Management of Mathematics or Mathematics of Management: Quantitative Methods in Management

  • Megha Sharma
  • Sumanta BasuEmail author


This chapter attempts to initiate a discussion on relevance and utility of quantitative subjects in management given the conflicting background of perceived quantitative superiority of management graduates from premier institutions and partial failure of Indian business to adopt quantitative practices effectively to justify its utility in management education. This chapter introduces the readers to the standard format of quantitative courses in a management programme by segregating it into three broad areas: statistics, operations research and operations management. We elaborate on the typical courses offered by each of these areas to showcase their relevance to current management programmes and practice. We also compare the quantitative course offerings in management programmes with those in specific technical programmes in terms of their objectives, pedagogy and content. This comparison helps us in identifying the application focus in quantitative courses essential for managers in analytical domain, i.e. financial sector, data analytics, etc. We extend this discussion by providing an unbiased view about the current status, industry expectation and objective of management graduates while going through quantitative courses. We have highlighted the positives of quantitative orientation on management courses and its influence on current success of management education in India. To identify the ways of improvement in future, we focus on critical yet unaddressed areas by involving multiple stakeholders in the discussion: students, faculty members and industry. Although premier management institutes carry the repute of having students with excellent quantitative ability, unfortunately the industrial scenario in India is not able to recognize full potential of quantitative methodologies and hence fails to exploit the potential. This industry practice motivates management graduates to focus on jobs with a general management or consulting focus leaving the quantitative-focused roles for specific disciplines. We have suggested some initiatives, required from both industry and academia, to bridge this gap and make the quantitative part of management education relevant and useful. We also present our views on extending this effort in the field of management research by creating several industry-focused research groups that may help in bridging the industry academia gap to realize full potential of quantitative methods, tools and techniques.


Quantitative methods Teaching pedagogy Management research Stakeholder analysis 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Operations Management GroupIndian Institute of Management CalcuttaKolkataIndia

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