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IIMs shun business school surveys

March 31, 2005 08:29 IST

The Indian Institutes of Management have decided not to participate in surveys for ranking business schools. The decision was taken by the six IIMs at a meeting held recently. It is believed that the smaller IIMs, at Lucknow, Indore and Kozikode, have pointed fingers at the way the surveys are conducted.

Among the surveys shunned by the IIMs are those conducted by four periodicals (three of them are business magazines) and the one by the All-India Management Association.

IIMs: Triumphs & Tribulations

Sources in the know, however, said the six IIMs would participate in overseas business school surveys, including those conducted by BusinessWeek and Financial Times.

Management experts and some second-rung business schools have raised exception to the decision of the IIMs, saying the move will affect the credibility of the surveys.

Some of them alleged the three smaller IIMs were not ready to face the surveys fearing lower rankings.

The directors of the IIMs refused to comment on the issue. An IIM-Calcutta official said: "The issue was raised at the directors' meeting held in Lucknow and subsequently in Indore by one of the smaller IIMs. It questioned the methodologies adopted by the organisations conducting the surveys. This led to a debate and, finally, it was decided that the IIMs would stay away from the domestic surveys."

Anup Singh, director of the Nirma Institute of Management, said: "I rate the local business school surveys better than those conducted in the US as the paradigms here are correct. I think the IIMs at Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta should take part. The absence of IIM-Indore and IIM-Kozhikode will not affect the surveys, as they have not yet graduated to the top league."

A source in IIM-Ahmedabad, which tops the list in most of the surveys, said: "We are not picking out any organisation but there are questions on the way the surveys are being conducted and so, to avoid any controversy, it has been decided to go in for a blanket ban on all the surveys."

The top five surveys in the country are conducted by the AIMA, Business India, Businessworld, Business Today (along with Cosmode) and Outlook.

SC Mohant, director-general of the Centre for Management Studies, New Delhi, said: "In AIMA, we have not received any communique from IIMs as yet but it will be unfortunate if the country's best institutes do not to take part in the surveys. The IIMs also need to understand that those formulating the surveys and deciding on the parameters are prominent persons from the industry. Although I believe that the IIMs' move will not affect the surveys much but it will snatch away the excitement from them."

A senior faculty member of one of the reputed private business schools, requesting anonymity, said: "The move will definitely make space for second-rung business schools but the surveys will lose much of their fun. It is like you win a race in which the favourites do not take part."

Not playing

  • What's out: Surveys conducted by the AIMA, Business India, Businessworld, Business Today and Outlook
  • What's fine: International surveys like the ones done by Business Week and Financial Times
  • But why: Competition alleges smaller IIMs fear poor rankings. IIMs say surveys are questionable
Joydeep Ray in Ahmedabad