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A study on Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence& its importance for the management students

This article is based on the importance of Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence and it importance for the management students. The write up is categorized into an introduction on Gardner’s theory and his eight criteria of intelligence followed by the objective of these intelligence.
Howard Gardner, from Harvard University propounded that “there are multiple intelligences with autonomous intelligence capacities that cuts across all human thinking.” Gardner claimed that most previous conceptualizations of intelligence had been too narrowly based. He argued that evidence from several sources like cross-cultural accounts of cognition, studies of exceptional groups, psychometric data, and psychological training studies pointed to the existence of several, different intelligence.
 According to Gardner intelligence is much more than IQ because high IQ in the absence of productivity does not equate to intelligence. In terms of his definition (1983) “intelligence is a bio-psychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in culture.”
Gardner propounded nine intelligences:
·         Linguistic-intelligence
·         Logical-mathematical  intelligence
·         Musical-intelligence
·         Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence
·         Spatial intelligence
·         Interpersonal intelligence
·         Intrapersonal  intelligence
·         Naturalistic intelligence
·         Existential; intelligence
LINGUSITIC INTELLIGENCE includes the ability to effectively use language to express oneself rhetorically. The area has to do with words, spoken or written. Now, the need of the hour is to emphasize the importance of this particular intelligence amongst the management students. He/she must possess an ability to understand and manipulate syntax and structure of language, adhering to the nuances of the corporate communication which is a must. The ability to write effective emails, draft reports and proposals are very critical in an organization.
LOGICAL-MATHEMATICAL INTELLIGENCE consists of the capacity to analyze problems logically. A student equipped with an MBA should be well versed in the reasoning capabilities. He/she should be good in analyzing different situations at the work environment.  For a management student this intelligence focuses on agility and flexibility. Adapting to the changing environment- learning, unlearning, relearning new skill sets and being on par with the turbulent times physically and mentally is dependent on the amount of this particular intelligence an individual possess.
MUSICAL INTELLIGENCE: Involves the area of sounds, rhythms, tones and music. Since there is a strong auditory component to this intelligence, those who are stronger in it learn through the series of listening. The research has proven that the language skills are typically developed in those whose base intelligence is musical.
A management student should develop a high sense of musical intelligence because the VAK (Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic) Model of Communication is synonymous with musical intelligence. It helps in building the pace, tempo, stress on syllable, paralanguage and prosody of communication.
BODILY KINESTHETIC INTELLIGENCE: it is the ability to use one’s whole body or part of the body to solve problems. It involves muscular movements and indulging in physical activities.  The importance of this intelligence is focused on the need to take care of the health, it can be the way one maintains the work-life balance, stress management or the need for ergonomics in the organization for better productivity
SPATIAL INTELLIGENCE:   involves the potential for recognizing and manipulating the patterns of spaces according to Gardner. However for a management student the spatial intelligence can be related to the ability to visualize with the mind’s eye. It can also be linked with Proxemics (the science of space) used in the context of communication in terms of cross cultural dealings or overseas transactions. It can also be linked with automation of a business process, where documents, information or tasks are passed from one user to another for action.
INTERPERSONAL INTELLIGENCE:  The people skills or in other terms the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people is termed as interpersonal intelligence. A Management student usually works in a setup where team dynamics becomes very important. Building rapport, trust and tra
nsparency, synergy and getting well with the team mates is primarily very important. Hence individuals with a high degree of the above mentioned intelligence are prone to build productivity in an organization because this intelligence reduces attitudinal issues, frictions and conflicts, ego clashes etc.
INTRAPERSONAL INTELLIGENCE: is to understand oneself, appreciate one’s feelings, fears and motivation. This area is more to do with self-awareness, self-reflective capabilities. Thus a Management student on a threshold of corporate life has to have an inbuilt intrapersonal attributes. Working on Swot analysis sometimes helps people to understand themselves better.
NATURALISTIC INTELLIGENCE: refers to nurturing and relating to one’s natural surroundings. Such people tend to understand their environment & adapt to the culture. Once again a Management student need to understand the industry, the business, the products and services, changing demands of the customers, the paradigm shifts of collaboration, intricacies of environment like  saving energy, eco-friendly processes like going green and comprehending the importance of globalization. Thus developing this intelligence is very important for an individual
EXISTENTIAL INTELLIGENCE is an ability to contemplate phenomena or questions beyond sensory data. Now this particular intelligence is certainly needed by our Gen-Yers to survive and sustain in the present era of disruptive technologies. Questioning the process, thinking out of box, brings innovation and creativity.
Howard Gardner’s work around multipleintelligence has had a profound impact on thinking and practice in education. His theory has wide implications in the field of teaching and learning. Thus an attempt is made to relate Gardner’s “Intelligences” to the present set of young individuals who are equipped with MBA’s and are ready to conquer the world. The objective of this article is to create awareness of this intelligence and also to develop them so that they become productive in an organization.
(This work is based on originality and the Author claims it as her work which is not published in any source)
By Preeja  Sreedhar