12th Biennial Conference on Entrepreneurship – My Experience

I have been attending the Biennial Conferences on Entrepreneurship hosted by The Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) starting from the 10th. This time I also had the privilege to be part of EDII hosting the grand event. The Twelfth Biennial was Chaired by Prof. Sasi Misra (Distinguished Psychologist) and hosted by Prof. Sunil Shukla (Director, EDII).

We had over a 100 researchers present and share their ideas at the conference. This time we also had a lot more time for each paper and a whole lot of discussions in and outside the session rooms. It was fun to see scholars debate their findings with peers from both within and outside of India. The proceedings (a two volume collection of 139 papers) was released on the inauguration by the popular and senior academic Prof. Pradip Khandwalla. He kickstarted the event with a memorable talk on why its time to re-look at entrepreneurship in the emerging country setting, especially India.

The Twelfth Biennial was also special as it hosted the Silver Jubilee Celebration of The Journal of Entrepreneurship (JoE) – a biannual academic journal published by Sage Publications. The event was graced by the two past Directors (Profs Awasthi and Patel) of EDII and the founding Editor (Prof. Dwijendra Tripathi). Each of their reminiscences of how the journal birthed and reached its 25th year was both touching and hilarious.

Mine was the first paper in the first technical session. I got done early and had the pleasure of listening to number of other presenters without worry! I had wonderful discussions outside the session rooms with scholars from India and abroad. Our discussions have also resulted in some exchange of contacts and possible future conversations. The hope is that some of these will result in collaborations in the future.

We had two special sessions – one by the GEM India Team on TEA in an Emerging Economy and the other, the Dr Elmar Stuhler Memorial Lecture delivered by Prof Helmut from Germany. His abstract ideas are always a trigger for deeper thinking.

I enjoyed the conference and now energised to do more work on my research. While attending conferences is to present our papers and gain feedback, it is equally to make new friends and catch up with older ones. I did all three! So overall it was three days well spent.

The next Biennial is two years away – and it will be special in its own way. As Dr Shukla mentioned during the Valedictory session, it will be the silver jubilee for the conferences too! Look forward to being there and enjoying the company of scholars in entrepreneurship.

Till then Happy Entrepreneuring!

Creative and/or Innovative

I was recently invited to attend a seminar on Intellectual Property Rights. It was illuminating to hear the views of so many people especially on the core aspects of intellectual property (patents, copyrights, trade marks, geographic indicators, and others).

But there seemed to be a fundamental aspect that remained muddled in many of the presentations – the difference between ‘creativity’ and ‘innovation’. It seemed to me that many speakers used the term interchangeably. Being a student of entrepreneurship it hit me hard – since the difference between the two terms makes pretty much all the difference between being an artist and an entrepreneur.

Creative – is an adjective to describe one who can come up with original and imaginative ideas to create something

AND

Innovative – is an adjective used to describe one who introduces new ideas, original and useful

The above is important to understand (easier said than done). But if one wants to understand why there is a strong argument for action in entrepreneurship – the above difference in meaning becomes critical. It is by being innovative that one turns ideas into reality. Hence entrepreneurs need to be innovative.

But – Innovative does not subsume Creative!

Many entrepreneurs (innovative) build on the ideas of others (creative) and in some cases successfully institutionalise them. We remember them for a long time through their products / services / organizations.

If you are one who teaches entrepreneurship, it is important to clearly highlight the difference between the two; help aspiring entrepreneurs appreciate the importance of the latter; and teach them the skills to identify the former. This is not the only thing that makes one an entrepreneur, but definitely eases the pressure on them to be creative at any cost.

Think about it!

Books and Me: Trailblazing in Entrepreneurship

Title: Trailblazing in Entrepreneurship – Creating new paths for understanding the field

Authors: Dean A Shepherd and Holger Patzelttrailblazing-book-cover

This is not a review of the book. I am sharing this book for a number of reasons:

  • I got it from one of the co-authors (Prof. Dean Shepherd) who and whose work I admire a lot
  • It is a great resource on where entrepreneurship scholars can look at for the future of entrepreneurship research
  • It is a great resource on literature in entrepreneurship research from two highly respected scholars
  • The authors have been generous to make it freely available so that a lot many scholars who cannot access expensive resources can gain access to good material
  • It is an ‘open access’ book and freely available. Link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8gg18ojh-w_SzZWcHc2Y0JZQWM
  • More than everything else I feel it is only fair that young scholars must read the right literature in entrepreneurship and identify promising areas of research for themselves

I have already started reading it and I have shared it with a few colleagues who have good words for the book. Hence I am sharing it with the blog’s readers so that all of you will have the opportunity to trailblaze through the wilds of entrepreneurship research.

Good Luck and Happy Reading!

Vedanta and Me: The Two people inside ‘You’

In recent times there has been an increasing discussion around two people inside each one of us. They are namely – the rational self and the emotional self.

These two people sit inside every one of us. I am not sure if you have a choice to have them or not. Nature ensures every one of us has both of them. In some people, one of them is more pronounced than the other. This is the reason why you come across people who are more rational or some who are truly emotional.

One must spend time with themselves to understand how each of these two people operate within you. Knowing is the first step to using them wisely for your development and happiness. Align your activities with the one (emotional / rational) that is more pronounced within you.

A metaphor that is used to describe these two people is comparing the emotional self within, to an elephant and the rational self within to the mahout (rider). You can reflect on this interesting thought. It will tell you why, when you don’t manage your emotional self within, you end up going through emotional swings – when the mahout (riding the elephant) loses control over the elephant, there is little that can be done.

Vedanta Philosophy clearly highlights the importance of honing the intellect so that the emotions are always within limits. Read other posts under ‘Vedanta and Me‘ section to know more about this philosophy.

Whatever the implications and how each one of us wants to  handle them, acknowledging that there are these two characters sitting inside each one of us is the first step to any development.

Happy Thinking!!

Books and Me: In Other Words

Book Title: In Other Wordsin-other-words-book-cover

Author: Jhumpa Lahiri

I love reading biographies and autobiographies. It is one of those genres of non-fiction that I enjoy. When I came across this non-fiction book by the author of several award winning works of fiction, I was tempted to try. I even thought it might be bordering on her life – but I was in for some surprise!

The book is brilliant. It exposes our limitations as human beings and how we don’t even recognise them. The book was actually written by Jhumpa Lahiri in Italian and translated into English by Ann Goldstein. Hence it is actually not a book that showcases her English which is her strength.

The book is a brilliant example of how people should live their lives. Instead of continuing to write more books in English for which she is celebrated, Jhumpa Lahiri takes the entrepreneurial route to experimenting with something that struck a cord with her – Learning and Writing in Italian, a language that touched her on the inside.

Using the experience of learning and writing a new language Jhumpa Lahiri exposes how we are all limited to our little worlds. There are so many places in the book where I paused and was sent into a reflective mood – something that happens usually when you read philosophy. Some of those sentences in the book caught on to me so much that I have marked them for re-reflection. If you are one who loves philosophy, even tangentially, you will not miss these reflections in the book. The book clearly highlights the limitations of the human mind, how we stay stuck to comfort zones, the fear of getting out of comfort zones, and what one goes through to get over the fear of moving out of the comfort zone.

I enjoyed reading the book and look forward to re-reading it again.

Attending the 4th PAN IIM Conference at IIM Ahmedabad

It was good being there at the Fourth PAN IIM World Management Conference held between 13-15 December 2016 at IIM Ahmedabad. Out of about 850 submissions, less than 200 were chosen for presentation (paper presentation and poster presentation sessions). I was one of those 150-odd individuals to have their paper selected for presentation!!

Over the three days we met a number of senior professors from various disciplines within management. It was good catching up with number of doctoral students and candidates from institutes across India. It did help presenting my ideas at the conference and have some informal discussions around them.

I had people who simply thought what I was doing was ridiculous, some rubbished me and my work, some gave me encouragement, some showed interest and a few definitely did discuss future possibilities around my topic. It showed how and why academics (industry) is just like other sectors – filled with human beings of all kinds!! Nothing is different in education, though one would expect it to be (remember, holy profession!).

As one who loves teaching and research, I believe that there is tremendous opportunity for young scholars to make a mark in the Indian Higher Education industry – big changes taking place in disciplines, new disciplines emerging, people caught up in old ways of thinking, expanding universities/institutes (IIT, IIM, etc) creating fresh demands, and pockets across disciplines where the average scholarly output is really low. Any young and emerging scholar should see this as a great opportunity, act with entrepreneurial zeal and establish themselves firmly in their domains of interest. Considering the fact that India is being seen as the future land of opportunities and accepting the fact that the world wants to know more about India and Indian management, time is ripe for us to research, write and teach from here.

Let us (scholars) make use of this golden opportunity.

Think about it.

One among ASQ Blog’s Top Ten Posts in 2016

Seasons Greetings and New Year Wishes 2017!!

I am a big fan of the ‘Administrative Science Quarterly’ Journal (ASQ). I was excited when the possibility of interviewing the authors of one of its papers. I enjoyed reading the article as it was close to how I intended (research method) to do my doctoral work. The interview was even more enjoyable. The interview was posted during the second half of November 2016. Link: https://asqblog.com/2016/11/16/delmestri-greenwood-2016-how-cinderella-became-a-queen-theorizing-radical-status-change/

We are more than happy to share that the interview we (Shaya & I) conducted for the ASQ Blog turned up to be No. 4 of their ‘Top Ten Blog Posts’ in 2016. This is really cool considering that fact that we had only about 45 days of presence on the web that year.

We learned a lot by reading that article in the ASQ and especially from the interview that we conducted with the authors. We are happy that our interview was well received by scholars. Hope a lot more scholars (doctoral students in particular) benefit from the interview and the article.

The ASQ blog team wish you a productive and fruitful 2017! Here we present the list of top posts in 2016 on the ASQ blog: take a look and get drunk on some scholarly wisdom before you open the Happy New Year champagne!

1. A Conversation with Jerry Davis, ASQ Editor (2011 – 2016)

2. A Conversation with Charlene Zietsma, winner of the 2016 ASQ Award for Scholarly Contribution

3. Berg (2016). Balancing on the Creative Highwire: Forecasting the Success of Novel Ideas in Organizations

4. Delmestri & Greenwood (2016). How Cinderella Became a Queen: Theorizing Radical Status Change

5. Davis & Eisenhardt (2011). Rotating Leadership and Collaborative Innovation: Recombination Processes in Symbiotic Relationships

6. Michel (2011). Transcending Socialization: A Nine-Year Ethnography of the Body’s Role in Organizational Control and Knowledge Workers’ Transformation

7. Huang and Pearce (2015). Managing the Unknowable: The Effectiveness of Early-stage Investor Gut Feel in Entrepreneurial Investment Decisions

8. Rider (2012). How Employees’ Prior Affiliations Constrain Organizational Network Change: A Study of U.S. Venture Capital and Private Equity

9. Navis and Glynn (2010). How new market categories emerge: temporal dynamics of legitimacy, identity, and entrepreneurship in satellite radio, 1990-2005

10. Merluzzi & Phillips (2016). The Specialist Discount: Negative Returns for MBAs with Focused Profiles in Investment Banking.

via Top Posts of 2016 — The ASQ Blog