Leveraging the Degree of Business Management

H Byrkjeflotin his June 2008 edition wrote that any occupation earns professionalism when it is imbibe with some ideologies like being good counsellor, performing greater deeds, and doing no harm. Jonathan Gosling further stated his point arguing that there is a misunderstanding in between management  and other professions like medicines and law. According to Jonathan, management is more about integrated skills, there is no specific curriculum that needs to be adhered to. Learning management means broader experience and replicating it through several projects. Also management doesn’t have a clear code of ethics like other professions and ethics vary from country to country and even from one organisation to another.

Profession

It consists of categories of people from whom we seek advice and any other kind of services because they possess specific skills and knowledge that is not common. For example a professional lawyer can judge the quality of information and its value. However even though we possess that information too, we can’t analyse its importance. And even if we lose the case we don’t know if the lawyer’s advice was good or not because we are not professional. A professional body means that the field encompasses a discrete knowledge. It means there should be a logical agreement between the field and the knowledge.

Imagine what would happen if physicians won’t agree with human body function and law. By the nature of laws, the professional body signifies a truthful organisation to be relied on. And society rewards organizations for its working with professionalism. However no such boundary and consensus exist in management. There is no professional body, no set benchmark, no enforced laws to perform as a manager. Moreover it cannot be professional.

Why is management not professional?

Like after getting MBBS degree and law qualification one get requisite amount of knowledge to become professional in such field. There is also an MBA curriculum to become an expert in management. So why is management not professional. It is a convention that no one can practice medicine or law without getting certification but there is no such convention when it comes to managing something.

Is it possible to reach consensus on why designing the curriculum of MBA?

Designing curriculum for management will make its approach narrower. Any contract in its narrower form is very precise, specific to the issue and even solution to the problem is also designed according to certain outcomes. However managers are responsible to think in a broader sense. They  need to put numerous inputs to get results.

Professionals are experts in all fields and managers have to jack off all trades to be expert. Lawyer’s work is time bound and has limited scope. Their contribution is measurable but managers’ contribution is difficult to analyse. This all shows there is no professional in management. There are numerous examples showing successful businesses are run by people without MBA’s. There is a course of business education. However there is a huge difference between education and its application.

Business education

Professional program enables one to master one category of knowledge. It involves admission through screening tests, then taught programs and finally assessment. Same procedure follows for management programs but they are the same just superficially. One needs to recognise the difference to master in business.

Admission: In professional programs individuals start from basic, while for business education programs they are not novice. In MBA programs students enhance their knowledge and get an opportunity to understand better about their workplace. Also learning an international business is about exposure to a new dimension of the world. Therefore it diversifies classroom programs. Business studies programs are taught through case studies instead of well designed academic programs.

Program: Business associated interviews demand a big list of qualities they desire in their future recruits. Instead of functional and technical skills they needed candidates having more thoughts, awareness, flexibility and more adaptiveness. Indirectly they need soft skills and that can be learned. But it cannot be taught in the classroom. Cambridge study of the importance of the classroom MBA program shows 85% people feel knowledge they grab out of class in an open environment is more important than they get in the classroom. Management teaching should focus on core teaching which involves both soft and hard skills. It should be collaborative consisting of open discussion and experience sharing. Also management education should be flexible because one size cannot fit all.

Assessment: Evaluation is much easier when area is specified like account etc. But business education is not defined. It is more about soft skills and there is no tool to measure it. Assessment in these areas is problematic. There is a myth in management practice that one who scores higher will be a great leader. Grading is useful in professions-like technical and functional areas but in business it is down played.

These all factors show management is not just a classroom program not a professional course. And business schools can not uniquely identify a best leader.

Author: A.C.

Dr. Chakraborty is a researcher in electronics and has authored numerous articles in the domain. She is also an avid blogger and shares a penchant for domains like technology, business and science.

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