Headline Sep 08, 2014



ON NOVEMBER 29,  -2011, FACEBOOK which had been playing with fire since long,  got its finger burnt.

America's Federal Trade Commission announced that it reached a draft settlement with the  giant social network over the allegations that it had misled people about its use of their personal data.

Facebook which boasts over  800m, had betrayed its users trust.

The business world for now and the future, is growing exceedingly complex. So, to measure up to the needs, the Business Schools have to learn and plan, to think differently,  on how to produce,  business leaders.  

Young mums shopping in the Copley Mall in downtown Boston, found themselves being questioned about their use of soap by students from Harvard Business School.

The students were not doing odd jobs to earn some money. They were preparing to help a firm in Brazil launch an antibacterial cleanser.

Fieldwork  -ie, going out and talking to people, is a big change for Harvard Business School. Its students used to sit in a classroom and discuss case studies written by professors.

Now they may also work in a developing country and launch a start-up.

''Learning by doing''  will become the norm,  if a radical overhaul of the MBA curriculum succeeds.

The 900 students arriving in Boston that year, for their two year course were told they would be guinea pigs. The new practical addition to Harvard Business School's curriculum is known as,

  ''FIELD" : Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development. Not all the staff and students are overjoyed to be experimented on. But the man responsible:

Nitin Nohria, who became  Dean of Harvard Business School in July, 2010, says that  "if it works, the FIELD method could become an equal partner to the case method."

Long before he became Dean,  Professor Nohria lamented the failure of business schools to fulfil their mission of turning management into a profession similar to law or medicine.

Asked what should be expected from an MBA, he replies that  "obviously, they should master a body of knowledge. But we should also expect them to apply that knowledge with some measure of judgement."

MBA students have long been sent on summer internships with prospective employers, but Harvard Business School,  like most business schools, did little else to help them with the practical application of management studies.

What happens in the second year of the new course is still being worked out.

But the first year has three elements:

First,  'Team Building exercises'. Students take turn to lead a group engaged in a project such as  designing an  ''eco-friendly sculpture''.

They learn to collaborate and to give and take feedback. These exercises are loosely based on ones used in the US army.       

Second, students will be sent to work for a week with one of than 140 firms in  11 countries. Already the new intake have had conference calls with these companies, ranging from the:

Brazilian soap maker to a Chinese property firm, and gone off-campus to conduct product to conduct product development  ''dashes''  like the one to in Copley Mall.

This sort of structured   learning-by-doing   is a world away from Harvard Business School's traditional encouragement of students  to  ''go on an adventure'' outside of classes.    

But then, business education : is but a field of great, great dreams. 

To sum up the above post, allow me just this : to factor in the !WOW! context and a tiny scrap of factual philosophy:

Revolutions in technology business bring benefits to millions, but the companies that make them happen do not always thrive. Even when demand is booming, competition to meet it can be brutal.

Makers of telecommunications networks know this only too well.

They perform the unseen miracles that allow ever more people to talk, work and play on ever smarter devices just about anywhere, but their rewards have been mostly meagre.

In an industry with a cost leader and a price leader, is there room for others?

In a globalised marketplace, such issues are the new norm for the future.

The Honour and Serving of the post continues. Thank you for reading and see  you on the following one.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

"' Place Your Bets  '''

Good Night and God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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