Monday, July 30, 2012

Learnings from the Consortium - Valuable research guidance for doctoral students

( this document is being refined.. pl check up the doc again..)

The 3 day Doctoral consortium on marketing and the first outside of US sponsored by the American Marketing Association, Sheth Foundation and Academy of Indian Marketing got over at Bangalore Alliance University central campus in Anekal yesterday 29 July, 2012.

The theme was Research in Emerging Markets.

As the Dean Dr Anubha Singh noted in the inaugural address, the consortium was indeed a meeting ground for Who's Who in Marketing ( including Editors of four top Marketing Journals) serious researchers and budding doctoral students from different countries, witnessing global fusion of intellectual acumen in the area of marketing.

Productivity of a researcher was one of the important points raised by the Main speaker, Prof Jagdish Sheth. 

A researcher's proclivity in generating knowledge and in getting this published in top Marketing journals is not only going to earn him employment for life but also name and fame .. As different from the practical application of Marketing successes, the stress was more on the academic aspects of generating knowledge for the future generations to understand the process of Marketing well. Challenge the existing dogmas and literature was the serious tone which was reverberating throughout all the sessions at the consortium.

Some learning which will be useful for the research student community in general and for prospective researchers and  for publishing of technical papers are given below divided into three or four areas.

Prof Kent Monroe ( University of Redmond)

Objectives of a Doctoral programme : a. Develop conceptualisation skills (ability to think abstractly)
b. Acquire substantial knowledge and learn to apply it
c. develop operationalising  skills and research methods knowledge
d. develop good communication skills ( both written and oral)
Maintain an attitude of discovery
a. Read/study within and outside your discipline
b. Read from newspapers/magazines/journals and other applied areas
c. Keep asking - how can I learn more about this issue or question
Maintain Intrinsic Motivation :
a. select questions and issues that interest you
b. work both SMART and HARD ..
c. Always aim for self-improvement
View Research as a continuous activity :
a. Engage in daily Time Management, at least 30 mins a day, to properly utilise your time.
b. set your own schedule ( don't allow anyone else to do it for you..)
c. set aside time for reflection of your activities and results attained during the day
d. get a comfortable place for study and working ( how badly organised it may be..)
e. be a note taker, you cannot say when those notes can be handy
Attributes of a Researcher :
a. Should be enthusiastic and have excitement in doing the work on the topic of research
b. choose an area where you are sure of having sustained interest over the next 5 -6 years
c. have a commitment to excellence
d. be open minded to accept ideas, have a wide area of interests
e. be humble, not arrogant, but confident
f. always be patient, even if things do not happen the way you want them to. There is something to     learn from observing and being patient.
g. Exercise self-discipline
h. do not procrastinate, finish today's work today itself, do not keep it for tomorrow.
i. be honest in all your professional dealings with your colleagues, supervisors
j. be meticulous, pay attention to details and explanations.

Ideas from Dr V. Kumar, George State Uty.

Where to get ideas for research :
a. search for gaps in literatureb. challenge existing dogmas and ideas
c. interact with mentors and other doctoral students
d. brainstorming with colleagues
e. attending practitioner forums
Which Research Method to use ?
a. do not be dogmatic about your methods, experiment with new, interesting and untried methods and analysis
b. find a co-author with complimentary skills / interests
c. bring more co-authors into the papers, thus bring different rich perspectives
How to draft a good manuscript ?
a. prepare a well written manuscript
b. use the right vocabulary / terminology
c. have consistency in the ideas / terminology throughout the paper
d. write a correct abstract / rewrite and rewrite, after small gaps of time,  till you are satisfied.
e. spell the research question correctly
f. mention clearly what is the intended contribution from the research
g. be humble to accept the limitations in your paper

Points made by Prof Ajay Kohli, Georgia Tech.

Managing the acceptance / rejection process :a. Get someone to critique the paper
b. after receiving the rejection note, wait for a couple of weeks , let all the emotions die out.
c. work to answer MORE than the reviewer questions, anticipate some other related questions too ..
d. do more than what the reviewer asks for
e. if reviewers' comments clash, ask for clarification
f. before resubmitting the paper, ( to other journal) always revise it !! ..
g. always prepare revision notes of date,section, line, change recorded etc.. ( discipline yourself, do not work haphazardly..)
h. avoid careless mistakes
j. try to co-author with someone who has already published in that journal
k. network with prospective co-authors during conferences / seminars

Points made by Prof Jerry Wind, Kellogs, UPenn.

a. Start doing what people matter about ! keep the focus on the ultimate user of the research ..
b. talk to others about your idea .. know their comments.. 
Challenges for the teaching community :
a. students are experts in double tasking with technology
b. e-learning
c. learning from games
d. search thru wikipedia /
e. pervasiveness of social n/w
f. power  of wisdom of a crowd
g. employing performance metrics / deciding which one
Improving teaching effectiveness :
a. shift from teaching to learning / look at the needs of the customer
b. go beyond the schedule ( not just 3 hrs/week, but beyond..)
c. go beyond the curriculum , discuss and initiate discussions on interesting related topics which can make learning exciting and fun ..
d. hybrid learning - integrating Open Educational resources (OER) into the teaching curriculum like, etc..
e. customisation of the content to the needs of the customer / employer
f. do not forget everyone is a content creator, promote use of wikis
g. experiment with new learning approaches / promote active learning , modes like case method, games, role playing, current events discussion
Analysing BIG DATA, text mining and social media analytics .. areas of promise and opportunity ..

Research process should not be like the person who lost a coin outside in the dark, searching for the same inside the room which has light .. DO RESEARCH IN THE CORRECT RELEVANT AREA exploring the right problem and analysing the right data .

Points made by Prof. Denish Shah, George Washington Uty
Over time spend less time on teaching and more time on research / Time management is the key 

Hope this will be of great use to the student and researcher community of the world cutting across disciplines.

One point which was reverberating throughout was the need to co-create the class with the students, not just one way directing ..

I also listened to the presentation given by Prof Parasuraman , Uty of Miami, on his famous Gaps model and Servqual model in Services ( co-authored with Zitham and Berryr, PZB " A conceptual Model of Service quality and its implications for future research ", 85, Journal of Marketing, vol 49). In fact the Gaps model paper has been one of the most cited papers in the history of scientiific/technical publications with about 10,400 citations.

The consortium saw the opening of the 'Centre for Research on Emerging Markets" at Alliance University, Bangalore which will facilitate foreign and Indian scholars to study the emerging market economies and their companies.


1 comment:

  1. Hey, nice site you have here! Keep up the excellent work!

    PhD research guidance


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