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Strategic management research on emerging economies: Cultural imperialism in universalizing research paradigms

Ramya Tarakad Venkateswaran (Strategic Management Group, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Kolkata, India)
Abhoy K. Ojha (Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management Area, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, Bangalore, India)

Critical Perspectives on International Business

ISSN: 1742-2043

Article publication date: 3 July 2017




Universalizing approaches to knowledge when combined with a dominating cultural discourse is problematic for management research paradigms as “West meets East”. This study aims to examine the case of the rapidly expanding, mainstream strategic management research in and on emerging economies through a critical perspective.


The authors analyze the strategic management society’s special conferences and workshops on “Emerging India” that aimed to write a fresh chapter of research on India as an emerging economy, using the methodology of critical discourse analysis (CDA). The authors treat this conference as representative of several such conferences and workshops being organized in emerging economies.


The results detect some troubling undercurrents of privilege and marginalization. The authors find support for a dominating cultural discourse embedded in the rapidly expanding, universalizing strategic management research perspectives in and on emerging economies.

Research limitations/implications

The implications for indigenous knowledge creation is discussed with a concluding call for academic reflexivity through revisiting different philosophies of science in management research and studying the social mechanisms of international knowledge exchange.


The theoretical framework combining the process of universalizing knowledge (Bourdieu and Wacquant, 1999) with a dominating cultural discourse sustained through a system of pressures and constraints (Said, 1978, 1993) is an original contribution. The choice of an emerging economy site is not very common, and the use of CDA on an event like a conference is valuable to research methodology.



The authors would like to thank anonymous reviewers at the Academy of Management, 2010 conference, Academy of Management 2011 conference and the Indian Academy of Management 2011 conference and the audience at the Indian Academy of Management 2011 conference.


Venkateswaran, R.T. and Ojha, A.K. (2017), "Strategic management research on emerging economies: Cultural imperialism in universalizing research paradigms", Critical Perspectives on International Business, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 204-225.



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