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IIM-A to rethink over linking incentives with performance

In 2012, the institute had initiated a new system of setting targets, assigning scores and offering incentives based on the scores for teaching and non-teaching activities

Vinay Umarji  |  Ahmedabad 

Even as it completes two years, the performance system (PMS) launched by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) might see an overhaul.

According to institute sources, the system that assigns scores to faculty members on their teaching and non-teaching activities including research and administration may see changes in its linkage with incentives.

"There have been both positive and negative feedback on the monetary benefits linked with the scores. Hence, the institute will rethink over the same for the next academic year. The extent of incentives linked with the scores will either be changed or may be done away with," said an institute source close to the development.

It needs to be mentioned here that in 2012, the institute had initiated a new system of setting targets, assigning scores and offering incentives based on the scores for teaching and non-teaching activities including research, consultation and administration work.

What's more, following suit, other IIMs including Indian Institute of Calcutta, Trichy and Udaipur have initiated various systems to measure their faculty's performance.

At the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (IIM-L) , for instance, faculty members' salaries would now carry a variable pay based on targets achieved such as number of research papers, number of teaching hours and quality of teaching methods as well as participation in consulting projects, among others.

However, the institute had received mixed reviews from faculty, wherein most of the faculty members had expressed worry over how much of each activity needs to be finished and the amount of incentive linked with it.

According to faculty members, while it was a good thing to aggregate my scores, the downside was the stress that comes from wanting to know how much score one has earned. Hence, a faculty could get tense over how much of each activity has he finished and how much incentive is he liable for.

It has also been perceived that Indian academicians as compared to their western counterparts are more inclined towards teaching than research, and hence, such a system would add additional pressure on them.

However, at some of the institutes, faculty members had decided to draw a three year plan for themselves.

"We decided that a faculty member may be allowed to chose their mix and declare it for the next three years. What we have noticed is that when people declare their plans, sheer peer pressure makes them work to achieve it. No one else needs to judge them. Everyone's given a three year plan and it is working quite well," Ajit Balakrishnan, founder, chairman and CEO, and Chairperson, IIM Calcutta had told Business Standard earlier.

Sometime back, in their recent meeting with the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), the latter had also sought details on how the premier B-schools were going about such a system.

Meanwhile, some of the IIMs are of the view that faculty members should be freed from administration work. "Faculty members are also involved in admission, placements and other administration work. Why should faculty do that? At IIM Udaipur, therefore, we don't have faculty doing administration work, though they merely oversee it," said directors of one of the IIMs.

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First Published: Sun, January 19 2014. 20:59 IST