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Does “CHALTA HAI” culture negatively impacts sustainability of business firms in India? An empirical investigation

Sheshadri Chatterjee (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Kharagpur, Kharagpur, India)
Ranjan Chaudhuri (Department of Marketing, NITIE, Mumbai, India)
Demetris Vrontis (University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus)
Alkis Thrassou (Department of Marketing, University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus)

Journal of Asia Business Studies

ISSN: 1558-7894

Article publication date: 4 June 2021

Issue publication date: 4 August 2021




Chalta hai (it is fine or it is acceptable) is an Indian cultural phenomenon that influences attitude towards work and business and diachronically adversely affects both. The purpose of this study is to explore its impact on the sustainability of business firms operating in India.


The research has firstly undertaken a theoretical study towards the development of appropriate hypotheses and a corresponding conceptual model, with emphasis on the effects of chalta hai culture as a moderator of the predictor-sustainability linkages. The model has been validated statistically through partial least square- structural equation modelling analysis of usable feedbacks from 349 respondents.


The research has concluded that the cultural notion of chalta hai impacts adversely the sustainability of business firms operating in India, with its effects being dominant.

Research limitations/implications

The research has scholarly and executive implications, as well as socio-cultural implications. The sample, however, allows for conclusions to be drawn reliably but with limited generalizability. Additionally, only three predictors have been considered, bestowing upon future research the task of building on the present model through additional pertinent predictors and boundary conditions that will enhance its explanative power.

Practical implications

The research has provided a scientifically developed model that guides Indian firm managers through appropriate steps that dissuade stakeholders from exhibiting the behavioural traits and attitudes of chalta hai culture, highlighting along the way its detrimental effects on Indian business sustainability.


There is little research on the business impacts of chalta hai and regarding the sustainability perspective/focus. In addition, this is in sharp contrast to the spread and impact of the phenomenon. This research and its findings, therefore, are valuable with regard to both their wider context (“chalta hai” business effects) and their specific focus (sustainability).



Chatterjee, S., Chaudhuri, R., Vrontis, D. and Thrassou, A. (2021), "Does “CHALTA HAI” culture negatively impacts sustainability of business firms in India? An empirical investigation", Journal of Asia Business Studies, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 666-685.



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