Prof. K B Akhilesh

Prof. K B Akhilesh

Prof. K B Akhilesh

Dean Prof. K B Akhilesh, from Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has taught HRM, OB and Technology Management. His research and academic interests lie in the development of HR skills, IT and manufacturing. As a student he has been a top ranker and was awarded gold medal for the best Ph.D. thesis in the Faculty of Engineering, IISc. He has lectured at many universities and organizations in USA, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Belgium and Sweden; and offers a Knowledge Management course annually in Germany. As a consultant and trainer Prof. Akhilesh has guided global giants like Daimler-Chrysler, Airbus Industries, World Bank, BSNL, DRDO, Siemens, ABB, HMT, BEL, HAL, WIPRO. He has helped senior managers hone their managerial skills through more than 1,000 management development programs. He has authored many books and published over 100 papers in refereed journals internationally.

Distinction and Awards

  • Lifetime achievement award for the contribution to Human Resource Management – awarded during Annual day celebration of National Institute of Personnel Management, Karnataka Chapter, 2008.
  • Awarded the best guide based on a competition of the summer projects in the State of Karnataka by National HRD Network for the student work of – M. Dedeepya, 2008.

Advisory Responsibilities

  • Expert Committee Member to review labs under Department of Biotechnology, 31st August, 2015.
  • Expert Committee Member to review BT Technology, Pune, October 7th, 2015.
  • Expert Committee Member UGC AICTE Committee, Assessment of Amity University, Gwalior, 9-10 April 2015.
  • Nominated as Chairman of the Academic and Professional Excellence Committee for the term 2008-2010; NIPM.
  • Member of the Assessment Board for promotion of scientists for Recruitment and Assessment center of Defense Research and Development Organization (D.R.D.O) at Aeronautical Development Establishment (A.D.E), 2 June, 2008 – 5 June, 2008.
  • Invited to the local Inquiry Committee for the verification of the Infrastructure of K. Lakappa Educational Trust, Bangalore, 14th May, 2008.
  • Member of the Assessment Board for promotion of scientists for Recruitment and Assessment center of Defense Research and Development Organization (D.R.D.O) at Aeronautical Development Establishment (A.D.E), 28 April – 2 May, 2008.

 Brief Summary of Experience

  • Chairman, Department of Management Studies 1993 – 1999
  • Airbus Industries Hamburg, Germany on sabbatical on the project on Knowledge Management 2004
  • Visiting Researcher, Japan Institute of Labor, Tokyo, 1998
  • Visiting Professor, Pforzheim University, Germany (2006, 2007, and 2008)
  • Adjunct Professor, School of Public Policy, George Mason University, Washington DC., USA
  • Visiting Professor, University of Hamburg, School of Information, Hamburg, Germany (2004)
  • Visiting Faculty, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, (1985)
  • Member of Faculty and Research Officer, Shri Ram Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, New Delhi 1980 – (July) 1982.

Technology Transformation, Career and Reward Management of Professionals, Innovation and Innovativeness, Organizational aspects of Technology Management, Evolving Performing Organizations Through People, Comparative Human Resource Management, Knowledge Management model for teams in the IT sector ,  Quality Management, Organizational Change and Transformation, Virtual Teams in Global R&D Organizations, Recruitment and Assessment,  HR Global Bench Marking and Performance Management, Expertise Transfer.

Brief Research Highlights

  • Developed 12 case studies on Technology Transformation: The Organizations covered are Bharath Earth Movers Ltd., Lakshmi Machine Works Ltd., Alfa Laval Ltd., Crompton Greaves Ltd., Elgi Equipments Ltd., Escorts Ltd., KCP Ltd., Kelvinator India Ltd., L&T McNeil Ltd., Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., Stovec Screens Ltd., and Tractors & Farms Equipments Ltd. These case studies were developed as a part of the project funded by Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
  • Career and Reward Management of Professionals: Studies were conducted to understand and relate compensation, performance recognition, and pay satisfaction of R & D personnel. Restructuring of the scientific personnel cadre in the central Government establishment was the outcome of a consultancy study. A study was also completed to understand the nature of uncertainty experienced R&D personnel. These experiences were related to Job Involvement, Work Involvement and Work Motivation. Another study examined the degree of team working and issues of team management. A national survey amongst personnel professionals was conducted to understand functionally dependent stress. Over 8000 questionnaires were mailed and obtained 550 responses. The study identified the nature of stressors and coping styles. The National Institute of Personnel Management funded this study.
  • Innovation and Innovativeness: Conceptually innovation and innovativeness were differentiated and measures were developed to understand organizational innovativeness. Based upon the conceptual framework and users interaction two measures were developed, grounded on subsystems, to measure organizational innovativeness and innovation. Empirical testing was done on a sample of 43 firms, guided by a preliminary (10 firms) and pilot studies (27 firms). Exploratory factor analysis identified organizational innovativeness as a bi-factorial construct constituting factors – adaptability and problem solving skills. Path analytic model was developed to examine the causal linkage between environment, R&D intensity, innovativeness and innovations.
  • Comparative Human Resource Management: Studies were initiated to examine cross-cultural business perceptions of managers. The data was collected over 500 managers from India and similar studies have been completed in Germany, USA and China. This study helped in understanding stereotypes and preparing managers for international careers. A collaborative study also has been initiated to compare the careers of scientists in India, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Korea and Germany. The data was collected from Indian Scientists and over 500 scientists and engineers responded from the Telecom, IT and Pharmaceutical sectors.
  • Organizational aspects of Technology Management: Technology transformation process in the two manufacturing sectors in India was successfully studied. A survey methodology was used and the data from 73 organizations in the automotive and machine building sectors were collected for the purpose of statistical analysis. The descriptive analysis has shown that there is no significant difference between the sectors, indicating that there is considerable homogeneity in the technology adoption, adaptation and innovation objectives and activities across the sectors. Another study focused on the functional role of R & D and linked the role to overall technological performance. The data was obtained from 65 organizations. Process variables consist of the nature of work, linkage, organizational support, and past performance. Structure variables included organizational importance, control, research infrastructure and planning. Environment of R & D consisted of mobility and research environment variable. Structure emerged as a more powerful discriminating factor. Another study focused on the techno organizational changes due to CNC Technology.
  • Evolving Performing Organizations through People: Organizations have to develop strategies in the future to sustain and increase their levels of performance. The basic issues are around how to provide focus and direction and achieve the required alignment at all levels, how to develop required competencies in terms of techniques, attitudes, knowledge and skills, and how to integrate reward and punishment system. These will demand development of a personnel assessment methodology, personnel grading system, an ability development system; methods of organizational diagnosis and development etc., Studies have been completed in these areas including action research studies.