MBA and the Corporate Veil

By Abishek A Ganesh. Abhishek is an alumnus, class of 2012 (IBS Hyderabad). He has just started with his first job. Abhishek is also a budding musician and was part of Diatribe, band at IBS Hyderabad.

About two years ago when I was busy writing entrance exams and applying to various management schools I never took out the time to notice what I was getting into. After successfully completing two years in a reputed institute, I received my degree in Marketing Management. Before I joined IBS I didn’t have a clear idea about what management or marketing actually entailed and now I have a piece of paper which corroborates that I am a “master” in business administration!

Well as far as I’m concerned Management is more of an art than a skill. Management is bound by regulations but is ever evolving and demands its practitioners to behave the same way. People might be christened as great managers but their style can’t be imitated by anybody else. A person’s management style is contingent with respect to the situation and people he/she is dealing with. It will be unique for each subsequent action and hence the learning is not straight forward. When I mentioned that management is more of an art than a skill, the point I’m trying to elucidate is that it can’t be learn only practiced. Learning is applicable when it comes to the limitless research done on various topics previously, for example “the theory of reasoned action” a model which tries to explain attitudes, is something that was proven by empirical studies in 1975. Now learning this model is a luxury we have as opposed to anyone who died before 1975! Our collective knowledge is something that we have to learn from so we don’t waste time validating something that is accepted. Other than this there is only practice in management.

Now let me clarify about the title of this article and the veil in question. Before I joined IBS my understanding of the corporate was shallow to say the least. I knew that companies existed; I knew they made products and provided services but my preference for any of these companies was not guided by anything concrete. I always thought that corporations were just money grubbing organizations which used media extensively to deceive the mass audience into believing them. I used to try new products in case I found the advertisement really appealing but that was always restricted to the first purchase. After evaluating a product post-usage my preference was based mainly on satisfaction and financial constraints and the corporate world ended there for me.

However after going through a rigorous course and completing it my understanding of the ‘corporate’ has changed significantly. I notice myself staring at advertisements and billboards trying to decipher the strategy used by the company in question, I notice the way the retail store keeper arranges the toffees and chips of different companies, I notice how one newspaper differs so vastly from another in terms of layout, content and readers etc,. The veil has finally been lifted. These organizations are nothing if the people working for them are removed from the equation. Just like humans in the way we address our myriad needs and wants, the corporate being tries to deal with competitors, customers, regulators etc to survive in the corporate jungle. All of these actions however are decisions made by people based on the information available to them and their self-developed insights.

The corporate is not a mysterious entity that lurks in the background and controls our world; it’s a system that we have created as a society. This system may have innumerable faults but as a system created to enrich lives mutually, it’s the best one we have yet.

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