Oct 17, 2008

Making management a profession

I've blogged about it earlier  - but Messrs Nohria and Khurana want Management to be a profession like a medical profession, complete with a sort of Hippocratic oath. And this time they are using the financial meltdown as the lever.
While acknowledging the importance of experience and soft skills, the authors firmly believe that managers whose judgement is based on formal knowledge are more effective. Citing the positive effects of professionalism on medicine, the authors draft an eight-point Hippocratic Oath for managers designed to raise their expectations of themselves and encourage moral behaviour.
But could enforcing a code of ethics undermine the entrepreneurial talent whose activities drive the economy? This is unlikely, argue the authors, highlighting the stimulating effect of a code on creativity in fields like medicine. The key challenge in writing a code lies in reaching a broad consensus on the aims and social purposes of management, they add.

The real test for a professional would be - as Prof. Shukla points out - do they remain managers once they get out of an organization? A CA remains a CA. A doctor remains a doctor. A lawyer remains a lawyer. But a manager does not remain a manager once he/she is out of an organization. That, according to me - is the key for being a professional.