Tuesday, April 12, 2011

India takes a leaf from HBR, moots IIM Business Review

The country would soon have a desi (local) ver sion of the iconic business management magazine, the Harvard Business Review (HBR). While the initiative has come from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the magazine would be brought out jointly by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and will most likely be called IIM Business Review. The first such publication is expected to be out by the end of the year.

The magazine would be a quarterly and comprise research papers and case studies from across the IIM system. The journal will be for general publication and draw in the best papers from all the IIMs. Though it is intended to be self-funded, the ministry is planning to kick-start it by offering a start-up grant, which could be around Rs. 10 million. The Harvard Business Review looks at all facets of management education like innovation, leadership, change management, business performance, strategy and research.


Apart from mooting an annual IIM World Research Conference, the Ajit Balakrishnan Committee report on faculty and research in IIMs too has suggested the production of such a journal, the management of which should be handled by different IIMs in rotation. "Though some background work has started on the journal, it will not be easy to bring it out as its structure and content are yet to be decided and it needs intellectual and good quality work. Moreover, all the old IIMs have their own journals, so to bring out another one will need simultaneous work on both of them," said an IIM director.


In fact, the IIM review committee headed by R.C. Bhargava, Chairman of Maruti Suzuki, said that the IIMs have come in for criticism because they lag behind leading global business schools in publishing papers in internationally peer-reviewed management journals. The committee's report had stated that the quality and quantity of research papers from the IIMs were not commensurate with their status and did not enable the IIMs to become thought leaders. "The system does not encourage, or provide incentives to the faculty, to give greater attention to research and publishing papers," the report had said.


Even the rankings done by international business journals include the percentage of faculty with PhDs, opinion of recruiters and the extent of faculty research published in international peer-reviewed management journals, due to which till some years back the IIMs, India's top B-schools, didn't figure in such rankings.


Balakrishnan, the Chairman of IIM Calcutta, had also suggested arranging two three week-long interactions with successful practising managers who have innovated management. Besides launching the magazine, the IIM Council is also considering a proposal for a fellowship programme in management and making research less dependent on external scholarship. This is because the expense of funding doctoral programmes is substantial, with the cost for each four-year doctoral student in the IIMs coming at approximately Rs. 3 million in revenue expenses, apart from the capital investment required on providing on-campus housing and library facilities. The report has also suggested that IIM faculty should serve on company boards and policy-making committees of industry associations like CII and Assocham, among others.


Source: Financial Express, April 12, 2011

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