Serving over 22 millions NRIs worldwide
Most trusted Name in the NRI media
We never stop working for you, NRI PEOPLE- OUR NETWORK
NRI, Dr. Prem Joshi, University of Bahrain


Are IIMs Overrated in India ?

The Indian Institutes of Management(IIMs) are considered a tag of elites, privileged and exclusive management institutions both by the government and the public at large in India. However, I do not understand what is unique in them. They are just the same management institutions like anywhere in the world. They admit brilliant students and recruit the best faculty members from within the country. If all creams enter IIMs and they outplay and overshadow others, what is surprising thing in it. I have a few observations to offer in this

1. How many 'donkeys" (like me) can they claim have been converted into horses? Brilliant students will remain brilliant wherever they go. They admit horses and convert them into fast racing horses. Many of their students now are getting salary packages between Rs30 to 90 lacs annually, that is good news. Prof. RK Gupta remarks in one of his articles "placements is the excuse they have found to create hype and for hiding their weak operation. Most of IIMs and their alumni have a nexus and are catering to miniscule capitalist organizations without any contribution to management theories, systems and Indian society at large".

However, what happens to them after 10-20 years. Brilliant students from IITs/IIMs are expected to enhance the image and goodwill of the country in the future. Often they disappeared in the world crowd of hall of fame and become only commercial-oriented, enjoying luxury life. There is a need for a re-thinking on their part.

2. How many of their faculty members have conducted innovative research which are quoted by the researchers world-wide? How many of them have developed conceptual framework or management theories, which are, practiced world-wide like theories of Peter Drucker or Kaplan? How many papers were published in Harvard Business Review as 1-2 of them were established in collaboration with HBS? How many of their faculty members may claims to have the honor of being invited as guest editors by the reputed International Journals? How many of their faculty members represent in the committees and boards of world bank, IMF, Association of Commonwealth universities and other universities of UK, USA. Receiving funding for research projects from international organizations may not be very difficult if projects are feasible, well formulated and these institutions have high priorities for funding such projects for
developing countries. If I submit a research project on
y Reporting", I may get funding in a very short period from such institutions.

Some people from IIMs often remark that people have misinformation or disillusion about IIMs because of ignorance or hearsay.

3. How many of their faculty members have presented papers in top world's conferences? In the last 13 years, I have not come across any of their accounting and finance faculty who participated in European Accounting Association or American Accounting Association conferences which are world's top conferences in accounting. Last month, in Dublin, where I participated in EAA congress, I happened to meet a lady Lecturer from one of the colleges of Delhi University and she felt so proud in participating in EAA congress with a remark that "she is the only participant from India. She was very surprised that how come none of the faculty members from IIMs or ICAI are not in this conference".

4. Undoubtedly, they have quality teachers. However, how many of
them may claim to have been using extensively and effectively the
teaching and training instructions e.g. enhanced (modified) lecture, questioning and discussions, writing in cases, problem-based learning: local cases and guided design, group learning- teamwork, group learning-cooperative learning, drama, technology-visual and computer-based instructions, technology-based delivery, fieldwork-service learning, and field-work internship and Satellite broadband medium?

5. Have they contributed anything in schools and other business colleges in respect of "Advanced Skills Teacher" (AST) concept which is devised to reward excellent teachers who wished to remain in the classroom and spend the equivalent of one day or a week supporting other teachers in developing their skills and experience through the sharing of best practice ideas and approaches.

6. As a rule, Indian B-schools have continued teaching curricula that is woefully stereotyped and offers little scope for change. They are comfortably ensconced in a closed market. But move them to the global rankings; they figure nowhere in the top 100 global B-schools in the ranking surveys of Businessweek, Financial Times and Forbes. Even Chinese B-schools figure among the first 40 in the top ranking.

7. They use public grants but they have been catering to a niche market of capitalists and multinational enterprises. How, many or percentage of their brand or output really join the public sector or government or social sectors e.g. electricity, water supply, health, education as everything is mismanaged there and these areas need really qualified managers.

8. Social contract, organization legitimacy and political economy cost theories, all require extensive interactions with the society at large by organizations, which are of public and national importance. The IIMs
currently focus on their reputation and rank in India, will need to
become more action-oriented. They should be focused on what it is that makes business education more valuable by greatly curbing the tendency to 'elitism' or even "egotism' (explained by power distance cultural dimension). Achievement-oriented will labeled them as the producer of "Indian International Managers" (IIMs) and not just Indian Institutes of Management.

Dr. PL Joshi Professor of Accounting , University of Bahrain

NOTE: The views expressed in this article are the personal views of the author and not the views of the institutions to which he is affiliated and working.




Dr. Prem Joshi, University of Bahrain

  • Professor (Dr.) Prem Lal Joshi, University of Bahrain . The author is also Editor-in-Chief: IJAAPE, UK and on the Board of Directors of World Accounting Forum. He is listed in Maquis Who's Who in the World (23rd ed.) and International Who's Who (2005-06)