A Phenomenological Inquiry of Asian Indian Immigrant Leaders in the U.S. Information Technology Industry

A Phenomenological Inquiry of Asian Indian Immigrant Leaders in the U.S. Information Technology Industry

Author: 
Saju Skaria
Program of study: 
D.B.A.
Abstract: 
The effect of culture on leadership strategies, goals, and behavior of business organizations have been a major focus of leadership researchers. The current study is a significant addition to the broader field of leadership studies involving ethnic and socio-cultural aspects of a prominent but understudied population in leadership literature. Asian Indian immigrants play a vital role in the US Information Technology Industry. However, no extensive research has been published on Asian Indian techno-immigrants. Study of available literature indicated a general problem of under-representation of Asian Indian immigrants in IT organizations at high level leadership positions in the United States, though there is a significant presence at junior levels within these establishments. Despite the perceived glass ceiling, several Asian Indian immigrants have achieved notable success and attained high-level leadership positions in the U.S. IT industry. The current hermeneutic phenomenological study focuses understudied areas within scholarly literature. The study explored the lived experience of Asian Indian immigrants in high-level leadership positions in the U.S. Information Technology industry and the impact of their racial and sociocultural identity on being high-level leaders in the U.S. IT sector. The current phenomenological inquiry uncovered six essential themes from the data analysis that includes: (1) socio-cultural experience, (2) advanced technology skills, (3)leadership competency, (4) ethnic identity and assimilation, (5) personal and familysacrifices and (6) sustainment of motivation. And, the study provide an in-depth insight of the lived experiences, perspectives, and thoughts of IT leaders of Asian Indian origin about winning themes and address “glass ceiling” issues that limit growth of aspiring leaders.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated first and foremost to my Lord God Almighty who gave me the fortitude and wisdom to complete my doctoral degree. Thank you Almighty Father for all the blessing you bestowed on me! This research project is dedicated to the people who are closet to my heart; my wife Shiny Skaria, daughter Rinku Skaria, and my son Robin Skaria, who persistently encouraged me to pursue my dreams and finish my dissertation. I am indubitably thankful for their remarkable patience, unwavering love, and constant support which I needed the most over the course of my research while I was trying to balance my personal, professional, and academic lives. I am truly thankful for having them in my life. This work is also dedicated to the memory of my parents who loved me unconditionally and nurtured me to be who I am today.
Acknowledgements: 
First, I want to express my deepest gratitude to my dissertation Chair, Dr. Mark Kass who taught me the structure and rigor of executing the doctoral level scholarly work. His upright attitude and honest feedbacks immensely helped me in handling such a daunting task with relative ease. I would like to acknowledge the wonderful support provided by my Committee members Dr. Catherine Berry and Dr. Robert Harris for their time, support, and many exceptional contributions to my study. I also want to thank Dr. Keri Heitner, my former Chair, who taught me several doctoral level courses and remained as a friend and mentor. My dissertation is a far better work through their guidance, perspectives, and recommendations. I want to acknowledge the guidance and support of Dr. ACR Pillai, family friend and mentor, my spiritual leader Archbishop Mor Titus Yeldho, my brother James Skaria, my co-brother VC Kuriakose, and multitude of friends and families who supported me all along the way. I want to acknowledge my children Rinku and Robin for their unconditional love and support during my journey. Most importantly, my wife Shiny was my cornerstone, who over these many years held the many parts of my professional, spiritual, academic, and home life together so that I could be successful. Finally, I want to acknowledge and thank the IT leaders of Asian Indian origin in the United States who agreed to participate in my study. Their time and sharing of experiences and perceptions is much appreciated as it allowed me to gain new insight into an uncharted area of research. Their contributions helped me to open new frontiers for Information Technology and leadership development and I am deeply indebted to them.