The report regarding the decline in B-School admissions misses the point (“Management education sees a meltdown,” April 18). B-Schools are synonymous with business and placements, especially in India, where we are still in the early stages of business evolution and are copying or serving western models rather than creating any worthwhile impact. So, an MBA translates into a job and money and career. Even B-School professors exult at those among their alumni who have made it to executive-level positions, never mind the methods adopted in reaching the top or the exact impact of their careers. Hence, an HR head is successful even if he is unprofessional and nothing but a shoulder on which a CEO fires his or her gun.
I repeatedly tell my students that there is more to a job and career than money. It defines what I am and what I can do. Hence as an HR professional, I would stand my ground for what is correct irrespective of its consequences and use my HR expertise to benefit others and not merely to extract. But I would not even get a nod in most forums including in seminars or conferences. All this has reduced the discipline of management, its stature and its halo. It is opportunistic and not appealing except to those who are less intellectually inclined.
Second, the fact that several directors are in Tihar Jail and the 2008 financial crisis – wonderfully covered in the documentary Inside Job – have brought out the underbelly of business. So, if you are working for a corporation and want to be environmentally-conscious, then you are bound to face an ethical dilemma. Of course, you could assuage your guilt by participating in “climate” marathons or switching off lights on Earth Day. And if you still make an issue of it, then you could resign and start an NGO and clean up the Ganga. Meanwhile the automobile industry will continue to produce fuel-guzzlers and be feted as the toast of economic growth, while oil companies will build the fiscal deficit and inflation. All this is upsetting and I suspect that those who wish to feel good about their lives do not find a corporate career exciting. Occupy Wall Street protest was one reaction. A reduction in the fascination for an MBA is another.
Hari Parmeshwar Mumbai
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