Small & Big: The Interrelation That Exists

By Amritansh Nigam, member of the St. Gallen Symposium's global Leaders of Tomorrow Community

Small is compact and constricted, always seen in comparison to big. The current global scenario demands an existence of both in equal forms. Small maybe frowned upon in terms of size, but it is the reason why big exists. Be it geopolitics or economics, the big versus small debate is all pervasive. If smaller countries have outperformed the bigger ones in Human Development Index, then the bigger ones have outperformed the smaller ones in Gross Domestic Product. Smaller countries may have the power to be highly independent and efficient but we should not forget that it is the bigger countries that have more impact. In India, home to a sixth of the human population, big states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh were partly divided into smaller states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand respectively, to enhance administrative efficiency. The newly formed smaller states performed better on HDI but failed to make a larger impact in terms of volume on the GDP. They had a better say in managing resources and population. The model is working well for a huge country like India, where the population of a billion people is to be addressed.

Order was the order of the modern world. However, in the post modern world, the size of the order, the system matters. Especially given the fact that the emerging order is going to be highly mediated, it is imperative that communication determines the relationship between delivery mechanisms, the deliverables, the delivered and the delivering. In the field of communication, I have seen that smaller institutions have more dynamic communication models. The structure of these communication models is highly participative due to its relatively small size and lesser number of participants. In larger institutions, the communication models are more rigid but have a sense of order. Problems arise when smaller institutions try to communicate with the larger institutions and vice versa. The bigger institutions are always a framework of smaller institutions working together. The smaller institutions always interact with the other smaller institutions in the framework of the bigger institutions. The equality in communication in such scenarios always depends on the authoritative figure. The power distance index between the two used to favour the bigger framework - but no longer. The onus lies on the smaller institutions to integrate themselves into the framework of the bigger institutions. The smaller firms need to comprehend the communication lines of the bigger framework with their dynamism. This helps them in establishing their credibility as well as provides a better communication model for them to work with, in the framework of the bigger institution.

The current need of the hour is smaller institutions within a larger framework to allow flexible, quick and secure methods to sustain the framework of the world. Smaller institutions can be managed effectively by the means of technology, allowing them more outreach and resources to execute the bigger tasks. It is inevitable for anything small to grow big, but ensuring the efficiency of the smaller units leads to the big becoming more manageable and effective.