Sitara: Indian Management Style — Capturing Hearts and Minds
(6 pages of text)
Sitara was a village in India whose local governing body had 15 members headed by the gram-pradhan. In 2011, the gram-pradhan had approved a project for renovation of a large village pond as per the directives of the central government’s MNREGA scheme. However, on starting the excavation work at the project site, it was found that the area was extremely marshy. Manual labourers turned up at the site everyday but declined to work in life-threatening conditions. MNREGA prohibited the use of machines except in the case of extraordinary circumstances without exactly defining what such circumstances might be. Thus, the gram-pradhan was forced to pay labour fees for no work. The case is set at this juncture, where a solution must be found. Part A illustrates how the Indian style of management that relies on competencies such as jugaad (creative improvisation), innovation, and resourcefulness leads to talent management and capability-building even at the bottom of the pyramid. Part B brings forth the trade-off between the management practice of jugaad and management through “systematic innovation.” Part C sheds light on the public policy approach of examining the whole situation. The case also explores the competencies needed for the effective functioning of social and commercial institutions in the Indian context.
After discussion and analysis of this case, students will be able to:
- Appreciate how the Indian style of management is different from that in other parts of the world and how the unique management style of jugaad (creative improvisation) leads to solutions to problems, even in situations of lack of resources and access to sophisticated management techniques.
- Appreciate how social and business institutions may benefit more through jugaad by using it as a framework for generating sustainable management systems instead of using it as a quick-fix solution to problems.
- Become aware of the nitty-gritty of public policy management and implementation.
- Better evaluate the competencies required of managers to succeed in emerging markets such as India.
- Better understand the “real” India and work around past perceptions to manage more effectively in emerging markets.
- Appreciate the challenges of reaching the rural segment and bottom of the pyramid.
- Better understand capacity-building and change management.
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