Sep 25, 2011

A seminar on “Cultural intelligence and communication for global effectiveness” at IME, IIT Kanpur

A seminar on “Cultural Intelligence and Communication for Global Effectiveness” was organized by the IME department, IIT Kanpur. The speaker was Ms. Shoma Mukherjee, who is a well-known consultant for MNCs and practices in the field of Business Communications, HR and Finance. She introduced the topic by mentioning that people from different cultures differ in a variety of ways. This means that there are several challenges in cross cultural communication in terms of communication style, attitudes towards conflicts, and approaches to completing tasks etc. And thus, in this globalized world, it becomes highly imperative to have an insight of these issues and make a conscious effort to overcome them

She went on to explain the Iceberg model of culture, which identifies a visible area consisting of behavior or clothing or symbols and a level of values that is invisible. Also she discussed Hofstede dimensions to distinguish between cultures which comprise of Power distance, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty avoidance and Long term/Short term orientation. The participants were given an activity to categorize various statements with respect to these dimensions. Ms. Mukherjee further talked about Cultural intelligence (CQ) in terms of cognition, motivation and behavior. She told that CQ is rooted in four different, yet interrelated set of capabilities: metacognitive CQ, cognitive CQ, motivational CQ, and behavioral CQ. She also delved into Edward Hall’s dimensions of culture: High context and Low context, which are used to describe cultural differences between societies. All these concepts were illustrated in light of real world situations.

She concluded the discussion by highlighting the keys to effective cross cultural communication, like understanding cultural diversity, developing awareness of individual cultures, welcoming change and so on. Since the cultures vary largely, it is quite significant to be culturally intelligent, so as to work effectively in the multicultural environment. The participants found the seminar to be very interactive and informative, addressing cultural challenges that exist in today’s business environment.


Report prepared by:
Alok Jain
PR & Media Cell
MBA Class of 2013

Sep 22, 2011

A guest lecture on "Role of absorptive capacity in new high-tech product development" at IME, IIT Kanpur

A guest lecture was organized by IME department on 8th September on “Role of Absorptive Capacity in New High-tech Product Development”. The speaker was Mr Shashi Shekhar Mishra, who is a doctoral candidate in marketing area at Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, and his doctoral research is in new high-tech product development process.

The seminar began with an introduction to technological innovations and their transformation into successful new products, which is indispensable for high-tech firms. Mr. Mishra said that the researchers and practioners have well recognized the importance of firm-level technology acquisition intent (TAI) for successful realization of new products across various high-tech industries. Extant literature suggests the role of firm’s dynamic capabilities on new high-tech product development (NPD) process. Higher firm-level absorptive capacity is prescribed to stimulate firm’s external knowledge acquisition and overall performance. However, he also said that hardly has any research ever been attempted to explain the effects of absorptive capacity on TAI in the NPD process. His study tries to address this research gap in the extant literature by first developing a theoretical framework through a focused literature survey that explains the relationships between absorptive capacity and TAI, and subsequent consequence of TAI on NPD process. This is followed by empirical validation of the theoretical framework by conducting a survey on 215 high-tech product marketing firms across the globe.

The results of the path analysis indicate that while absorptive capacity and organizational learning directly influences the firm’s TAI, there is no evidence from the results supporting the direct influence of firm size on the same. Furthermore, TAI positively affects readiness-to-design and found to mediate the relationship between its organizational antecedents and readiness-to-deign. In addition, the results of hierarchical regression analysis reveal that, contrary to prevailing wisdom, absorptive capacity reduces the perception of organizational learning from the acquisition of a new know-how. However absorptive capacity is found not to affect the firm size-TAI relationship in any way. The study results clearly established that the TAI by the firm leads to smooth readiness-to-design in new high-tech product development processes.

In all, the present research contributes significantly to the existing marketing literature by explaining the role of absorptive capacity on NPD process, and provided useful insights to the managers who are involved in the development of new high-tech products. The seminar ended with a vote of thanks from Prof S.C Mishra.

Contributed by:

Saurabh Awasthi,
MBA 1st Year, IIT Kanpur

Sep 19, 2011

A seminar on "Market Basket Rules as Input to Improve Inventory Performance" at IME, IIT Kanpur

IME department organized a seminar on “Market Basket Rules as Input to Improve Inventory Performance” and invited Dr. Pradip Kumar Bala to deliver his valuable lecture on it. Dr. Bala is associate professor at IIT Roorkee in Department of Management studies. Dr. Bala introduced the association rules, also known as market basket rules, in the context of retail items.

Market basket rules have been widely used in marketing, shelf allocation in retail stores, web designing in commerce etc; however, according to him, the works on applications of these rules in the area of operations management have been limited so far. He mentioned that recently a few works with applications of market basket rules in inventory management have been applied. According to him, the knowledge of correlated items in the form of association rules can be of tremendous importance in designing inventory replenishment policies and hence, it must be accounted for. The research incorporated in his current work makes an attempt to account for demand correlation at transaction level in retail inventory management. The cost of joint replenishment for correlated items is often found to be much less than the total cost of individual item replenishment. However, just the knowledge of the names of items with correlated demand, and a type of relationship are not always sufficient. We need to know the probabilities or probability distribution of joint demand. When the number of items increases, the complexity of the demand relationship among the items increases dramatically, making it infeasible to calculate all probabilities of joint demand in advance.

To overcome this, he suggested to make use of the association rules which are mined from the past transaction data. The impact of association rules can be used to compute the profitability measure which forms the basis of grouping items with high probability of purchase in the same group. Replenishment policy can be designed for each group separately with higher profitability of inventory operation. The research suggests a measure for profitability index and an algorithm for grouping the items based on the profitability index.

Finally the seminar was wrapped up with queries from faculty and students of the department, which churned out some interesting perspectives and left the attendees with many issues to mull over.

Contributed by:



Vivek Agarwal
MBA, 2011-13
IIT Kanpur

Sep 1, 2011

Latest edition of monthly IIT Kanpur e-Newsletter: Avant Garde is out!!!

Well, the wait is over... The “team” is out there with a fantastic September edition of IIT Kanpur e-Newsletter: Avant Garde

The world has been witnessing change of late in the form of Jasmine revolution, Wiki-leaks, Japan’s crisis and several other events of big and small scales... India also saw, and continues to see, a “change” in mindset against corruption... and so “the change” has not been elusive to Avant Garde as well.

Avant Garde, with few new enthusiastic and energetic editors and equally ecstatic contributors, looks at its new level in this edition. The articles on Hero-Honda split, technological revolution of tablet-pc, and change in attitude of people toward corruption by MBA 1st year students; insight into Strategic Process Improvements in Internal Operations‘ (Apollo Health Street) by Nabarun Sengupta (MBA 2nd year) truly exemplify the theme of this edition: “Change: the eternal constant”.

I, personally as well as on behalf of PR and media cell, congratulate the Avant Garde team for bringing forth such a fantastic issue and hope that all of you enjoy reading this edition.

Avant Garde can be reached at:
http://www.iitk.ac.in/ime/MBA_IITK/avantgarde/

Happy reading :)




Hitendra Kumar
PR and Media Cell
MBA 1st year, IIT Kanpur