Dr Arun Kumar

Senior Lecturer
EBS - Management and Marketing
Dr Arun Kumar



I research and write about philanthropic foundations, global development, and nonprofit management. I have a strong interest in researching the history of management education and social inclusion (esp. around questions of caste and disability). My interedisciplinary research has been published in field-leading (ABS 4*/3* and FT 50 listed) journals such as the Academy of Management Learning & Education, Development & Change, Economy & Society, Enterprise & Society, and Journal of Business Ethics. My first book Philanthropy and the Development of Modern India: In the Name of Nation (Oxford University Press, 2021) interrogates the philanthropic history of India's economic elites and discusses how their ideas and understanding of development have shifted over time. It maps and explains development's entanglements with colonialism as well as with the national question in twentieth century India, which I suggest can be usefully read and critiqued as national-modern. The book plots the careers of the national-modern in four main sites of development: civil society, community, science and technology, and selfhood. My research has been funded, among others, by the Economic History Society, UK and the Rockefeller Archives Center, USA. I currently sit on the editorial boards of AMLE, Business & Society, and Organization journals. Before joining the University of Essex as a Senior Lecturer, I worked at the University of York, UK and briefly at the Grenoble Ecole de Management, France. In an earlier life, I trained as an architect and development manager and worked for nearly a decade consulting with some of India's leading advocacy organizations, donor agencies, NGOs, and research centres. I am interested in supervising PhD students interested in researching business-society relationships (especially in the context of developing countries), global development, nonprofit management, and historical studies of Indian businesses and management.


  • PhD Lancaster University,

  • Fellow Higher Education Academy,


University of Essex

  • Senior Lecturer, University of Essex (2021 - present)

Other academic

  • Lecturer, University of York (1/5/2016 - 31/8/2021)

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Business and International Development (BE422)

  • International Management (BE489)

  • Research Methods in Marketing (BE965)

  • Research Methods in Management (BE969)

  • Research Methods in Management and Marketing (BE425)


Journal articles (13)

Kumar, A., Bapuji, H. and Mir, R., (2022). “Educate, Agitate, Organize”: Inequality and Ethics in the Writings of Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. Journal of Business Ethics. 178 (1), 1-14

Kumar, A., (2022). Book Review: Jessica Sklair Brazilian Elites and Their Philanthropy: Wealth at the Service of Development. Organization, 135050842210790-135050842210790

Kumar, A. and Brooks, S., (2021). Bridges, platforms and satellites: Theorizing the power of global philanthropy in international development. Economy and Society. 50 (2), 322-345

Brooks, S. and Kumar, A., (2021). Why the super-rich will not be saving the world?: Philanthropy and “privatization creep” in global development. Business and Society, 000765032110536-000765032110536

Cooke, B. and Kumar, A., (2020). U.S. Philanthropy’s Shaping of Management Education in the 20th Century: Toward a Periodization of History. Academy of Management Learning & Education. 19 (1), 21-39

Kumar, A., (2019). From Henley to Harvard at Hyderabad? (Post and Neo-) Colonialism in Management Education in India. Enterprise & Society. 20 (2), 366-400

Kumar, A., (2018). Pragmatic and Paradoxical Philanthropy: Tatas’ Gift Giving and Scientific Development in India. Development and Change. 49 (6), 1422-1446

Frenzel, F., Case, P., Kumar, A. and Sedgwick, M., (2018). Managing international development: (Re)positioning critiques ephemera. Ephemera: theory and politics in organization. 18 (3), 577-604

Kumar, A., (2015). Book review: International aid and the making of a better world: Reflexive practice. Management Learning. 46 (3), 363-366

Hiranandani, V., Kumar, A. and Sonpal, D., (2014). Making community inclusion work for persons with disabilities: drawing lessons from the field. Community Development. 45 (2), 151-165

Kumar, A., Kothiyal, N., Hiranandani,, V. and Sonpal, D., (2014). Ableing work, Disableing workers?. Development in Practice. 24 (1), 81-90

Kumar, A., (2013). Book review: Business and society: The story of corporate social responsibility in India. Management Learning. 44 (5), 563-566

Kumar, A., (2012). Educating the (neo-liberal) citizen: reflections from India. Development in Practice. 22 (3), 361-372

Books (1)

Kumar, A., (2021). Philanthropy and the Development of Modern India In the Name of Nation. Oxford University Press. 0198868634. 9780198868637

Book chapters (2)

Kumar, A. and Kothiyal, N., (2018). Dis/ability at work?: Media representations, CSR, and diversity. In: Disability in South Asia. Editors: Ghai, A., . Sage. 359- 379. 9789352807079

Kumar, A., (2013). Serv(ic)ing the country?: Critical reflections on youth development and citizenship education. In: Youth: Responding to Lives. Editors: Azzopardi, A., . Brill. 27- 43. 978-94-6209-430-7

Grants and funding


Evaluation Essex County Council Children and Families Multi-Disciplinary Team pilot

Essex County Council

+44 (0) 1206 874202


EBS.3.43, Colchester Campus

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