The Tata group, alongside Reliance and Birla conglomerates, is a household name in India. The group had risen to this prominence through its enterprising, innovative and ethical leadership over the course of more than a century. First under the auspices of Jamshetji Tata and later under the inspirational leadership of J.R.D. Tata, the group has earned its fame through the management ethos that is passed from one generation to the next. Since 1993, Ratan Tata, the nephew of J.R.D. Tata assumed the top leadership position for the group. And in the 17 years of his leadership, the group has ascended new heights and looks set to continue in this vein in the immediate future too. This essay will critically discuss the leadership of Ratan Tata and evaluate his successes and failings by setting them in right context. The essay will also attempt to identify areas where the Tata group lags behind and propose measures to improve those.
The year 1993 when Ratan Tata took over . . . Read More
The California Public Service System, officially called the State of California Personnel Board (SCPB), is a key institution in the state. First instituted in the year 1934, the civil service system has upheld high standards of equality and fairness in its history. The history of SCPB is intricately linked to the history of the country as a whole and hence the changes witnessed in the board were also seen nationwide. At the same time, due to the unique demographic composition of the state of California, with a high percentage of ethnic minorities, the SCPB had at times taken a leadership role in extending equal job opportunities to residents. For example, during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the board was sympathetic to the cause of African Americans. It is no coincidence that the civil rights movement found its highest expression in the state of California. And in the movement’s aftermath the employee roll of the board reflected this newfound equality in opportunity. . . . Read More
Robert Maxwell was credited with saying that Accountancy is not the exact science which some of us once thought it was, and in an academic paper, Edey (1989) stated that Accounting reports can provide no more than approximate (rough is a better term) indications of the financial health and state of a business. Profit is no more than an estimate of how well a business has performed; how good an estimate it is in specific cases is dependent upon the nature of the business being reported upon and the appropriateness of the accounting policies selected. Using relevant examples critically discuss and debate these statements.
The thoughts of Robert Maxwell and Harold Edey on the nature and significance of accounting have proven to be prophetic. The practice of showcasing and window-dressing the financial status of a business corporation is as old as the institution of accounting itself. These practices are not always carried out with malicious intent, but more often than not, the . . . Read More
In recent decades the issue of human trafficking into the United States has been an issue of contention in political debates. The southern border with Mexico is the primary channel through which illegal immigrants (most of them of Hispanic origin from Central American countries) attempt to sneak into the confines of the world’s most prosperous nation. In spite of this trend of human trafficking across borders going on for more than two decades, the government has done nothing substantial to curb it. Probably this is in recognition of the fact that without cheap labor provided by millions of such immigrants, it is difficult to sustain an economy as big as that of the United States. While these impoverished people from South and Central America get into the United States in order to improve their economic wellbeing, evidence suggests that they barely get past acute poverty and only manage to survive. Despite being the richest nation on earth, a significant portion of its inhabitants . . . Read More
Both the first as well as the second world wars are landmark events in modern world history. Both wars are marked by involvement of the prevailing world powers of the day. In the case of the First World War, the principal actors were the European powers of Britain, Germany, Austria, etc with nominal participation from the United States and the Soviet Union. The Second World War saw a more meaningful participation from the United States of America and the Soviet Union, which were then set to become the leading superpowers in the post war years. Hence it is understandable why this is a crucial event in the history of the Soviet Union since 1921. Despite the fact that WW2 led to the survival of the Communist system and the Russian state, the effects of the war were much deeper. It legitimized the system in the people’s eyes and therefore shaped Russia’s actions in the international arena. The rest of this essay will elaborate further why the Second World War was a turning point . . . Read More
The National Health Service, which is a government run public health care enterprise, is an important institution in Britain. Both the Tory party and the New Labour Party have competed to claim the NHS as their own and no election campaign in Britain is without numerous references to the benefits offered by the NHS. While some of the claims made by politicians might be overstated and exaggerated, it is indeed true that the NHS is an indispensible and integral part of the lives of British citizens. Several public opinion polls also show that people living in the UK are generally happy and appreciative of the services offered by the NHS. There are good reasons why this is so. For example, the NHS provides free healthcare service to all citizens at ‘point of delivery, and made available on the basis of need and not on the ability to pay” (Stewart, 2008). In the years before its creation, nearly half the general population could not avail of basic healthcare. Back then, access to . . . Read More
India and China are both touted to be the next economic superpowers. As both countries are home to close to a third of the world’s population, they have enormous human resources with which to capitalize on. Alongside this natural advantage in terms of human resource, the domestic and foreign policies of both nations have been conducive to economic growth over the last few decades. While China started the process of economic liberalization earlier than India, the latter has caught up with its Asian neighbour in quick time. In this context, political analyst Fareed Zakaria’s assessment that we are entering a “post-American world” is a valid one. In the six decades since the end of the Second World War, the United States had dominated global politics and had also attained the status of an economic and military superpower. But with the onset of globalization, countries with abundance of cheap labour such as India and China are primed to assume the leadership position . . . Read More
The industrial revolution, which had its beginnings in eighteenth century England, is regarded as one of the most important events in modern history. The prevailing capitalist world order can be traced back to the revolution. With the onset of the industrial revolution, the then prevalent feudal social systems where gradually dismantled and a new economic dynamic was set in motion, which continues till this day. Of course, the neo-liberal economic system of today is very different from the earliest capitalist enterprises, but the core principles remain the same. The rest of this essay will present the problems and benefits of this important event as well as briefly explaining why industrial reform came slowly from 1815-1914.
Factories that produce goods on a massive scale are the most prominent symbols of the industrial revolution. Such a radical transformation was allowed to happen because it suited the interests of the aristocracy and nobility of the time. The ruling elite . . . Read More
Ever since Britain ascended into the role of leading naval empire in the world the influx of non-native subjects into the British Isles has been a persistent phenomenon. During this period the nature and complexion of British culture and identity has also undergone noticeable change. It would be safe to say that Britain today is a more multicultural and multiethnic society than it has ever been. In this context the question whether shared British identity depends on a share culture assumes special significance. This report will first explain the aforementioned assessment and later delve deeper into it as way of evaluating its merits.
Firstly, there is much veracity to the claim that a shared British identity does not equate to a shared British culture. As British society becomes increasingly cosmopolitan, it is going to be difficult to pinpoint and define what exactly constitutes British identity, as people from different backgrounds might embrace and emphasize . . . Read More
The novel Family, written by Pa Chin in the early part of the twentieth century, is one of the most influential novels in modern Chinese Literature. Set in the early twentieth century China, the novel has for its backdrop the most eventful period in Chinese history. In retrospect, one could see the early signs of the impending Communist revolution in China by paying careful attention to the recurrent themes in the novel. While the novel focuses on interpersonal relationships within and without the members of the Kao family, it also carries a broader political significance. Historians and biographers alike have indicated that Pa Chin was a passionate advocate of anarchist political principles. While the novel Family does not directly propagate his political beliefs, a careful reading of it reveals to the reader the author’s personal perspective. Further, one could see the internal struggles of the Kao family as an allegory to the broader political and cultural questions . . . Read More