31/2 PROPOSALS FOR MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT, EDUCATION
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By M. SHAFIQ
Associate Prof. Iqra University

July 19 - 25, 2004
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This paper was presented by Prof. M Shafiq in the Conference on Challenges for Management Development and Education in Pakistan held in Karachi on 29 & 30 March, 2004. The conference was organized by Association of Management Development Institutions in Pakistan (AMDIP) and coordinated by Institute of Business Administration, Karachi. AMDIP is a part of AMDISA (Association of Management Development Institutions), a SAARC recognized body. Prof. Shafiq's paper clearly identifies the main shortcomings in our management development and education and offers their practical solutions.

Management, development and education provide knowledge to improve productivity, quality and cost reduction in organizations. It is therefore quintessential for our progress.

In the very near future the WTO regime will turn Pakistan into a free trade zone future. The global companies will then be free to flood our markets with their inexpensive but quality products. As a proverbial hare, we have wasted much of the long preparatory time allowed for this eventuality while many other countries prepared themselves to deal with its implications and ramifications. In this context also there is an urgent need to upgrade our management development and education efforts.

A cursory look at the management development in Pakistan highlights the pioneering role and contribution of a number of public and business organizations, as well as, universities. In this connection Pakistan Institute of Management, Management Association of Pakistan, Quality Control Institute of Pakistan, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan and Institute of Cost and Management Accountants deserve special mention for their outstanding contribution over the years. A number of training establishments for the civil servants namely; Civil Services Academy, National Institutes of Public Administration & Administrative Staff College and the training establishments for the defense personnel of the three services have also played a significant role in management training and development. Various training units in the private and corporate sectors have also played a positive role in this regard.

In recent years a number of ISO 9000 consulting outfits and certification agencies have rendered valuable assistance to a number of organizations in streamlining their management systems to meet various requirements for ISO certification. Among the universities engaged in imparting management education, Institute of Business Administration Karachi and Lahore University of Management Sciences are well known for quality education.

Considering the vast array of training institutes, establishments, consultancies and universities engaged in management education over the years, one could conclude that, management development and education in Pakistan have fared fairly well.

However, the extensive management development and education efforts in Pakistan seem to have been fragmented, uncoordinated and sporadic. To start with these need to be strengthened through proper integration, direction and coordination.

CREATION OF MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT BOARD

In view of the above it is proposed that, an institutional arrangement be developed to ensure integrated professional development of management on a continuous basis in the shape of a Management Development Board. It may be run by a management foundation preferably endowed by corporate sector. The Board is envisaged to plan and direct future course of management development and education in Pakistan. MDB should deliberate and chalk out various strategies and measures required for coordinated management development and education in Pakistan. It should function as a clearing-house of management strategies, techniques, research and training. It should seriously promote and coordinate management research projects through liaison with the education and corporate sectors.

The membership of the Board may comprise of 10 to 15 members and should be open to all those professionally linked with management development, education and training. Director Pakistan Institute of Management could be its ex-officio secretary. The members could come from various management training institutions, business schools, universities and corporate sector. MDB could form various technical committees to deal with management training and development, research and education.

 

 

This is a seminal proposal. Various details and modalities of the establishment and functioning of the proposed Management Development Board could be worked out after due deliberation and contribution by all concerned if and when required.

STANDARDIZATION OF GENERAL MANAGEMENT COURSES

The main objective of management training and development courses is to develop core competencies and skills essential for enhancing performance of the managers at various levels. It is, therefore, logical to assume that, there should be an agreed set of such core competencies for initial, middle and senior managers. However, no attempt seems to have been made to standardize the contents of hundreds of general management courses being conducted by various training establishments all over the country.

While a lot of lip service is paid to the need for need-based training, the general management training courses are usually developed by the trainers according to their knowledge, perceptions, priorities and experience. It is therefore highly probable that some essential competencies e.g., delegation, communications, time management and motivation may not be included in the courses. Similarly, other course contents, teaching techniques and time allotted to different topics may not follow an effective and standard pattern. It is important to ensure that, all the general management-training courses not only include all the competencies essential for enhancing the managerial effectiveness, but also give proper emphasis to these. It is therefore proposed that, a set of standard requirements pertaining to the contents of the initial, middle and senior level courses should be developed. All the training establishments should then be required to meet these standard requirements. Those training outfits which tailor their courses to these standard requirements should be issued certification by the Management Development Board authorizing them to conduct these certified courses, on the pattern of ISO management standards. This will ensure that, all managers who complete these certified courses will be equipped with the essential competencies and trained effectively.

CONTEMPLATE NON USA MANAGEMENT MODELS

Over the years, our mission for management training, development and education has been United States of America. We remain strongly hooked on that despite the furious fingerprinting furor. USA is a great global manager as is apparent from the present geopolitical scenario. However, they do not hold the monopoly of management excellence. There are many other nations who have managed their governments, business organizations and universities admirably, such as Germany and France in European Union. In Asia, China, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore have achieved enviable levels of socio economic development and growth. These nations have their own brand of management evolved from the wisdom of their unique cultures. For example, Japanese decision making process intensely focuses on deliberations, implications and consensus which is in sharp contrast to that of American where decisions are made swiftly but require a lot of selling afterwards.

The remarkable successes of some of the Asian economies have proved that their brand of management deserves our respectful attention. There is therefore, a dire need for us to learn especially about planning, implementation and control processes employed by these Asian giants. The proposed MDB, Universities and various institutes of training should plan and conduct serious study of these models to bring an alternate perspective to our managerial practices.

ENHANCED MANGEMENT RESEARCH IN UNIVERSITIES

This proposal though extremely important is an obvious one and therefore considered half a proposal.

Universities are real knowledge organizations. They are expected to acquire, create, interpret, archive and improve access to knowledge. However, over the years our Universities have generally shown a remarkable disdain for organized research and creation of knowledge. Presently, 53 public and 44 private universities and institutions are operating in the country. However, there is no comprehensive and complete database where one could access the doctoral or postgraduate research conducted in various disciplines. Some Universities have started offering some information through their web sites, for example, our oldest and premier University of Punjab, formally established in 1882, and awarded its first PhD degree in 1978; about a century after it was established! Since then the university has awarded 739 PhD degrees up to June 2003. Out of these 295 i.e. 40% were in the subjects of Arabic, Islamic Studies and Urdu. One PhD each has been awarded in English, Science Education and Statistics. None has been awarded in Business Administration, Administrative Sciences and Commerce. Along with paucity of research and lack of easy access to the knowledge already created is the problem of its limited use by the policy makers.

 

 

The need for research and creation of new knowledge in management can hardly be overemphasized. This is imperative in decision making. Our knowledge about various problems and issues is mostly based on our perceptions, selective observations, intuitive feelings and intelligent guesses and not on hard facts distilled through objective, organized and systematic research. The results are therefore hardly satisfactory. It will be plain wishful thinking to make any meaningful progress in the Management Development and Education in Pakistan without crystallizing our problems and finding facts about these through research.

The proposed Management Development Board could play a very constructive role in promoting research on various management topics in Business Universities, Research Centers and Social Sciences Departments of Universities. It could coordinate with public and private sectors and NGO's and recommend various topics for research to Universities, offering suitable incentives. It could also undertake to digitize, archive and improve access to quality postgraduate research already done in Business and other Universities. Development of such a database could go a long way in facilitating access to knowledge already created, as well as, avoid duplication of efforts.

In India, University of Mysore is engaged in developing a repository for Indian doctoral thesis. The initiative known as vidyanidhi is functioning since the year 2000. The project aims to digitize, archive and improve access to doctoral thesis in India and enjoys the support of Govt. of India, Ford Foundation and Microsoft, India. It is also trying to evolve on-line resources, submissions, archiving and accessing of Indian doctoral theses. Our universities, researchers and library scientists need to study and learn from this and similar initiatives.

CONCLUSION

The combined impact of the creation of Management Development Board to provide an institutional mechanism for continuous improvement, standardization of general management courses on the pattern of ISO 9000-2000 standards, studying European and Eastern models to learn from their management structures, practices and strengthening management research can ensure development of competent and professional managers, adept in the efficient deployment of resources a requirement which is vitally linked with our socio-economic development and is accelerating every minute.