Sunday, January 11, 2009

Of groups and MBA...

Dear Blog,

It’s a part of every subject. It’s a part of being an MBA. It’s a part of working as a manager. It’s a part of being a social being. It’s a part of life. You cannot work alone... God created the man and then realised man’s identity could be harmful for the weaker, his mistakes, and the errors in the otherwise six-sigma universe. He then thought, “Let me create the need for social recognition, the need for affiliation.” Just to ensure his point was well hammered, he also created one Maslow and then a few OB teachers who taught man the importance of group work. And thus, individual pursuit of excellence was curbed to make way for group development.

All fine till now. But then, as with all other things, man took this noble intention to the extreme and decided he needed to build and enforce this group behaviour in every aspect of life and in MBA terms, part of every course evaluation. Thus were born groups and group assignments in management. With those groups came the complex group dynamics. Who forms the groups? Who takes the initiative and includes whom in the group? Including one person may not mean anything but saying no to anyone means doubting his capacities and what is more, it demonstrates your unwillingness to work with a friend if not your inability to work in a team. But including a person means alienating someone else who does not want to be with that person or in not-so-rare and not-so-extreme cases actually doubts him/her. And caught in this are those people who simply do not care what group they are in!!! Their sole objective is to ensure the best they can do individually, enrich the group that they are in and few cases, try to cover-up for the weaklings should there be any. This does not mean that they do not want to be with their favourite group (the concept of impartiality is slightly flawed by its very definition) but that they would be equally comfortable with anyone else...

Thankfully, despite all his efforts, God could not embed a culture of group discussions in humans and thus these were used as differentiating points for recruitment!!!

Waiting for a group-less course,
PP

2 comments:

Shruti said...

the expectations that your friends will ALWAYS make a group with you and the feeling of being left out. We still have to learn to separate our personal and professional lives rite... you really caught the 'group making' in an MBA institute perfectly..

MMM said...

The problem comes for those who do not have these expectations!!! They are fine wid any group but the friends may not be... The feeling of the "known devil rather than unknown" may be more pervasive and decisive than the expectation...