Friday, September 30, 2011

Management jargon demystified- A corporate newbies guide for MBA aspirants

"What have you specialized in?" is a common question that people ask freshly minted MBAs. The answer to that one is usually marketing, operations, HR, finance, etc. Some even specialise in strategy! However, once you pass out from a B school and enter an organisation reality hits you! The above management functions take on a whole new meaning. This is roughly what they mean to me after having been in an organisation for 4 months.
  • Marketing = Selling my company's value proposition/offer (and not a product) to kirana stores in slums of Mumbai! Now, not even Kotler can help me with that.
  • Operations= Spending twelve hours in the Goods Receiving Area with truck drivers for company. 
  • Strategy= Making ppts with interesting charts and diagrams and talking GAS ( similar to the "we are selling an offer and not a product mentioned above)
On a serious note, I think an MBA tag makes it even tougher to gain acceptance in the organisation. Humility and empathy are the most important traits required for winning the trust of many in the organisation who believe that a mere MBA is not sufficient and will always look to point out flaws in your work. So while an MBA might ensure a hefty pay packet and a great start designation wise, it also invites ire and discontent of many for the same reason.


  1. I really like the article as I am also getting the feeling B schools are mere over rated placement agency who churn out ready-made 'managers' each year !

    Humility goes in puff when you slowly acquire MBA degree in 2 years. And when you pass out of B school, you get an illusion of leader and game-changer of yours own personality.

    This demystification of 'jargons' done in the article is necessary for destruction of big fatty ego of managers ! Good work.

  2. "So while an MBA might ensure a hefty pay packet and a great start designation wise, it also invites ire and discontent of many for the same reason." what a coincidence just happened to me and i saw this article ..

  3. I think the MBAs can think, see and perceive things which others will know only in jargon terms. Specializations in MBA are real and in line with the functional needs of organizations. You are right that MBAs get a kind of unwarm reception at places, but I think that happens with any highly qualified professional. The battle between experience and qualification is never ending.

  4. @KrRahul: In the short span of time I have been in an organisation, I have had the opportunity to work with IIMA guys and manual labourers. The non MBAs and even unskilled labour have their own way of understanding. A lot of what we study is heavily influenced by the west. Hence the need to dejargonise. Or on a more serious note, a bit of humility always helps. At the MBA end, I think pre work ex before a MBA is more useful rather than a fresher doing an MBA.

  5. @nitin sir, you are absolutely right....a bit of humility and empathy is always needed but I am afraid if they (top MBA colleges) are really banking on it.

    Leave apart IRMA and some others, then the whole B-school community seems to be in more desperation of producing corporate ROBOTS.