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Title: Leaders in action: some illustrations and inferences
Authors: Ramanarayan, S.
Rao, Ram Mohan
Keywords: Leadership
Issue Date: 26-Mar-2010
Series/Report no.: WP;1994/1169
Abstract: Cases of six outstanding organizational helmsmen who had successfully built up and nurtured enduring organizations form the leit-motif of this essay. These organizations are: the Oberoi chain of hotels built up to dizzying heights by Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberio; the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, nurtured by Ravi John Mathai to a pride of place in higher education; the Ahmedabad Textile Industry s Research Association founded by Vikram Sarabhai as a unique industry-sponsored technology institution; Ralegaon Siddhi transformed by ex-army man Anna Hazare; the eucalyptus plantation movement inspired by Vinayak Rao Patil; and the SBI monolith as the prime mover of development banking under the stewardship of R.K.Talwar. following the glimpses of the organizations and the work of six leaders, the paper attempts to understand their role in a theoretical perspective distilling from disparate leadership conceptions and abstractions of John Kotter (distinction between leadership and management), Ake Philips (the intensity of purpose animating the leaders to act as souls of fire ). Sooklal (leaders as brokers of dreams ) Roger Harrison (leadership as involving creation of not only passion but also harmony) and Richard de Charms (notion of origins and pawns ). The paper highlights the centrality of institution building in perpetuating the continuity of the best and the brightest of approaches, practices and norms initiated by them. The lasting tribute to leaders is that the culture, institutions and practices set in motion by them persist long after their own departure from the organizational scene. Whereas these organizations move on the imprints of these leaders continue to animate them.
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