Tuesday, November 06, 2018

The Power of Diversity and Inclusion at Workplace

SAGE publications in association with AVTAR group is thrilled to announce the launch of one-of-its kind book “The 99 Day Diversity Challenge by the award-winning social entrepreneur Dr Saundarya Rajesh”. The book is designed to develop an inclusion and diversity mindset in any organization or even individual within the proverbial 99 days.
In an engaging, gentle, often light-hearted way, Dr Saundarya Rajesh demystifies this vast subject of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) for the business leader, the diversity enthusiast and even the young professional who is curious about this topic.  Over a set of 99 stories, anecdotes and thought blogs, this book sequentially uncovers what inclusion and diversity means and how this can be absorbed by just about everyone.
Dr Saundarya through her work in this area for several years is best-placed to author a book on this topic as it answers a very pertinent question-- Is a Unified Culture Possible in a Diverse Workplace?  “Yes” says the author and in her admirable style reiterates that she ‘fervently believe that the ability to survive in a world of diversity and espousing inclusion will be among the most sought-after skills right after the 3 R’s (the proverbial Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic). Managing people of different generations, leading a gender-diverse team, working. out deals with a client at the other end of the globe, sending your kid off to a country you have only seen on Travel & Living—all of these and more are what we call ‘the business case for Diversity & Inclusion (D&I)’. D&I is here to stay, especially in a world where ‘humanizing behaviour’ will be the key competitive differentiator when mundane tasks are overtaken by machines

The book is being released on 24th October at the conference organized by AVTAR group to honour Working Mother and AVTAR 100 Best Companies for Women in India for 2018 

Order you copy @ https://bit.ly/2NahBqn
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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Who speaks for whom? A peek into our new release: Gendering Caste

Systematically organized and exhaustively researched, Gendering Caste: Through a Feminist Lens is a well-rounded discussion on divergent feminist interests. It moves from a common bond of oppression that women face universally towards a more diversified form of oppression and struggle that delineates gender inequality intersected by caste.

Maithreyi Krishnaraj, series editor states that “Patriarchy in India, Uma explains, is in the plural (and the word is used as an adjective), not a monolithic unchanging system”. In the wake of the recent feminist wave that advocates an examination of inequality in terms of multiple vectors, Chakravarti’s work is an excellent study into how caste violence influences, disintegrates and attacks women in particular. One of the most interesting chapters from the book, “Caste and Gender in Contemporary India” discusses women’s complicity in the caste politics and this is by far the most brutally honest rendition on internalization of both patriarchy as well as the caste system. This chapter highlights as to how gender and caste are inextricably linked, thus reproducing the structure of oppression many folds.

The book also explicitly derives that caste is responsible for dividing women and erasing the possibility of a sisterhood amongst women. Uma Chakravarti traces this argument and takes it forward through an organized research on different levels. The ideological and material hold of patriarchy is investigated to determine not just gender inequality or subsequent oppression but it also put forth a dark reality of two kinds of oppression mechanisms correlated and interdependent. Specific and worse forms of oppression experienced by Dalit women are informed in this work.

The series editor introduces the ideas that Chakravarti has discussed in this extensive work and pauses at few questions in her Foreword. She states that symbols of caste are laden with meanings of hierarchy and to discard these symbols would scoop out a major portion of Hindu religion and its manifestation. “These are things to ponder on”, she says.

Read more if you are interested in this inextricably twisted dynamics of Gender and caste, order your copy of the book @ https://bit.ly/2P3Rn9k 

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Friday, August 31, 2018

Why do Sales People Lie?

There are those who say that no one in the world goes without taking recourse to lies – white lies, minor lies, major lies and outright con jobs. Yet not all professions carry the burden of being generally untruthful. There may be other professions that might give a run for the money on the sweepstakes of being the most deceitful. A more recent study of the lies even stated that on an average people tell 1.65 lies per day.

The concern is not with them but just the salespeople. Why do they lie?

The nature of the sales chain of command has always been very military. There is an attitude that each day is a battle day for them. The market is the war zone and every day is one of combat. Most sales managers assume the role of the drill sergeant. Orders are bark out and the battalion assumes compliance. There is only one difference that sales team are unlike army troupes that march into every campaign together and fight as one unit.

Across the various surveys done with sales professionals, it appeared that the base of all lying is the reluctance to face up the possibility of failure. It seems to be the most common motivation to lie is FEAR. Sales professional must keep in mind if the business objective is to instill ethics and integrity in your business driven organization, do not fret over fear and lies. Moreover, substantially try to increase business and stakeholder risks, and they must be carefully managed. The book tries to answer both aspects of ethical and unethical practices pursued by the sales professionals in the market.

Below quote may be a predicament for salespeople but rightly stated by P. T. Barnum, one of the greatest salespeople who ever lived, was adamantly against fraudulent selling, but he recognized the subtle nuances about honesty and lying: “An honest man who arrests public attention will be called a “humbug,” but he is not a swindler or an impostor. If, however, after attracting crowds of customers by his unique displays, a man foolishly fails to give them a full equivalent for their money, they never patronize him a second time, but they very properly denounce him as a swindler, a cheat, an impostor; they do not, however, call him a ‘humbug.’ He fails, not because he advertises his wares in an [outrageous] manner, but because, after attracting crowds of patrons, he stupidly and wickedly cheats them.”

From a chapter in the book, Sales People Don’t Lie by Roshan L. Joseph. Get your copy today @ https://bit.ly/2HXXmJ5

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Challenges of marketing a taboo product in an emerging market that is also culturally conservative

On an early December morning in 2014, Mr Shabih Haider, Director of Biogenics, sipped his coffee as he stared absentmindedly out of his office window and looked at the traffic on the main Shahrah-e-Faisal road in Karachi. His forehead creased with concern as he thought about Hamdam, Biogenics’ contraceptive (condom) brand. He looked at the reports which reflected a falling sales trend over the past ten quarters as well as falling profitability figures. The reports made him uneasy. Ever since they had launched Hamdam, the sales were far from satisfactory. The entire Hamdam team had been concentrating their efforts on the branded contraceptive to drive up the sales, but the response had been less than desired.
The problems that Hamdam was facing were not easy to overcome. The general consumer perception towards the contraceptive market was not very accepting and the social rejections had made marketing for such brands a challenging task. Nonetheless, Pakistan still offered vast potential that was too significant to be ignored. 
Now is the time to develop the market, create awareness and find some effective solutions to communicate with the consumers,’ the diligent director thought to himself. Shabih Haider was not a man to give up easily. He believed in taking everything head-on as the key to dealing with challenging and formidable tasks. What lay ahead of him was a society which perceived the issue of family planning and use of contraceptives as a taboo topic and considered discussions regarding them as indecent and scandalous. In fact, anything related to sex was seen as unvirtuous in the society. Mr Shabih Haider, thus, was faced with the formidable task of establishing his condom brand Hamdam in the conservative Pakistani society.

Register now to read full case study on Marketing a Taboo Product and to know how Mr. Shabih Haider tackled the consumer mindset in Pakistan.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Celebrity Endorsements and Donations: How does it impact Philanthropic Giving?

There is something remarkable to be said about the overall impact celebrities have on the increase in donations for nonprofits. In fact, there has been significant growth in philanthropic giving in recent years. Indiana University’s The Philanthropy Outlook 2017 & 2018 reports a steady rise in philanthropic giving by individuals that is anticipated to follow an upward trajectory in foreseeable future. The reason for this incredible growth is because of a younger, more socially aware audience. 
To get a deeper look into the root cause, it is empirical to study the advertising message that is put out by marketers. A notable feature of nonprofit marketing is celebrity endorsement of their appeals for donations and celebrities acting as a “brand ambassador,” for the charitable cause. Organizations that have successfully used celebrity endorsers include well-recognized charities, such as Make-A-Wish and Silver Lining Foundation in service of children that need medical care. 

This article from Business Perspectives and Research investigates the effects of celebrity endorsers on donations and views of non-profits. The research in this articles focuses on two nonprofits that had two different and distinct agendas. Findings of the research indicate that ads that evoke positive emotions are more likely to convert to donations. Demographic characteristics, such as age, gender, and income also very important factors that affect donations. In some cases, it can also be seen that the nonprofit’s cause and advertising message were powerful enough to override the impact of the celebrity. 
These findings of this research can help marketers style their ads to evoke certain emotions, by using celebrity endorsers that will help them increase donations. Furthermore, understanding what drives donors will help nonprofits tailor marketing strategies. It is expected that by targeting their donor base effectively, non-profits will then witness an increase in donations.

Register now to read this article from the journal 'Business Perspectives and Research'

Monday, July 30, 2018

Have you talked to your child about sexual abuse?

Does your child know the difference between a ‘bad touch’ and a ‘good touch’? Did you bother to talk about this with your kid? If you understand how a child feels when sexually abused, you will also understand why is it important to be open to sharing and teaching our children about child sexual abuse.
According to Ministry of Women and Child Development survey, 53.2% of children in India are sexually abused. When we speak about child abuse, it is imperative to discuss certain form of abuses and exploitation of children. According to National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), England, there can be two different types of sexual abuse to children, namely contact abuse which includes penetrative sexual abuse and unwanted sexual touching. The second is no-contact abuse which includes encouraging children to see or hear sexual acts, online abuse, porn images and so on.
In most cases, children are not even aware they are being sexually abused. Unless the parents are aware about the psychological as well as physical effect of ‘bad touch’ on the children, the latter may continue to suffer and may grow up as extremely complicated teenagers who may either be violent in nature or may suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

In many instances, it is seen that when a child complains about a particular uncomfortable incidence that has happened with him/her, elders or caregivers refuse to take it seriously. Thus, it becomes a mandate that parents and teachers should impart this knowledge to the kids. They should be taught that a touch that makes them feel uncomfortable is a bad touch and should be reported immediately.
A recent publication by SAGE, ChildSexual Abuse and Protection Laws in India studies the nature of sexual offences theories that explain why they occur, and the laws for regulating the same. It discusses It discusses the role of the judiciary and the criminal justice machinery in preventing abuse and cyber sexual crimes targeting children. This book studies the existing legal procedural provisions, regulations with case laws, several new mechanisms to deal with juvenile delinquency, rehabilitation of juvenile offenders, various jurisprudential understandings and judicial analysis of the issue.

To know more about sexual abuse of children in India and the gaps in current preventive measures, order your copy of the book today at an exclusive 20% discount. 
Write to us at marketing@sagepub.in with code SM20.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

An freedom fighter's account of the exploitation of India by the East India Company under the guise of “development”

 Abraham Lincoln once remarked that “There is no nation good enough to govern another”. The rule of one country over another is basically and therefore, essentially, unnatural. That is why all such empires crumbled after a time. The British rule in India, counting from the Battle of Plassey (1757), lasted 190 years and it clearly demonstrated the correctness of these memorable words of Abraham Lincoln.

English domination over India facilitated the most unscrupulous exploitation of India, its people and its resources. In other words, it led to the short-lived prosperity of England at the cost of the poverty and misery of the Indian people.
A recent publication by SAGE British Rule in India details how the British acquired territories by sly and dishonourable treaties and how their rule led to extremely large-scale economic exploitation. It painstakingly traces the history of the deliberate destruction of Indian industry and the plundering that went on under the guise of development. This book by Pandit Sunderlal, an eminent Gandhian and freedom fighter covers the period from 1805 (Second Maratha War), a turning point for the East India Company, to 1858, when the East India Company had to cede control to the British Crown.  

East India Company evolved and adopted several methods for the exploitation of India’s resources in the interests of England. Some of them were the Railways that were constructed and run by the money collected from Indians in various ways. The Railways were intended and used chiefly for cheap and quick transport of wheat, cotton, and other raw materials to the ports of embarkation for being shipped to England, and for similarly transporting the goods made in and exported from England to every nook and corner of India. The benefit to India, if any, was only a by-product of the railways. Another methods of exploitation was the Cultivation of Cotton. Berar, Sindh and the Punjab were annexed primarily because those regions were famed for growing cotton. There were several other approaches such as all Special Privileges and all responsible posts were limited to English only.

The book is in sharp contrast to narratives by British historians, who stressed that India was in a state of arrested development before the British arrived. The book clearly explicates that British had no purpose other than the draining of the India’s wealth to England. To sum up, the rule of one country over another cannot but be, in the very nature of things, detrimental to the best interests of any third country, although the worst sufferer is always the country under the foreigner’s heel.

Pre-order your copy on Amazon today!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Whether you are a fresher or a CEO, you must develop the learner’s mindset

We are now living in a world of constant change and disruption. We can either see the world as a threat to or a limitless resource to engage, stimulate, and cultivate our imagination. In a globally networked world, information is getting easier and easier to access. What you actually do with that information is the new challenge.
The VUCA LearnerOrganized training is not keeping pace with the demands of the workplace. On one hand, the shelf life of skills set is getting shorter and these may get obsolete fast. On the other hand, new careers are spawning which were not on the horizon a couple of years back. What is the way out for a leader, an executive or even a professional to remain relevant to workplace demands of the present as well as prepare for the future?
The answer to all these questions is TheVUCA Learner: Future-proof Your Relevance. As the world grows more complex and uncertain, opportunities for people with critical thinking, innovation and imagination are on the rise. Organizations are only as good as the people they employ. To stay relevant and grow in this unforgiving business environment, one needs to develop a learning mindset, where continuous lifelong learning becomes a daily habit, to let go of the old and become agile, adaptable and resilient.
This book will showcase the various sources and methods for self-learning. Whether you are a fresher or a CEO, you must develop the learner’s mindset, scan the business environment for green shoots of opportunities, regularly conduct a skills gap analysis and use all the tools available to continuously reinvent yourself to be ready for new episodes in career. This book is a roadmap to making you future-ready!

Article by Suhayl Abidi, the co-author of The VUCALearner 

Monday, July 09, 2018

Does Emotional Intelligence Predict Leadership Effectiveness?

Various researches in the field of organisational behaviour have established that moods and emotions play an important part in the leadership process, rather than being a secondary factor. Thus the important challenge for tomorrow’s leaders is to lead through the instrument of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence may not be the only determinant of leadership effectiveness/success; nevertheless, there are arguments and empirical evidences to support the hypothesis that emotional intelligence has a profound impact on leadership effectiveness. 

Western societies have found that emotional intelligence contributes significantly towards leadership success. As aforementioned, the basic tenet of emotional intelligence in an organizational setting is about understanding the feelings and emotions of the followers. The outstanding leaders strive for this so that it results in cordial relationships between the leaders and the followers.

Nevertheless, in a non-Western context like India, the research problem has remained relatively under-researched. Besides, most of the studies conducted in the Indian situation have relied on Western theoretical models. 

An article published in the South Asian Journal of Human Resources Management focuses on understanding the emotional intelligence and leadership linkages in a non-Western context. The study was conducted on a sample of 230 supervisors and subordinates drawn from branches of the banking sector in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Emotional competency and emotional sensitivity have been found to be significant antecedents of leadership effectiveness in the context under reference. The knowledge gained from this research is expected to increase the understanding of effective leadership and help produce powerful tools for the selection, and training and development of leaders, potentially enhancing organizational climate and performance.

Register here to read full study.

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Monday, June 11, 2018

This new wave of Mobilisation in Kashmir – Is it Religious or Political?

Kashmir Valley has been witnessing a decade of popular mobilization starting from 2008 and continuing till date. There have been continuous cycle of protests and killing in 2008, 2010, 2013 and even in 2016.

To name a few, in 2008, protests in the Valley against the transfer of land to the Amarnath shrine board mounted into violence that left close to 70 civilians dead. The 2010 protests, which were a reaction to the Machil fake encounter peaked at the death of an innocent, 17-year-old Tufail Mattoo from a tear gas canister. The protests left around 120 civilians dead. Then in 2013, the protests triggered by the execution of Afzal Guru were controlled by stepping up security and putting in place an indefinite curfew in the Kashmir Valley. Afzal Guru’s issue found a vent in 2016 and another significant factor that fed into the 2016 protests was the sentiment that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had betrayed the people’s mandate by allying with the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form the state government.

All of these protests and killings have only led to deepening of polarisation between a Hindu Jammu and a Muslim Valley, however the history of the conflict in Kashmir is convoluted and goes back to the Treaty of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir on 26 October 1947. 

This article from the journal ‘Social Change’ seeks to analyse this new wave of popular mobilisation in the Kashmir Valley, the article aims to locate the causal factors leading to such mobilisation; and explore the role of religion therein.

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Are online reviews affecting your brand image?

Rapid growth of online communication has connected consumers through various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and so on. Consumers are mostly indulged in informal communication about brands in the form of online product reviews, where they share their experiences of such brands in various brand communities, brand pages and other online social media platforms. Such reviews are mostly referred to by consumers while they are making a purchase so it is highly probable that these can influence the consumer’s purchasing decision.

Consumers generally give their opinions on various brands through online reviews, which creates an image of the brand in consumer’s mind. 

‘Brand image is the overall perception that consumers have of a brand, and its uniqueness in comparison to the other brands.’ It can be divided into functional brand image and hedonic brand image. Functional brand image concentrates on the consumer’s knowledge and beliefs about the functional aspects of the brand whereas hedonic brand image stresses on consumer’s sentiments, affections and emotions towards a brand. This article from the journal 'IIM Kozhikode Society & Management Review' attempts to examine the effects of online reviews on both functional and hedonic aspects of brand image. The study in this article follows a mixed method approach using both quantitative and qualitative techniques. Quantitative techniques have been used to measure the objective experiences of the consumers, whereas qualitative techniques have been used to examine the subjective experiences of the consumers. 

The study concludes that online credible reviews affect consumer’s brand decision and thus play a decisive role on purchase intentions. Marketers should include social media marketing strategy in their marketing mix and should be able to maintain their credibility in the online space.

Register here to read full article.

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Monday, May 28, 2018

Let’s break the silence and understand the importance of Menstrual Hygiene

Menstruation is a natural phenomenon which almost half of the population undergoes. Yet, we find difficult to speak about it in the public. Myths and taboos around menstruation can be traced back to the Vedic period, deeply rooted in the Indian religion and culture. Even today, women lack the power to freely talk about it, ask for sanitary products and are made to feel awkward while handling them.
Due to inadequate access to hygiene products, women are forced to use unhygienic alternatives which are fatal and cause serious health issues. Most girls in rural areas skip school and even drop to handle something so natural due to insufficient access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities and hygiene products.
To eradicate this problem, we need to understand the challenges faced by different segments of women in our society who continue to live in shadows, quietude and oppression due to lack of proper knowledge about sanitary napkins and hygiene. It’s high time when both men and women engage themselves in stigma lifting initiatives and spread awareness about the importance of good menstrual hygiene management.
In addition to menstrual hygiene there are several other key elements of gender issues in water and sanitation programmes which need to be examined for improved gender outcomes. Gender Issues in Water and SanitationProgrammes by SAGE Publications is a worthy addition to the literature on water, sanitation and hygiene. The book recommends ways for improved gender outcomes and WASH impact in India, documenting both quantitative and qualitative information on gender issues.
Realizing the magnitude of the problems pertaining to women, there are several initiatives taken by the government and NGOs to normalize menstruation as a healthy and positive part of the female life cycle.  It’s time that the society breaks the silence and talks about MENSTRUATION.

Grab your copy of the book today to unpack the key elements of WASH–gender nexus at an exclusive 20% discount. Write to us at marketing@sagepub.in with code SM20.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A Call for Change: India needs a debate on how to empower Muslim Women

Allah ta’ala ne aurat ko bhi insaan banaaya hai, words spoken by a young Muslim woman from Mumbai, are simply a statement of a person of faith about her own creation. It is a comment on
the inequality that women are subjected to, how they are made to feel subhuman, a commodity to be consumed and includes a firm belief of the speaker that there is inherent justice in this narrative of creation of a woman in human form and a complaint that this justice has been subverted.

Muslim women have mostly been discussed as passive victims who have no agency. They often suffer from stifling suppression and overt violence that not only leaves its marks on the human body and material aspects of life, but also impacts the mind and the self of the affected.

Hence, it’s vital to encourage Muslim women to speak out to this unjust neglect and discrimination. After all, who understands a situation better than those who are living it and who would propose better solutions to problems than those who are suffering stultifying oppression in their everyday lives?

Muslim Women Speakby Ghazala Jamil is a recent publication by SAGE that discusses an expansive canvas of dreams, aspirations, memory and everyday lives of Muslim women.  Through a presentation and analysis of Indian Muslim women’s narratives about their own situation, the book challenges the image of Muslim women as historic victims of Islam and Muslim men. The book includes insights on the agency of young Muslim women and the impact of violence on their everyday lives after a violent ‘event’ or ‘episode’ passes into history and memory. It brings forth not only the ‘voices’ that have long been considered ‘silent’ but also dwells upon the epistemological and socio-political concerns of this ‘silencing’.

To delve more into the various possibilities of just and humane world that treats Muslim women as equal human beings, grab your copy of the book today at an exclusive 20% discount. Write to us at marketing@sagepub.in with code SM20.