Importance of Practical Learning, Research, and Exposure in Management Studies

The failure to practically apply knowledge gained in theory is the biggest fall of the modern education system. The question then arises; are we preparing our millennials for the real world or helping them make their own personal silos of pretentious learning that has no relevance in practice? This gap magnifies more so in management studies and management practices, where applied education is the purpose of the job. Schools and Universities with management courses at Undergraduate, Graduate and PhD levels must detect subjects and skills from their course work that are supplementary to the growth of capabilities and proficiencies germane to practice. It is this practical exposure during their cloistered years in the University that will eventually benefit students in their job searches, cracking interviews and success in vocations chosen for life.

There has been cited a great divide between theories taught in management schools and exercise in application. Conscientious attempts have been made to bridge these gaps, with curriculum being designed to include direct industry links with learning. Emphasizing too much on pre-determined concepts of systematic education does not serve the purpose anymore. It is important to ascertain if what we teach is even enough for entry level positions in the Industry and the real world work culture. As institutes preparing students for a future we cannot be the ones hampering their employability.

So how do we define relevance and parameters to align it with this growing need? We begin with allowing multiple perspectives and do away with rigidness in education. Make coursework pragmatic. We must be open to exploiting novel methods of construing the world. Tailor made courses, having possible electives to enhance existing structures and learning experiences that can contribute to the element of “readiness” of the student.

The teaching faculty employed to train them plays a crucial role too. The teacher needs to be a scholar who has him/herself had significant industry exposure and global outlook towards advancement. They establish the links, construct channels of interaction and tread the complex grid between academia and employing organizations.

Research has occupied an ambiguous place in management education. Here again the enquiry into if it is “relevant” and then “applicable” takes the center stage. Research is a solitary experience, having given rise to the conflict that has become the focal point of all discourse in academia following the scientific model that escalates discourse or the professional model that has industry application. However it is still the mainstay of all universities. It is also through research that Universities attract funds from the industry which in turn looks at benefiting from the emerging study. Research outputs ­produced at Universities need to be capable of being implemented in real life management scenarios. Businesses and working management should be able to profit from this transference of knowledge to enrich competitiveness and efficiency. In simple words academic management research must positively influence management practice. Research can no longer function in a vacuum.

Students are taking their own informed educational decisions after studying through the history and ratings of the Universities. Research, placement, curriculum design, flexibility and connect with changing times are some important parameters considered when taking admissions. Research in eminent journals and magazines gives Universities better rankings and University- Industry link is an assurance of a better future with hands on training.

About the Author

Dr. Shubha.A is the Director and Associate professor at School of Commerce, REVA University. She holds post graduate degree in Commerce and Management studies. She also holds Doctorate degree in Commerce. She has more than fifteen years of teaching experience. Dr. Shubha is also the recipient of best teacher award that was instituted by world CSR group in the year 2015. Her keen interest lies in the areas of accounting, finance and marketing.

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