Business schools hold the key to the economic and social development of the country as they groom students who will one day dictate the engines of the economy, or even control it. The subjects that are taught in these business schools cover various aspects of business management—from finance and operations to marketing and human resources, among others. The students are also trained in leadership skills, communication and problem-solving techniques.
But it has been seen that many of these business schools have not always been able to coach students with a societal vision. Profit maximisation may be important, but it cannot take away the fact that we need to build “business citizens”. Therefore, business schools must develop business character among students; the ethical dimension of business needs to be inculcated. These institutions will become more relevant if they interact with the outside world for a better understanding of the local problems and evolve solutions for the community.
As we enter a new era of globalised education in a hi-tech environment, it is imperative that business schools reorient what they teach and how they teach. Product stewardship can only be attained when there is a productive relationship between different sets of intelligence. It is encouraging that there is a huge demand for Indian students in the global job markets too. This special issue of Outlook is dedicated to business schools so that they raise students with a conscience—not just teaching them how to maximise profits, but also impart values for the larger social good of the community, and to be more humane in an unequal world.
(This appeared in the print as 'Can Business Be More Humane?')