Thursday, June 10, 2004

Strategy and SPO

I forgot to mention an important course in the previous mail:
Structure and Processes in Organizations (SPO).
It deals with the nature of organizationsand as the title says, processes in organizations. It was an interesting course.
It started off with the prof explaining the need for organizations, the types of orgs, and went on into various theories of organization (resource based theory etc, Ive forgotten almost all the names by now, seems like the teaching was not convincing enough!), ways to represent and think about organizations (box chart, organigrams, etc), and then a large part on the knowledge industry concept. Overall a fairly interesting course, and to top it, we had to analyze one of our companies from the point of view of SPO, and come up with new improved organization structure and suggestions and a plan for implementing the same! Who would not be excited by such a topic! Our attempt turned out to be fair, though not at all what I had expected (being a group assignment).

SPO, could have been a good input for the course on Strategy, though for some reason (see later), Strategy was the first course took in this part-time MBA, and I have not been happy about it since. Strategy, imo, should be taught at a fairly advanced level of understanding of the major topics in management (and is so done for the full time PGP courses). We know that the reason for doling out strategy in the first quarter to us was to market the part time executive mba to us, and make us more interested in the course. I would not be surprised if that has worked the way it was supposed to be, since most people in my class seem to have liked the strategy course. I think a bit differently. If ever I was interested in the course it was not because whether I liked the topics in the first quarter but that the course over time would be delivered in an effectivfe way, and transform a "non-manager" like myself, and a well planned course is the only way to achieve this effectively. Of course a lot of people in our course are "experienced", and hence would have all sorts of arguments, in each of the class, making it quite "lively", however there were some concerns at the end of the course whether the "superficial" comments which took up a fair amount of time could have been reduced a bit, to get real "gyaan" (knowledge) at the end of it all, instead of only "excitement" which was there for most of the part. So even though I dont know if I have really learnt what I should have, I can now can claim to know atleast what terms (and the 2x2 matrices) to use when confronted with a discussion on strategy. (its another matter that I found myself tongue tied in the entire duration of the course, and blame it partly on my reluctance to read in advance the cases in detail, Ive vowed since to read all the cases handed out by the profs in as much detail as I can before I appear for the classes!)

The prof we had was RTK (Rishikesh T Krishnan), an excellent prof in my opinion, and one responsible for my opinions of IIM Bangalore to have good "professional" teachers on their board (he was the first prof I saw in the insti). I believe the impression was majoprly based on his looks and the way he carreid himself, though he being Harvard Educated could also be a reason. He is again slated to take International Business for us in the coming quarter, looking forward to it, and to being an "active" participant in the course and learning a lot!

I found writing this small bit about a course taken quite interesting, and would be sharing some of my exeriences, expectations and the way the courses pan out in actuality, in my future mails.


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