September 18, 2015

2 MILLION PAGE VIEWS OR HITS for Management and Industrial Engineering Blogs - 19 April 2015

2 MILLION PAGE VIEWS OR HITS for Management and Industrial Engineering Blogs.

Blog    -                                              Hits
Management Theory Review        1241413
MTR - Research Perspective              6394
Industrial Engineering KC          362083
MBA Knowledge - India Specific    72476
MBA Knowledge Center          318722
Engineering Management KC            20454
Total                                        2021542

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Updated   18 Sep 2015, 19 April 2015

September 17, 2015

Communicate, Convince, and Convert - Role of Market Communications

Communicate, Convince, and Convert.  Selling  through communications. Selling through web communications, selling through catalogues, Selling through annual calendars etc. have to follow this strategy.

E-commerce websites have to adopt this mantra.  Communicate, Convince, and Convert.

Direct marketing approaches have to adopt this mantra.  Communicate, Convince, and Convert.

Email marketers have to adopt this mantra. Communicate, Convince, and Convert.

Catalogue marketers have to adopt this mantra. Communicate, Convince, and Convert.

Social media marketers have to adopt this mantra. Communicate, Convince, and Convert.

Brochure marketers have to adopt this mantra. Communicate, Convince, and Convert.

Annual calendar marketers have to adopt this mantra. Communicate, Convince, and Convert.

Seminar marketers have to adopt this mantra. Communicate, Convince, and Convert.

YouTube video marketers have to adopt this mantra. Communicate, Convince, and Convert.

Webinar marketers have to adopt this mantra. Communicate, Convince, and Convert.

Communicate - You have to try. You have to catch the attention. You have to retain the attention. You have to enter into dialogue. Use the selling process.

Convince - You have to present the value proposition to the listener. What is his need? Have you found out?  How does your solution benefit him? What is your claim? How do you validate it? Are you presenting testimonials? Are allowing him to validate? Can he check with prior users? Are you providing a sample to him to try?

Convert - Give a call to buy. Make it easy for him buy. Promote your solution by offering incentive to buy early (Sales promotion).

Learn more about marketing and selling by reading good number of articles posted in this blog on marketing and selling.

Top article on Marketing Communication Channels and Promotion Tools

Integrated Marketing Communications - Kotler's Explanation

September 16, 2015

Performance Improvement of Organizations - Initiatives from Multiple Directions

Top Down

Bottom up


Initiatives have to come from all directions and all must be receptive to suggestions from others.

Read the McKinsey Article

Leading Organizational Transformations
February 1993

September 12, 2015

Groups and Teams - Review Notes

Organizational Behavior Revision Article Series

Group dynamics are the interactions and forces among group members in social situations.

In OB, the concept is applied to the dynamics of members in both formal work groups, informal groups of the organization and teams.

Team is concept that is being separated from Group.

Team has shared leadership roles.
Team has individual and mutual accountability.


The group is an important sociological unit of analysis in the subject of organizational behavior.

Types of Groups

Simplest group is a two person group (dyad).

Small groups and primary groups: Small group has the criterion of small size such that there is face-to-face interaction and communication among all members of the group. Primary group is a small group with the additional criteria that there is a comradeship, loyalty, and common sense of values among members. An example of primary group is family. The work group of a person is also a primary group.

All primary groups are small groups. But all small groups are not primary groups.

Coalition: Coalition is a group of interacting individuals and is formed by members for a specific purpose. But it does not have a formal internal structure. Still its members act as a group for the specific purpose for which it is formed.

Membership groups and Reference groups: A person is a member in the membership group. The group in which he wants to be a member is a reference group to him. Many times persons want to display the values of their reference groups.

Group Dynamics

Luthans made the statement, studying groups is especially valuable when the dynamics are analyzed. In this context it is important to know  the meaning of the term group dynamics. 

One view is that group dynamics describes how a group should be organized and conducted.

Another view is that group dynamics as a topic consists of techniques. In this view, role playing, brainstorming, focus groups, leaderless groups, group therapy, sensitivity training, team building, transactional analysis, and Johari window are techniques related to groups and they form the content of group dynamics.

A third view is that group dynamics includes the areas related to the internal nature of groups, the process of formation of groups, the structure of the group, internal processes of the group, the functioning of the group and the effect of the group on its members, other groups and organization. Luthans supported the third view and developed his chapter accordingly.

Group formation, types, and processes; the dynamics of informal roles and organization; and the dysfunctions of work groups and teams are all of particular relevance to the study of organizational behavior. 
Groups represent an important dynamic in the study and application of organizational behavior.
Group formation, types, and processes; the dynamics of informal roles and organization; and the dysfunctions of work groups and teams are all of particular relevance to the study of organizational behavior. 

Why Do Inviduals Form Groups?

The most basic idea is propinquity. According to it, individuals affiliate with one another because of spatial or geographical proximity.

A more comprehensive theory is that of George Homans. It is based on activities, interactions, and sentiments. The more activities the persons share, the more numerous will be their interactions and the stronger will be their sentiments. It is not physical proximity alone but shared activity and interaction and positive sentiment that lead to formation of groups.

Theodore Newcomb's Balance Theory: According to this theory, persons are attracted to one another on the basis of similar attitudes toward commonly relevant objects and goals. Once the relationship is formed, a balance is maintained between the attraction and the common attitudes. If an imbalance occurs, there is an attempt to restore the balance, and if the balance cannot be restored, the relationship dissolves.

Exchange Theory of Group Formation: An interaction between two or more persons has rewards and costs. Rewards from interactions gratify needs. Cost is incurred due to anxiety, frustration, embarrassment, and fatigue.

Participants in an organization also form into groups for very practical economic, security, and social reasons. Many different types of groups are found in modern organizations. Conceptually, there are primary groups, coalitions, and others such as membership and reference groups. Groups have been researched over the years, and findings from classic social psychology studies, such as the one conducted by Schachter, have implications for organizational behavior.

Stages in Group Formation

1. Forming : Period of uncertainty. Purpose, structure, task, leadership are not clear.
2. Storming: Structure evolves out of discussions, disagreements, confrontation and conflicts may arise.
3. Norming:  The norms of the group are established. Member settle into state of  cooperation and collaboration. We feeling is established and group identity is also established.
4. Performing: Group is fully functioning for the accomplishment of group objectives
5. Adjourning: The liquidation of the group. More common in project establishments (formal groups)
The Schater Study on Group Productivity
A highly cohesive group with positive leadership will have high productivity.

Group Effectiveness

In formal organizations, group effectiveness can be increased by the following actions
1. Organizing work around intact groups.
2. Let the group select, train, and reward its members.
3. Use the group only to enforce norms for behavior both on the job as well as off the job.
4. Distributing rewards on a group basis.
5. Allowing intergroup competition

Informal Groups in Organizations

The last half of the chapter (Luthans) discusses and analyzes the dynamics of informal groups.  Informal norms and roles and the informal organization are very relevant to and often represent the real organization. Informal structure coexists with every formal structure. Traditionally, only the dysfunctional aspects of informal organization have been emphasized. More recently, the functional aspects have also been recognized.

The dynamics of the dysfunctions of groups were examined in terms of norm violation resulting in antisocial behaviors, role ambiguity/conflict, group think conformity, the risky shift phenomenon, and social loafing.


Initially, most publicity was given to quality circles, but now self-managed teams are in the spotlight. Self-managed teams are beginning to become an established form of doing work to meet the high-tech, quality challenges facing both manufacturing and service organizations. To date, self-managed teams have a quite successful track record. In addition to self-managed teams, cross-functional and virtual teams are examples of new team forms that have also achieved success. Global teams in a multicultural environment have experienced some problems, but helpful solutions are forthcoming. Whether global or domestic, building effective teams requires long-standing principles regarding the creation of the proper environment in which support, commitment, rewards, communication, physical space, group size, membership, and cohesion are emphasized. Then, team effectiveness may be enhanced using team-building programs, collaboration, and effective leadership and by accounting for functional, demographic, or cultural diversity and global issues when teams are formed.

Luthans, Fred, Organizational Behavior, 9th Edition, McGraw Hill,.New York, 2002.

Patrick Lencioni's The Five Dysfunctions of a Team - A Leadership Fable is an outstanding business book that uses a model of 5 dysfunctions of a team that affect team performance and provides guidelines for increasing a effectiveness of teams.

Positive Approach:

Team members follow these practices.
1. They trust one another.
2. They engage in unfiltered conflict around ideas.
3. They commit to decisions and plans of actions.
4. They hold one another accountable for delivering against those plans.
5. They focus on the achievement of collective results.

July - Management Knowledge Revision

One Year MBA Knowledge Revision Plan

January  - February  - March  - April  - May   -   June

July  - August     - September  - October  - November  - December

Updated  12 Sep 2015, 16 July 2014

September 7, 2015

Business Ethics – Introduction

Business ethics is applied ethics. It is the application of our understanding of what good and right to that assortment of institutions, technologies, transactions, activities, and pursuits which we call "business"

First we need to understand what is meant by the terms "good" and "right" to discuss the implications of these for the business world.

A dictionary meaning of ethics is "the study of morality." Just as chemistry refers to a study of the properties of chemicals, ethics studies morality. It is not quiet the same as morality. Ethics is investigation of scientific study and the results of that investigation. Morality is the subject of investigation. What is morality?


Morality can be defined as the standards that an individual or a group has about what is right and wrong or good and evil.

How to distinguish moral standards from standards that are not moral?

Ethicists suggested five characteristics to identify moral standards.

1. Moral standards deal with matters which people think can seriously injure or seriously benefit human beings.
2. Moral standards are not established or changed by political or legal authoritative bodies. The validity of moral standards rests on the adequacy of the reasons.
3. Moral standards are preferred to other standards including even self-interest when choice is there.
4. Moral standards are impartial. They are based on impartial reasons that an impartial observer would accept.
5. Moral standards are associated with special emotions. When people act in violation of a moral standard, they feel guilty, ashamed and remorseful.


Ethics is the activity of examining the moral standards of a society or of an individual. Whether the standards are reasonable or not and how to apply the standard in particular situations are examined by ethicists. The aim of ethics is develop a body of moral standards that a person feels reasonable to hold based on careful thought.

Business Ethics

Business ethics is an enquiry of ethics in the field of business. It concentrates on moral standards that the system of business, business organizations, and individuals with in the business organizations and individuals who deal with business organizations have to evaluate and follow in their day to day dealings and decisions.
Business ethics can be studied at three levels: systemic, corporate and individual. Systemic issues deal with economic, political, legal and other related systems within which production and distribution activities are carried out. Questions related to the morality of capitalism, regulation of business etc. fall into this level. Corporate level issues deal with actions of corporate concerns or corporate citizens.
Individual levels issues deal with every individual working in a business firm and it can include customers/consumers.

Do Moral Standards Apply to Corporations?

While some people do argue that corporations have no moral standards to adhere to and only people have. Velasquez concludes that as corporate citizens they have moral standards to live up to but at the same time they are mainly acted upon by people. People are behind corporate decisions.

Moral Development

Some people believe that a person's values are formed during childhood and then do not change.But psychological research reveals that as persons mature, they change values in very deep and profound ways.

Lawrence Kohlberg proposed that a person’s ability to deal with moral issues develops in six identifiable stages.

Level 1.  Preconventional stages

As a child

Stage 1: For child, the physical consequences determine the goodness or badness of an act. It means, he will not things for which his parents impose physical punishment. They are bad things
Stage 2: Right activities are those that satisfy the needs of the child or the needs of persons he cares about.

Level 2. Conventional stages

As adolescent

Stage 3: Good behavior is living up to the expectations of the group of people one loves or trusts such as family or friends.
Stage 4: At more mature stage law is followed for determining right or wrong acts.

Level 3. Postconventional, autononous, or principles stages

Stage 5: Conflicting personal views are recognized.
Stage 6: Moral principles are chosen because of their logical comprehensiveness in ethics enquiry.

Carol Gilligan, a psychologist who worked under Kohlberg, became of a critic of his theory.  She argued that Kohlberg observed only males and developed the theory.  When females are observed, we realize that they they tend to see themselves as part of a "web" of relationships with family and when they encounter moral issues they are concerned with sustaining these relationships. In this role, morality is primarily a matter of "caring" and "being responsible" for others with whom one is involved in personal relationships, and not a matter of adhering to impartial and impersonal rules.

Subsequent research, agrees that moral issues can be dealt with from a perspective of impersonal partiality, or from a perspective of caring for persons, and these two perspectives are distinct.

From more on Gilligan's theory

Moral Reasoning

Moral reasoning is the process by which actions are judged with reference to moral standards. It involves knowledge of moral standard and whether a situation has arisen wherein moral standard needs to be applied.
Moral reasoning has to be logical. The factual evidence regarding the situation must be accurate, relevant and complete. The set of moral standards invoked has to be consistent.

Arguments For and Against Business Ethics

Arguments against Business Ethics

1. The pursuit of profit will by itself ensure social responsible behavior in perfectly competitive markets.
2. Managers are loyal agents and they should pursue the interests of their firms and should ignore ethical considerations.
3. It is sufficient if business firms obey law.

Arguments for Expecting Ethical Behavior from Business Concerns

1. Businesses cannot survive unless moral standards exist in business concerns and outside.
2. Ethical concerns are consistent with profits of businesses.
3. Analogy to Prisoners’ dilemma problem reveals that in repeated interactions, cooperation is the best solution and ethical behavior is the best solution.
4. Most people value ethical behavior and punish business men and organizations that are not ethical. In organizations, where people feel there is no fair play, there is more absenteeism, avoidance of work and lack of respect. In organizations where people feel there is fair play, there is enthusiasm, cooperation and trust.
Main source:

Manuel G. Velasquez, Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases, Fourth Edition,  Prentice Hall Inc., Upper Saddle River, N.J., 1998, Business Ethis by Manuel G. Velasquez - Book Information and Review


Business Ethics: The new bottom line
Full view Google book

Updated 7 Sep 2015
First published in blog 20 Dec 2011

Originally posted in 1373#

September 5, 2015

Consumer Pyramid - Concept and Measurement

Consumer pyramid is a concept being used by many marketing authors and executives.

Four Consumer tiers in Wold Economic Pyramid

Middle of the pyramid used by a marketing researcher.

Chinese Consumer Pyramid

India's Consumer Pyramid - Techpro

India's Consumer Pyramid - Proctor and Gamble

Socio-Economic Classification of Consumers in India - 2011 Scheme

Items owned Q1

Items owned / have access at home


Electricity Connection 01
Ceiling Fan 02
LPG Stove 03
Two Wheeler 04
ColourTV 05
Refrigerator 06
Washing Machine 07
Personal Computer/ Laptop 08
Car/Jeep/Van 09
AirConditioner 10

Agricultural Land 11

Chief Earner: Education (Q2)

1. Illiterate
2. Literate but no formal schooling/School Upto 4 years
3. School- 5 to 9 years
5. Some College (incl a Diploma) but not Grad
6. Graduate/Post Graduate: General
7. Graduate/Post Graduate: Professional

No. of           Educational Qualification of the Chief Earner

             1    2    3   4   5    6    7

None    E3     E2    E2    E2    E2   E1    D2
1          E2     E1    E1    E1    D2   D2    D2
2          E1      E1   D2   D2    D1   D1    D1
3          D2     D2   D1   D1    C2   C2   C2
4          D1    C2   C2   C1     C1   B2   B2
5          C2    C1   C1   B2     B1    B1   B1
6          C1    B2   B2   B1     A3   A3    A3
7          C1    B1   B1  A3     A3   A2    A2
8          B1   A3   A3   A3     A2  A2    A2
9 +        B1  A3   A3   A2    A2   A1    A1


Calibrating Indian SEC Classifications In Terms Of Relative Purchasing Power

Socio-economic Groups in UK

The National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (often abbreviated to NS-SEC) is the primary social classification in the United Kingdom. It  was used in the 2001 UK census.

The full version of NS-SEC has 17 main categories. The version intended for most users (the analytic version) has eight categories:

Higher managerial and professional occupations
Lower managerial and professional occupations
Intermediate occupations (clerical, sales, service)
Small employers and own account workers
Lower supervisory and technical occupations
Semi-routine occupations
Routine occupations
Never worked and long-term unemployed

The three-category version is reduced to following categories:

Higher occupations
Intermediate occupations
Lower occupations

USA  Socio Economic Classification

Upper - Upper
Lower Upper
Upper Middle Class
Lower Middle Class
Upper Lower Class
Lower Lower Class