Entrepreneurship, corporate governance and Indian business elites

Ajit Nayak, Mairi Maclean, Charles Harvey, Robert Chia

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Entrepreneurship and corporate governance are key issues in the debate surrounding competitiveness, sustainability and accountability. Despite the rhetoric of borderless transnational corporations driven by homogenizing trends in globalization, nation states and national identities continue to play an important role in structuring national managerial mentalities and dispositions. Both corporate governance regimes and the entrepreneurialism exhibited within a national context are, to a considerable degree, self referring, being supported and informed by pre-existing social structures, norms and practices. In this paper we examine the entrepreneurial spirit of Indian industrialists, and the emerging importance of corporate governance for globalizing Indian businesses. We explore the corporate lives and careers of the directors of the SENSEX (top 30) companies from a practice perspective, and show that corporate governance and entrepreneurialism emerge as mediating symbolic forms embedding national values, institutional practices and individual dispositions. The data and arguments presented in this paper stem from a larger, on-going study into entrepreneurship, corporate governance and Indian business elites; our preliminary analysis suggesting a complex web of connections between these social elements. Rather than contrasting Indian culture and practices through a Western worldview, thereby ‘othering’ India, we argue for a detailed, nuanced and culturally sensitive investigation into how Indian businesses are constructed, sustained and perpetuated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-27
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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