The Shifting Landscape in Management Education


Management education is witnessing a paradigm shift driven by globalization, exponential growth in technology, changing social fabric, and the rise of a new generation of workforce called Millenials. Since the future of businesses largely depend upon quality of managerial input, hence it is important that modern management education fully understands the complex issues and challenges facing the business world today. At the same time, it should also address new opportunities and potential rewards associated with the transition mentioned above.

With the changing business market and approach to MBA as a career, it is important to redefine the MBA education and make it more contemporary and value-added. In light of the shifting landscape of work environment, management education needs to evolve and respond promptly to unforeseen changes in global business. Most importantly, management education must first examine the environment in which it is embedded.

How B-Schools develop managerial talent based on changing requirements of the industry is crucial because the actions and decisions of these future managers are not only going to affect the way companies will be run but in a way will also propel key changes in society.

The landscape of management education is very big. With advancement in technology it is growing at a rapid pace and increasingly becoming global. According to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) which is the worlds largest business education alliance, In 2005, there were an estimated 7,622 educational institutions offering business degrees, with 20% of these schools operating in the United States, 18% in Mainland China, and 14% in India. By 2014, the number of institutions offering business degrees more than doubled to 15,731. Which country has the most business schools? Its India, with 3,902 business schools, representing 25% of all business degree granting organizations in the world. Compare this to the estimated 1,624 business schools in the United States, 1,259 in the Philippines, 1,082 in Mainland China, and 1,000 in Mexico, and together these countries host 56% of all business schools across the globe.

Apart from the growing number of business schools in countries other than United States, another paradigm change in landscape of management education is the growing reputation of business schools in countries other than US. The international rankings of top business schools clearly indicate this new trend, with the U.S. becoming less attractive destination of MBA aspirants. As per the 2002 Financial Times ranking of business schools 73% of the top 30 schools were in the U.S., 23% in UK/Europe, and 4% in Canada. In 2015, its a very different picture 50% of the top 30 schools are in the US, 33% in UK/Europe, 14% in China, and 3% in India.

All of this said, the management education landscape is evolving rapidly, offering both opportunities and threats for management education worldwide. With new players entering the market, students have a variety of options to choose from both in terms of courses as well as institutes. The need for smart managers who can adjust in multiple job environments and work under challenging situations is increasingly becoming a critical success factor. With the rising competition in job market, Parents and students have started questioning the potential value of business education in terms of return on their investment (ROI). They are also sceptical about the way it is being delivered.

In 2008, the then Dean of Harvard Business School, Prof. Srikant Datar along with Prof. David Garvin and Research Associate Patrick Cullen conducted an in-depth research study to explore the state of MBA education. Their findings were later compiled into a book titled Rethinking the MBA: Business Education at a Crossroads. In the book the authors explain that it is high time to change much of conventional business education if business schools have to forge ahead to build the next generation of business leaders.

The book emphasised on The ”knowing, Doing and Being Framework wherein ‘knowing’ captures the management and technical skills, ‘doing’ connotes interpersonal skills and ‘being’ reflects awareness of self. Each of these components compliment the other and none can work in isolation. Knowing is essential before Doing. Without Doing, skills will be ineffective and without self-awareness through Being, the other two will be of little value. Therefore there is a need to rethink the way MBA education is being imparted since it has to prepare students for a broader range of careers. The need is also of rebalancing the three components mentioned in the above framework.

ISBRs Response to the Shifting Landscape in Management Education

To address the dynamic challenges and opportunities of changing landscape of management education, Indian School of Business Research (ISBR) situated at Bangalore has taken a lot of progressive initiatives to prepare future business leaders. These include bringing the real world experiences into the classroom through innovative process of development that reflects the expectations of the industry and changing times.

Some of the major highlights of those initiatives are summarized as under.

World Trade Centre Visit

  1. Top institutions globally stand out from the rest because they focus upon improving the learning processes, their core competencies in delivering the same and above all a value proposition that best match their educational vision. At ISBR we also expose students to the learnings of the corporate world through formal and non-formal education based on this philosophy. We strive to provide a learning eco-system to our students with a value based foundation to excel and become corporate and social leader or entrepreneurs.
  2. Progressive management institutions put lots of effort in curriculum design and course offerings. Their curriculum is reflective of both industry needs and students interest. This helps in making engagement of the students better. That is why ISBRs curriculum is continuously up graded to match current industry requirements that enables students to become one of the finest work forces in India and prove to be a valuable asset to the corporate world having the right competitiveness, competence and capability.
  3. Tough technical subjects such as Quantitative Techniques and case analysis tend to dominate the MBA curriculum. In the process, soft skills get overlooked. Therefore rebalancing of the curriculum is essential to include creative thinking skills, experiential learning, inspirational leadership etc. in the management program. Therefore, ISBR creates space for development of students through physical infrastructure (campus, sports facility), intellectual infrastructure (faculty, library), technical infrastructure (software / hardware), and social infrastructure (industry connect). Apart from usual industrial visits & workshops other student oriented activities like C-Talk, Star Invitee and Mentorship Programs etc. have been designed by the Institute to facilitate overall development of social and life skills of the students as well as help them in sharpening their decision making skills.
  4. Effective leadership with global perspective of business management, cultural sensitivity and integrative thinking are highly valued propositions in industry today. Exposure through international collaborations and guest lectures by foreign experts there is a concerted effort by the Institute to inculcate such virtues in our MBA students.

This is just a beginning. The ultimate mission of ISBR is to create responsible business and social leaders who can intellectually contribute to the nation building in a much more proactive way and in the process be able to fulfil their DREAMS of building a purposeful and an enriching career.

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References for additional reading

  1. ISBR Recruitment Program:
  2. Interview of Dean Dr. C Manohar
  3. Visit to World Trade Centre
  4. Panel Discussion
  5. For cross culture corporate exposure:
  7. C Talks






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