Management science and nation building: The sociotechnical imaginary behind the making of the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad

Lourens van Haaften*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review


The start of management education in India in the early 1960s has been dominantly described from the perspective of ‘Americanisation’, characterised by isomorphism and mimicry. Existing scholarship has avoided the question of how management education and knowledge were reconciled and naturalised with India’s specific socio-economic contexts. This article addresses the issue and provides a situated account of this complex history by delving into the establishment of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, one of India’s first and most prominent management schools. Using the concept of sociotechnical imaginary developed by Jasanoff and Kim, the analysis describes how the development of management education and research was aligned with the objective of nation building. The article shows that the project to start management education did not take off before the capitalist connotations, associated with business education, were subtly removed and a narrative was created that put management education in the context of India’s wider development trajectory. Under influence of a changing political atmosphere in the late 1960s, a particular imaginary on the role of management knowledge and education unfolded in the development of the institute, giving the field in India a distinct character in the early 1970s.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)333-359
Aantal pagina's27
TijdschriftIndian Economic and Social History Review
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
Vroegere onlinedatum13-jun.-2021
StatusPublished - jul.-2021
Extern gepubliceerdJa

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