It was not long back, or so it seems when I first stepped into the world of IIM. It’s been 1.5 terms past now. Been thinking that it might be a good idea to reflect on the subjects covered till now. So listed below are some of the more interesting subjects with a line or two about them along with my ‘two cents’ on them.
This is a subject which deals with the fundamentals of economics at the grassroot level. Talks about how an individual is affected by the economic policies and market scenario and how in turn he contributes to it. It could be remarkably interesting in a 6 month course but for a 2 month B-School paper things become a little too much to digest.
A good book to read for this is “Microeconomics” by Katz & Rosen
A subject which is by far the most practical of all the stuff covered in this term. It is the term which actually relates to your day to day life an your interaction with the different products and services that you consume. Pity then, that what is best learnt as a live experience is taught using textbook and simulation cases. But, on second thoughts it would take upwards of two lifetimes to get the same learnings (or almost!) as what is normally obtained from a well designed and structured course. A very apt course for anyone who wants to make his mark in the field of business. An excellent book to read, and by far the undisputed de-facto standard is “Marketing Management” by Philip Kotler
A course which is the stepping stone to any quantitative or statistical analysis. its like the alphabets of language. An absolute must for any advanced paper in any discipline. Whether it is Financial Derivatives or operations Management or Corporate Finance or Market Research or even Financial Accounting. A clear and undisputable understanding of the fundamentals of this subject is a must. Even if the advanced concepts are not well known, those could be picked up in the due course of time. A good book to read is “Statistics for Business & Economics” by Anderson, Sweeney and Williams.
Organizational Behavior (I)
One of the most interesting subjects in this term, though unfortunately not that critical in your career unless you really want to specialize in HR. A subject which helps you to understand the ‘people’ working in an ‘organization’ and hence lets you reflect more on yourself and your previous employee/employer; has lots of room for introspection and deep thinking. One of those subjects whose worth can be really appreciated and whose beauty can be truly savored only if you have some professional work experience. An excellent book to read is “Organizational Behaviour” by Robert Kreitner & Angelo Kinicki
One of the most critical and probably most challenging papers in this term. Something which is quite demanding in terms of your time and efforts in order to master it. The concepts are not so logical in the very beginning with the T-Accounts and the double-account, cash flows/profit and loss account/ balance sheets all getting jumbled up. But if persistent effort is put, the pieces will hopefully start falling into place like parts of a jigsaw puzzle showing you the bigger picture and the inherent coherent nature of the subject hence. Any descent accounting book would do for this.
An important note for this is : This is one subject which requires an active involvement. Practice putting pen on paper if you are really serious about understanding this.
Corporate Finance (I)
By far the most awaited subject in this term to anyone who is even curious about ‘stock market’, ‘NASDAQ’ and Sensex. Teaches you about the nuances of the world of money; its birth, its life and its culmination in the corporate world. A very interesting subject indeed and also one of the subjects which really does not require a book to learn. Internet with sites like ‘wikipedia’, ‘Investopedia’ and of course the numerous business newspaper sites offer a plethora of information in this field. It is actually a pleasant surprise to find one of the best written textbooks for this subject. “Principles of Corporate finance” by Brealey & Myers is one of the most captivatingly written books I have come across. It will almost keep you leashed on to it. A must read for anyone who wants to know how action takes place in the world of Business
A subject which found its roots in the times of World War II and is now commonly used in every manufacturing concern for efficient utilization of resources and planning of activities. A person with some experience in any manufacturing setup will almost jump in joy when going through this. A subject which is a very scientific in its approach and yet retains an uncannily earthen touch. Has mathematics involved, bit then which nice subject doesn’t ? A good book to read is ‘Management Science with Spreadsheets’ by Stevenson & Ozgur. This is a much more reader friendly book and is much more lively in its approach. A second preference for those who have a knack for a formal learning style, would be “Quantitative Methods for Business” by Anderson Sweeney & Williams. But according to me this would be a distant second preference.
This second in the series of accounting talks of cost and materials accounting in the production setup. Typically process and organization level costing and cost management. Something which is less regimented in norms and accepted practices and more bent on logical progression. Any off the shelf book would suffice as a reference material for this.
An applicatin of various OR techniques to solve management decision problems. An interesting and close to real life subject which often is tangled between shop-floor to boardroom to supply chain management and to agency management. Another subject which would be a great value addition for anyone who has an experience of a plant functioning or of a production setup management. A wonderful reference for this is “Operations Management” by Chase, Aquilano & Jacobs
This is really the more interesting sibling of Micro-Economics. This talks about the larger scenario in which countries and their economies are critically analyzed and understood. The policies of the country towards maintaining its growth are studied and its movements understood. It is the first insight into the world of ‘Fiscal Policy’ and ‘Monetary Policy’. It also explains the various export and manufacturing control systems put in placed by the regime and why they are required. It has a lot more logical string ing that Microeconomics, and of course it is of much greater relevance and significance in the real world. A very good book to refer is “Macroeconomics” by Dornbusch, Fischer & Startz