This paper aims to critically analyze one of the most impactful events reported from the Indian corporate scenario in recent years, from the premise of its aesthetic underpinnings. Our focus is on the ambitious 2008 all cash cross-border acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover businesses by Tata Motors Limited from Ford Motor Company, US. This move not only added stature to the already reputed brand but was also instrumental in positioning India in the global automotive arena. Using the Natyasastra, an ancient Sanskrit scripture on Indian dramaturgy, as an aesthetic tool, we attempt to unravel the emotional performance depicted by various stakeholders partaking in the theatrics of the Jaguar Land Rover acquisition event. In the backdrop of theatrical performance, we examine the dialogical exchange between three distinct sets of actors, the firm, media, and equity market, to identify and elucidate the emotions they predominantly depict in the Jaguar Land Rover acquisition. This paper’s over-arching goal is to shift the preoccupation with metrics of organizational performance to focus instead on the emotional performance manifested through organizational activities, using an aesthetic and essentially Indian performative perspective.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Available upon request.
Badham, Richard J., W. Richard Carter, Linda J. Matula, Sharon K. Parker, and Paul L. Nesbit. 2016. Beyond Hope and Fear: The Effects of Organizational Theatre on Empowerment and Control. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 52: 124–151.
Banerjee, Suparna. 2018. Performing the uncanny: Psychoanalysis, Aesthetics and the Digital Double. In Digital Echoes, ed. Sarah Whatley, Rosamaria K. Cisneros, and Amalia Sabiescu, 31–55. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
Bathurst, Ralph. 2009. Enlivening management practice through aesthetic engagement: Vico, Baumgarten and Kant. Philosophy of Management 7: 61–76.
Batra, Bhavika S., and Dharmendra B. Khairajani. 2012. An Understanding of TATA-JLR deal with the concepts of Downsizing, Corporate Culture and Leveraged Buyout. Management 2: 101–103.
Becker-Ritterspach, Florian, and Gert Bruche. 2012. Capability creation and internationalization with business group embeddedness–the case of Tata Motors in passenger cars. European Management Journal 30: 232–247.
Berger, Peter L., and Thomas Luckmann. 1967. The social construction of reality. London: Penguin.
Beyes, Timon, and Chris Steyaert. 2006. Justifying theatre in organisational analysis: A carnivalesque alternative? Consumption, Markets and Culture 9: 101–109.
Birch, Peter. 2017. Dramaturgical Methods. In The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Business and Management Research Methods: Methods and Challenges, ed. Catherine Cassell, Ann L. Cunliffe, and Gina Grandy, 170–186. London: Sage Publications.
Bruche, Gert. 2010. Tata Motor’s transformational resource acquisition path: A case study of latecomer catch-up in a business group context (No. 55). Working papers of the institute of management Berlin at the Berlin school of economics and law. HWR Berlin.
Christensen, Julia F., Anna Lambrechts, and Manos Tsakiris. 2019. The Warburg Dance Movement Library—The WADAMO Library: A Validation Study. Perception 48: 26–57.
Coetzee, Melinde, and Nisha Harry. 2014. Emotional intelligence as a predictor of employees’ career adaptability. Journal of Vocational Behavior 84: 90–97.
Coopey, John. 1998. Learning to trust and trusting to learn: A role for radical theatre. Management Learning 29: 365–382.
Czarniawska-Joerges, Barbara. 1995. Rhetoric and modern organizations. Culture and Organization 1: 147–152.
Fairclough, Norman. 2013. Critical discourse analysis: The critical study of language. Oxon: Routledge.
Fendt, Jacqueline. 2007. CEO discourse in mergers and acquisitions: Toward a theory of the promise–realities gap. Research in Organizational Change and Development 16: 105–153.
Fineman, Stephen. 2006. On being positive: Concerns and counterpoints. Academy of Management Review 31: 270–291.
Fouweather, Ian. 2017. The management consultant. In Management Consultancy Insights and Real Consultancy Projects, ed. Graham Manville, Olga Matthias, and Julian Campbell, 21–34. Abingdon: Routledge.
Ghosh, Manmohan. 1961. The Natyasastra: A Treatise on Hindu Dramaturgy and Histrionics Ascribed to Bharat-Muni. Calcutta: The Asiatic Society.
Goffman, Erving. 1978. The presentation of self in everyday life: Selections. In Sociology: Exploring the Architecture of Everyday Life Readings, ed. David Newman and Jodi O’Brien, 120–129. California: Pine Forge Press.
Grant, David, Tom W. Keenoy, and Cliff Oswick. 1998. Discourse and organization. London: Sage Publications.
Guillet de Monthoux, Pierre. 1996. The theatre of war: art, organization and the aesthetics of strategy. Studies in Cultures, Organizations and Societies 2: 147–160.
Gwinn, Robert P. 1990. The New Encyclopedia Britannica. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Hareli, Shlomo, Konstantinos Kafetsios, and Ursula Hess. 2015. A cross-cultural study on emotion expression and the learning of social norms. Frontiers in Psychology 6: 1501.
Higgins, Kathleen M. 2007. An alchemy of emotion: Rasa and aesthetic breakthroughs. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65: 43–54.
Hill, Dan. 2009. The rhetoric and reality of successful change management. Ivey Business Journal 73: 6–6.
Ingvarsdottir, Eydis, and Sigridur Halldorsdottir. 2018. Enhancing patient safety in the operating theatre: from the perspective of experienced operating theatre nurses. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences 32: 951–960.
Jayaweera, Almut. 2004. Vannama: A classical dance form and its musical structure. The world of music 46: 49–61.
Kononova, T.M., L.N. Zakharova, O.P. Lazareva, and O.N. Goreva. 2019. Intercultural Communication and Personality Enculturation in the Context of Humanities. Humanities and Social Sciences: Novations, Problems, Prospects. https://doi.org/10.2991/hssnpp-19.2019.88.
Koschut, Simon. 2018. Speaking from the heart: Emotion discourse analysis in international relations. In Researching Emotions in International Relations, ed. Maeva Clement and Eric Sangar, 277–301. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
Koschut, Simon, Todd H. Hall, Reinhard Wolf, Ty Solomon, Emma Hutchison, and Roland Bleiker. 2017. Discourse and emotions in international relations. International Studies Review 19: 481–508.
Lempa, Fabian, and Kamila Lewandowska. 2016. The aesthetics of applied theatre: An interview. Organizational Aesthetics 5: 25–33.
Lim, Nangyeon. 2016. Cultural differences in emotion: Differences in emotional arousal level between the East and the West. Integrative Medicine Research 5: 105–109.
Luechauer, David L. 1999. Applying appreciative inquiry instead of problem-solving techniques to facilitate change. Management 2: 99.
Martin, Patricia Y. 2019. Celebrating Joan Acker: Sociologist, fearless feminist, friend. Gender, Work and Organization 26: 1679–1687.
Marukawa, Tomoo. 2011. Technology Acquisition by Indigenous Firms: The Case of the Chinese and Indian Automobile Industries. In Industrial Dynamics in China and India, ed. Ohara Moriki, M. Vijayabaskar, and Hong Lin, 63–79. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
McRae, Talleri A. 2018. The Aesthetics of Inclusion. In Theatre, Performance and Change, ed. Stephani E. Woodson and Tamara Underiner, 247–252. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
Mitra, Rahul. 2011. Framing the corporate responsibility-reputation linkage: The case of Tata Motors in India. Public Relations Review 37: 392–398.
Moriceau, Jean-Luc, and Isabela Paes. 2016. An apprenticeship to pleasure: aesthetics dynamics in organizational learning. Society and Business Review 11: 80–92.
Mukherjee, Deepraj. 2016. Case analysis: Tata Motors’ acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover. The Business & Management Review 8: 48–54.
Mumby, Dennis K., and Robin P. Clair. 1997. Organizational discourse. In Discourse as Social Interaction: Discourse Studies: A Multidisciplinary Introduction, ed. Teun A. Van Dijk, 181–205. London: Sage Publications.
Oswick, Cliff, Tom W. Keenoy, and David Grant. 2000. Discourse, organizations and organizing: Concepts, objects and subjects. Human Relations 53: 1115–1123.
Pramod, Kale. 1974. The Theatric Universe: A Study of the Natyasastra. Bombay: Popular Prakashan.
Reed, Bruce. 2001. An exploration of role. London: Grubb Institute.
Riad, Sally, Eero Vaara, and Nathan Zhang. 2012. The intertextual production of international relations in mergers and acquisitions. Organization Studies 33: 121–148.
Saarinen, Esa. 2008. Philosophy for managers: Reflections of a practitioner. Philosophy of Management 7: 3–24.
Schreyägg, Georg, and Heather Häpfl. 2004. Theatre and organization: Editorial introduction. Organization Studies 25: 691–704.
Schreyögg, Georg. 2001. Organizational theatre and organizational change. 60th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. Washington.
Schwartz, Susan L. 2004. Rasa: Performing the divine in India. New York: Columbia University Press.
Sinclair, John M., and Malcolm Coulthard. 1975. Towards an analysis of discourse: The English used by teachers and pupils. London: Oxford University Press.
Srinivas, Chandra S. 2014. Significance of Rasa and Abhinaya Techniques in Bharata’s Natyasastra. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science 19: 25–29.
Strati, Antonio. 1995. Aesthetics and organizations without walls. Studies in Cultures, Organizations and Societies 1: 83–105.
Strati, Antonio. 1996. Organizations viewed through the lens of aesthetics. Organization 2: 209–218.
Strati, Antonio. 2020. Beauty of responsible management: The lens and methodology of organizational aesthetics. In Research Handbook of Responsible Management, ed. Oliver Laasch, Suddaby Roy, R.E. Freeman, and Dima Jamali, 410–419. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Taylor, Steven S., and Hans Hansen. 2005. Finding form: Looking at the field of organizational aesthetics. Journal of Management Studies 42: 1211–1231.
Van Dijk, Teun A. 1997. Discourse as structure and process. London: Sage Publications.
Vaz, Pedro, and Nicholas Clarke. 2019. Applied Theatre: A Novel Technique for Helping Organizations to Manage Change. In Evidence-Based Initiatives for Organizational Change and Development, ed. Robert G. Hamlin, Andrea D. Ellinger, and Jenni Jones, 283–298. Pennsylvania: IGI Global.
Wall, Tony, Jayne Russell, and Neil Moore. 2017. Positive emotion in workplace impact: The case of a work-based learning project utilizing appreciative inquiry. Journal of Work-Applied Management 9: 129–146.
Conflicts of Interest/Competing Interests
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Nath, K., Dwivedi, R. Aesthetic Exploration of Organizational Theatrics: a Case of Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover Acquisition. Philosophy of Management (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40926-020-00160-y
- Emerging multinational economy
- Organization as theatre