• Role of culture in effectuation: exploring the Marwari cultural philosophy and entrepreneurial approach

      Amoncar, Nihar; Deacon, Jonathan; Stephens, Paula; University of South Wales (Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference 2016: Institutional voids, 2016-10-28)
      Social constructivist research within Entrepreneurship has gained momentum in recent years and this paper fits within this category. The paper explores the Marwari Business community from India which according to Timberg (2014, pp. 12), starting out as mere shopkeepers, the Marwaris controlled much of India’s inland trade by the time of the First World War. From trading and money-lending in the early 19th century, they gradually entered industrial entrepreneurship and by the 1970’s owned most of India’s private industrial assets. They now account for a quarter of the Indian names on the Forbes billionaires list (Timberg, 2014, pp. 12). The sustainable success of the Marwaris resulted in the authors of this paper leading an exploration on the history of the business community in India. This exploration led the authors of the paper into exploring the Hindu cultural philosophy based on the Vedantic school of thought to understand the roots of the Marwari community. The paper explores in detail the accounts of the limited empirical data available on the community through the works of Timberg (2014) and Damodaran (2008). This exploration resulted in identifying examples of entrepreneurial practice, which closely resemble what Sarasvathy (2001) terms as Effectuation. Effectuation theory has gained traction as growing number of researchers acknowledge that todays entrepreneurs tend to work within an uncertain environment wherein it is not possible to predict the future (Morrish, 2009, pp. 35). But according to Chandler (2011, pp. 387), there is need to explore more antecedents or determinants of Effectuation than simply uncertainty. The paper hence explores whether culture may emerge as an antecedent or determinant of Effectuation by presenting literature on the relationship between Effectuation, Entrepreneurial Orientation and Culture. The research questions emerging are as follows: RQ1) Do certain socio-cultural conditions positively impact Effectual behavior in Entrepreneurship? RQ2) Can culture be positioned as an antecedent to Effectuation in a collectivist society? This paper is based on the literature being explored as a part of PhD research. The research is in its early stage and the approach involves interpretive deductive analysis of the existing literature on Marwaris, Hindu Philosophy, Entrepreneurial Orientation and Effectuation, which results in the conceptual framework. The second stage of the PhD research will involve thematic analysis of narratives gathered from prominent members of the Marwari community from Calcutta and Jharkhand in India, which is aimed at inducting contemporary empirical evidence of Marwari entrepreneurial philosophy and potentially addressing not only the conceptual framework, but also the questions and discussions arising from the interpretive deductive analysis of the literature presented within this paper. The paper begins with the Methodology chapter in order to a) present an early clarity on the flow of literature within the paper and b) to avoid a break in flow of the ‘story’, a manner in which the literature and arguments are presented thereafter. This is followed by review of literature on Effectuation, community entrepreneurship, role of culture within entrepreneurship, Indian Hindu cultural philosophy and finally, a case account of Marwaris through review on limited existing empirical data on the community.