Special Issue (February, 2008)

 

Baxi, C.V. and Prasad, A., “Corporate Social Responsibility-Concepts and Cases:The Indian Experience”, New Delhi, 2005, Excel Books, pp.534, Price Rs. 375/-.


With increasing awareness amongst stakeholders, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a norm rather than a recommendation. Companies have realized that acting as a responsible citizen and exhibiting corporate social responsibility remits enduring benefits and have started going the extra mile to implement social welfare activities.

 

This book is a unique one, not because of its content but also because of the way it has been compiled. Awareness about CSR in India has come much later than that in the developed nations but it is never too late to start a good mission. Since this is a relatively new concept, not many books or precedents are available. This book is a welcome move in the direction of knowing and propagating CSR. Prof. C.V. Baxi is the head of the Corporate Governance Centre at MDI and has been actively involved in corporate governance projects within the country. He holds a very rich experience in the area. Dr. Ajit Prasad is a professor in economics and strategy at International Management Institute. He combines a rich academic and practical experience and has three books to his credit.

 

The book is divided into two parts. The fist part talks about theory of CSR and the second part elaborates on CSR cases. In Section I, there are six chapters touching upon broad principles of CSR. Section II has eighteen cases on the topic, each discussing a different company and issue. The contribution of so many academicians makes the content rich and interesting.

 

 It seems that the book has been written keeping in mind classroom teaching, to impart theory on CSR to the students by giving numerous industry examples and it successfully achieves its objective. Managers who are interested in putting CSR into practice can also use the cases given in this book as a guide.

Kirti Madan, Assistant Professor, Institute for International Management and Technology, #336, Udyog Vihar, Phase - IV, Gurgaon - 122001, Haryana, India.
 

 

Harish Chandra Chaudhary, “Knowledge Management for Competitive Aadvantage”, New Delhi, 2005, Excel Books, pp.161, Price Rs.150/-

As business organizations are increasingly realizing the importance of knowledge management and the competitive edge it provides to organizations, a book on knowledge management at this juncture is very appropriate and apt.

The book primarily focuses on the importance of knowledge management in organization, the role of information technology and organizational culture for creating knowledge management process and best practices of knowledge management in Indian organizations.

Knowledge Economy, Transformation of an Enterprise through Knowledge Management, Creating Knowledge Management System in Organizations, The Knowledge Organization, Enabling Knowledge Management through Information Technology, Organizational Culture for Knowledge Management, Knowledge Management in Industry and the future of Knowledge Management form the content of the book.

The author explored the concept of knowledge economy, wherein the knowledge hierarchy (the data-information-knowledge-wisdom relationship), characteristics and components of organizational knowledge and the importance of knowledge are dealt with. It is interesting to note that in the year1995 itself Peter F. Drucker emphasized the importance of knowledge and concluded that knowledge is the decisive factor of production. The author makes a good attempt to define knowledge management as "the process through which organizations generate value from their intellectual and knowledge-based assets."

Further the concept of a knowledge organization is discussed covering areas such the relationship between learning organization and leveraging knowledge, the knowledge management strategy, the role of knowledge manager, etc.

The practical perspective is brought to focus in the chapter - Knowledge Management in Industry, wherein business organizations from manufacturing field to services are covered, giving a fairly good idea of the prevailing knowledge management practices.

The last chapter explores the future of knowledge management. Some of the conclusions are like: knowledge is the one sure source of lasting competitive advantage, knowledge will be the currency of the new economy, need to be researched further.

Finally the book is not only useful to people, who are working in the domain of knowledge management, but also to students and general public, as it is based on varied secondary sources as well primary source - research project undertaken by the author.

M. Durgamohan, Assistant Professor, Institute for International Management and Technoloyg, #336, Udyog Vihar, Phase - IV, Gurgaon - 122001, Haryana, India.
 

 

Glynn, William J. and Barnes, James G., “Understanding Services Management - Integrated Marketing, Organizational behavior, Operations and Human Resource Management”, New Delhi, 2006, Prentice Hall India, xxvi+485, Price Rs. 325/-.

This edited book on understanding services management is a collection of sixteen chapters dealing with broad range of issues which challenge services managers. The book contains a collection of and provides an integrated view on diverse range of issues like marketing, organizational behavior, operations and human resource management. Services industry examples from around the world are used to illustrate the concepts and principles of services marketing and management and to aid in the learning process. Many authors have indicated future research directions which are intended to inspire others to join in the new interdisciplinary approach to the study of services. A lot of effort has gone into integrating all the chapters as each chapter directs readers to other related chapters and thereby takes them on a guided tour of the entire range of the latest services management thought.

In the first chapter an extensive literature review of more than 1,000 services marketing publications spanning over four decades presents a definitive history of services marketing thought. The discussion delineates three stages of services marketing as Crawling out (1953-79); Scurrying about (1980-85) and Walking erect (1986-present). A classification and summary of publications and authors is also presented. They conclude on the optimistic note that services literature of the future will burgeon in both quality and quantity.

The second chapter discusses the paradigm shift in marketing for the marketing of services. It delineates the different characteristics of services and its difference from marketing of products and cautions against myopia in the strategic marketing of services. To market the services strategically the third chapter focuses on customer care and emphasizes the need to focus on service delivery systems, the environment and the need to manage employees to provide efficient and caring service - getting things right the first time and maintaining standards. The chapter measures dimensions of customer care and service through European case examples and focuses on the internal customers' role in external customer care emphasizing service guarantees and service recovery strategies.

The next chapter Concept of Exchange continues with the focus on customers and discusses importance of striking and maintaining relationships with customers. The chapter discusses landmarks in development of relationship marketing and sees it as economically more efficient than acquisition of new customers, providing cross-selling opportunities and as source of new product ideas and goodwill assets. Chapter five Service Mapping highlights this as a tool for service system design and management. It deals with the service logic template, which is a generic model of service operation, represented through a universal service map. This map models the service system as a logical decision-making activity against the background of organization structure and is further exemplified with car repair service system and further research directions are then suggested.

Highlighting the importance of customer satisfaction, the next chapter deals with measuring and monitoring service quality. A multiple-item generic, skeletal instrument the 'SERVQUAL' model for measuring and monitoring service quality is the main highlight of this chapter. Chapter seven continues with the discussion of service quality by highlighting the cost factor involved and argues that some quality initiatives are likely to pay off and others will not. Emphasizing the importance of both monetary and non-monetary outcomes the authors introduce a model which may be used to guide the development of information systems by focusing upon the key costs and benefits of service quality initiatives.

Chapter eight focuses on the Human factor in the management of services. It highlights employees who have a high degree of contact with service customers and the need to manage the key HRM policies like hiring, training, job design and employee empowerment for these employees to ensure consistency of service quality across transactions. Chapter nine discusses the paradigm shift from the narrow manipulative ideology of transaction marketing towards a more benign win-win strategy implicit in relationship marketing. It discusses the relationship marketing in three different perspectives - organizational, managerial and macroeconomic and the three distinct aspects of the market economy - competitiveness, collaboration and regulation.

Chapter ten Organizing for Service examines empowerment not as an all-ornothing concept but a continuum ranging from total control to total empowerment. It examines the appropriateness of the employee empowerment model versus the traditional management control model as applied to the service sector. After discussing the complexities of the empowerment model and the control model, the authors advocate a contingency approach i.e. different situations call for different degrees of empowerment versus control. In chapter eleven, Managing and Marketing to Internal Customers, the key influences on the evolution and development of the internal marketing concept, the scope and parameters and specific issues relating to the internal and external marketing interface are discussed. The chapter presents a view of managing internal customer within an integrated management focus which draws on new developments in marketing operations and human resource management and highlights practical issues concerned with managing and marketing to internal customers. The authors then present proposals for a new, competency-based approach to managing internal customers based on contemporary marketing thought.

Chapter twelve, Marketing services to external markets, emphasizes that there are a number of external markets and internal markets (within the organization), to which marketing frameworks and principles can be applied. The authors accept a broader integrated view of markets with which a service organization interacts and propose a 'six markets model'. A framework for managing services strategically is then developed and the three key steps in creating business focus - business definition, segmentation and positioning are outlined. They discuss a number of issues like an augmented marketing mix consisting of seven key elements as a useful approach to managing services marketing, the 'people' element of the marketing mix emphasized by internal marketing and the need for paying attention to relationship building and cross-functional activities. The authors thus provide a valuable conceptual framework integrating many variables that historically have been considered independently in marketing services to external markets. They identify numerous issues in an evolving field and beckons the reader to explore this exciting area further.

The chapter ‘Service Quality at the Manufacturing-Marketing Interface: From Kaizen to Service-driven Logistics examines the series of rapid changes affecting manufacturing-industry procedures and organizations. Issues like lean production, growing importance of logistics, search for quality production and drive for world class manufacturing are discussed along with a case study on Microsoft Ireland. Particular attention is paid to 'service driven logistics' and there is constant reference to importance of services and service-inputs as drivers of change in manufacturing-industry processes and procedures. In the chapter Service Management in the Business-to-Business Sector: From Networks to Relationship Marketing" rich insights are provided into how business is coordinated. The chapter traces the genesis of the network approach and maps the characteristics of that approach and the assumptions on which it is grounded.

The fifteenth chapter, The Service Firm in International Marketing, highlights the growing focus on services in the world's total direct foreign investment. Economic and cultural interdependencies between countries, political and economic policies such as deregulation and protectionism and dramatic developments in communications and information technology has intensified international competition in service industries. Numerous firms find themselves grappling with the questions about how to provide international marketing of services. The authors have highlighted the need for management of trade-offs in the international marketing of services. They have addressed issues like global service delivery systems, effects of technology, scale and cultural aspects, impact of synergy in diversification in international markets, foreign market entry considerations and barriers to internationalization of services.

The last chapter Strategic Services Management: Examining and Understanding it, the author reviews the significant contributions to strategic management thinking and raises questions about future directions of research. The author covers three areas of contribution - service quality, customer loyalty/retention and service mapping and discusses three conceptual frameworks for integrating ideas - the strategic service vision, the cycle of failure and the service profit chain all of which combine elements of marketing, operations and human resource management. It uses excellent examples to provide lucid illustrations for each of these conceptual frameworks.

The book scores on readability and has précis by noted academicians at the start of each chapter for easy understanding. It is a must read for students as well as practitioners to get important insights into the management of services in entirety.

Kirti Dutta, Lecturer, Institute for International Management and Technoloyg, #336, Udyog Vihar, Phase - IV, Gurgaon - 122001, Haryana, India.

 

 

Khan, Martin, “Consumer Behavior and Advertising Management”, New Delhi, 2006, New Age International, xvi+367, Price Rs 195/-.

The book is divided into two sections. In the first part the author deals with consumer behavior. It consists of twenty six chapters dealing with consumer behavior and in the twenty seventh chapter nine case studies are highlighted along with their questions. The book is different as apart from discussing the usual aspects of consumer behavior like culture, social class, lifestyle and psychographic segmentation etc. author also discusses outlet selection, consumerism, customer delight, e-consumer behavior and changing consumer behavior in the Indian context.

In the second section advertising management is discussed through fifteen chapters. Again value addition has been done by discussing ethical and social issues in advertising, management of an advertising agency and role of advertising in national development. This makes it a must read not only by the students but by managers and practitioners as well. Throughout the author has made lucid the discussion with the help of Indian examples and case studies. Each chapter starts with learning objectives and ends with review questions which give clarity to the readers.

Kirti Dutta, Lecturer, Institute for International Management and Technology, #336, Udyog Vihar, Phase - IV, Gurgaon - 122001, Haryana, India.

 


 Previous Page  I Next Page                                                        Top   
 

 
       About Journal     l    Statement About Ownership     l    Forthcoming Conferences and Seminars     l      Free Sample Articles      l        Editorial Team          l      Contact Us  

Copyright © Institute for International Management and Technology, All Rights Reserved.