Sermons from an Ivory Tower

30 05 2008

Mohan’s post (Faculty Crunch in B- Schools – Part I) referred to an article titled Making Management Education Real by R. Gopalakrishnan published recently in the Economic Times.


Mr. Gopalakrishnan is a senior and influential corporate citizen, serving one of the top business houses in India. More than his views as an individual, what is disturbing me is the tendency of those ‘who have seen it all’, to serve platitudes from a a pop-up pack to gullible readers.


I felt disgust at the hollowness of the article. It is not just illogical, incoherent and pretentious; it is replete with ivory tower solutions in search of problems. A smorgasbord of buzzwords like ‘Transformation Management’ or subtly showing off his Boston connection may work on a few impressionable minds, but for many readers, Mr. Gopalakrishnan’s smug homilies on an intractable challenge do not fall short of a disgrace.


I have no issue in an influential corporate manager expressing views with a for-profit organization bias. But when that same person writes as if he knows what is to be done to solve each and every problem facing our nation, it represents a deep malaise.


What is the need of making management education real? What is ‘real’? And ‘real’ for whom? And what were all the business leaders doing all these years with “unreal” management education?


It is so simple to construct sentences with ‘should’s and ‘must’s! Has the author lived the recommendations himself – at least as a test case? Sorry, it is not about “life’s paradoxes” (that wonderful escape route!), it is about leaving responsibilities at your doorsteps.


– Rajeev. A. Paranjpe. 





One response

31 05 2008

Rajeev: I think we should thank Mr R.Gopalakrishnan to have offered his views in an open forum. Through this article we have got an insight into what might be routine conversations among corporate chieftains in Golfing/CII/Davos circuits. Atleast he is not hypocritical about it.

Many bigwigs visit B-schools and give convocation addresses mouthing platitudes like “How I love to be among young people ” “I have great respect for all teachers right from my kindergarten days” ” Learning never stops.” etc Get a photo-op done, collect their mementoes and get back to cursing the B-schools and their teachers while nursing their single-malts.

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