Doctoral research is undoubtedly of prime importance to an academic institution, and orienting it towards present-day requirements is a must in this Industry 4.0 era—the era of 3Cs (creativity, competence, and candidness), 4Ds (decarbonisation, decentralisation, digitalisation, and democratisation), and 3Ps (people, planet, and prosperity). In fact, it is collaboration between industry and stakeholders in the research ecosystem that can help bridge gaps that cannot be addressed by standalone entities. However, establishing such a strong association demands a radical approach, and is especially challenging in a country like ours.
Since the setting up of the first B-schools— namely IIM Calcutta and IIM Ahmedabad—in 1961, management education in India has come a long way. The country’s economy and the corporate sector too have undergone paradigm shifts in the recent past, owing to the advent of new technologies and changes in policy as well as in the business environment. Also, sustainability and social responsibility have taken centre stage. But has management education and research redrawn contours to suit the new reality?
A 2019 study conducted by IFIM Business School, Bengaluru, and National HRD Network, Curricula 4.0: Creating Future Managers, identified a distinct gap between what is being taught and what the corporate world expects. It listed 10 Industry 4.0 expectations: people and team orientation; self-management; analytical mindset and learning orientation; creativity and innovation; business and entrepreneurial orientation; cross-cultural orientation, acculturation and social sensitivity; ability to deal with uncertainty and change; integration of technology, communication, and data; globalisation; and solution orientation and problem-solving (Dhar, 2019). The corporate world is indeed looking for professionals who have the intellect, competence, and creativity to perform with the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. Hence, it is imperative for B-schools to meet these expectations by incorporating the above-mentioned aspects in their curriculum as well as doctoral research programmes, and to embrace emerging technologies.
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