Chapter 15: Transplanting the Meritocracy in India: Creating a Shared Corporate Vision at the Local and Global Levels
Nicholas P. Robinson and Prescott C. Ensign Introduction In 1492 Christopher Columbus, himself thought to be of Jewish descent, navigated the Atlantic Ocean to become the first Western European to step foot in the Americas (Vizenor, 1992). With technology developed by Muslims to navigate the seas in previously Islamic Spain in hand, and a crew of sailors from the Mediterranean region, a crossroads of sorts for Western cultures, he successfully undertook one of history’s most momentous journeys. It is unsurprising to the modern diversity management scholar that Columbus came from Spain, a country that had benefited from hundreds of years of diversity before the tyrannical Spanish inquisition began. In fact, throughout human civilization the interaction of people of different races, religious creeds, cultures, nationalities and even sexes has allowed humankind to hurtle beyond previous highs and accomplish greater feats. Like Islamic Spain, the precursor to Columbus’s Spain, a place where three major world religions (Judaism, Islam and Christianity) melded and meshed, India today is entering its golden age – Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and even notable Christian and Jewish minorities work together in one of the world’s most ethnically, linguistically and culturally diverse regions. If India is to benefit from this diversity the country must, like Islamic Spain, harness its differences and emphasize its common traits in order to succeed. Indian companies, in particular, are faced with the surmountable challenge of overcoming prevailing caste, racial, religious and linguistic differences in order to sell India to the world. The challenge at hand is...
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