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6th Annual Conference of Aston India Centre for Applied Research

  • 1.  6th Annual Conference of Aston India Centre for Applied Research

    Posted 05-15-2024 10:50

    Call for Submissions

    6th Annual Conference of Aston India Centre for Applied Research

       India and the VUCA World

    01 – 02 September 2024

    Extended Deadline: 31st May 2024

    VUCA is a buzz word that stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity in the current era. It signifies that our world that is characterized by rapid change, unpredictability, and ambiguity. The term was first coined by the US Army War College in the late 1980s to describe the post-Cold War world. Since then, it has been widely adopted in business and management circles to describe the challenges of operating in a rapidly changing environment. The VUCA world is one where people have no certainty about tomorrow and no clear plans for the future because of the volatility of that future and its values. Advents in the technological environment, emerging post-COVID-19 set-up, de-globalization, disruptive innovations, espionage, trade rivalries and wars/conflicts, are some of the forces, that we have been increasingly facing, showing the precarious situation in all spheres of life - from health to economy and culture, amongst others.

    In the VUCA world, nations, industries, and organizations must be able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances and be prepared to deal with unexpected challenges. They must be agile, flexible, and innovative to survive and thrive in this environment. The VUCA world requires leaders who are able to navigate through uncertainty and ambiguity, and who can make decisions quickly and effectively. It is a world that demands creativity, resilience, agility, and a willingness to take risks.

    It has been argued that India and its businesses have been successfully steering its growth in the VUCA world. As a country, it has been through a lot of changes in the past few decades, and arguably it presents several instances that can shed light on how economic, social and political actors can navigate through challenges posed by VUCA.

    The Aston India Centre for Applied Research (AICAR) has been playing an important role in promoting such research and outputs through its annual conference, research and engagement activities, which have also grown in stature and importance. Last year in 2023 at the 5th AICAR we explored India in the post-COVID pandemic world and previously on other related themes. More details are available on the Centre’s website.

    At the 6th AICAR conference, to be held in September 2024, we will focus on the issues of how India and its organizations are dealing with the VUCA world and how its political, business, and social leaders, including entrepreneurs are managing its growth story in the recent years. Lessons can be learnt from its historical roots, diaspora, culture, tradition, and societal institutions that provide the underlying fabric for its strength. Hence, we encourage submissions that focus on how India’s organisations, businesses, policymakers, civil society and scholars are and ought to contribute to dealing with the local and global challenges. We would particularly welcome submissions focusing on research phenomenon, context and issues in India with a potential to conceptualize and theorize more broadly. As in the past, through this year’s conference, we seek to bring together scholars engaged in research on diverse topics and phenomenon related to India.

    Following are key indicative themes:

    1. Opportunities and challenges for society and economy in contemporary India
    2. Management research for global grand challenges
    3. Geo-politics and Indian economy
    4. Corporate sustainability and sustainable development in India
    5. Achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) and embedding them in practice in India
    6. How do we understand the mandated corporate social responsibility (CSR) in India?
    7. Indigenous management styles and approaches
    8. Politics and leadership in contemporary India
    9. Institutions, actors and governance in contemporary India
    10. India and global governance
    11. Responsibilities and obligations of Indian MNEs and MNEs in India
    12. Challenges for Indian SMEs
    13. Future of family businesses and management
    14. Entrepreneurship and innovation
    15. Instilling faith in the idea of India’s demographic dividend
    16. Leveraging the Indian diaspora
    17. Technological advances and skills challenges
    18. Value of global value chains for India
    19. Circular economy and related innovation
    20. Geo-political challenges of Indian industries
    21. Humanitarian supply chain management
    22. Role of management science and information technology to address grand challenges
    23. Sustainable supply chain design, planning, implementation and operation
    24. Role of Indian culture in contributing towards India’s growth and resilience
    25. Any other glaring issues related to India.

    Through the 6th annual conference of AICAR, we aim to further build on and consolidate the momentum generated in the last few years by bringing scholars together who are pursuing India related research for dissemination of great research and facilitating collaborations. Our intention is to continue to contribute through interdisciplinary research and collaborations to the emerging body of knowledge as well as creating links with key practitioners and stakeholders in India and globally. During the conference, we also intend to organise specific developmental workshops for doctoral scholars and early career academics, focusing on careers, publications, funding bids, and networking, amongst others.

    Keynote Speaker


    Submission of Papers & Deadlines

    Abstracts of papers (max. 500 words) should be submitted by 31st May 2024 to aicar-conference@aston.ac.uk Review decision on full submissions by 30 June 2024, and if possible then full papers be submitted by 1st August 2024.

    Maximum paper length – 4,000 words (tables, figures and references not included). Papers will be made available on a website for all participants, so that all information can be studied before the small group meetings.

    Conference Venue

    The conference will be held at Conference Aston, Aston University, Birmingham (UK). Aston Business School is considered among UK’s leading business schools and AICAR is Aston University’s leading cross-disciplinary research centre. Bottom of Form

    Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK with a population of over one million and is reported to have more canals than the city of Venice! Being situated in the heart of England, it is easily accessible by road, train or air transport. Britain’s most ethnically diverse city, Birmingham has been transformed over the past many years with fantastic new developments, including Symphony Hall, Bullring Shopping Centre and internationally renowned multi cuisine restaurants.


    £200 (including refreshments, conference pack, lunches and dinner).

    For PhD candidates, we have a special fee of £150.

    Conference Chair

    Prof. Surender Munjal

    Aston India Centre for Applied Research (AICAR)

    Aston Business School, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK

    Organising Committee

    Professor Surender Munjal, Professor Prasanta Dey, Professor Sangeeta Khurana, Professor Pawan Budhwar, Dr. Kanimozhi Narayanan, and Dr. Krishna Chaitanya Balthu.

    Contact Persons

    Prof. Surender Munjal (s.munjal@aston.ac.uk) and Prof. Pawan Budhwar (p.s.budhwar@aston.ac.uk)

    Aston India Centre for Applied Research (AICAR), Aston Business School, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK.


    Best wishes,

    Professor Surender Munjal
    PhD, M Phil, M Com, ACA, ACMA, DIM, Fellow of the HEA
    College of Business and Social Sciences
    Room SW909B | Aston Buisness School | Aston University
    Aston Triangle| Birmingham | B4 7ET
    Email: S.Munjal@aston.ac.uk
    Tel: +44 (0) 121 204 5352