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     Volume 8 Issue 63| March 27, 2009 |

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Book Review

Getting a feel of
the Real World

Omar Md. Mainuddin

'Cases in Business and Management’ consists of twelve current business cases from America, Australia, New Zealand, India and our region. The authors have selected cases from various industrial sectors. The cases included are up-to-date with current development in the world of business and management.

An appropriate case book at both the postgraduate and the undergraduate level of the business studies, it will assist teachers in class discussions and seminar presentations. It will equip students with a thorough understanding of the business environment including: markets, critical success factors and strategies employed to gain competitive advantage, the nature of the strategic management, analysis and interpretation of business environments, the nature of competition, strengths and weaknesses related to production, logistics, finance, R&D, marketing and administration, and the role of structure, controls, rewards, culture and leadership in the implementation of strategies.

These effective examples will help students to get a real feel for both American and non-American business and strategic management environments. Cases provide student with a critical analytical framework for examining the business and management issues confronted by managers in a company. This book also offers an opportunity to understand the causes and impact of recent global financial Tsunami. The case 'Sub-prime crisis: A threat to global business' critically analyses the root causes of present financial turmoil around the world.

Each case focuses on industry-specific issues so that students can identify the differences. For example, the case 'Corporate social responsibility: a strategy tool for creating value' illustrates CSR as an effective governance tool to obtain strategic competitiveness with rivals. The case 'Tata Nano: an inspiration from an Indian conglomerate' highlights some of the components of the strategy process, strategy formulation, strategy implementation and performance measurement tools that are useful for companies when customising their strategies, finding alliance partners to co-create value, and exploring new sources of opportunities. The case Tata Nano explains how Tata Group has created a niche in the market to be the market leader of the cheapest car manufacturer in the world.

Over the past few decades, the challenges facing managers of both public and private sector organisations have continued to mount. Business enterprises are operating in a rapidly changing and more challenging world. Cases in Business and Management helps the students to understand these challenges in context of this change, as each business has unique aspects requiring its own analysis, judgement and customised strategy actions. Case analysis also helps students improve their analytical skills, and exposes them to the real situations in which company managers perform their strategic responsibilities.

The co-author Dr. Quamrul Alam was an Associate Professor of the Department of Public Administration at the Dhaka University till 1991 and at present is senior Lecturer in the Department of Management at Monash University Australia.

The co-author Nazmul Amin Majumdar is a doctoral research fellow (with an Australian Leadership Award Scholarship) in the Department of Management at Monash University Australia and a career public servant in Bangladesh.

It could be worthy for South Asian students to have an economy paperback edition. The publisher may think about a south Asian edition of this casebook.

Women In Different Shades

Marzia Rahman

Purobi Basu's “Naribadi Golpo”
Purobi Basu's “Naribadi Golpo” (Ittadi publications) has received quite a good response from the readers of Boi Mela. The very title indicates the tone and temperament of the book which is a fine collection of 14 stories, all portraying women and the gamut of emotions they go through.

The first story entitled “Ekoda Ekhane Konna Santan Janma Nito” (Once here girl children were born) sets the tone of the book. The story depicts the bizarre and disastrous situation that fall upon Chandankar people after their women had been mistreated and tortured by outside men. Not only girl children have ceased to take birth in this place but also the women figures have all turned into male like figures with beards, short hair and flat chests.

Purobi Basu in her collection depicts women of different ages and classes. In “Chutordoshi” (14th) the protagonist is a 14- year-old girl named Rupa, who is going through both physical and mental changes. While in “Mayer Patra” (Mother's letter) we find the protagonist as an elderly woman, who in her later life realises the terrible truth that she is no longer needed or wanted in her son's household. The whole story is written in the form of 4 letters, 3 of them addressed to her children and one to her son-in-law. The women through her letters emerged as a woman of strong principals who decides to leave his son's house and pass the remaining years of her life on her own.

“Janak-Janaki” (Parents) portrays a woman who is ridden by guilt and shame as she conceived at a later age. Lying in a hospital bed she recalls past memories, her children's birth. Anger towards her husband, frustration of life long struggle torments her but at the end she again reconciles with herself and hopes to return to her home and loved ones.

Purobi Basu in her story “Protimapuran” brilliantly depicts her main character Kalanni's huge transformation from a shy, timid village woman to that of an independent, daring woman who does not hesitate to leave her house, domineering husband and start a new life with a new job.

The protagonist Radha in “Arandhan” (Not Cooking) on one fine morning decides she will not cook today. She ignores her mother-in-laws rebuke, her husband's angry looks, her sister-in law's weeping, her son's request and remains adamant in her decision and do not cook all day. The story has a beautiful poetic touch.

As said before, women come in different shades and colours in Purobi Basu's stories. We get a glimpse of ordinary village women who have the guts to stand up against all injustices, as individuals with freedom of choices. Saleha in “Salehar Iccha Aniccha” (Saleha's Likes and Dislikes) a village girl shocks the whole village by her bold and valiant work and comment. In “Aratir Ratri” (Arati's Night) Saida becomes the victim of men's lust and decides to knock at the door of justice. Zarina, the heroine of “Judishtorer Bon” (Sister of Judishtor) a factory worker changes her mind and decides to protect her own image and job after seeing her co-worker's dead body. In “Sandhay Bhorer Shishir” (Morning dew in the evening) Gita, a village ordinary housewife decides to take contraceptive when she realises that her husband is both indifferent and callous towards birth control idea.

The last story “Abosheshe Mukoshbihin” (At last without mask) tells the tale of a women who performs all day long different roles assigned to her as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, and as a doctor and wears different masks accordingly. But when she confronts death she has to put off all the masks and comes face to face with her real self.

No doubt, this is an extraordinary collection, intelligently conceived and passionately written. The stories not only illuminate the pain, loss, sacrifices, alienation and loneliness of Bangali women but also their courage, bravery, confidence. In the colourful and varied characters portrayed in Purobi Basu's “Naribadi Golpo” we get both the form and substance of Sita, the symbol of obedience and tolerance and Durga or Ma Kali, the Goddesses of Defiance which make it a fine collection and a must read.

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