The current issue of ABR makes a modest attempt to provide to our learned readers a sprinkle of the latest advances in the understanding of management frontiers that are opening up, evolving and increasingly becoming more complex, diverse and truly innovative in so many ways. In this issue, exercising a meticulously planned restraint of critical reviewing and screening, we could at our very best, and in right unrest, accommodate only 15 selected research papers to reflect this diversity with innovativeness. Papers presented herein border wide-ranging fields of management and areas of new thrusts and renewed interests; as they include such of those diverse areas as integer programming, cloud computing, global climate economics for international funding, stock market dynamics, societal marketing, microfinance, E-CRM, Insurance, TQM, Leadership style, Diversification strategy, Innovative HR policy, Occupational stress management at the work place.

The first paper by Kumar et al onFifty Years of Integer Programming: A Review of the Solution Approachesbrings home the fact that many scientific, industrial engineering and economic problems may be cast into an integer-programming model for which various methodological approaches have been developed; which can be tested and tried out for solving this model to address, among other things, pure integer-programming problems. The concept of ‘Cloud computing’, originated in the recent past, has become handy to reduce the cost. In due course, ‘Cloud Computing’ will be another popular utility service area such as electricity, telephony, water supply etc. In the paper presented by Shivakumar et al the elements of ‘Cloud Computing’, configuration and advantages are discussed. How cost could be reduced is explained with illustrations. Further, the pitfalls/limitations in ‘Cloud Computing’ are also outlined.

The economic impact of global warming and consequential climate change has been widely acknowledged to be phenomena and alarmingl. In past few years, climate change economics has focused on diagnosing the economic underpinnings of climate change and offering positive and normative analyses of policies to confront the problem. The paper by Sarkar and Leal discusses the various economic and financial implications in climate change impact assessment, and using this for formulation of appropriate strategies, including the mode of transfer of resources and technologies from the developed to the developing economy to respond to the various adverse impacts of climate change, primarily through mitigation and adaptation actions. The emerging business opportunities borne out of economic responses to climate change management and emissions trading in post-Copenhagen scenario is also discussed.

A socially beneficial project, entity or an organization only exists when its social benefits are more than its social costs. In Pakistan, there are a number of organizations which actively indulge in societal marketing activities. In the study conducted by Shabbir et al., the impact of societal marketing on the financial performance of the organization has been explored and brought out very clearly that there is indeed a significant impact of societal marketing on organization’s financial performance. The results verify that societal marketing is an investment and not certainly a ‘sweet charity’, as it were, for the organization that yields high returns. Volatility forecasting is an important area of research in financial markets and immense effort has been made for improving volatility models since better forecasts translate themselves into better pricing of options and better risk management. In this direction, the paper contributed by Srinivasan and Ibrahim attempts to modeling ranging from simple GARCH (1,1) model to relatively complex GARCH models (including Exponential GARCH (1,1) and Threshold GARCH (1,1) and forecasting the volatility. The study revealed that parsimonious symmetric GARCH model is found superior in forecasting the conditional variance of SENSEX Index market returns rather than the asymmetric GARCH models.

The Indian stock market prices, which have been mostly tracked and understood by various techniques, were assumed to follow the normal distribution properties. The pattern of stock price returns of different companies was assumed to fit the same normal Gaussian distribution in analyzing their properties in most of the studies. So, the paper on this theme by Praloy et al comes out with the understanding of the different distributions that might explain the stock price returns of banking companies and hence should also help in predicting future movement for fund manager. The research generates that burr, dagum; log logistic and Cauchy distribution are almost common factors in fitting the data values.

The question of Islamic economy being a social economy rather than a viable economy has been raised and debated for long with little pragmatic solution. To prove the viability of Islamic financial system as an alternative to the interest-based financial system, it is an imperative to prove its commercial viability over the modern financial system. To provide Islamic economics as an alternative to modern financial system, its viability, application and logic needs to be studied and empirically tested. This study by Ahmad and Siddiqui is an empirical one to verify and authenticate the applicability of the traditional concepts and beliefs of Islamic finance in various investment avenues, including specifically in Shariah and non-Shariah investments. The study is a sincere attempt of its kind to compare and compute the returns from Shariah and non-Shariah investments by taking relevant indices as a proxy for respective markets. The study by Murugesan and Ganapathi on ‘Impact of Micro-Finance on Economic Status of Members of the Self-Help Groups’ highlights the significant role that microfinance can play in transforming the rural economy with active participation of rural women in the forms of Self-Help Groups, engaged primarily in income generating agriculture and allied activities. Many interesting findings emerge from the present study. One of the main findings is that lack of awareness and inability of the members to carry on the activities by themselves. Many practical suggestions have been given in the study for making this massive rural programme a success, especially in Coimbatore District of Tamil Nadu.

Electronic Customer Relationship Management (E-CRM) is an integrated process centred on the consumer that derives improved profit, revenue and operational efficiency by a better understanding of the customer and customer relationship. Taking advantage of revolutionary impact of the Internet, E-CRM creates a mutual benefit relationship with all the customers, through integrations of customer touch-points as an integral part of business process. Today, firms have realised that their ability to compete in this competing marketing environment is solely dependent on their building and maintaining relationship with their target customers through Internet. In their paper on ‘E-CRM: A Critical Analysis by Developing an Effective Model’, an attempt has been made by Dawn and Guha to develop a comprehensive model for E-CRM which will be helpful for the Indian companies. There has been quest to identify the best leadership style suitable for different hierarchical levels and in all kinds of the organizations. The paper by Ansari and Naeem aims at exploring the effective and suitable leadership style for the growing organizations. It has been observed that generally, a significant difference is found between the senior and first-level managers’ leadership styles, but not in senior and middle-level managers or middle and first-level managers. This paper further examines the major leadership styles at different hierarchical levels in Indian automobile organizations. Analysis in the paper suggests that an organizational leader must have strong professional will and humility in order to become effective and efficient.

Diversification is developing as one of the most important growth strategies these days, followed widely by the corporate sector with varied results. Using multiple regression analysis, Mahindru and Chander studied the impact of diversification on the performance of firms in the Indian corporate sector over the ten year time period, viz.1995-2004. Profitability was measured in terms of Return on Net Worth (RONW), Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) and Earnings per Share (EPS), while growth is measured in term of Growth in Sales (GSALES) and Growth in Dividend (GDIV). The results show that diversification strategy, especially Related Business strategy, has a negative and significant impact on the performance of the firms. Risk and industry have a positive and significant association with most of the dependent variables, while age and leverage have a negative and significant association with most of the dependent variables. Firms in India need to achieve the Break-even Point with respect to their costs of diversification. The study concludes that after the gestation period is over, diversification strategy is likely to bear fruitful results for the firms in India.

Liberalization has introduced a lot of competition among the life insurance companies in India. As consumer, the king of the market is always treated as an important feature. Every company tries to attract customers by committing a bundle of promises. However, the actual picture is still far away from reality.  Keeping this in mind, present study by Garg and Verma is designed to assess satisfaction level among life-insurance policyholders and to calculate the linear relationship among the five dimensions of SERVQUAL Model. The SERVQUAL Model has been fitted with five dimensions viz; product satisfaction, pre-sale service, post-sale service, office service and over-all service quality. This was to ensure a comprehensive measure of quality, which incorporates the linear relationship of the variables into the measurement. Venkateshwarlu et al in their study on ‘Implications of TQM and its Critical Success Factors into Business’ provide a comprehensive review on TQM. In the paper, critical success factors (CSF) of TQM have been identified, for Indian manufacturing/service organisations. Most of these factors are considered significant by many companies for gaining the competitiveness and quality improvement. The findings of the study indicate that critical success factors of TQM are indeed critical for quality improvement and gaining competitiveness.

Ludhiana hosiery industry is largely dependent on migrated workers. On one hand, this migrated workforce is the lifeline of Ludhiana hosiery industry; on other hand the outdated skills of these workers have stagnated the growth of the industry. Hosiery industry started in Ludhiana in the mid- 20th century. Ludhiana was pioneer in production of hosiery products in India. In 1960s, the first hosiery unit was established in Tirupur. In the initial years, workers who had worked in Ludhiana hosiery units were in high demand and given higher wages in Tirupur. But today, the scene is entirely different. Tirupur represents Indian hosiery industry on International map and Ludhiana is limiting itself to woolen products, but in other hosiery products it is not competitive any more. India’s 80% hosiery exports are from Tirupur only. In the paper on ‘Human Resource – A Cause of Concern for Ludhiana Hosiery Industry’, an attempt is made by Amanpreet Singh to understand and analyze the HR policies and attitude of manufacturers towards workers in Ludhiana hosiery industry.

The rapid growth of IT/ITES industry as a whole is having a deep impact on the socio-economic dynamics of the country. The world has become a global village and new set of working conditions have emerged in India, which has put people under enormous demands, resulting in occupational stress. These professionals often work in environment which is changing very fast, have very little control over their environment, pace of working, or the kind of circumstances that they have to deal with. The high attrition rate in this sector, coupled with high absenteeism indicates that these professionals experience a lot of negative psychological consequence, which are a result of stress that they experience in their occupation. Bhatt and Pathak studied the various interesting occupational stress patterns among IT/ITES professionals engaged in these industries to find as to whether there does exist any significant differences in nature and intensity of stress among IT/ITES professionals with respect to gender and marital status. The details of this are given in the paper for the readers to find out the ground reality.

We sincerely hope and believe that our  readers will find this issue of the Journal - ABR quite absorbing and interesting .In furtherance to our continued effort to add value to the journal we very much look forward to receiving your whole-hearted support, rich contribution and sustained cooperation in our future endeavour.


   Dr. A. N. Sarkar
   Editor, ABR