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Colonial hangover? A case of multiple cross-cultural influences on Indian Railways

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Employing a reflexive-ethnographic design involving past experiences and analysing qualitative data contained in 73 interviews with senior managers from the Indian Railways (IR), this study argues for the remnants of colonial influence on the management, governance aspects and culture in IR. Findings from the study further ratify and confirm aspects of our four scenarios and indicate that the interaction between colonial culture with both national and organisational culture collides to create a complex and conflicting culture in this extremely large and diverse organisation. Such organisational culture, despite the resilient presence of Indianness, paradoxically retains strong elements of the colonial influences as this is seen at times a legitimate and dominant way of governing the world’s largest commercial employer – The IR.
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Keywords: Indian Railways; Indianness; colonialism; cross-culture; ethnographic; reflexivity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Business, University of Wollongong in Dubai, Dubai, UAE 2: Newcastle Business School, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia

Publication date: May 4, 2018

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