December 9, 2005

Management S&M

In the pursuit of our MBA degrees we are supposed to have a wholistic view of Management Science Models. Though many of my analytical friends will swear that it is one of the better subjects to study, and I dont blame them coz this is the only soccour to those enginneers where we get exact solutions (in an otherwise choatic world of mgmt.)

In another life the same things I studied under the moniker of 'Operations Research' and boy! did I kick ass then. Assignment models, PERT CPM, Linear programming, Simplex were like brothers. Now we are estranged, me after a stint on an MNC shopfloor where I was saw that they weren't as effective as academic oracles back at engineering college claimed them to be. In fact what worked best was the out-of-the-ass solutions that me and my colleagues worked out. Out there I learned to abhor theory and those serpentine formulae.

So today, when I am told that some linear graphs and similar methods are the answer to management jigsaws I find it hard to believe. I dont know why such subjects are taught to us. I dont think that 2 years down the line when I am Manager of some function will I be worried about the sensitivity of some god forsaken 2D line drawn by an MBA still wet between the ears.

Other than being a teaser for those with an analytical bent of mind, for lesser mortals like me who are petrified by too much of math the subject is psychologically a pain. I prefer to call MSM Management S&M. Yes friends, the subject is precisely that; its Sadism and Masochism in Management education. But then I'm happy to be studying it. Why?? ... Reminds me of those glorious engineering days. Reminds me of SG Patil (The who taught me OR) and all the fun we had in his class; and all the imitating that I did. Yes it is gratification, by pain. True S&M!!!

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