Wednesday, 21 October 2015

IMNZ: New Zealand's 'professional' management organisation

I have always considered NZIM (NZ Institute of Management), or now, IMNZ, as the professional organisation for managers in New Zealand. I have been an NZIM associate member since 1995, since completing my Higher Diploma in Management.

However, I have tried a couple of times over the years to become a full professional member, but they don't really seem set up to welcome 'people like me' as members of the organisation.

By 'people like me', I mean someone who mostly teaches management, rather than someone who mostly applies it. While I am on governance boards, I am not in a management position. I teach management to year two and three students on a management degree (B.Com) and on a B.Sport & Rec.

On IMNZ's full member application forms, I don’t fit the boxes.There is no space for management qualifications or governance experience in their forms - nor, possibly, in their thinking. I find it disappointing – no, incomprehensible – that those who teach management are apparently shut out of membership of the New Zealand professional management organisation.

Just to clarify, a certificate in management is an introductory level 4 qualification consisting of eight papers, of ten credits each. 80 credits. To compare, a degree is usually 360 credits, a master's a further 180 credits and a PhD 240-ish plus.

It appears to me that IMNZ wants members who are practitioners, and they can skip that nasty formal learning part.

To check whether my perceptions were wrong, I contacted IMNZ to ask (despite the forms indicating that those perceptions were likely correct). While I had a nice reply saying that, yes, lecturers weren't really catered for and that my feedback would be passed to the board, I have had no further reply in six months. The net effect in my view is that IMNZ don't want members who learn about, teach and research management.

Additionally, I had to ask to have someone advise me of what the application process was, as IMNZ's forms did not detail what happens once my data drops into IMNZ’s black box. That is not good management – and that too is disappointing.

Perhaps they need some management scholars after all.

But those management scholars won't include me. After twenty years, I will not be renewing my membership. I don't see the point in continuing to try to belong to an organisation that obviously has no interest in me. Bewildering as that is in today's climate of falling participation.

And just a little point of interest: Management Magazine, the mainstay of management publications in New Zealand, has incomprehensibly merged with NZ Business Magazine: to the detriment of publication quality and credibility. I just read today what is probably the "why" behind the merger: the owner of 3Media who operated Management Magazine is just about to be banged up for fraud.

Some more management scholars could really have been useful there too.



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