Welcome to my homepage!


Thank you for dropping in. I'm M. Joseph Arul, often known only as M.J. Arul. I speak Tamil, English and Hindi. I can also correspond in these languages, though not with equal ease. As for Gujarati, I can start a conversation (keym chho?) and end it (aav joe!), but am no good at what might happen in between!

I hail from Susaiapperpatnam, about seventy kilometres east of Madurai, the temple town in the southern state of Tamilnadu, India. After completion of my E.S.L.C. (eighth grade) at the village and high school at Kalaiyarkoil, a roadside town about 45 minutes' walk to the west of Susaiapperpatnam, I left home in 1962 to join a seminary. After several years of scholastic and spiritual training there, I relinquished my seminary life, following a two-week experimentation within myself. (More of my CV is available at arulmj.net/cv-arul.html.)

My work life began in 1972 with a job in sales, which I quit in about a year's time to join a multidisciplinary team at the Space Application Centre of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). That was when India's Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE), covering six contiguous states of the country was launched. After a short stint of about six months at ISRO, I joined the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), where I worked for a little over six years, initially as a research assistant and later as a Course Associate in the Organisational Behaviour Area. I had the opportunity then of collaborating with Dr. P.N. Khandwalla and, together, offered IIM-A's first-ever Creativity Workshop for managers from the corporate sector. While with IIM-A, I also took up visiting faculty assignments and taught Psychology at NID (National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and Personnel Management at Bhavan's College, Ahmedabad.

On July 1, 1980, I joined IRMA (Institute of Rural Management, Anand), the day the Institute inducted its first batch of students for the Programme in Rural Management (PRM). I joined there as Research Associate and gradually became Faculty Associate, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and finally Professor.

During 1996-'99, I taught the theory of FIRO as part of the OB-I course for the PGPs & FPMs at IIM-Ahmedabad -- as Visiting Faculty.

I left IRMA, following a personal tragedy in the family, in October 1998 on voluntary retirement. In November that year, I joined the DD Institute of Technology (DDIT), Nadiad, as Professor & Head of its Centre for Management Studies. I quit the job in April 2000 and took to freelancing. In April 2001, I moved to Mumbai (Bombay) and was Professor of Organisational Behaviour at S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research there till December 2003. Then I moved to Bangalore, where I was Dean of Management Studies at Presidency College till June 2005. From then till January 2006, I was Professor of OB & HR at SDM Institute for Management Development (SDM-IMD), Mysore. I returned to Presidency as Director of their B-School in February 2006 and retired from there in February 2011. In deference to a call from the Chairman, I rejoined Presidency as Director of their MBA Programme in August 2012 and relinquished the position on 31 March 2017. I continue to live in Bangalore.

[Presidency gave me a Felicitation-cum-Farewell on 27 November 2017. If you wish to view a video of the function, you may do so here:]

Despite my long disinclination to do a PhD, I undertook a study of interpersonal needs of managers, using the revised theory of FIRO and its Element-B instrument (which had outwitted and replaced the earlier (1958) FIRO-B), and completed my doctorate. Subsequently, I underwent the initial and advanced phases of the FIRO-based Human-Element training. I took Phase-I of the training in 1995 and Phase-II, conducted by Dr. Will Schutz, the originator himself, in 1998. I attended an update on the subject in October-November 2000. These events were in California, USA. In March 2006, Mr. Gary Copeland of BCon, San Francisco, USA, and I conducted two Human Element workshops for the UN officers at Bangkok, Thailand. In January-February 2007, I introduced FIRO to the senior managers of BRAC, an international NGO, headquartered at Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Human Element Training is now available to people in India. I have already conducted this workshop for managers in Baroda (Vadodara), Hyderabad and Bangalore. I can offer the workshop to a group of 15 (minimum) to 25 (maximum) persons at a time.

If you want to take the FIRO instruments online, Click here!

All along, I've been more a teacher and trainer than a writer or anything else. My research and consultancy have been modest. I hope you find my writings, limited as they are, worth your time. Please do tell me if you have something to say on them. Thanks again for dropping in.

[By the way, I lost my father (Mr. S. Michael) on Friday, October 8, 2004. To the day he died, from a fall, he walked about on his own -- with his eyesight, hearing and speech intact. He used to help my sister-in-law thread the needle; he wore no spectacles!

I had last met my father in May 2004 and planned to visit my village again in October 2004 to listen to his edifying chat again. I made the visit, all right -- but, alas, only to bury him! (He was said to be more than 100 years old. His Baptismal Register was accessed on 02 September 2018 and his date of birth was found to be 25 September 1917. So, he was only 87.) My mother breathed her last on 20 July 2006, about two years after my father had done so. She was 86. Requiescant in pace (RIP)! May their souls rest in peace! Amen.]

My Research

My Cases

My Teaching Notes

Other Readings Used in IGB

Do you want to take the FIRO instruments online? Click here!

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