How MBA is evolving with tech

Published: November 26, 2018 1:46 AM

Technical integration in MBA curriculum is happening

The focus has now shifted on how to harmonise the workplace relationship of a man with a robot.

By Ravi Jeswani & Gautam Rangras

AI and robotics have started transforming businesses by changing the way we work. But automation is not new; the fears associated with it transforming the workplace and its effects on employment date back to the Industrial Revolution. The current wave of automation is so big and advanced that some believe we are heading towards a dystopian world run by robots, whereas others envision a utopia of leisure. A recent report by McKinsey Global Institute (Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained) highlighted that while automation will contribute significantly towards increasing global productivity and economic growth, it will also lead to increased unrest as workers will need to switch to new jobs with periodic upgradation of skills.

Therefore, future business leaders must be prepared for a world in which humans and robots coexist and work cohesively. The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University is the latest B-school to recognise this and has launched a course called ‘Human and Machine Intelligence’ that delves deep into AI’s applications for future business leaders. While the ability of machines to take on more challenging cognitive tasks, efficient data analysis and complex decision making is gaining momentum, the so-called soft skills, such as negotiation, are unlikely to be effectively performed by robots.

The focus has now shifted on how to harmonise the workplace relationship of a man with a robot. Many B-schools are doing exactly that and MBA courses are being designed keeping in mind the industry’s changing business requirements. The main objective of this technical integration in MBA curriculum is to enable students develop a deeper understanding of their chosen domain by applying the learnt technical skills to sharpen their ability in decision making on critical management decisions and policy issues. Predictive analytics for business decisions has seen a huge rate of adoption in MBA curriculum. It presents a comprehensive view of the various tools and techniques used in forecasting including problem of consumer demand estimation, market size determination, sales projection, analysing and predicting future stock prices. Methodology covering time series analysis as well as regression methods coupled with statistical software packages for advanced data analysis enable their users meet their own forecasting needs.

Jeswani is a professor and Rangras is a final-year PGDM student at Vivekanand Education Society’s Institute of Management, Mumbai

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