Beyond Institutional Voids: Business Groups, Incomplete Markets, and Organizational Form

    K. S. Manikandan and J. Ramachandran

    We extend the "institutional voids" perspective on business groups by examining the value-adding potential of two of the characteristic features of business groups: their diverse portfolio and multi-entity organizational form. We maintain that portfolio diversity affords affiliates privileged access to opportunities hidden by incomplete strategic factor markets. We hypothesize that the multi-entity organizational form enables superior sensing and seizing of these growth opportunities by affiliate firms. We further suggest that, in the context of institutional reforms, these characteristics strengthen business group affiliates' ability to capitalize on the expanded set of opportunities made available by the reform program. Empirical analyses on a sample of Indian firms over the period 1994-2010 support our hypotheses. Implications for theory and future directions are discussed.


    Prestigious APA journal invites Dr. Ramadhar Singh to join editorial board

    Prof. Ramadhar Singh

    Dr. Ramadhar Singh, Distinguished Professor, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), has been invited to join the Editorial Board of Review of General Psychology starting July 1, 2014.


    Published by the American Psychological Association, the journal aims to promote "innovative theoretical, conceptual, or methodological articles that cross-cut the traditional subdisciplines of psychology".

    Gerianne Alexander, Editor, Review of General Psychology, and Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University, said: "Being a Board member is an important service to our field, not only in terms of ensuring the quality of the review process, but also in mentoring young professionals. I believe that Dr. Ramadhar Singh, with his impressive accomplishments as a scholar, will be excellent in this capacity."

    Accepting the invitation, Dr. Ramadhar Singh said, "This is the first time that an Indian psychologist, who is a resident of India, is on the editorial board of any of the journals published by the American Psychological Association. It's an honour and a responsibility."


    Global Development Network: Communicating Agricultural Policy Research

    Kumar Rakesh Ranjan and Shainesh G

    Global Development Network (GDN), an international public organization, supports research in developing and transition economies to advance social and economic development. During April 2011 -August 2013, it conducted a communication project titled ''Supporting Policy Research to Inform Agricultural Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia''. The project group was tasked to design and deliver a communication program to inform policymakers and other relevant target audiences across a vast geography covering Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and the world at large. Now the team at GDN was evaluating the experience to learn and improve their communication program for the next project. Tuhin Sen, the lead strategist at GDN was wondering if the outreach strategy was appropriate and how it could have been better given the intangibility of a research output that was to be disseminated to unique users such as policymakers across a diverse geography of Asia and Africa.


    Examining the Impact of Social Policies on Health Equity

    Arnab Mukherji and Hema Swaminathan with collaborators in McGill University,HSRC South Africa, University of Bristol, and Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

    The negative impact of poverty, economic and gender inequality on health and health equity are well document. However, little research investigates how social policies may provide pathways to improve population health. This research proposes to rigorously examine the population health effects of differing social policy approaches taken around the world to address poverty, economic, and gender inequity. The specific objectives of this research program are to examinehow policies aimed at reducing poverty, income and gender inequality in highand low-income countries impact major causes of morbidity and mortality in children, women under 50 and its impacts on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and other major diseases. In many areas of medical and public health research, the public and private sectors have substantial experience translating research into public health action; this was the case with immunizations. Moreover, in the case of many other public health initiatives, such as those related to physical activity, individualaction can make a large difference. In contrast, the actions that follow from the evidence that poverty and gender inequality lead to poorer health outcomes cannot be taken by individuals or practitioners alone. This research program is designed to begin to examine potential policy approaches to these substantial drivers of health. Moreover, as a clearer understanding of what works is by itself not enough to improve health and health equity, this program combines research with knowledge mobilization strategies.


    Consumer Behavior

    Leon G Schiffman, Joseph Wisenblit and S Ramesh Kumar

    *Emerging economy -examples of how the Indian context is different from a  developed marketing context-in terms of demographics and lifestyles when approached from a consumer behavior viewpoint.


    *Cultural orientation-India has a strong anchor with regard to cultural beliefs and practices that are important to marketing and  it is important for a student to know how consumer behavior is affected by such diverse cultures in the country. (diverse examples will be given)

    *Digital media and consumer behavior- the new perspective would cover some aspects of how the different dimensions of digital media will combine with consumer behavior in the Indian context.

    *Women and brands-the traditional perspectives on women in India is undergoing a radical change. At the same time there are certain precautions that marketers need to take while projecting women as a part of  brand proposition-how can consumer behavior and branding be useful to the communication of brands that are associated with women?

    *Technology-Consumer behavior interface across chapters. A new chapter on social media.

    *Category development -with brand penetration being quite low in developing economies (as compared to developed economies) how can category development and brand development  be understood through consumer behavior is an area of importance.

    *Historical brands : the edition would have brands that have been  a part of the Indian context for decades and examples of such brands would be used across chapters . This would enhance the connect of  the content with the students.


    Do Indian Business Group Owned Mutual Funds Maximize Value For Their Investors?

    Pulak Ghosh, Jayant R Kale and Venkatesh Panchapagesan

    The manager of an Indian business group (BG) fund can have access to private information on its own BG firms and their industries. However, since the fund belongs to a BG, the fund manager may also have incentives to undertake investments that benefit the BG firm managers and not its fund investors. In this paper, we examine the relation between a business group (BG) mutual fund's return performance and its ownership levels in (i) its own BG firms, and in (ii) the rivals of its BG firms that operate in the same industries. Using return and portfolio holdings data on a survivorship-bias free sample of Indian BG mutual funds for the period 2002 - 2010 we find that the relation between a BG fund's risk-adjusted returns and its ownership in its own BG firms or firms in BG industries is roughly in the form of an inverted "V," i.e., funds underperform whenever they increase or decrease their investment in group firms or rival firms beyond what a typical fund invests in these firms. The effect is stronger for underinvestment. This finding for BG firms suggests opportunistic behavior on the part of the BG fund manager.

Several IIMB cases are published and distributed either through Harvard Business School or Richard Ivey School of Business.

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