Moving Beyond Mimicry: Developing Hybrid Spaces in Indian Business Schools

Kothiyal, Nivedita; Bell, Emma and Clarke, Caroline (2018). Moving Beyond Mimicry: Developing Hybrid Spaces in Indian Business Schools. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 17(2) pp. 137–154.



This article analyses the identity work of Indian management educators and scholars as they seek to establish, maintain and revise a sense of self in the context of business school globalization. We show how globalization, combined with the historical legacy of colonialism, renders Indian scholars precarious in their interactions with Western business schools. Based on a qualitative interview study, we explore how Indian business school scholars perform their identities in the context of neo-colonial relations, which are characterised by the dominance of English language and a pressure to conform to research norms set by globally-ranked journals. Drawing on postcolonial theory, our argument focuses on mimicry as a distinctive form of identity work that involves maintaining difference between Western and non-Western identities by 'Othering' Indian scholars, while simultaneously seeking to transform them. We draw attention to ambivalence within participants' accounts, which we suggest arises because the authority of Western scholarship relies on maintaining non-Western scholars in a position of alterity or 'not quite-ness'. We suggest that hybridity offers an opportunity to disrupt and question current practices of business school globalization and facilitate scholarly engagement that reflects more diverse philosophical positions and worldviews.

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