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Nohria raises hat to desi management

business Updated: May 06, 2010 21:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The Indian enterprise leadership model could hold out important lessons for the global executive fraternity as many recession-scarred institutions carry out sweeping changes in organisation management, said Harvard Business School’s (HBS) dean-designate Professor Nitin Nohria.

“We have been studying Indian companies,” Nohria told journalists during a conference call on Thursday.

Nohria will be HBS’s 10th dean and will assume his new role on July 1.

“Indian companies have to deal with an extraordinary number of people. I believe most of the important new ideas of the world will come from countries such as India, Brazil and China,” Nohri said.

Two of Nohria’s colleagues at HBS, Tarun Khanna and Krishna G. Palepu, have been carrying out extensive research on Indian companies and organisational management.

Nohria said Khanna and Palepu’s work have important lessons for the corporate world.

Nohria, who has championed the concept of a “Hippocratic Oath” for the management community for encouraging executives to adopt ethical practices, said “the oath may not be magic pill, but it is an important first step.”

The thesis has assumed significance in the context of the ongoing financial crisis allegedly triggered by brazen compromise in corporate ethics and unbridled greed.

“Business should be conducted in a way that it creates long term value in societies. Somehow in the last few years, short-term pursuits (of wealth) have overshadowed the long term visions,” he said.

Nohria’s most recent book, Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice, is a compendium dedicated to advancing research on leadership.

For young management students Nohri had a word of advise: “Think about your career as a marathon and not as a short sprint.”

Nohria is not just first Indian American but probably the first non-white to assume this position.

“I am truly proud of my heritage. I have very fond memories of the time at IIT (Mumbai). It prepared me for the challenges in life,” he said.