Organizational DynamicsMICA’s culture – A study By: Disha Pinge 17 Gaurav Nigam 20 Lakshmi R. Nair 27 Megha Singh S. 30 Akshay Menon 31 Namrata Bora 33
MICA“Started in 1991, Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA) is an autonomousnon-profit management education institution. MICA has set a precedent as the firstresidential academic institution in the country and perhaps in the Asia-Pacific region whollydedicated to meeting the needs of the integrated marketing communications industry.MICA complements the role that management education plays in modernizing andprofessionalizing communications-driven businesses.”This is how MICA introduces itself to the worldthrough its website. MICA is a premiermanagement school of the country yet it isunique from all the other management colleges.What is this uniqueness about MICA and itsculture? Lets go through various facets of MICAlike the student community, the faculties etc tounderstand this unique MICAn culture.The MICAn cultureMICA is one of the most premiere schools in thecountry which imparts education, conductsresearch and trains one to be leadingprofessionals in the Communications domain.Brief Interviews and opinions of Prof Arbind Sinha, Prof Rajneesh Krishna & Mr KGK Pillaiwere taken. Culture of MICA can be understood under following sub-heads:(1) Student CommunityEvery year thousands of students are there around the country who are die-hard MICAaspirants just because MICA offers them their desired course through which they can makeup a career in the field of their choice. Students are chosen by MICA management in such amanner that their areas of interests aligns with the vision & objective of MICA.MICA Culture is such that it lays a great emphasis on Communications field and ensuresthat students are trained to undertake responsible job in marketing communicationsdepartment and drive this industry forward. Students get a 360 degree exposure here in terms of academics, extra-curricular activities,sports and personality development programmes. They are prepared in such a way thatthey take challenges and initiatives to portray leadership skills. Student Exchangeprogramme is a gateway for students here to have a glimpse at how the communicationsmanagement fundamentals are taught the world over. Students get ample freedom here, so they enjoy their hostel life and make the maximumout of a community living.
(2) Curriculum DesignMICA’s vision is to adopt the best pedagogy of teaching for its students. Syllabus isdesigned here in such a way that the students get to study the most relevant and latesttrends in the industry along with brushing up their fundamentals. Lot of Case Studies, Seminars, Guest Lectures from Industry, Study through Movieshappen here. Students are always equipped with knowledge which makes them efficient andanalytical enough to face the industry with aplomb.(3) Faculty & Administration StaffFaculties are chosen in MICA with great care. Because MICA does not want any teacher whofeels out of place in Organizational culture of MICA. Teachers besides being the experts oftheir fields are the ones who have done some research in communications domain or theirindividual vision is quite clear so to what MICA aims to impart to their students. Each &Every faculty has a separate Air-Conditioned Cabin with an easy access to the plenty ofworld class reading material. Ample amount of freedom is given to Faculty in the way theywish to conduct their sessions and how they want to evaluate students. All the hygienefactors along with Salary remunerations are taken care by MICA Management so that everyTeachers enjoys teaching here and brings out his/her best.Similar freedom along with necessary perks is provided to Administration staff too. They arealways treated as important assets of MICA and are considered as second to none. They areprovided with holidays and regular breaks too so that they do not feel stressed out andcontribute effectively to keep the machinery of MICA running smoothly.(4) Entertainment and InnovationWhile MICA always strives hard to deliver on its promise to students for quality teaching andsuperb placements it also ensures that it is rated high on employee satisfaction level too.For this at one place when it tries to assess itself through credible external bodies it alsodoes a lot to provide wholesome entertainment to its staff and students through variousConcerts and Fest and hence it always keeps a separate budget for such activities andencourages if others propose for it. On the other hand MICA always dreams and acts in the direction to be a distinguishedInstitution. It strives to remain a leader in its field. For this constant growth innovation isvery necessary. It revamps the curriculum taught here regularly, keeps salaries at par withindustry standards, maintains a strong networking with the industry. Always something newand interesting is brought forward to the table so that everyone’s enthusiasm levels arehigh and there is excitement in working and attending classes as well.(5) Campus and the EnvironmentMICA as an organization believes that an individual can only prosper if the environmentaround him/her boosts him/her to do so. Campus is big, calm and serene. All the elementsto survive here are in adequate proportion whether it is Technology, Food, Medical Facility,Gymnasium or Sports equipments & Off-course living rooms too.
There are caretakers to keeps the Campus clean and damage-free all the time and ensureeveryone right from students to staff to invited guests have a pleasant stay here.These various factors go a long way in defining the culture of MICA.Functional and Dysfunctional aspects of the MICAn cultureThe culture, be it of an individual’s or an organization’s or of a nation’s, it acts both as anenabler and a barrier to success and growth. It is like two sides of the same coin.Functional aspects 1. Dedication of each and every individual related to the organisation towards improving the education imparted by the institute. It is a part of MICA culture to strive towards excellence and stay abreast with the latest developments taking place in the industry. MICA has been a pioneer amongst all the other Management schools in the country because it develops and nurtures professionals in communications industry. 2. A very open culture helps resolve conflicts amongst the various stakeholders of the college, an open forum for students to voice their opinions is necessary and MICA has strived to provide that culture. Student teacher interactions are more in form of dialogues instead of monologues. 3. Continuous evaluation is done to identify the weak points of the organisation and help improve them or work towards improvement. 4. Research is focussed on such that motivated individuals can be developed for the greater good of the society. The organisation culture speaks of giving back to the society and that culture is inculcated in each and every individual who has ever been a part of the MICA family. 5. Each individual’s views are respected and MICA is considered to be a member of the MICA family, thus it helps in improvement of group dynamics and helps each batch live the MICan life years after years. 6. The college has provided challenges to each student such that it helps in improving their capabilities and forces them to identify and explore various alternatives which are a true mark of a capable manager. Providing guidance and even assistance by way of financial aid to attempts made by students in the field of research is proof to the fact that research is an integral part of the academics at MICA.Dysfunctional aspects
1. There are times when decisions are taken by the authorities which might not be what the students desire or see as useful to them. Now in this case there is often dialogue, discussion, sparks fly, tough decisions are taken and a compromise reached. In the past these compromises have not been the best for the MICA cause. They are decisions taken ‘in the moment’. When there are too many stakeholders and less time to take decisions, taking each and every individuals opinion might get difficult and hence the risk of a compromise has to be taken by the management and students. 2. The MICA culture that the students of MICA perceive as integral, we believe are not the most progressive elements of the MICA culture. Often there are negative connotations about this culture and in fact sometimes students take to certain habits and even attitude because it is perceived important in order to ‘fit’. Hence habits such as smoking become rampant and students take to smoking, drinking, etc for the first time at MICA.An action planAfter diagnosis of the culture and identification ofthe undesirable/dysfunctional elements, the nextstep is preparation of an action plan to removethese elements from the culture of theorganization.There are two main dysfunctional aspects broughtout here.1. The first one is that the communication between the admin and the student community isnot easy and effective. A flaw in the communication process is the last that MICA should beblamed as it calls itself the most premier institute of communication.Dissemination of information or communication can be of two types, downward and upward.Downward communicationThe strategy decisions , policy measures etc. taken by the administration has to be regularlyand fully communicated to the students who are in most cases the stake holders. It has tobe done effectively.Upward communicationThe various requests, requirements, grievances or even ideas conceived or decisions takenby the student community has to be communicated to the administration for easier andbetter solving of problems by the admin.Both downward and upward communication is extremely important for effectivecommunication process.
Some steps that can be taken to better the present communication process are:Better participation at the level of decision makingThere has to be required level of participation in the major decision making processes fromthe student community. Student representative should be encouraged to take part in andcontribute to important brain storming sessions conducted preceding major decisions. Thiswill make them feel included, important and also responsible parties to the decisions thusarrived at thus ensuring better abidance to such decisions.Better and stronger channels of communicationCurrently, the channels of communication between the administration and the studentcommunity are the various student committees mainly the MCSA. The MCSA consists ofthree seniors and four juniors (class representatives). The size of the MCSA is verydisproportionate to the huge size of the student community. The same is the case with theother committees. Measures should be taken to make sure that the size of variouscommittees are increased. Creation of a committee just to play as an interface between theadmin and students can also be pondered over. Such steps from the part of the adminshould be in sync with the wishes of the current committee members else it might be feltlike an interference.Enhancing the feedback systemThe current feedback system is very lengthy, objective and mechanical. And it rules out theoption of an open, subjective feedback from the students. Also, the feedback covers onlythe learning and teaching aspects. The other aspects also are important and studentsshould be given a forum or system to register their feedback.These measures will be helpful in making the communication between and better workingtogether of the admin and the student community.2. Another and, may be, more important dysfunctional factor of the MICAn culture is the‘oomph’ factor attached to the word MICA. Fortunately or not, MICA is known in themanagement student communities as a ‘cool’ college. Being cool is good, of course. Butwhat the industry is looking for is rigour and discipline.Here the question is, is MICA just cool and nothing else? The sheer amount of national andinternational competitions won by the MICAns alone is enough to answer this question.MICAns are no less than any other management school students in hardwork, brilliance andrigour. But sadly these values are not what is attached to the college.The problem is that MICAns themselves try to define them as a cool crowd which is were themistake happens. Many take the various freedoms of college life that they experience hereat MICA as unique to this place, but it is not so. Traditionally, colleges were where studentsexperienced the word ‘freedom’ for their good or bad. It is given that the crowd at MICA,thanks to the unique selection process, is a bit unique but everything ends there. Much ofthis oomph factor surrounding MICA is sheer exaggeration.Proper communication strategies should be conceived to tone down the play of this ‘oomph’factor in the minds of outsiders as well as the MICAns themselves, most importantly in theindustry circles. MICAns are nothing but professional management students with the streakof creativity well intact, is what we should be telling them.
The vision of MICA is “to be the pre-eminent communications management school” and itsmission is “to develop innovative professionals in the practice, development andmanagement of communications to serve the needs of the industry and society througheducation, research and advocacy.”To achieve this glorious mission as it adheres to the path set by its vision, the constantchecking and correcting and updating its culture is extremely important like for any otherorganization.