Turn the Search Light Inwards


By
Dr. K.S. Srinivasa Rao
Associate Professor
T.A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI)
Manipal–576 104 (Karnataka)
E-mail:
srinirao35@yahoo.com
 


One of my ex-colleagues sent a mail by saying that he has gone through a book titled "Mutiny on the Harvard Bounty: The Harvard Business School and the Decline of the Nation", by Kenton W. Elderkin (Elderkin Associates - June 1996). As the title itself suggests, the book is a critical evaluation of practices at HBS, including classroom design. HBS has about 225 tenured and tenure track faculty grouped into teams that investigate issues relating to specific countries and industry groups. They have such groups for Latin America, North America, and so on. It's an interesting practice in HBS and so my friend may have thought that it must be shared with me. He also indicated that one of the points made in the book is that HBS professors lack country knowledge because of which their cases are shallow and unreadable.

If I am right, when Mahatma Gandhi went to South Africa and from there wrote a letter to Ms. Sarojini Naidu, describing about the ill-treatment of Blacks, then she replied politely by saying "Turn the Search Light Inwards. In India also we are facing a similar problem - Casteism".

I think nobody appreciate if you try to solve the problems of your neighbour, keeping pending of your own problems to be solved. First one has to set right his own house.

When I had approached one of my ex-Directors with an output of a case prepared by myself by using the data of the Institute, he simply said, "I don't like somebody reading the problems of my Institute and giving their own interpretations. You better approach some companies and collect the data and make a case out of it which will be useful to the Industry and students".

It was happened long back with one of the premier institutes that when a pharmaceutical company approached them for some consultancy. After the task got over, the professors made a case out of it and started using the case for classroom discussion. It was so happened that one of the managers of the same pharmaceutical company who attended afterwards for a MDP with that premier institute found that their company became a case in the classroom discussions, he informed later to his boss and the company almost tried to pull the B-School to court.

In India, whenever B-School rankings come in magazines, we can see the interviews from the directors of B-Schools, including premier institutes, saying that there is a shortage of good faculty. For majority the B-Schools the main demanding course is marketing and you can also find more faculty members in that area in any institute. But theory and practice of marketing are not followed by the management of B-Schools with reference to the faculty in majority of the Institutes.

Management Institutes are spending a lot of money by giving advertisements in newspapers nation wide just to get faculty. Good number of the B-Schools is offering better scales and perks with some schemes to attract the faculty. But, once a faculty joins in these institutes, the treatment is normal and the old British style of bossism continues in some B-schools. This makes the academicians to think twice before joining any B-School. Faculty turnover is very high in majority of the management institutes. I have seen in one institute around seven faculty members left the institute in an academic year. Some of the basic issues I have mentioned in my article titled "Organisational Behaviour: Technology Vs Management" quite common in many B-Schools and that made www.indianMBA.com to open a separate faculty article feature (S. No. 01, August 28, 2002) in their website. I am thankful to the Website Managers who gave me an opportunity to write 100th article in the same series (August 28, 2004).

The basic problem is when a new director who joins in any institute. He is not thinking as per the actual vision of the institute but goes as per his own vision. This disturbs the existing faculty and it becomes one of the points for turnover. Even though we teach principles of Organizational Behaviour and change management, majority of the directors treats their faculty in such a fashion that "control" is the dominating factor rather than mutual cooperation and "friendly" environment.

Another issue in some of the management Institutes is the "cordial" relation between Director and Deans. I have noticed in one institute that faculty has divided between these two administrative heads and formed two groups for their survival. If both are indulging in politics, institute goes to dogs. In some cases if director is doing politics and Dean is a true academician, the later will go on long leave but will be on rolls, as management of an institute can not throw one director unless he is very bad.

In one institute, in one academic year, around five newly selected faculty members who have undergone all the process of selection and gave their willingness to join but have not joined. You can understand the reasons! This makes the Dean to invite any candidate for faculty position desperately and in turn, it aggravated the situation.

If the faculty is leaving an institute, you will not notice it at all, and the problem is directly to the PGP chairperson. The students who registered under this faculty before going for summer project, after they come back, have to be reallocated to another faculty by the PGP Chairperson. This is a painful task in one way as the students were not earlier registered with the faculty if he/she is there in the institute last year as there is a possibility that the situation may lead to a step-motherly treatment sometimes. On the other hand, if the students were assigned to a newly joined faculty, students will create some problems as they are new to the faculty and the faculty is also new to the Institute.

All these and similar other instances and cases underscore the need for turning the search light inwards. If any institute is free from above institutional ailments, I appreciate the Management, Director, and Faculty for having been placed in such an exceptionally better institutional environment.
 


Dr. K.S. Srinivasa Rao
Associate Professor
T.A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI)
Manipal–576 104 (Karnataka)
E-mail:
srinirao35@yahoo.com
 

Source : E-mail January 18, 2005

 

B A C K

 

Important Note :
Site Best Viewed in Internet
Explorer in 1024x768 pixels
Browser text size: Medium