Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals

To see the complete version, please download the PDF document to the right.

Strategic Leadership:
An Emerging Market Perspective


The Strategic Management Society is pleased to announce a special conference in partnership with the Indian School of Business (ISB) to be held in Mohali, India in December of 2013. This special conference will address the unique challenges that strategic management issues present in a country like India. The institutional environment in India is conspicuously different from the West, as the government constantly experiments new ways of ushering in economic growth, while containing social inequality. The ongoing competition between varied stakeholders within the polity makes policy direction volatile and unpredictable. The resource constraints within which firms operate often pushes strategy towards sustainable growth paths and steers firms away from high risk maneuvers that may deplete scarce resources. Ironically, these constraints come amidst a demand for rapid growth in the domestic market.

Today, emerging economies are the world's growth engines. Within this context, India is playing an increasingly significant role as a large market, as a provider of increasingly higher-end services and products, and as a source of novel and innovative business models aimed at addressing some of the world's most pressing problems. All this, while facing resource constraints and a fractured institutional environment that are both very different from that in the West. There is, thus, much to learn by sharing experiences related to innovative strategies from both India and other emerging economies. The SMS India conference in Mohali aims to build on the premise that emerging economies, like India, offer rich opportunities for innovative theoretical and empirical innovations to strategy research. Our goal is to provide a platform for academics and practitioners to share their perspectives in traditional paper presentation sessions, interactive sessions, panels and plenaries.

In order to explore these multifaceted aspects of the theme, we will have the following themed tracks.

Track A: Leadership and Governance

Track Chair: Nandini Rajagopalan, University of Southern California

picture of Nandini Rajagopalan

Nandini Rajagopalan

This track focuses on the role of leadership, top management teams and corporate governance in the development and execution of competitive strategy. Following the work of Capelli et al, and Bloom et al, this track seeks research that advances our understanding of the role leaders play in crafting strategy and how their leadership influences its execution. We will explore the role of pseudo-institutions, such as business groups, play in corporate strategy and the dynamics of such interactions amid the rapidly changing institutional environment within India. We seek work that will expand or challenge the notion that institutional voids within emerging markets tend to move firms away from focused strategies and explore how firms are able to navigate the complex resource constraints to achieve efficiency and effectiveness. Corporate governance has evolved rapidly within emerging markets opening up huge opportunities for empirical research. We seek to gain a better insight into the effectiveness of various governance mechanisms, and the triggers that are advancing governance and their impact on the quality of strategy and its implementation.

Track B: Emerging Country Multinationals

Track Chair: Ravi Ramamurti, Northeastern University

picture of Ravi Ramamurti

Ravi Ramamurti

This track focuses on initiatives and innovations for addressing the needs of the “bottom of the pyramid” and sustainability within organizations. A unique opportunity in emerging markets such as India, is the vast array of social initiatives, often referred to as social entrepreneurship. These social entrepreneurs are able to fill in the void left by the absence of formal institutions to address those social issues. Prahalad and Mashelkar (2010) noted that the search for innovation’s holy grail can be best answered by looking at several novel initiatives that firms in emerging markets such as India have undertaken. There is also a conspicuous move toward affordable innovation, which drives firms to innovate at low costs so that it is affordable to the target customers. Multinational firms have reinvented themselves and their products in the quest for affordable and sustainable solutions. We also seek to understand better how emerging market firms innovate despite their resource constraints and break through the barriers such as the lack of technological trajectory in the field they are innovating.

Track C: BOP and Reverse Innovations

Track Chair: Sougata Ray, Indian Institute of Management - Calcutta

picture of Sougata Ray

Sougata Ray

This track focuses on entrepreneurs who usher in economic growth by founding new ventures and leaders in established organizations, who through entrepreneurial and “intrapreneurial” processes, stretch the value of the human capital with particular emphasis on “reverse” innovation or trickle-up innovation, i.e., an innovation seen first, or likely to be used first, in the developing world before spreading to the industrialized world. Given the critical role entrepreneurship plays in economic development, we are interested in understanding of the nuances of business startups in environments characterized by weak institutions and scarce resources. Given the growth of technology ventures, particularly in the IT, telecommunications, and pharmaceutical industries, we seek to better understand what is enabling entrepreneurs and innovators to commercialize their product innovations? Reverse innovation refers broadly to the process whereby goods developed as inexpensive models to meet the needs of developing nations, such as battery-operated medical instruments in countries with limited infrastructure, are then repackaged as low-cost innovative goods for Western buyers. The process of reverse innovation begins by focusing on needs and requirements for low-cost products in countries like India and China. Once products are developed for these markets, they are then sold elsewhere - even in the West - at low prices which creates new markets and uses for these innovations.

Track D: Strategies to Reinvent the Western Multinational

Track Chair: Ram Mudambi, Temple University

picture of Ram Mudambi

Ram Mudambi

This track focuses on foreign direct investment into India and its evolution over the years including the role of globalization, geo-politics, and regional pressures that shape foreign direct investment, international corporations, and cross-border expansion. Indian investment overseas has exceeded the inward investment in recent years, yet the role of multinationals in India remains critical. Till a few years ago the typical foreign entry into India took the form of an international joint venture with an Indian firm, recent patterns involve many diverse organizational forms. There is a need to develop better understanding of multinationals’ growth patterns and the triggers for geographic expansion. Specifically, there is a phenomenal opportunity to understand the role of leaders in steering a firm’s geographic expansion, how leaders direct the search strategies of their firms, mobilize resources for undertaking risky acquisitions, and more broadly how they manage risks in international markets and manage and learn from failures. We also seek a better understanding of the organizational evolution in these MNEs, specifically on how they integrate operations across diverse institutional contexts.

Submission Guidelines And Requirements

Proposals (5-7 pages, for paper and panel sessions) relating to the conference theme are invited. Only original, unpublished work is sought. Deadline for Submission of Proposals: May 3, 2013.



Strategic Management Society

India Initiative

2008 Special Conference

2010 Bangalore Workshop

2011 Calcutta Workshop

2013 SPECIAL CONFERENCE