Role of management education in adapting the Indian public sector to market-based economic reforms

Article


Prakash, N. and Hawaldar, A. 2023. Role of management education in adapting the Indian public sector to market-based economic reforms. International Journal of Public Sector Management. 36 (4-5), pp. 315-332. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPSM-01-2022-0003
AuthorsPrakash, N. and Hawaldar, A.
Abstract

Purpose
In 1991, India embarked on market-based economic reforms initiatives pillared on liberalization, privatization and globalization (LPG). The reforms exposed the public sector enterprises to competitive market forces, raising the need to identify and develop the competencies necessary for survival. Executive training programs were initiated to prepare public enterprises for the market-based reforms. Three decades later, the reforms especially privatization is witnessing renewed interest under the current administration. In this context, the article takes a closer look at the structure of management education provided to public sector officers in India. The article also identifies barriers for implementing the learnings from the management courses in the workplaces and suggests approaches for closing the gap.

Design/methodology/approach
The study follows a thematic approach based on unstructured interviews of senior executives of Indian public sector enterprises covering oil and gas, aeronautical, power and transportation sectors. New public management (NPM) is used as a yardstick of “business-like” characteristics of public sector enterprises.

Findings
Despite heavy investment, trainings have had only partial success in implementing the core objective of NPM, i.e. to provide quality services in a professional manner to meet citizen requirements. The study found that though concepts of NPM are introduced at multiple management training programs, the public enterprises lag in the implementation of NPM. The ingrained hierarchical and procedural culture of the enterprises was often highlighted as the challenge to its implementation.

Practical implications
The study will be of significance to Indian policymakers in designing management education programs to public sector employees. It brings out – (1) various models of management education provided to public servants across industries, (2) provide evidence on the extent of NPM implementation, (3) identify barriers for transitioning the learnings from the management courses to workplace and (4) suggest changes for improving effectiveness.

Originality/value
The existing research on LPG in India covers the economic transformation post-implementation and the factors contributing to the success of its implementation. This study adds to the limited literature available on the management education of public servants in the country.

KeywordsPublic Administration; Public Sector Reform; New Public Management; Management Education
JournalInternational Journal of Public Sector Management
Journal citation36 (4-5), pp. 315-332
ISSN0951-3558
Year2023
PublisherEmerald Publishing
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPSM-01-2022-0003
Publication dates
Online21 Apr 2023
Print29 Nov 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited29 Feb 2024
Copyright holder© 2023, The Authors
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