CREATION OF KNOWLEDGE IN BUSINESS SCHOOLS
To develop the meaningful relations with the industry and to accelerate the economic growth, we should not deliver the stereotype lectures from out dated books
By DR AYUB MEHAR
Feb 23 - 29, 2004
When American universities had originated the degree programs in business administration, European strongly opposed the idea with the views that the rules of business cannot be taught in academia; they can be learned in practice only. Once a dean of the Harvard Business School supported the European views in front of media, and declared publicly that "we do not teach the rules of business, we make the rules of business at Harvard". Later on, his statement became the promotional pitch of the Harvard Business School.
The Harvard's notion is not only for business schools, it is valid for all the academic organs of the universities. The major responsibility of the universities is to create knowledge. Communication of knowledge is the secondary responsibility for universities, although it is the only responsibility for school and colleges.
Unfortunately, the universities in Pakistan are not creating knowledge. Students join an academic institution for higher education to determine the final tracks of their career. This period of life is like a fund available for investment. Entrants have one time option only to utilize this fund. Academic institutions should feel their responsibility, and consider that those precious days of the lives should not be uncultivated. There are lot of examples that students joined the educational institutions with high expectations, because of the attractive slogans and marketing tactics of those institutions. But, after graduation, they concluded that they have wasted their time, efforts and money.
Education is not a consumable product; it is a long-term investment of time, talent, and money. Its quality must be verified and monitored. Only market cannot decide the ranking, especially when producers are much clever and market has not so experienced. Good students enter in those institutions because of the misleading image, but they find nothing extra ordinary. Those institutes damage the time and talent of the good students. When the students know the reality the time and money were out of their hands. Damage the younger' carriers is immoral, illegal and an act of dishonesty. But, the damaging of those students who are on the top of the ladder is extremely criminal. The academic institutions must feel their responsibility in process of the nation's development. Weak institutional structure, economic corruption, and stiffness in the system are the indicators of problems at the front of public administration and human resource management. During the recent years the responsibility of economic development has largely been shifted from public sector to corporate sector. A wrong decision regarding financial patterns in corporate sector can create heavy distortion in the society through volatility in the stock markets, lack of employment opportunities, and demand-supply gap in the commodity markets. The present scenario in world's financial markets has shown that the problems of corporate sector are not only the problems of investors and speculators; they are also the problems of a common man. Those areas of management sciences need an urgent attention by the academic institutions and researchers.
We face crises in distributional and marketing fronts. Our, manufactured products are sold in the world markets under foreign brand names. It is an astonishing fact, that we have ability to manufacture the marketable products but we do not have selling abilities because of a bad image. Those problems belong to the 'Issues and Strategies in Marketing'. It is another discipline, which need special attention. The institutions of higher education should work to update the curriculum of marketing by introducing contemporary topics and new subjects in this area.
Finance is a rapidly growing discipline has not age of over 60 years. New technologies, economic revolutions, contemporary theories and empirical evidences are swiftly changing the academic requirements in this discipline. The world reputed universities, are offering innovative programs in financial engineering. It is an area where financial experts work on the designing of financial instruments like bonds, negotiable instruments, new forms of money and the restructuring of the financial system in the industry. This area also covers the uses of contemporary technologies in finance. Financial derivatives, options, futures, hedging, forecasting, simulation and many other trading instruments and tools are covered in this discipline. But, this area is completely ignored in Pakistan. We will have to bridge this gap, and to plan to offer the degree programs in this area. Recently, the Institute of Business and Technology has planned to launch new programs in various fields. The master level degree program in Process and Financial Engineering, MS economics with specialization in Energy Economics, Health Economics and Financial Economics and MS in public policy are included in those new programs.
The image of a university is build up by its prudent students, quality of teaching, genuine research, matured administrative measures and learned faculty. They should avoid from cheap marketing tactics in education sector. They should not believe on self-created ranking. Universities should provide higher education in its real sense. To develop quality conscious, they should give extreme importance to research activities. To achieve the target of high-caliber research, they have to create the research-based learning environment in the academia.
To develop the meaningful relations with the industry and to accelerate the economic growth, we should not deliver the stereotype lectures from out dated books. We will have to find the new technologies to achieve success on economic and business fronts, to develop organizational structures, to maximize profit, and to minimize risks. We will have to create new ideas; we will have to formulate new theories and procedures. All of those are the parts and elements of the knowledge creation activities. If institutes and universities are not doing this, they should be given a status of affiliated colleges, not chartered universities.
The author is the dean of Management Sciences, at the Institute of Business and Technology (BIZTEK) Karachi.