Mathukutty M Monippally

Mathukutty M Monippally


Mathukutty Mathew Monippally joined IIMA in June 2000 and served the Institute until his retirement in February 2014.

As the first primary member of the then newly established Communication Area, Professor Monippally had a significant role in enlarging it into a fully functional and highly respected area. The existing Communication courses were redesigned and new courses were introduced. Over the years the Area has been offering a wide range of core and elective courses for the different long duration programs at the Institute. The two management development programs he introduced in the Area ("The Winning Edge: Communication Strategies for Leaders" and "Taking People along: Managing through Persuasion") have been very popular and continue to be offered annually to senior managers and leaders.

His research interests were largely in developing cases related to different aspects of communication, especially bad news delivery and persuasion. This focus on experience and reflection rather than formulation of theories of communication was born out of his conviction that most people have more than enough knowledge about the process of interpersonal communication but few are able to judge reliably for themselves whether their own communication is good or bad.

Professor Monippally had an unusually varied educational background. A member of a religious congregation and an aspirant for priesthood in the Catholic Church, he studied philosophy in depth and earned a licentiate in it (Magna cum Laude) from the international seminary, Pontifical Athenaeum, Pune, in 1971. But the exposure to philosophy and systematic critical thinking transformed him into an agnostic and, after a year of spiritual struggle and multiple consultations, abandoned his pursuit of priesthood as incompatible with his convictions and got his membership of the religious congregation annulled.

Then he did an MA in English language and literature at Pune University. Having worked for a year as a lecturer in English in a rural college in Maharashtra, he moved in 1976 to Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages (CIEFL), Hyderabad, did an MLitt in English Language Teaching, and then joined the faculty there. The next move was to University of Manchester, UK; in 1983 he received his PhD in education with a focus on curriculum design for language teaching. His background in philosophy helped him reject the prevalent models of language learning created by linguists for descriptive purposes and develop a new holistic model specifically for of designing language teaching programs.

Having worked abroad for a few years he returned to India and rejoined CIEFL in 1990. During the next few years he moved completely from the field of English language teaching to management communication. Following the economic liberalisation unleashed in 1991, many companies hired managers who were required to communicate more efficiently especially across cultures. He studied their needs in depth and developed training interventions that helped them substantially. It is this transformation from focus on language to focus on managerial communication that finally led him to a faulty position at IIMA.

The intellectually fertile and challenging atmosphere on the IIMA campus helped him learn a great deal about management from his brilliant colleagues and students as well as from the program participants belonging to different layers of management. He developed a keen interest in bad news delivery, leadership communication, and persuasion.

Professor Monippally was Chairperson, Post Graduate Programme (2005-07), and Chairperson, Decennial Curriculum Review Committee (2007-08), IIMA.

He has written several easily accessible books on different aspects of communication including persuasion. After retirement he continues his professional engagements as Visiting Faculty at a few IIMs including IIMA and IIMC.

Post retirement Professor Monippally has settled down with his wife Philo in a rural part of their home district, Kottayam, Kerala. Their daughter Preeti and her husband Reynold DSilva are both alums of IIMA (PGP 1999-2001 batch).

Date of Birth: March 01, 1949