Rethinking Management Theory & Practice in the Present Indian Economic Context The rapid GDP growth of the Indian Economy over the last decade appears to be have created opportunities and challenges for the organizations operating out of India. While rapid growth, translated in terms of better returns, profitability, margins and growth; the concomitant pains associated with a lack of percolation of this growth to large sections of the society has created a disquiet. The financial crisis and its aftermath, the slow-down in the growth of the Indian economy over the last two years, raise several questions on the sustainability of the ”shining India story”. The last year has witnessed several cases of poor industrial relations in large organization and also strikes in certain sectors like the textile mills in Surat. One scandal after another has rocked the nation, and internal security of civilians is threatened by frequent terrorist attacks. The political leadership seems uninspiring. The challenges related to issues of sustainable development such as education, health, sanitation, environmental well-being are also looming large. Several regulatory changes are simultaneously occurring; new institutions are created and the purpose of existing institutions is getting redefined. The role of the actors, namely Government, business and civil society, is changing quite rapidly. Inter-organizational relationships across these actors are resulting in new modes of collaboration and new emerging forms of organization. Given this changing socio-economic, cultural, political and regulatory landscape, some key questions on the role of management thinking is required. Can managers continue to do more of the same to address the issues they are faced with? Is there a need to think differently and try newer ways of solving the problems faced by all systems today? Has management research kept up and does it create knowledge and alternative ways of looking at the problems? Is there is a need for management researchers and thinkers to step outside and rethink their models, theories, and propositions? Are the structures that support our organizations relevant in the changed context? What paradigms within our organizations contribute to the current performance of these entities, both positive and negative? Is it sufficient for us to imitate the Western models of doing research? Can Indian management researchers be more inclusive and address issues created by the pluralism and diversity and the resulting complexity of the Indian context? Can management researchers move away from studying the easily accessible manager who speaks the dominant language and is influenced by the western ways of thinking (thus making them very easy to study) and include the district civil surgeon in a remote area of India who is charged with ensuring lower infant mortality, the supervisor of the railway system who has 400 drivers reporting to him/her, the field officer in the village who is charged with increasing the productivity of the farmer? Can management researchers look at what are the social dynamics of the much practiced outsourcing? How to invigorate the third generation offspring to engage with the family business so that they continue to contribute to the GDP of the country? The need for management understanding is far and wide as is evident in the questions posed above. The theme of this conference is one such step to help management thinkers and researchers to engage in “rethinking management” to make our work relevant and purposeful.

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