Department of Management & Commerce

Research Areas

LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZATION CULTURE
Leadership in emerging nations will tend to be different from that of the west as it gets rooted more in the cultural and ethnic context of each nation. Besides, innovation which flourishes within the constraints of developing nations, will not only be path-breaking but will also further the trend of indigenous solutions in organizational thought and managerial activities This trend offers exciting paradigms for research.
The department has the following research areas under Leadership and Organization Culture:
SPIRIT AT WORK IN BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS IN INDIA
RESEARCH SUMMARY
There are several factors that have led to the need to manifest Spirit at Work. The foremost among them is a sense of insecurity in people: both economic and job insecurity arising on account of post globalization trends such as business re-engineering, downsizing, outsourcing and off-shoring, cut throat competition, etc. The resulting work environment is a high stress work space with focus on short-term financial gains. The thirst for manifesting Spirit at Work that is being felt across organizations on one hand and the lack of recognition of the same as part of mainstream management literature on the other; establishes the need and importance for the current study.
The objective of this doctoral research is to develop a better understanding of Spirit at Work through an individual-centric approach, as a function of individual values/attitude coupled with an organization-centric approach, as a function of organizational culture and corporate philosophy. The study aims to evaluate the performance of Spirit at Work in business organizations and compare with expectations that executives have about the same. It proposes to develop an enriched description of Spirit at Work using the Karma Yoga model framework.
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ROLE OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE ON PERFORMANCE OF SELECT INDIAN COMPANIES
RESEARCH SUMMARY
Governance is critical wherever a few members are taking decisions on behalf of several others. The success of any corporate form of business depends entirely on how few shareholders manage the company on behalf of several other shareholders. The adequacy and quality of corporate governance shapes the growth and future of emerging economy. Without good corporate governance, it is exceedingly difficult to increase the shareholder’s value and protect the interests of other stakeholders of a company. It can be seen that how the failure of large companies like Enron, Worldcom, and Lehman Brothers have affected the US and the Global economy due to their failure on governance front being the forerunner.
The objective of this research study is to explore whether the corporate governance mechanism influences the firm’s performance on the following fronts:
The objective of this research study is to explore whether the corporate governance mechanism influences the firm’s performance on the following fronts:
  • The effect of constitution of board, effectiveness of its members, disclosure standards and influence of the new company law on the governance of select Indian companies.
  • The impact of corporate governance on the financial performance of select Indian companies.
  • A critical evaluation of the ethical and legal dilemmas faced by select Indian companies- a case study approach.
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VALUES IN COMMERCE & MANAGEMENT
RESEARCH SUMMARY
The research area deals with understanding and analyzing the importance of human values and ethical principles in various aspects of commerce and management.
The work done in this area includes theoretical and empirical studies on Values-centred Leadership, Corporate Governance and the impact of ethical values on economic development.
This is an ongoing research area of the department with regular research publications. Apart from research publications in International Journals, the department organized a Workshop on ‘Ethics and Challenges of Business’ in February 2014 involving well-known experts from Industry.
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BUSINESS & SOCIETY ECOSYSTEM
Business as a catalytic part of the social ecosystem has great relevance in the present times of globalization and high interconnectivity. The need to integrate and include various sections of society into main stream has become the imperative of progress. As a consequence, the relationship of business with society in terms of stakeholders, green procedures, social entrepreneurship or financial inclusion through microfinancing becomes important. An exploration of the symbiotic relationship between business and society has been the focus of a number of doctoral research studies at the department.
The department has the following research areas under Business & Society Ecosystem:
STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT
RESEARCH SUMMARY
This doctoral research focused on Stakeholders Management practices at the industry and firm levels. For the industry-level study, the Banking and Financial Services Industry (BFSI) in India was identified. This included public, private and foreign banks as well as financial services companies in India.
Demographic, economic, technological and political changes in contemporary India carved a very important role for this industry, which is closely linked with the future growth story of India. The Tata Group of companies were selected for the firm-level study. Rich qualitative and anecdotal data gained in the course of interactions with 38 senior and highly experienced executives from diverse Tata Group companies contributed immensely to the study and provided a valuable addition to the existing body of knowledge.
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SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP
RESEARCH SUMMARY
The evolution of Social Entrepreneurship in the past few decades has captured the imagination and attention of the academia and the industry as well. Due to the apparent dichotomy that exists between the twin goals of profitability and social mission, the novelty of the concept itself merits a closer examination in terms of leadership along with its interesting socio-economic impact.
This doctoral research strives to accomplish a holistic understanding of Social Entrepreneurship at a conceptual level, gaining insights into social entrepreneurs, various stakeholders and the environment that becomes their operational canvas. The proposed conceptual model for social entrepreneurial development elaborates the three stage development of a social entrepreneurial leadership as Initiation, Implementation and Expansion. The third stage of Expansion tends to facilitate a Social Entrepreneurial Ecosystem that comprises different stakeholders, who are mutually interdependent, and who as an organism bring stability and authenticity to both the financial and social goals.
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GREEN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT
RESEARCH SUMMARY
The pace of industrial development in the last two decades has let to tremendous technological innovation and globalization. This growth has however negatively impacted the environment. Businesses recognized that sustainability is possible only by adopting green practices within their own companies. They started to realize that the benefits derived by them will be more significant and meaningful when green initiatives are spread to their partners - upstream and downstream, rather than in isolation. This led to the emergence of the Green supply chain concept- using environmental friendly practices in a traditional supply chain setup. Literature shows that the research done to date has focused mainly on South-East Asian nations, especially China, Philippines and Thailand. India is set to play a key role in world economy in years to come. Hence, the role of Indian industries needs to be researched in the area of Green Supply Chain.
The three potential areas which have been identified for this doctoral research include:
  • Awareness among Indian consumers about green practices
  • Maturity among Indian industries to practice green methods
  • Policies and decision making abilities of the Indian Government to drive the country into the green path
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MICROFINANCE IN INDIA
RESEARCH SUMMARY
Amidst growing awareness and realization that the world’s poor are excluded from formal financial systems, Microfinance— amongst many other initiatives­­—has come in to bridge this wide gap. Although Microfinance refers to the entire range of financial services such as savings, money transfers, insurance and production and investment credit; in most of these cases, the focus has been on Microcredit, i.e., the extension of very small, frequent loans to a large number of poor clients. Other aspects of financial inclusion like savings, insurance etc., are largely unattended.
This doctoral research focuses on this aspect of Microfinance, and the extent to which it has taken root in the Indian context of financial inclusion. It attempts to understand the saving patterns of the Indian poor and the preferences and features that they look for in a saving instrument. It also studies the hurdles which are to be removed to act as facilitators to regular savings. In the Indian context, the heterogeneity of people’s poverty levels, the varying natures of employment and incomes, family situations, the availability of financial services (or the lack of it), creates a platform for region-specific exploratory studies to understand the neglected pillar of Microsavings.
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INCLUSIVE BUSINESS
RESEARCH SUMMARY
In pursuit of the sole objective of creating shareholder wealth, businesses seem to have lost sight of their raison d'être: to innovate to solve social problems. In the aftermath of the financial crises and alarming rates of climate change and resource depletion, however, several businesses are now looking forward to create what has come to be known as ‘Shared Value’ or value creation for all stakeholders simultaneously and not for shareholders alone. Against this backdrop, Inclusive Businesses are emerging as promising institutions that have the potential to combine purpose and profits to balance needs of various stakeholders, with special focus on the marginalised section of the society.
This doctoral research aims at documenting and developing models of inclusive growth, with specific focus on inclusiveness through employment and market creation. We propose undertaking detailed studies of Indian corporations that have been successful in their efforts to enfranchise communities by means of inclusion in their firms’ value chain, as either producers, suppliers, partners, employees, or owners. Against this backdrop, we propose to advance the understanding of Inclusive Businesses by attempting to answer the following questions:
  • What distinguishes Inclusive Businesses from other similar institutions such as Social Enterprises or similar interventions such as Corporate Social Responsibility?
  • In the context of Inclusive Businesses, what exactly constitutes ‘Value’ and who decides what ‘Value’ is?
  • What is the process of Value Creation in Inclusive Businesses?
  • How do Inclusive Businesses align activities that generate profits with activities that generate impact?
  • What kind of an ecosystem helps Inclusive Businesses sustain value creation?
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MUTUAL FUNDS
Mutual funds are dynamic financial institutions that play a crucial role in an economy by mobilising savings and investing them in capital markets. As a result, they establish links between savings and the capital markets.
RESEARCH SUMMARY
The doctoral research undertaken in this area attempts to evaluate the performance of UTI and ICICI Prudential mutual funds during the pre-recession, recession; and post-recession periods (spanning 2001-2013) by application of different risk and return measures. The research further analyses investor perception based performance of mutual funds relating to the current status of performance and the problems faced.
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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT AND SERVICES
Financial Management and Services focus on advisory and administrative functions in financial enterprises. They cover areas of Economics, Business Law, Consulting and various areas of Corporate Finance.
RESEARCH SUMMARY
Several postgraduate dissertations have been completed in this area of research. Work has been done on IFRS, Bank management, Capital structure analysis and Working Capital management.
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FINANCIAL INCLUSION
Financial inclusion is the process of ensuring access to appropriate financial products and services needed by vulnerable groups such as weaker sections and low-income groups at an affordable cost. It has become one of the most critical aspects in the context of inclusive growth and development.
RESEARCH SUMMARY
This is an ongoing research area of the department with periodical publications related to different areas of financial inclusion. The strategies adopted by various banks in reaching out to the rural citizens in villages, changes in the customers’ perceptions relating to opening of no-frill accounts over different time intervals, and technology acceptance levels of rural citizens are some of the areas covered under the research.
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FINANCIAL MARKETS AND PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT
Financial Markets deal with different markets like Capital Markets, Foreign Exchange Markets and Markets for derivative instruments. Portfolio Management deals with analysis of Financial securities and investments.
RESEARCH SUMMARY
Several postgraduate dissertations have their focus on Portfolio optimization, Value at Risk, Derivatives and Capital Market efficiency.
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INSURANCE
Research studies in Insurance involve understanding various nuances of Insurance including health insurance.
RESEARCH SUMMARY
Doctoral research is being undertaken in the area of Health Insurance. Postgraduate dissertations have been done in the areas of FDI and Innovation in the insurance sector.
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© Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Vidyagiri, Prasanthi Nilayam - 515 134, India.