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From Henley to Harvard, at Hyderabad? (Post and Neo-) Colonialism in Management Education in India

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JournalEnterprise & society
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Aug 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 18 Feb 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jun 2019
Issue number2
Number of pages35
Pages (from-to)366-400
Early online date18/02/19
Original languageEnglish


Founded in 1956, the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) was established with the objective of professionalizing management in post-colonial India through training, research, and consultancy. It was modelled on the Administrative Staff College at Henley-on-Thames (henceforth Henley), UK. Like Henley, ASCI used syndicates for its management training programmes. Between 1958-73, ASCI received $1,266,143 from the Ford Foundation (FF), part of which was used to finance the development and use of the case-method in ASCI’s training programmes and later, more widely in its research and consultancy. This article traces the ways by which FF––as a “dominating institution”––engaged in the stigmatization of both Henley and ASCI, their institutional practices as well as the wider Indian society; while legitimating the case-method, pioneered at the Harvard Business School (HBS). Imbricated in the Cold War geo-politics, FF’s interventions in Hyderabad, the article argues, should be understood as part of USA’s emergence as the dominant neo-colonial power, which required the displacement of Britain, its institutions, and their practices as the template for India’s post-colonial management institutions.

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