“India: Towards Better Governance”
Government is one of the most strategic organizations of any country. India’s economic development has historically relied heavily on the performance of its governments and government-controlled public enterprises. More than ever before, effective governance has become critical to the development and progress of a young and aspiring country like India. Population growth, rapid industrialization, and urbanization have created a demand for government interventions at a level never seen before. Management of government and public enterprises is significantly different from the management of private sector organizations. While the government and public organizations have a long-term horizon, the private sector uses the market as its source of creation and control, the customer as its focus, and has a short-term horizon. The public sector is authorized and controlled largely by law, and its mandate is ultimately the collective public good.
Leaders of public enterprises today are under increasing pressures to perform and to provide quality services with ever-fewer resources and face additional stress emanating from increasing global economic, social, political, and cultural integration. The duties of such leaders are multifaceted and often very complex. They need to balance the inherent tension between efficiency (working with fewer resources) and effectiveness (achieving welfare and upliftment for all). The growth of government in terms of services, personnel, organizations, regulations, and revenue and expenditure requires nothing less than a study independent of other management disciplines. There is a need to better understand various facets of the functioning of the Indian governance systems and the associated public sector institutions, such as the leadership of public enterprises, public administration, decision making processes (including the political setting in which decisions are made), program implementation challenges, and the evaluation of the effectiveness of government policies and initiatives aimed at bringing improvements that better serve public interest.
The theme of this conference invites researchers to take up this challenge of studying and using a range of theoretical perspectives and methodological lenses to investigate the processes that are associated with making Indian government and the public enterprises more efficient and effective. There is a need for multiple approaches (e.g., evidence-based approach, logical-empiricist, postmodernism, critical theory, etc.) to understand the Indian governance systems and public organizations. Each of these approaches is important and can provide valuable perspectives on a specific problem that a researcher wishes to study. As we gather in Ahmedabad, we invite you to think creatively about how we can make the Indian governance systems and public enterprises more robust and effective.
Some potential questions to explore:
- What are the characteristics of the Indian public sector leadership and how does it compare with that of the private sector? How can we make our bureaucracy more effective? What should be the metrics of evaluation of the performance of public sector leaders?
- What performance management principles can be applied to the study of Indian governance systems and its associated public sector institutions?
- What are the human resource management challenges (talent acquisition, retention, pay-for-performance, etc.) that face public sector leadership? What are some of the possible ways through which these challenges can be overcome?
- What is the role of politics in improving Indian governance systems? What type of relationship should exist between the legislature and the executive in order to ensure a better governed country?
- What are the lessons from the marketing and branding of private enterprises that can be applied to the running of government, its associate governance systems and to its associated challenges? What marketing principles (e.g., from consumer behavior, from customer segmentation, branding, etc.) can be applied to the Indian public sector and governance systems?
- What are the finance and accounting principles that can be borrowed from the private sector organizations and applied to the Indian governance systems?
- What are the challenges/issues associated with some of the recent government of India initiatives (e.g., Companies Act, 2013; ‘Swachh Bharat’ Mission, ‘Jan Dhan’ Yojna, ‘Aadhar’, Make in India, Startup India)?
- How does Indian governance system compare with other nations (developed as well as developing nations) around the world? What are the lessons from other countries that can be applied to the Indian context?
- What management principles can be used to better understand the functioning of Indian public enterprises? How can Indian public sector develop a sustainable competitive advantage over private sector? What will be some of the important strategic decisions that will need to be taken to make Indian governance systems (and public institutions) more competitive and effective?