We had a session today by two eminent corporates, from two large corporations. One a global services giant and another a pharma major. They were here to tell us about recruiter expectations when they come to a B-School like ISB today. The pharma guy was an HR person and had fairly relevant points, one's that we could relate to, and he massaged our egos once in a while. The other guy was in a key strategy role in a big IT services company, was an engineer and had grown writing the company to take up this role. Clearly he discounted the fact that the audience was MBA students. The inhibition that a tech person would have (maybe, even I had against MBAs before I came here) were clearly visible. When asked about the roles that MBAs would get post ISB, he clearly thought that an MBA added little value to a persons skills that are relevant to corporates.
Now, I come from a similar pedigree myself, having worked at a tech company for a considerable period. This conflict between managers and engineers would always be there in such a company. Should they value their engineers more than the engineers or vice versa. An engineer would say that they are the real bread winners of the corporation and without them the company would collapse and Managers would feel the same way about themselves, but would probably not say tell this to the engineers.
Truth, for a technical firm, would be a combination of both. Fact is that without technical talent corporation would suffer and would suffer too, without good managers.
Now, I am wondering whether in the next session I should ask, who do they value more as an employee, an Engineer or a MBA? I am not sure I'd would like to hear any combination of the multiple choice answers without hearing out a complete explanation.