Based on feedback from the corporate sector, benchmarking against globally top-ranked MBA programmes and insights from recent studies on the effectiveness of MBA programmes, IIM Indore is launching a new PGP (MBA) programme design from its 2015-17 batch.
IIM Indore’s mission is to be a contextually-relevant business school with world-class academic standards that develops socially-conscious managers, leaders and entrepreneurs.
A major feedback from corporate recruiters has been that in terms of conceptual learning there is not much difference across the top business schools in India. But what makes a difference is the ability of graduating students to apply their learning quickly and effectively once they are a part of the workforce. In other words, a major challenge is to bridge the knowing-doing gap.
This aligns well with the findings of many recent studies that MBA programmes need to reinforce workplace-relevant skills that can help MBAs hit the ground running.
Another major factor taken into account during the review is the need to enhance the assurance of learning by aligning the Institute’s mission, programme objectives, and course deliverables with learning outcomes
Features of New Design
IIM Indore’s new PGP programme design introduces skill development courses in Communication, Leadership, Spreadsheet Modeling, Entrepreneurial orientation, Innovation and design thinking and Sustainability. Taught in a workshop-based format, these courses are graded on an absolute scale and students have to obtain a prescribed minimum percentage that displays their minimum competence in the skill in order to clear the course.
In addition to these changes, IIM Indore retains and reinforces some differentiating features from its earlier programme design. The Institute’s unique Rural Immersion Programme takes groups of students, most of whom come from an urban upbringing, for a week to rural Madhya Pradesh to study first-hand the challenges of rural India. Organized in collaboration with the Government of Madhya Pradesh, the Rural Immersion Programme sees groups of students fanning out to villages across the state. This helps them gain an understanding of the context in which more than 70% of India lives.
The Himalayan Outbound programme (HOP) allows IIM Indore’s students to understand and appreciate natural beauty and the importance of sustainability besides learning team-building and building physical endurance. HOP is now being extended to other locations.
Blending Theory & Practice
Another initiative to blend theory and practice is the hiring of professors of practice. This recently created position allows industry professionals with 15-20 years of experience to become a part of the IIM Indore full-time faculty. These professors of practice are already making a difference with case-writing projects on SBI, Godrej and BHEL, and a new consulting practicum to be offered in the second-year PGP.
IIM Indore has a unique industry familiarisation course that runs across the first year. This course is being strengthened by structuring it around a Business Excellence framework. At a recent industry meet held at IIM Indore with more than 150 participants, the new course design was presented to industrial units in and around Indore, and their support and cooperation sought.
Introduction of First-year Electives
Over the years, the summer internship has become a more important part of the PGP programme structure. Increasingly, companies interact closely with summer interns while they are at work and prefer giving final job offers to summer interns who do a good job. Reciprocally, the internship is an important learning ground for students and enables them to determine what kind of company they would like to work for.
To help students perform better in their internships we have introduced a few electives into our first year curriculum. These electives include Supply Chain management, Retail and Corporate Banking, Marketing Research and Sales & Distribution Management, covering some of the main areas in which students usually get summer projects.
Consistent with current trends like the flipped classroom, IIM Indore has traditionally emphasized participant-centered learning through the use of the case method. 25 IIM Indore faculty have so far attended Harvard Business School’s Participant-Centered Learning Colloquium. Faculty are encouraged to attend other external case teaching workshops, and internal workshops are also used to hone quality. But, the case method is not the only way of promoting participant-centered learning, and the new curriculum also embraces simulations and computer-based learning methods that complement case-based learning.
IIM Indore has relied largely on cases written by others in the past with a large number of cases from Harvard Business School being the primary source. This summer IIM Indore set up a new Case Centre to strengthen internal efforts to write cases so that there is a better mix of Indian and international cases in the curriculum.
The second year of the new curriculum will feature a large number of domain concentrations that will enable students to get in-depth exposure to a particular vertical or sector. These concentrations will consist of both regular courses taught by industry faculty and workshop courses taught by industry practitioners.
To accommodate the changes in the curriculum, there has been a realignment of credits and sharpening of the core courses. To help students enter the programme on a common platform, an online preparatory course was rolled out to all students that included introduction to accounting (through an innovative animated course provided by an Indian vendor), English language and communication, and Maths & Statistics.