RIBS - Methodology
Participant Centred Learning
This concept pioneered by Professor Roland Christensen of Harvard Business School shifts the emphasis from the instructor to the learner. Most aspirants of business education in India do not have work experience. Mere understanding of concepts is not enough to enable them to apply to real-world situations. A significant part of this gap can be bridged by the use of cases that represent events as they occurred and encourage participants to take on the role of one of the protagonists and articulate what they would have done in the face of situational dilemmas or conflicting demands. Diversity in the classroom brings forth a rich variety of views and the instructor facilitates the discussion. The objective is to foster critical thinking and decision-making skills among students. While a case does not have a right or wrong answer, an understanding of alternatives that leads up to recognition of what really happened and the consequences thereof sharpens the ability of students to analyze the possible outcomes of their actions. Cases from Harvard, Richard Ivey, ECCH, Stanford and the Society for Case Research are used throughout the programs.
These are similar to simulations except that they deal with scenarios and specific concepts – negotiations, conflict resolution, performance measurement, providing feedback and marketing an industrial product. Students are given scenarios and asked to play the role of one of the managers involved. Again, the diversity of the classroom and the different viewpoints expressed make for a great learning experience.
Games too are similar to simulations except for an element of fun and excitement. From simple two-person games to team games, the instructor can design games that have definite outcomes based on the approaches followed thus allowing for a winner to emerge. Games are useful tools for understanding complex situations involving Markov Processes.
Analysis & Reporting
Students are encouraged to take up analysis and reporting at different levels – function, company, industry or country. The use of analytical tools and the APA Style Guide helps students to enhance their skills at professional writing.
Presentations – individual and team – are an integral part of all courses. These are designed to improve the communication and question-handling skills of students. The presentations can be theme-based, concept-based or case-based.
The purpose of visiting industries is to understand industrial processes. An opportunity is provided to interact with a senior executive to further enhance one’s appreciation of why certain processes happen the way they do. Students are encouraged to make suggestions for improvement and if accepted by the organization, the best suggestions are suitably recognized.
The objective of introducing community service in a business program is primarily to sensitize students to the world around them and to convey the message that one can do well (succeed) by doing good (to society). Initiatives include health care, education, sanitation, rural marketing, working with NGOs and participating in awareness-creating activities.
Every week, we invite practitioners to visit us and interact with our students. The practical orientation that the practitioners bring complements the theoretical framework that the students learn in the classroom. In addition, we encourage and invite practitioners to take part in case discussions whenever cases related to their companies or sectors are discussed.