Prospects of Management in Bangladesh

It is often said that the standard of management in Bangladesh is at least fifty years backward to that of western countries. Again, this standard, whatever is there at the moment, has been falling by the day.

The nationalization of industries after independence in 1972 opened up the possibility of a revolutionary improvement in the management practice of hitherto private section enterprises under the non-Bangalee owners.

Prospects of Management in Bangladesh

Before independence, most of the industrial enterprises were owned and managed by non-Bangalee capitalists who were devoid of any sense of social responsibility. They were after making quick profits and cared a little to improve management, which was by and large familiar.

State ownership and management of industries after independence gave a chance to the Governments to improve both the quality and quantity of products by developing resources both human and non-human, under the corporation.

The military regimes that captured state power in August 1975 destroyed the aspirations of the people by waging a virtual war against the public sector enterprises under sector corporations.

They plundered the resources of these enterprises in a meticulous manner and started selling them to private parties at nominal prices. Management efficiency, be it either in production or in marketing was given little or no attention at all.

Thus whatever virtue the public enterprises could have achieved soon vanished. The industrial enterprises, both in the private and the public sector, continued to suffer from low productivity and low profitability.

They failed to compete in the market and ultimately stagnated. The type of management efficiency that could help overcome this problem remained absent. The emerging garment industry also failed to develop a suitable system of management. The owner-managers started making money through the exploitation of labor and in no way through improved management.

Professionalization of management suffered and the bright graduates from universities could not be attracted to industrial management. Moreover, the technology and the techniques of management used in our industries are outdated. The use of information technology and computers, critical path analysis and simulation, break-even analysis and cash flow analysis, etc., have been neglected.

Management, in general, is autocratic in style and does not cause for the establishment of democratic values within the enterprise. Decisions are taken at the top level without any consultation with the workers/employees at the grass-root level.

Workers’ participation in decision making, as is practiced in Japan and Germany, is totally absent. This has, in fact, widened the gap between labor and management and has resulted in a huge loss of Mondays and production due to turbulent industrial relations.

In order to get rid of this situation, the immediate task of the Government should be to remove obstacles to industrial investment. The potential entrepreneurs should be encouraged to grow as industrialists, who in turn would develop a system of management most suited to our environment.

Business schools and training institutes should be developed to meet the requirement of human resources, without which the establishment of a sound system of management would remain a dream.

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