption of LPG (Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization) model brought us face to face with the international standards and thus electives in terms of finance, marketing, human resource, international business etc. were introduced. The All India Council for Technical Education was established by an act in 1987, as the main accreditation body for management courses. It recognizes programs based on multiple factor like "resource availability, course structure, and infrastructure".

The business education scenario changed dramatically after liberalization, with the introduction of many MNCs (pharmaceuticals, insurance, FMCG, banking and engineering sectors) in the market. This led to substantial increase in demand for professionals with managerial skills. The post-liberalization effect is clearly visible from survey results, which reveal that around 53 percent of the surveyed business schools were established during 1990-2000 and 32 percent entered this space after 2000. One of the most interesting facts highlighted by the survey was that 59 percent of the category I (Top-Tier) business schools were established before 1990. Considering average placement salary as one of the most important indicators of success, a majority of business schools in this category have been around for many decades and have emerged as leaders among peers. On the other hand, only 9 percent of the business schools belonging to category II (Mid-Tier) and Category III (Bottom-Tier) were established before 1990.


Table-1: Evolution of business schools in India


Presently, there are several management education institutions playing crucial role in converting the human resources into human capital 'by creating skilled manpower, enhancing industrial productivity and improving the quality of life'. There are 20 IIMs and almost all the universities have Departments of Management. A significant growth has taken place in various programs of management education over the period of time. The total number of management institutions has grown at the considerable compound growth rate.


India has got the largest number of B-schools in world. According to AACSB, India tops the chart in terms of volume with a total of 3902 B-schools followed by USA and Philippines which have a total of 1624 and 1259 management institutions respectively. With increasing number of players in management education space, variety is seen in the kind of MBA programs that exist in India presently.


Broadly, there are six types of B-schools in the country:


1.       IIMs (20), IIT DMS (6)

2.       Government promoted B-schools such as IIFT, IRMA…, and so on

3.       Post Graduate Diploma in Management, PGDM (300)

4.       Private University MBA Schools (running in 650 Private Universities

5.       Public University MBA Departments or Affiliated Colleges (3000)

6.       Autonomous/Non-regulated players like ISB, SOIL


While IIMs work directly with Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) the state and central university MBAs are guided by UGC norms. PGDM institutes work directly under AICTE, with no other affiliations. And, several ministries have initiated their own institutions like IIFT, IRMA etc. There are also private institutions like Indian School of Business (ISB) which are not approved but still compete with the IIMs. Besides IIMs, B-schools in the front row include XLRI Jamshedpur, FMS Delhi, JBIMS Mumbai, MDI Gurgaon, SPJIMR Mumbai, NMIMS University, TAPMI Manipal to name a few. They display consistent efforts towards development of management education in the country and catering to the industry demand for globally competitive high-skilled managers. Institutes like IIFT and IRMA have successfully created a niche in country’s management education space. The overview of types of management schools in India is given in the following table.


Table 2: Types of Management Schools in India


Quality of higher education including management education can be best judged by one of the important indicators viz. magnitude of public expenditure. To improve the education levels public expenditure on education plays a crucial role and cannot solely be built by heavy financing from private institute. Public expenditure on education is positively associated with economic growth. It has been observed that there is a significant increase in the budgeted expenditure on higher and management education over the period of time in India.

The role of various government education councils such as AICTE, UGC, AIU and MHRD has increased manifold — to periodically review the curriculum, subject contents and the facilities provided by business schools. Thus, recognition provided by these educational councils to various business schools serves as a quality assurance.


Due to globalization, India has now become a part of the global economy. There is an immediate demand for business schools to provide a strong platform for students, to enable them to become competitive in the corporate world. A step taken by Indian business schools to achieve global standards is forging affiliations and tie-ups with various renowned domestic and international universities and corporate houses. The survey found that 69 percent of the business schools are affiliated to various domestic central and state universities and 34 percent have affiliations with foreign universities and corporate houses.

Robust infrastructure and financial resources are the two pillars of higher education, whereas skilled faculty forms the base of a globally-competitive academic foundation. However, many business schools are facing the problem of lack of quality faculty, which in turn affects the quality of education imparted. Thus, there is an increasing need for suitable and competent teachers to ensure quality education. The qualifications of faculty are one of the key components for a business school to provide strong learning platforms to all stakeholders. The survey revealed that the business schools in India have a decent mix of faculty members from various academic backgrounds. Further, 50 percent of the faculty members falling under category I are PhDs, whereas majority of faculty of category II and III schools are MBAs.




Table-3: Qualification-wise break up of faculty members of Indian business schools



To impart quality education, a prerequisite is to maintain a rational faculty to student ratio. A low ratio implies that a faculty should have a better student focused approach. A standard ratio at business schools is expected at 1:11.4. the Category I schools stand at 1:8.6 and Category III schools have ratio value at 1:13.2. Category II business schools accounted for 56 percent of the total students and 60 percent of the total faculty members of all the surveyed business schools.


Table-4: Faculty to student ratio of Indian business schools


The number of new courses and programs offered by business schools has increased, to meet industry demand for employees with certain skill set and talent; consequently, the number of students with work experience increased 22 percent from 1764 in 2006-08 batches to 2167 in 2007-09 batches. Current globalization and robust economic growth in India are driving more students to pursue a career in business management, but the percentage of students with work experience, on average, remained almost same at around 25 percent and 28 percent respectively during 2006-08 and 2007-09 batches. It was found that although the number of students with work experience of 2-5 years increased 28 percent y-o-y in 2007-09 batches, those with less than 2 years of experience form a major proportion of experienced students. The number of students with work experience of more than five years has been declining over the past two academic years.


Table-5: Students' profile in Indian business schools


Overall, students with work experience have a fair amount of advantage over freshers as they have first-hand experience of the corporate world and are better placed to understand practical applications of the curriculum.


Current Scenario of Management Education in India:

In the latest ‘World Talent Report’ by the Switzerland-based IMD, a top-notch global business school, India slipped to the 48th position out of 60 countries from the 29th place it held in 2005. One of the factors behind the drop was the failure to match the needs of the business community. The Indian education system largely focuses on the academic curriculum without practical business exposure. Every country has challenges with raw talent, but India’s challenges are expanded by creating a huge number of virtually unemployable graduates who are ill-prepared for the global business stage.  One of the major reasons for that is the never changing curriculum of various management schools in India. They have been teaching the same thing that has been taught as per the traditional norms. Universities always need to upgrade their curriculum keeping in mind the fact that global companies are entering the Indian market and they are looking for talent that can work under those circumstances. It is important how colleges prepare students to accept those challenges offered in a global competitive market.  A big challenge for Indian management programmed is that students directly move out from colleges and attend management schools without proper knowledge of what is required of them in a job environment, which leads to creating a huge non-employable workforce.


Another major challenge is the non-availability of premier faculty at these institutions to provide quality education. The system doesn’t encourage enough bright students to do their PhD and become teachers in management institutions and also in general, teaching is not a very financially attractive profession as the offers from the industry are much more attractive compared with what a business school can give. If we are able to create good-quality schools, we will be able to attract good-quality students to do their PhDs and become teachers in those good schools.


Another problem is that Indian students get into management education at a very young age compared with the West, where people generally go to business schools after gaining some work experience. The lack of experience creates a bit of disconnect with the kind of problem-solving that the industry wants. Indian management and technical education are largely theoretical, based on logic, mathematics and encourage rote method of study. Globally, institutes offering management education lay emphasis on work experience before enrolling for the course. This accentuates managerial skills of students and helps them to use their precious management learning at work.


Need For Holistic Competency Building For Managers:

In 2010, Srikant Datar, David Garvin and Patrick Cullen presented their assessment of the state of management education in a seminal work titled Rethinking the MBA: Business Education at a Crossroads (Datar, Garvin and Cullen, 2010). The data for this paper came from in-depth interviews with 18 senior recruiters and a questionnaire survey of personnel from the human resource development function and line managers of 42 companies, 32 in the private sector and 10 in the public sector. The senior recruiters constituted a subset of the 42 respondents. They identified a few trends that were shaping the management education. One was a questioning by employers of the value of an MBA degree—the others were the shift away from traditional educational offerings towards diverse programs and changing enrolment patterns. As a part of their extensive research they identified eight areas that business schools seem to be weak in. These are- gaining a global perspective: managing institutional, economic and cultural diversity ; developing leadership skills: learning to build with others ; honing integration skills: framing problems holistically and incorporating judgment and intuition into analytical decision making ; recognizing organizational realities and implementing effectively: understanding the politics of organizational behavior ; acting creatively and innovatively ; thinking critically and communicating effectively ; understanding the roles, responsibilities, and purpose of business: balancing the financial and non-financial objectives of business and multiple stakeholder demands and finally understanding the limits of models and markets.


These gap areas were identified from the perspective of the employers and their expectations. This need to be focused upon by B-schools to develop world class managers who can understand how a business model or best practice developed in one socioeconomic context may be successfully transferred to an alternative socioeconomic setting that is founded on radically different tenets. These managers should be culturally fluent, who have the capability to appreciate alternative cultural and socioeconomic settings and interpret them from the perspective of the company’s processes, products and personnel. Managers of the future must be able to understand how to partner or collaborate with organizations founded on very different principles – political or religious rather than economic.


In their view, business schools are in the business of developing leaders and entrepreneurs, and in order to be effective in this mission, need to do two things: “reassess the facts, frameworks, and theories that they teach (the “knowing” component), while at the same time rebalancing their curricula so that more attention is paid to developing the skills, capabilities, and techniques that lie at the heart of the practice of management (the “doing” component) and the values, attitudes, and beliefs that form managers’ worldview and professional identities (the “being” component)” (Datar et al., 2010, p.7). This knowing-doing-being framework, which they adopted from a military leadership curriculum in the United States, is a useful framework to adopt when reflecting on the kind of knowledge that institutions seek to provide and, more importantly, seeking to “rebalance” the curriculum. The latter is a crucial insight which addresses the oft-heard criticism of MBAs being good on knowledge and poor in action and implementation, or of MBAs not being sensitive enough to the ethical standards that are expected of them.


Table 6: Knowing- Doing -Being framework



Knowledge (“the knowing”)

Understanding facts and figures

Key concepts

Frameworks and models of description

Theories and principles

Defines the core understanding of a profession or practice

Forces determining the industry structure

Knowledge management

Industry knowledge

Basic/cross-functional/market and strategy knowledge

Skills (“the doing”)

Skills and capabilities

Technologies and procedures

Analytical skills

Forecasting capabilities

Finding and accessing information

Conducting performance review

Communication skills

Critical thinking

Problem solving skills

Intellectual capabilities

Ability to apply information

Risk management techniques

IT Skills: database management, information architecture, programming, software applications

People management skills

Hands on approach

Entrepreneurial skills

Decision making abilities

Values (“the being”)



Moral beliefs

Perspective on business scenarios

Leadership qualities


Emotional quotient

Spiritual quotient

Ethical behavior and integrity


Commitment to organization

Acceptance of diversity

Learning attitude



Indian employers clearly expect certain functional roles to be filled by fresh MBA graduates.


The managers are expected to go for a hand-on approach to work. This indicates that while rebalancing their curricula, business schools must retain a focus on their current strength in the “knowing” dimension, while augmenting their stress on the “doing” dimension.  Equal if not more importance should be given to the “doing” dimension, when compared to the knowledge dimension. Managers are taught theoretical concepts without giving a complete understanding of their application in real life business scenarios.  Regarding the skill-sets noted by the employers, there is a set that is directly within the scope of the traditional knowledge-skill objectives of an MBA program, like analytical skills. A vast majority of traditional MBA programs in the top-ranked institutes primarily focus on preparing students for such set of skills. However, of the eight curricular gaps identified by Datar and his colleagues, only four—leadership, creativity and innovation, critical thinking and communication, and understanding the purpose of business—seem to be very clearly on the radars of employers. Specific skills and qualities that can fit under global perspective, integration skills, recognizing organizational realities, and understanding the limits of models and markets, seem to be under-emphasized. Perhaps B-Schools, at least the top ones, can build on these, thus creating a greater awareness about these as emerging areas of curricular focus.


It is the “being” dimension that requires attention in an attempt to re-balance the management education curriculum. This dimension aims at developing certain core values within the managers that form their character and guides them while dealing with issues in business scenarios. In an attempt to make “well-educated overtly driven leaders” the curriculum has failed to incorporate teaching such values that would make them “well educated and far sighted leaders” that are accepted and followed with willingness. Leadership means taking responsibility for implementing change, developing a certain depth as a person, willing to shed any stereotypes that one may have carried into the job, understanding the balance between a career and commitment to an organization, developing a commitment to practice, understanding one’s own limitations, and working out one’s expectations in a reasonable manner.


Moreover, it is imperative to develop an integrative perspective as a part of the “being” dimension. This is where the challenge for B-schools lies. These qualities are not easy to develop in a classroom set-up and call for more experiential methods of learning. B-schools, by and large, are not as competent in these methodologies as they are in methods that develop analytical, instruction-based knowledge and skills.


With globalization of businesses and dynamic organizational structures and processes, frequent mergers and acquisitions, rise of social media in shaping the business models, technological innovations, increasing access to online education, multiple generations—Gen. X, Gen. Y and Gen. Z—working under the same roof, ever changing HRM practices, with an increase in focus on talent management, the need for managers and leaders who can thrive amidst such challenges and thereby make their organisations cope with such ambiguities, uncertainties and complexities has become extremely crucial. Bhandarker (2008) after citing these challenges noted that the Indian business education paradigm, by and large, has remained stagnated for many decades, focusing more on developing intellectual power rather than building leaders. Her prescription for developing MBAs as leaders is a focus on four clusters viz. intra-personal, influencing others, managing complexity, and managing diversity as described earlier in this paper. The focus now should be creating such managers that have a strong character incorporating all the above-mentioned clusters, so as to develop well-rounded leaders for the future.


In conclusion, with the ever-changing Indian business environment, new roles and new skills are required. Such changes demand for a reorientation of the curriculum of management education from the traditional offerings made by management schools. Indian schools, like their western counterparts, need to rebalance their curricula if they are to re-establish the value addition they offer industry.


Employers' recruitment operations are becoming much more short-term in response to fast-changing markets and technologies. Companies frequently look for specific mixes of skills, and the mix can change rapidly, due to the dynamic nature of the market. Such rapid change has led to unpredictability about what employers want, and sometimes it so happens that even the employers do not know that too clearly.The need therefore is to strengthen the capability of the graduating students to understand the environment in which businesses operate. Further it shall help in developing the foundation of students to understand the fast-changing business world characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) and thus play effective role in strategy making in organisations instead of being reactionary to situations in short run.


Re-Orienting Management Education: Some Thoughts:

Management education sector is a continuously evolving one and it is still not in its saturation phase. Hence, while there have been many entrants in last two to three years in the management education space, quite a few have also vacated this space, and many have difficulty filling their capacity because of their inability to manage target expectations. AICTE data for the year 2015-16 reveals that as against the sanctioned capacity of 4,31, 750 students, the actual student’s intake was 2,44,125, which is 56 percent of the sanctioned capacity. Even in NCR Delhi, this percentage was 59, indicating huge wastage of resources and poor planning. Most of the B-schools have started paying attention to up-gradation, rationalization and restructuring of course curriculum to make them practically viable for aspirants. Since no institution can afford to stand still adorning the ornaments of the past glory. We must keep moving ahead embracing the changing environment, earning more glory that is contemporary.


Many companies still complain that MBA graduates' excellent theoretical knowledge is not matched by sufficient interpersonal and, especially, supervisory skills, which are essential in a good manager. Graduates who are hired therefore have to be given the opportunity to learn these skills. The challenge before B-schools is to become a place, where leadership is promoted and nurtured with a long-term vision. B-schools have to adopt a multi-disciplinary integrative approach which, can deal with ‘business’ as a whole, instead of teaching marketing, sales, finance, etc. This helps students to learn everything in an interdisciplinary manner. In other words, the corporate needs should well be projected in the management education curriculum by putting more emphasis on practical exposure and execution skills, as against just theory. To make businesses sustainable and socially relevant, managers have to demonstrate competence, leadership, character and empathy for the needy. Business students need to have onsite practical experiences in real work environment that will enhance their learning and understanding. Towards this, management teaching should reflect ground-level realities in Indian businesses. Innovative pedagogical tools and practical learning methodologies should become the substratum of Indian management education. Young managers have to serve the companies with a larger purpose of nation building with honesty and integrity intact. Building character and inculcating empathy among budding managers, which will make them leaders of society, remains a crucial goal that all management schools must aim for.Apart from all the above mentioned qualities, what’s most important is that students now need humility. MBAs must learn to understand and accept what they don’t know and not be quick to come to conclusions or impose their own structures or assumptions about how things work. They must develop an open-minded attitude towards change and must have adaptability and quick responsiveness to adjust in the highly dynamic business environment. If the students strive to attain these skills, then they can prove themselves to be tomorrow’s global business leaders.


Important thing to note is that management education is similar to medical education where class room teaching is supplemented by hands on training in a hospital where students learn patients' treatment as well as the management of a hospital. In management too, the students’ needs to be regularly trained in different commercial and non - commercial organisations for application and refinement of class room learning. This will enhance the students' practical learning and skill base to handle real life situations.


Research in the present VUCA world has become essential for any educational institution. Research in B-schools shall take them closer to real issues affecting the organisations and help them in providing solutions to the problems. This way B -schools shall be able to teach relevant and contemporary things to the students and shall also be able to integrate their activities/ operations with the industry in particular and society in general. Faculty and students both should be engaged in the research process.


The following table depicts suggestive measures for improving the three dimensions mentioned i.e., knowledge, skills and values in future managers.


These measures can be considered while developing the curriculum of management education in India:


Table 7: List of Measures for improving the knowledge, skills and values dimensions in future managers


Suggestive Measures


         Up gradation of curriculum to match current requirements of the job

         Revision of concepts to identify only the key concepts of importance that are to be taught

         Removal of redundant concepts or theories

         Teaching only concepts of relevance as per the current demand of the industry

         Encouragement to seek new knowledge

         Developing a view where knowledge management is seen as a way to make a mark within the firm

         To broaden the scope of knowledge beyond business concepts to more real-life based concepts

         To impart a better understanding of how society works, the students must be acclimatized to real life problems that persist

         Must be encouraged to move beyond the “narrow and tunnel thinking” that they may acquire by focusing solely on one specialization

         Impart knowledge based on concepts of life and art

         Aim to provide a holistic understanding of business, society, and life in general 


         Identify critical skills that are required for the job

         Focus to teach on-the-job skills

         Teach them to develop an open and transparent communication with the workforce

         Create constructive and respectful relations

         Making them realize that diversity and differences are assets for the firm and teaching them how to capitalize on them

         Encouraging them to coach others and create a coaching culture

         Provide them with real life business scenarios to develop critical decision making

         Teach them higher order skills such as analytical skills, comprehensive capabilities, ability to synthesis information, extraction of relevant data, error detection and correction techniques, risk-return payoff calculation, strategic thinking

         Assign them short-term projects so as to teach project planning and execution

         Make them work in diverse teams so that they get an opportunity to manage diversity in an organisation

         Teaching them to take responsibility for their actions and deal with the repercussions

         Include experienced business experts while developing the course curriculum to make it practically relevant


         To create a no blame culture and role model learning from mistakes

         Seek to ensure all staff are treated fairly

         Recognize talent and develop staff potential

         Teach them to avoid creating hierarchies in an organization as this will only create inferiority and superiority complexes in people after a while and will reduce the full potential of everyone

         To maintain consistency in behavior

         To create social sensitivity the students must be made to work in different social groups and institutions.

         To work for social initiatives and causes to learn to give back to society such as old age homes, orphanages, NGOs

         To get associated with projects that work for saving the environment so that students understand the importance of conserving it.

         They must work in underprivileged areas such as the slums so to get an understanding of real-life issues that cripple the society



Business education in India over the years has grown at a very promising rate. To make it globally competitive and sought after with students and faculty from across the world, it needs to be reoriented on lines suggested above. To make business education globally attractive, Indian B-schools should think of global accreditation and collaboration with leading World's B-schools to learn from their best practices and bench mark business education in India with international standards. This entails a significant investment in human resources, as also in other learning resources. Only then we can create the future with sustained excellence. There should be a well-structured capacity building initiative for faculty in B-schools in India, with the objective of acquiring and sustaining quality educators. The initiative must begin with first developing such faculty by encouraging their bright students to pursue Ph.Ds and become future professors as there is an increasing need for suitable and competent teachers to ensure quality management education in India.


There should also be a collaboration of management education system with the industry and social institutions so that the students can get acquainted with real life business issues that persist. These future leaders must get involved with industry projects to learn the work on the job and develop an approach to handle real life problems. The collaboration must not be restricted to just students, but also to faculty members as well. They must be encouraged to interact extensively with the business experts to get an understanding of the employers’ expectations from the students. This would help them in guiding the students in a more effective manner.


Management schools in India also demand a well-structured governance in place to make sure that there is no compromise in the quality of education that is provided to the students. The schools must have a clear vision in which   objectives and goals are explicitly stated to provide much needed directions to the students and faculty.  The B-schools must be transparent in their dealings such as the admission procedures, fees structures, quality standards, faculty to student ratio, institution’s performance, and future endeavours. This is required to maintain the accountability of the institution.

An important aspect that calls for attention is the need for a transparent ranking and accreditation system within the country. Many times, B - schools claim to have higher ranking than what they are awarded to attract more students. Few institutions also pay hefty sums of money to get an accreditation so as to add more credibility to their institution. It has therefore become imperative to maintain the transparency in the accreditation system so that no misguided information is promoted, and students can take an informed decision. Recent initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development in India to rank institutions of higher learning under National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) is right step in this direction.


Lastly, the management schools in India must focus on all the dimension of education i.e. knowledge, skills and values in an integrated manner. At present, the prime focus is only on imparting the most upgraded knowledge thus ignoring the skills and values components. So, the curriculum must be developed in such a way that a balance is restored between all the 3 dimensions and more attention should now be paid to the values (“the being”). These students would make future leaders of the country and should therefore not just be highly knowledgeable but also of a strong character.


We have to develop such structures, patterns and systems which are not externally imposed on us but are evolved based on our needs and aspirations. This well-knitted domestic eco-system benchmarked with the best in the world can help us to move up on the growth ladder. This would be based on the inter-play between the system and the environment and would lead to evolution of both. Developing this system is neither utopian, nor impossible for a country like India which is comfortably mounted on an enviable economic growth gradient, geared up to surge ahead. Only then the Indian management education would develop a system so as to connect governance, justice and economic development to the human quest for equity, fair play and excellence in life.



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Received on 29.04.2019         Modified on 20.05.2019

Accepted on 15.06.2019      ©AandV Publications All right reserved

Res.  J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 2019; 10(3):925-935.

DOI: 10.5958/2321-5828.2019.00152.9