How B-Schools Can Prepare Tech-driven Managers Today

The B-schools can include courses which cover diverse aspects such as the fundamentals of technology and the emerging technology areas and their application.

Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma,

The B-school students irrespective of their domain are the change agents for tomorrow. They develop the requirements of technology and determine its role. Technology can play a role in the operational and strategic interests of an organization. Disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and analytics are driving new-age business models. Therefore, it is the responsibility of B-schools to impart sufficient skills to managers so that they can use technology to their advantage and as a strategic asset to enable new competencies. The curriculum has to focus on the application of concepts, analysis of situations and decision making so that the managers are more prepared for technology-related decisions in real-life scenarios. It requires teaching technology to the domain experts and domain-specific concepts to the people who know technology. Particularly, participants who are coming from technical background need to go through an unlearning process to appreciate a more holistic understanding of the technology adoption and deployment. The B-school can help them understand how technology can be leveraged for business strategy and better management of IT resources. 

The B-schools can include courses which cover diverse aspects such as the fundamentals of technology and the emerging technology areas and their application. Apart, the courses that are at the intersection of technology and functional domains such as HR information systems, Fintech, digital marketing should also be there. This can help to prepare the students for real-world challenges. For instance, applying blockchain technology to financial sector requires an understanding of finance concepts as well as the working of the blockchain. Then there are courses which are tool-based and help in imparting the right skills such as data visualization, data analytics, and project management which are equally important. The idea is to prepare managers who can conceptualize the possibilities with technology through a rigorous analysis process and make recommendations for an appropriate solution. The pedagogy should, therefore, be based on assignments, case studies, simulation exercises, project work, field visits and should encourage discussions and brainstorming. The interactions with Industry experts and CIOs to cover various aspects of technology management can provide immense value and should be made a regular part of the curriculum. 

Since technology changes very fast, the B-school faculty needs to keep the curriculum updated to keep it aligned to the latest trends and practices. Most B-schools are known to have an advisory board with experts from academia and industry who give inputs on design of curriculum appropriate to the industry needs. Apart, the alumni can be a regular source of feedback and should be tapped for inputs. All care must be taken to keep the curriculum relevant and the onus is on faculty to drive the right programmes. Summer internships, hackathons, campus events with industry participation can also help provide the right kind of exposure and make participants learn the application of theory to real-life business situations.   

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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