The following are the key elements and advantages of the Reach-out Model.
On-site Education: On-site education represents the essence of the reach-out model. It removes the one-sided bias of the educator towards the learner because the educator also learns from the field interactions with the participants. Thus, on-site education becomes a learning experience for both the educator and the learner. This also leads to removal of ivory tower bias that is so frequently found in academic field. Indeed on-site education is different from distance education, though the two can be combined through the latest technological advances. In on-site education, there is an intense involvement of the educator. The expression reach-out captures the essence of intense involvement of the education process.
Grounded Praxis: Reach-out model leads to ground praxis because it facilitates in development of new ideas from the field situations. As the ideas are rooted in the field reality, they are more realistic for practicing the grounded praxis. Reach-out model also prevents imposition of ethnocentric theories as ethnocentrism of theories gets more easily revealed in the ground situation than in the classrooms.
Action Based Research: Reach-out model facilitates action based research. In fact, the concept of action based research is intertwined with the reach-out model. As the action based research is rooted on action, it leads to creation of new concepts with a greater fit with situational reality.
Theory-Practice Gap: Reach-out model ensures that researchers have greater opportunities to test their ideas in field situations and innovative new ideas from field experiences. Thereby it facilitates theory to action and action to theory approach to idea generation and knowledge building which in-turn reduces the theory-practice gap.
Industry-Academic Interaction: Reach-out model also facilities close interaction with the client system. Like the information highway, institution reaches out of its client system that may be spread out miles apart in geographical positioning. Thus, it is client server in nature.
Intellectual Self Reliance: Reach-out model facilitates development of the intellectual self-reliance because it encourages development of the ground concepts and theories.
A New Praxis Mantra: The essence of the reach-out model can be captured through the phrase, Small but significant. Since the resources saved on physical infrastructure could be better utilized for building academic infrastructure as well as faculty development, it allows an institution to become significant even though it may have small physical infrastructure. Small but significant could be the new praxis mantra for the development of new institution of management education in India. Traditionally, our mindset about institutions spells large campuses. A change in mindset is needed to overcome this cognitive binding because in the age of information technology, the concept of an institute needs to change; it could have multi-locational presence, a flexi-design as its foundational basis. The flexi-design provides a greater operational flexibility in bringing together resources available at different locations. Thus, new types of institutes could be designed around a new praxis mantra of ‘small but significant’.