Great B-schools are ones which are in the business of creation of knowledge, application of knowledge and dissemination of knowledge
When we think of management schools, we must think of thought and action in unison. Thoughts must lead to action and action too must contribute to thought. First of all, an academic institution must be known for intellectual contribution in terms of research and publication. At present, there is no creation of thought in India. Institutes today believe that research is cost-centric, whereas the ideal thought must be that research is an investment that can be ploughed back to the quality of teaching, consulting and training. Research is the biggest casualty in this country. Faculty members are the soul of any good academic institute. Therefore, it goes without saying that quality of faculty and research is the hallmark of a good B-school.
Great schools, besides creating great knowledge, research and thought generation, must question the application of these in the current business scenario. Knowledge without application does not have any value and application without knowledge is a thoughtless exercise. Thus, action and thought must be integrated. It is time that Indian B-schools focus on sources of generating value by means of consulting, executive education, training, MDPs and workshops for board level people. In terms of consulting and training, questions must be raised at what level they are shaping the thinking of corporate India. Are they doing strategy level consulting? Academic institutes must rise to the level where CEOs of organizations invite them to seek advice. Faculty members must be on boards of companies, and be involved in architecting government policies. This is the stature of Harvard and Stanford, where faculties are corporate mentors.
Yet another very important component is quality of teaching. Management teaching is different from other subjects – understanding the ground realities is important. Integration of experience and thought is important. One may have great strategic thinking but one needs to have a structure in place. Teaching in isolation does not have meaning. Global integration is important.
Great B-schools are ones which are in the business of creation of knowledge, application of knowledge and dissemination of knowledge. B-schools must see their role in a holistic perspective and think about the entire spectrum of management education. It is a myth in our mind that foreign schools will come to India and upgrade or change the education architecture of the existing management education system. We have to evolve our own system, ingenuity et al.