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IIMB Management Review

Journal of Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

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“Take leadership positions and benchmark against the best in the world”: IIMB Director Prof. Rishikesha T Krishnan at inauguration of IMR Doctoral Conference 2024

This year, of the 126 full paper submissions, 12 have been selected for presentation at the doctoral conference

2 February, 2024, Bengaluru: “Today, there is strong focus by the IIMs on PhD programmes to enhance research and publication activities. We need to stay ahead of the challenges and keep pace with transformations in business and research. My key advice to you all would be to not rely on just one method or tool for all contexts. Use data, ask questions and be creative. Disruptions will provide opportunities to move into leadership positions – be proactive in seizing such opportunities. Participate in formal conferences, webinars, etc. Remember, doing a PhD in India today is an advantage as India is a fertile ground to invest in research problems. And we must benchmark ourselves against the best in the world”, said Prof. Rishikesha T Krishnan, Director, IIM Bangalore, as he welcomed delegates and participants to the IMR Doctoral Conference 2024 (IMRDC 2024). 

About the conference: Day One of IMRDC 2024, being hosted by Indian Institute of Management Bangalore’s flagship journal IIMB Management Review (IMR) and the Office of the Doctoral Programme of the institute from 2nd to 3rd February 2024, saw select paper presentations by doctoral students, keynote sessions, and more. IMRDC 2024 is being held at the IIMB campus, with a limited hybrid model to facilitate online participation of some discussants and delegates.  

This is the fifteenth IMR Doctoral Conference. IMRDC 2024 is one of the milestone events commemorating the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of the institute. This year, IMRDC is being conducted in tandem with the FPM/PhD alumni meet, celebrating the reunion of former Doctoral students, in the Golden Jubilee year of the institute.

This year, 126 full paper submissions were received from across areas from leading management schools and universities across the country. Altogether 12 papers have been selected for presentation at the conference through a rigorous review process conducted by the Review Committee, with a dedicated discussant to critique each paper.  

The Co-chairs of IMRDC 2024 are Prof. Apurva Sanaria of the Organizational Behavior & Human Resources Management area of IIMB and Prof. Aditya Shrinivas of the Economics area of IIMB. The conference Co-hosts are Prof. Jishnu Hazra, Chief Editor, IIMB Management Review and faculty of the Production & Operations Management area, IIMB, and Prof. Ananth Krishnamurthy, Chairperson, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and faculty of the Decision Sciences area, IIMB. 

The objective of this conference, which is an annual benchmark event among the doctoral student community in Management and associated disciplines, researchers and academics, is to encourage doctoral research and facilitate collaborative work among researchers from different institutions. It aims to provide a forum where insightful feedback from senior researchers and academicians can help improve the quality and rigor of student research. The IMR Doctoral Conference is commended by participants for the thorough and constructive feedback provided through its ‘one exclusive discussant per paper’ format.

Welcome addresses

Prof. Ananth Krishnamurthy highlighted the fact that the IMR conference cuts across areas as a lot of management research is interdisciplinary. “The conference comprises high quality paper presentations, listening to which is a great experience. The role of IMRDC is to take emerging research to the publication stage. Not just reviewing, we also discuss papers with qualified discussants for valuable feedback and make papers publication worthy. This year’s conference coincides with the alumni reunion. We have here Doctoral programme alumni who hold important positions in academia and industry. I would urge you to network with them for connection and guidance to be more productive.”  

Pointing out that this year the conference has received the highest number of submissions, that too of very high quality, Prof. Apurva Sanaria said, “We have not really rejected any paper since all the papers received were sent out for review globally and that review is being shared with the author, irrespective of the fact if the paper is selected or not. The key deliverable is that the paper gets reviewed, and the author gets valuable and constructive feedback. We also provide the opportunity to talk to the reviewers for mentorship and guidance.” Stating that the conference is under the umbrella of IIMB Management Review, he briefed the audience about the journal.

Prof. Aditya Shrinivas also moderated the session and introduced the keynote speaker.

Keynote address

The first keynote address was delivered by Dr. Sanjay Kallapur, Professor, Accounting, Indian School of Business, on: ‘Doing impactful research without (misusing) p-values’.

He started the talk by discussing how to do relevant and rigorous research. “It is easier to explain what does not work in research. Focus on methods does not work as research is about research topics; the matrix approach does not work as we want research related to concepts relevant to real world. Shocks do not work as they do not match the constructs of interest. We seek shocks to establish causality, but causality is not the be-all and end-all of research. The be-all and end-all of research is, quoting Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon, Science is about identifying and refining constructs, establishing causal relations among them, finding the mechanism behind these relationships and testing the mechanisms. Hypothesis testing does not work either as we reverse engineer our hypothesis after knowing the result. The p-values are overworked leading to replica. The replication crisis has highlighted the limitations of p-values and shown that they cannot be relied upon for scientific inference.”

He went on to discuss the limitations of p-values and how to overcome the same, with the use of Bayes Theorem in research being the solution. Using examples from business research, his talk detailed how the best researchers have always used a broader process of inference that consists of choosing the research topic wisely, assessing plausibility of the tested theory, choosing research designs having high diagnostic ability, and writing the findings like a story. “Research involves storytelling – evaluation is used as a story setting with characters, tension, action, inference and resolution. Plot or theory is also important. All research is qualitative, with some being quantitative. Research should not be atheoretical; it is about the real world. There is no formula for doing research. Understand and contribute to literature and remember it has to be of some benefit to the real world. Done properly, all research is fun and deeply satisfying.”

His talk was followed by a brief Q&A session.

Prof. E S Srinivas of the Organizational Behavior & Human Resources Management area of IIMB presented a memento to Dr. Sanjay Kallapur.

The second keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Balram Avittathur, Professor, Academic Group: Operations Management, IIM Calcutta, on: ‘Managing the research and teaching challenges in an academic career’. The entire event saw a lot of networking between the participants of IMRDC 2024 and the FPM/PhD alumni. Day Two of IMRDC 2024 will include more paper presentations, the valedictory, awards ceremony and a cultural program. 

Click here for Day 1 photo gallery 

Click here for Day 2 photo gallery