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Vol. I No.3 / NOVEMBER 2009

Contributions from TIP-India Academics
Simulation on corporate social responsibility
Ranjini Swamy, VIT University, Tamil Nadu, India


The Business and Society Program of the Aspen Institute has launched a consortium of Indian Business schools - Teaching Innovation Program - India (TIP India) - with the objective of exploring what is being taught and what can be taught to prepare future business leaders to address wider societal concerns while doing business. This requires balancing a concern for profitability with a concern for wider social and environmental challenges. Students of management, however, often tend to believe that the business of business is to make profits only. The wider role of business in improving society is thus ignored.

TIP-India has convened a group of faculty from leading business schools three times over the past three years and has considered various methods to introduce the importance of corporate social responsibility to management students. A group of us offered to develop a simulation on CSR. The simulation is an adaptation of one developed at the University of Michigan, by Tim Fort and Nathan Bos.

Through the simulation, it is expected that participants will become better able to (a) discuss the importance of CSR for business sustainability; (b) discuss the challenges to investing in CSR; (c) identify some contextual factors that could explain the response to CSR in a country.

In the simulation, four-member student groups perform one of the following roles: companies, government, media and NGO. Companies submit competitive bids to the government for the permission to set up and operate telecom infrastructure and services in a rural "circle" called Apna Pradesh. The bid details the companies' projected returns and the fee they would pay the government. In arriving at the projected returns, companies have to balance their concern for social/environmental issues with their concern for financial returns. Media and NGOs attempt to influence the decisions and behavior of the companies.

The company which has the highest stock prices at the end of the simulation wins the game. Stock prices are a function of returns, the outcome of the bid process and public opinion about the company.

The simulation is the result of the combined efforts of many people, both academics and practitioners. It will be presented in the upcoming TIP-India Conference. As it is still in the early stages of development, experimentation with the simulation and feedback would be welcome. Those wishing to use the simulation may contact .
Journey to enlightened leadership: Experiments in alternative learning
Prof. Sanjoy Mukherjee, Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of Management, Shillong

'Where is wisdom we have lost in knowledge?' This poignant question by T S Eliot in the poem 'The Rock' ignited my thoughts and fired my heart when I was compelled to venture into a journey of ideas and experiments beyond the corridors of traditional management pedagogy and practice. This marked the beginning of an odyssey into new concepts and methods of learning with the purpose of enlightening the mind of MBAs and corporate executives beyond obsession with techno-economic imperatives. I deeply felt the need to generate sensitivity among MBAs and business leaders to social, ethical and environmental issues which are also important for long term sustainability of individuals, organizations, and the planet at large. The work that I began at the Management Centre for Human Values, IIM Calcutta is now being carried to maturity and fruition at the new and vibrant IIM Shillong. Through courses and workshops on Business ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Human Values in Management and Management through Enlightenment, students and participants are compelled to challenge their existing assumptions on life and work and address such critical issues and vital questions like meaning of work, purpose of life, difference between success and perfection and so on. Beyond the limited notion of 'mindset change' the inputs are geared towards achieving 'mind-space expansion' for leaders of today and tomorrow.

This journey unfolds a four-tier learning path from information through knowledge to wisdom. The stages comprise - building a platform and culture for awareness creation (Business Ethics), opening up the mind of the leader beyond the organizational boundary (CSR), rediscovering the Fire or Spirit within (Human Values) and an adventurous flight to enlightened leadership (Management through Enlightenment). The biannual international 'Journal of Human Values' (a SAGE publication) that I have been editing for a decade provides the academic platform for research and publication in these areas. Lessons from wisdom literature and role models of inspirational leaders from the East and West, ancient and modern, from management and otherwise constitute the non-conventional sources of learning in these courses and workshops. Tagore, Gandhi, Vivekananda, Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Beethoven, Mozart and Galileo thus come within the spectrum of management thought and pedagogy. Experiments with innovative learning methods like learning from nature, tryst with silence, engagement in illuminating conversations and dialogues, insights from folklores and fables, inputs on creativity and motivation from liberal arts, literature, music, films etc. find space in lectures and discussions. Literary classics like 'The Prophet' and 'The Little Prince' are readily referred to liberate our mind from the traps of binary logic and linear thinking and embrace ambiguity and uncertainty in times of turbulence and transition for transformation of leadership consciousness towards enlightenment and transcendence.
Spotlight
Next TIP-India Convening -
11-12 December 2009


The next TIP-India meeting at Goa Institute of Management is just a few weeks away.  We plan to convene over 25 academics, practitioners and students to discuss the future of management education.  During this two-day session we will share best practices and challenges in integrating sustainability into mainstream business education, discuss corporate recruitment at business schools, share results from our India Student Attitudes Survey and highlight new curriculum products that have been developed through the program.  
 
Please look out for the participant list, meeting agenda and outcomes of the dialogue - these will be posted on our website a few weeks after the convening (http://www.aspencbe.org/networks/tipindia.html).

TIP-India
Aspen Institute
271 Madison Avenue
Suite 606
New York, NY 10016

For more information, please contact , Manager-Faculty Networks
LINKS

TIP India Overview

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Aspen Institute India

Updates
ecch - free case method workshop and discounted case studies

ecch is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the case method of learning. Its collection of management case studies and journal article reprints is a unique and accessible resource of teaching materials.

ecch's next free case method workshop will be held at Institute of Productivity & Management, Ghaziabad, India 15-17 December 2009, for more details specifically of this workshop please visit: http://www.ecch.com/about/ghaziabad-workshop.cfm
 
In order to support schools and faculty to continue using the case method ecch offers highly discounted case studies under our Concessionary Pricing Program. For more details on this please visit http://www.ecch.com/about/CPP.cfm and feel free to pass this information to your partner schools.

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