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.

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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.

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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.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Evaluating the differences in learning attitudes and attributes between Gen X and Millennials

Student learning outcomes have attained global learning focus off late and research has shown that the current generation in higher education has significantly different learning characteristics than its predecessors.

It then becomes essential to understand this generation’s learning attributes that can provide useful guidance in designing teaching pedagogies for this generation. It has been found that Gen Y do not prefer traditional lecture mode of teaching, traditional communication standards and have zero tolerance to delays.

Findings also suggest that Gen Y has a collaborative learning style enjoying working and learning in groups and teams, they are more drifted towards use of technology, entertainment and excitement. They prefer structure and experimental activities and learn immediately from their mistakes

The research in this article from the journal ‘Vision’ also suggest that there are also certain issues of concern with this generation that are particularly worrying such as Gen Y demonstrate a lack of drive, motivation and accountability. While this generation likes to choose what they learn, how they learn it and when they learn it. Researchers have also pointed out laxity towards their research sources, predisposition to believe peer opinion and public consensus and the absence of original ideas is mainly distressing.

The findings in this research also indicate that this generation significantly differs from the previous generation on the attributes of trust and competition. Gen Y was found to be more competitive and less trusting than Gen X.

This article ‘Gen Y Attributes—Antecedents to Teaching Pedagogy’ from the journal Vision takes about various other learning characteristics exhibited by this generation that are significantly different than those of its predecessor generations.

Register now to read full research today.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Exit! A Prostitution Survivor Voice

This article shares a first-hand account of sexual abuse and slavery on the streets of South Africa during and after apartheid. Reflecting on her days in prostitution, the author of this article also provides an insight into how the prostituted woman is robbed off her dignity and how difficult it is to exit from the physical and mental trauma. She explains the meaning of freedom after apartheid for the street children of South Africa. They celebrated the end of the systemic marginalization of black people but continued to face rampant substance abuse, sexual violence and ‘gangsterism’. This article is a testimony of her from sex slavery to a survivor leader and activist against the backdrop of the apathy of the South African state towards its vulnerable children.

The author takes us through her journey of how she, at the age of 8, after apartheid joins the rest of the kids on the streets of Cape Town where they were introduced to glue and other intoxicants that we sucked out of the bottle to keep themselves high and their minds numb. Then as soon as she reaches the age of 18, she is made to leave the shelter in cape town and is forced to move to Johannesburg. She then further goes on to explain how she joins the rest of the world in prostitution on the streets of Yeoville. She moved from one province to another, tried out low-class prostitution, middle-class prostitution and high-class prostitution. 

She also talks about her time when she aged and how South Africa did not have a system for a 29-year-old woman to have a place to stay! Hence, she had to join the streets again and this time around she started cooking and packing drugs for the pimps. One day, she got the opportunity to drop drugs back at home in Cape Town, and that was her moment of escape

She ends on the note stating that 'I just want to say that we have a great survivor movement, and we refuse for others to talk on behalf of us—survivors. And the only action that needs to be done, going forward, is to bring out these survivor voices because they are the testimonies to get this right.'

The article has been taken from the journal 'Antyajaa' (Vol 2, Issue 2) authored by Grizelda Grootboom.

Register now to read in detail about the author's first-hand experience of sexual abuse from the journal 'Antyajaa'.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Women's self-defense movement - an approach to debunk patriarchal myths about inherent feminine weakness

This article examines the emergence and development of a women’s self-defense movement during the Progressive Era as women across the nation began studying boxing and jiu- jitsu. The women’s self- defense movement arose simultaneously with the rise of the physical culture movement, concerns about the strength and future of the nation, fears associated with immigration and rapid urbanization, and the expansion of women’s political and social rights. However, the meaning and transformation wrought through self- defense training varied from individual to individual. Women were inspired to take up self- defense training for very personal reasons that ranged from protecting themselves from stranger attacks on the street to rejecting gendered notions about feminine weakness and empowering themselves. Women’s training in boxing and jiu- jitsu was both a reflection of and a response to the larger women’s rights movement and the campaign for the vote. Self- defense training also opened up conversations about the less visible violence that many women faced in their own private lives.
Upper- and middle- class women saw this work as a natural extension of their role as members of the civilized Anglo race. Casting off the notion that they themselves needed male protection, these women assumed the role of protector of women of less civilized races and classes. In so doing, they were able to gain some degree of authority and power within the confines of existing gender and
racial boundaries. Women’s training in self-defense was both a reflection of and a response to the broader cultural issues of the time, including the women’s rights movement and the campaign for the right to vote. The discussion surrounding it opened up conversations about the less visible violence that many women faced in their own homes. Through self-defense training, women debunked patriarchal myths about inherent feminine weakness, creating a new image of women as powerful and self-reliant.
Our new book 'Her Own Hero' presents a fascinating and comprehensive introduction to one of the most important women’s issues of all time. The book takes us back to the time of the twentieth century, some women were inspired to take up boxing and jiu-jitsu for reasons that ranged from protecting themselves to rejecting notions about feminine weakness. 

Grab your copy of the book today.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

What is the reason of decline in rural female workforce despite a discernible improvement in India’s rural economy in recent years?

The role of women in the socio-economic transformation of a country is now globally recognised. Though some national governments have taken affirmative action in the past few decades to improve the socio-economic status of women, those living in rural areas, especially in developing countries, continue to be marginalised and underprivileged for several reasons. Empowerment of rural women refers to a situation in which women living in rural areas have adequate, independent and equal means of livelihood and other economic, social and political opportunities for growth and upward mobility. Empowerment of women is a necessity for improving their status in society and therefore women’s access to economic and financial resources is vital for their empowerment.
While India’s economy has grown over the past few decades, its female workforce participation rate (WPR) is registering a decline. In 2012, Indian women comprised 27.37 percent of the country’s economically active population. Out of these, 60 percent worked in agriculture, accounting for 35 percent of the agricultural labour force. The contribution of women in farm production is estimated at 55–66 percent of the total labour force. Women by nature take on domestic household responsibilities, but such gender roles limit rural women’s participation in labour markets and confine them to lower paid and relatively precarious employment conditions. Particularly in rural areas, women face discrimination in accessing resources and services needed to improve their productivity, such as access to credit, secure land titles and education (FAO, 2011). If women can access the same productive resources as men, they can boost farm productivity significantly. The falling female WPR in India can be due to various reasons. These include what is known as the income effect––as household income rises, women start withdrawing from agricultural activities––low education enrolment; a lack of job opportunities and uncertain forms of measurement––it is difficult to accurately gauge the participation of women in work because of the nature of their jobs––home-based work, subsistence agriculture and so on.
Against this backdrop, this article from 'Social Change' aims to examine trends, patterns and drivers of female workforce participation in rural India, captured through the lens of migration, social and religious factors, land rights, agricultural income, education and wages. 

Read full article here.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The book that the British banned is out now - How India lost her Freedom by Pandit Sunderlal

A book was being written long back, it created such a stir that a decision to ban the book was already taken by the British Government. The first edition of 2,000 copies appeared on 18 March 1929, and the book was banned on 22 March 1929. Between this gap of four days, 1,700 copies were sold. Mahatma Gandhi described this proscription as “Daylight Robbery” and advised the people to break the law and to face imprisonment rather than submit the book to the authorities. 

'How India lost her Freedom' the book that the British banned is out now and focuses on the crucial facts and events that led to the establishment of British rule over India.  

The early British historians tried to play down the role of their countrymen in subjugating the native kingdoms in India by all means. It was left to a few diligent historians to carry out painstaking research and unravel the facts. Pandit Sunderlal, who wrote this sensational book originally in Hindi in 1929, vigorously exposed the British plan to enlarge their sphere of influence in India slowly and steadily through a number of dubious methods. Apart from revealing the state of affairs between the Indian native kingdoms and the East India Company, How India Lost Her Freedom provides a fine account of what India was prior to the advent of the British. 

Pandit ji has quoted extensively from the original sources, exposing in particular the translations of Elliot and Dowson among others. It is a great tragedy of our times that most Indians are unaware of the true facts. Many serious controversies currently prevalent in our society can be understood in the correct light when you read this book. People will then discover shocking untruths and totally false so-called facts, which are accepted today by society, to be the creation of fertile minds intent on dividing the Indian society and weakening it.

RH Khwaja, former secretary to the Government of India, in the foreword of the book says, "It is my sincere and fervent hope that all readers of this book will start understanding that it is only through peace, empathy, tolerance and compassion that a nation and its people can develop. The seeds of bigotry and violence cannot blossom into fragrant flowers of peaceful coexistence."

Read this freedom fighter's account of India's struggle for Independence. A book that explicates how the British came to India, slowly penetrated the sub-continent and established an empire...a story recorded by many historians but not fully told.

Grab your copy of this book today at an exclusive 20% discount. Write to us at marketing@sagepub.in with code SM20.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Customer Value Management—a sequential process of creating, quantifying, and capturing value

We all talk about value. It is something that is mentioned on every website, on every company brochure and on every booth at trade shows. For some of us, 'value' is financial or economic, while for others it is relationship-based or perceptual. Marketing and sales practitioners discuss value in the context of buyer–seller interactions. Strategy scholars focus on the extraction of value from the firm’s value resources (Bowman & Ambrosini, 2000). The bottom line is that we all define and understand value differently. This is why 'value' is so difficult to comprehend, to operationalize and to improve.

One question that is still debated in various literature streams and widely discussed in firms’ practitioner circles is that ‘Is value created, captured, exchanged or appropriated?’ Scholars might be aware of these differences, but in the field of practice, it is another reality. Of course, the answer to the question is not that simple. Two critical factors influence it: How do you define value, and value for whom?
An article from the ‘Journal of Creating Value’ aims to repeat, reinforce and rationalize the concept of customer value and to propose a process for managing customer value holistically and sustainably. It highlights the need for practitioners to manage customer value formally through the institutionalization. This article intends to clarify the difference between the three steps of customer value management. It posits that customer value management needs to be a formal process in organizations and that this process needs to be formally managed as well. In order to do so, organizations need to focus on the development of customer value management capabilities across the three stages of the Customer Value Management process: creation, quantification, and capture. The article concludes by stating that it cannot be just created, it is something that needs to be managed.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Impact of Celebrity Expertise on Advertising Effectiveness: The Mediating Role of Celebrity Brand Fit

Endorsements are advertising messages which reflect findings or experience of someone other than the sponsor. It can be in the form of verbal statements, demonstrations or depictions of the name, signature, likeness or other identifying personal characteristics of an individual or the name or seal of an organization. Most of the endorsement advertisement includes celebrities, consumer, company professionals and experts. The studies have shown that celebrity endorser is effective for low technical oriented product and products with high psychological and social risks. On an overall, the celebrity endorsement is considered to create more recall of advertisement than any other endorsement strategy.

Celebrity endorsers are an important feature of modern marketing, and their use continues to grow. Celebrities Endorser is intended to provide the consumer with a shortcut by allowing the consumer to avoid the time-consuming task of comparing product attributes. Accordingly, it is assumed that consumers are encouraged to rely on the celebrity’s expertise or experience in making the right choice, versus engaging in elaborate attribute-based product evaluation. For this, the consumer uses the characteristics of celebrity to form a valid assertion of the product.

The effectiveness of the endorser depends on the meanings he or she brings to the endorsement processes. A celebrity draws powerful meanings from the roles they assume in their television, movie, military, athletic and other careers. Most literature in the field of communication and marketing have evaluated how source personality and lifestyle meaning influence a persuasive communication. Source expertise in the field product class endorsed is one of the most important celebrity characteristics that influence communication effectiveness. This study from the journal 'Vision' evaluates the impact of celebrity expertise on social advertisement effectiveness. The finding of the article indicates that when the marketers choose a celebrity for any particular products, they should consider a celebrity who has got experience in bringing value to that product range and who can fit well with the brand.

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