Published PapersRamachandran, Kavil., Antony, Sanjay Paul. (2020) "Decision-Making Processes in Indian Joint Families and Their Implications for HR Professionals", NHRD Network, Volume: 13 (1), 62-72Read Abstract >Close >Family businesses constitute a large portion of successful enterprises in India, as it does in different parts of the world. In its journey from a founder-driven small entity to a professionally run organisation, one key transformation it has to go through is the process of ‘institutionalisation’. The human resource (HR) leader plays a key role in this process. An exploration of the role the HR function has to play during the various phases of this transformation journey could serve as a guide to HR professionals building their careers with family businesses. Our effort has been to develop a model which could work along with validated tools which measure the influence a family could have on a business. We hope that such knowledge would prepare the HR leader to be better prepared to play the role of a partner during the evolution of the organisation into a professionally run entity.

Published PapersBhatnagar, Navneet.,Sharma, Pramodita., Ramachandran, Kavil. (2019) "Spirituality and Corporate Philanthropy in Indian Family Firms: An Exploratory Study.", Journal of Business EthicsRead Abstract >Close >Family firm philanthropy (FFP) is the donation of resources to support societal betterment in ways meaningful for the controlling family. Family business literature suggests that socioemotional goals of achieving family prominence, harmony and continuity drive FFP. However, these drivers fail to explain spiritually motivated philanthropic behaviors like anonymous giving by some Hindu business families. Based on case studies and interviews with family members in 14 Hindu families in India with a combined giving exceeding 2 billion INR in 2016-17, this study suggests spirituality or the moral dimension as an additional important driver of corporate behaviors like FFP. Two fundamental spiritual beliefs of dharma (duty towards society) and karma (right to action) instill a culture of duty-bound giving in Hindus. However, the strength of each belief in controlling families varies. Juxtaposing these beliefs leads us to four types of family firm philanthropist labeled in this paper as Devout, Committed, Devoid, and Coerced. Devouts, the biggest givers, are spiritually motivated, controlled by at least 3rd generation family members with executive power and professional support. Societal development, rather than spirituality is the key motivator for committed philanthropists. While devoids strongly hold spiritual beliefs, they fail to devote adequate resources or develop professional structures to support FFP. Coerced, the smallest givers, focus on business growth, lack family champions or supporting professional structures, and face turbulent family or business domains.

Published PapersRay, Sougata.,Mondal, Arindam., Ramachandran, Kavil. (2018) "How does Family Involvement Affect a Firm's Internationalisation? An Investigation of Indian Family Firms", Global Strategy Journal, 8 (1), 73 - 105Read Abstract >Close >Research Summary: We investigate whether and how family ownership and management influence firms' internationalization strategies in an emerging economy in which family firms are dominant. Anchoring on the willingness and ability framework and drawing on the socioemotional wealth perspective and agency theory, we theorize how the heterogeneity among family firms in their ownership structures, concentration, and family involvement in management shapes the firms' internationalization strategies. We also theorize how certain contingencies, such as the presence of foreign institutional ownership and family management, moderate the relationship between family ownership and internationalization strategy. We test our predictions by using a proprietary, longitudinal panel dataset of 303 leading family firms from India and find support for most of our theoretical predictions. Managerial Summary: Internationalization has emerged as a dominant strategy for firms in a globally interconnected world. We observe that ownership structure and management have significant bearing on internationalization strategies of family firms, as family owners and managers are more averse to internationalization. Family firms' aversion to internationalize is more pronounced when families can exercise greater control on firms' actions through the combined effect of higher family ownership (primarily through strategic control) and family's participation in management (through strategic, administrative, and operational control). However, certain contingencies, such as the higher ownership of foreign institutions and presence of professional managers, help business families improve their understanding of international markets, reduce the fear of the unknown, and better appreciate the benefits of internationalization, thereby aiding greater internationalization of family firms.

Published PapersBhatnagar, Navneet., Ramachandran, Kavil., Ray, Sougata. (2018) "The Role of Familial Socio-Political Forces on New Venture Creation in Family Business", Cross Cultural and Strategic Management Journal, 25 ( 4), 550-577Read Abstract >Close > Purpose – New venture (NV) creation is critical to the growth and long-term survival of business groups. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the NV creation process in family business (FB) context and examine the influence of familial socio-political considerations and dynamics on venture creation processes. Design/methodology/approach – The paper employs a triangulation technique drawing from the extant literature, observations from 25 in-depth interviews of FB leaders and insights from two FB practitioners and abductive reasoning to theorize on the NV creation process and the influence of socio-political considerations and dynamics within family. Findings – The results show that there are four distinct stages of the NV creation process in FB context. Familial socio-political considerations and dynamics greatly influence the NV creation process. These considerations and dynamics vary according to the socio-political clout enjoyed by the proposer. Leadership’s predisposition to the proposer and the proposer’s socio-political clout in the family determine whether an NV proposal leads to venture creation. Research limitations/implications – The study extends NV creation literature by suggesting that in addition to the economic rationale, socio-political considerations play a critical role in venture creation decisions. Future research can validate the findings with quantitative analysis. Practical implications – FB members must garner strong socio-political support for their NV proposal. FB leaders must ensure that their NV proposal evaluation and resource allocation decisions are not unduly influenced by the proposer’s socio-political clout. Originality/value – The study views the NV creation process in FB context from the lens of familial forces at play. It identifies four distinct stages of the NV creation process and examines the role played by familial socio-political considerations and dynamics during each stage. Keywords Family business, New venture creation, Business innovation, Socio-political clout, Transgenerational entrepreneurship, Venture creation process

Published PapersLampel, Joseph.,Bhalla, Ajay., Ramachandran, Kavil. (2017) "Family Values and Inter-Institutional Governance of Strategic Decision Making in Indian Family Firms", Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 34(4), 901-930Read Abstract >Close >In this paper we use new venture creation in Indian family firms to explore the family firm as an inter-institutional system. We argue that in societies where the traditional family dominates social and economic life, the relationship between the two institutions, the firm and the family, is managed via inter-institutional logics. These inter-institutional logics help reconcile the tensions that often arise in the family firms during strategic decision-making. We use archival and interview data on thirty-six new ventures in eight Indian family firms to identify these logics. Our analysis shows that the interaction between firm and family institutional logics in Indian family firms generates four sub-logics: Economic, Expertise, Reputation and Attachment. These four logics are used to frame and screen new venture opportunities and justify resource allocation

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