New Delhi India’s biggest boardroom battle has now found its way into the textbooks for management graduates.
The unexpected removal of the company’s first non-Tata chairman, Cyrus Mistry, last month took everyone by surprise. Following Mistry’s ouster, Tata Sons has become a part of the programme under the branch of family businesses and organisational complexities for leading business schools in India, including Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore and Calcutta), Indian School of Business, MDI Gurgaon and SP Jain Institute of Management and Research(SPJIMR).
“Not just industry watchers, but business schools are also trying to decode the complexities involved behind such crucial organisational decisions,” said Lata Dhir, professor for organisational behaviour and leadership, SPJIMR. The institute inaugurated a session on a case study -- Decoding of Organisational Complexities: The Unfolding of the TATA Saga -- at its college campus on Thursday.
“We have introduced the case study on Tata Group as a part of subject called organisational behaviour,” Dhir said.
While it is a normal practice for colleges to update textbooks with live case studies, popular corporate events such as the Satyam Computers scam, the division of the Reliance group between Mukesh and Anil Ambani, and the Vijay Mallya case, have been the big examples .
In the Tata-Mistry scuffle, the lesson will be on ‘how strong governance principles and processes could be when some of the key stakeholders have fundamental differences on one or more areas’.
“Power and politics in the boardroom is another possibility. Succession management is a big challenge in both family and non-family businesses and Tata Sons seems to provide a great discussion platform,” said Kavil Ramachandran, executive director, family enterprise, Indian School of Business. “Another chapter could be on limits in roles of owners and managers in a multi-generational ,family controlled business.”
MDI Gurgaon plans to incorporate the learnings from the Tata -Mistry row in its classroom teachings at both levels - post graduate programme and executive education. “These will be covered under strategy area, dealing with issues of corporate governance, leadership, organisational vision and mission, succession planning, mergers, acquisitions and restructuring,” said Veeresh Sharma, chairperson, strategic management area, MDI Gurgaon.
According to colleges, the teaching methodology will be divided into two parts. “Initially it would consist of vignette analysis and discussion, informed commentary and critique. After some time once enough material is available, the same would be developed in a case, which can be used for classroom discussions and in the form of assignments to students,” Sharma said.