Business schools organise standard educational programmes aimed at providing knowledge required by the marketplace. Companies need talent that has both solid understanding of mainstream business issues as well as specific knowledge about their area of work. This gap is usually filled either by tailored programmes offered by business schools through their executive education departments or through the in-house training programmes organised by companies. Such programmes, specialised to meet the needs of participants, come at a higher cost.
If a company requires periodic training of a large number of its employees in specific areas, then it could make sense for the company to have in-house training programmes. For instance, The Tata Group conducts training programmes for its employees. Johnson & Johnson’s Institute provides training to surgeons from different countries on various surgical products.
The choice of whether to have an in-house captive programme or collaborate with an institution depends primarily upon two factors — the nature of the education required and the cost of such a programme. In my opinion, institutions involved in research create higher value because the faculty members are involved in creating new knowledge in their area of expertise. Overall, if a company’s needs can be met effectively within manageable cost by a reputed school, then the collaboration can be beneficial for both.
Some collaborative programmes provide wider benefits by creating a much needed talent pool for the entire industry, and thus subtly benefit the brand of the sponsoring company. Finally, companies can set up appropriate policies regulating the participation in a collaborative programme to help retain employees after the programme, creating a win-win for all.
The author Siddharth Shekhar Singh is associate professor of marketing, ISB — Hyderabad & Mohali.