Professor (Dr.) Lata Dhir of SPJIMR is back in India after a 2-month stint at the ESB Business School in Reutlingen, Germany.
Professor (Dr.) Lata Dhir of SPJIMR is back in India after a 2-month stint at the ESB Business School in Reutlingen, Germany. Invited under the Erasmus Mundus Visiting Scholarship, Dr. Dhir is a psychologist who has been teaching Organisational Behaviour at SPJIMR - one of India's leading B-schools - for more than 10 years now. For students of ESB, Reutlingen, she had formulated a seminar in modular format coined "Identifying the Leader in you". This course was offered to students in the Advanced Organizational Behavior program and was also offered as an open seminar to all students of Reutlingen University. Students across various specializations at ESB Business School and students from diverse backgrounds at Reutlingen University such as interior designing, humanities, engineering e.t.c expressed enthusiasm for the course and those who were a part of it appreciated the knowledge they gained. Students belonging to a special MBA course run for the soldiers of the German Army also appreciated the course taught.
With European economies in stagnation for quite some period, the corporate foray into the BRICS economies is now relentless. Today, no amount of exposure and understanding of economies like India and China is deemed enough at the University level in Europe. Therefore, it is not surprising that, despite being a voluntary course taking place in a semester break, the students enrolled were fully engaged in the sessions. Consequentially Dr. Dhir is now on board the ESB Business School as an external consultant for Quest 3c interdisciplinary program and would be working closely with other faculty there.
"Organizational Behavior (OB) deals with human behavior, and it is complex. Therefore, the way it is taught has to be creative. At S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, OB is not taught in a four-walled classroom but through an off campus experiential Personal Growth Lab. This format builds personal leadership and team skills through indoor and outdoor activities, psychometric tests and experiential exercises." says Dr. Lata Dhir.
It is this "PG Lab" that elicits a lot of interest abroad, since it deals with almost everything that is looked upon as a challenge while working in the field of psychology in India. The pedagogy involves psychological assessment, reflection and feedback, experiential exercises, management games, movie discussions, meditation and discussions on underlying concepts and frameworks. Elite B-schools like some of the IIM's, SPJIMR, XLRI, etc. have over the years managed to impact students' minds with an experiential way of teaching Organizational Behavior and Leadership. What appeals to many universities in Europe is the blend of 'Western Efficiency' and 'Eastern Ethos'.
Dr. Dhir feels this is an effective approach in education. "At SPJIMR," she explains, "we have been able to effectively intertwine western frameworks with eastern processes. Through this approach we endeavor to impact not only the 'Knowing' but also the 'Doing' and 'Being' aspects of student development."
The faculty of leading Indian B-schools with a strong background in academic initiatives towards pedagogic innovations - like Dr. Lata Dhir of SPJIMR - are keenly sought in the western hemisphere today. This is as much to understand the finer aspects of "Western Efficiency meets Eastern Ethos", as it is to align their students to the work culture of the economies that are driving the world today.