IIM Indore hosted the 8th Conference on Excellence in Research and Education (CERE) from May 4-7, 2017. The theme of the Conference was ‘Celebrating 50 years of Contingency Theory’. Year 2017 celebrates the 50th year of three very influential management books of the last century namely, ‘Organizations in Action: Social Science Bases of Administrative Theory’ by James D. Thompson; ‘Organization and Environment’ by Paul R. Lawrence and J. W. Lorsch and ‘A Theory of Leadership Effectiveness’ by Fred Fiedler.
The four day conference witnessed more than 90 paper presentations, three workshops and keynote addresses. More than 150 participants including research scholars, faculty and management students have registered for the conference.
First day of the Conference began with an interactive session with Professor Richard Burton, Professor Emeritus from the Duke University, USA. The session revolved around management pedagogy, research practices and future in academics. Professor Burton while sharing his experience while teaching MBA graduates, discussed about the challenges faced, the gap between management research and practice and how it can be sorted. Two pre-conference workshops were also conducted, the first by Professor Manoj Motiani, Faculty, IIM Indore on the topic—‘Intervention in Research’ and the second by Professor N.K. Sharma, IIT Kanpur, on the topic ‘Experimental Design’.
The formal inauguration took place on May 5, 2017 in the presence Professor Pulak Ghosh, Faculty, IIM Bangalore and Professor Rishikesha T. Krishnan, Director, IIM Indore. Professor Krishnan in his address discussed about the importance of research and how to come up with newer ideas. He also discussed about the evergreen debate between management theory and practices.
This was followed by the first Keynote Address Professor Pulak Ghosh, Faculty, IIM Bangalore, who gave an informative presentation on the topic—‘How Big Data is Changing Management Research’. Big Data, he said, refers to large volume of data and can be a combination of digital information of both structured and unstructured data derived from consumers in digital world like web app, social networks etc.; but for practical purposes, it is the value that comes from analyzing various kinds and sizes of datasets to make better decisions. Discussing about the potential of Big Data, he said that it is measured in 4Vs namely, Volume—the scale of the data; Velocity—the speed with which the data is received and analyzed; Variety—different forms of data and Veracity—uncertainty of the data. He then discussed about various challenges faced during collecting data for research and how research questions help a scholar get into details instead of just consuming the data from the tip of the iceberg.
Another Keynote Address was by Professor Richard M. Burton, Duke University, USA. His presentation was on the topic—‘Three Great Books of 1967’ which discussed about the three very influential books of management namely, ‘Organizations in Action: Social Science Bases of Administrative Theory’ by James D. Thompson; ‘Organization and Environment’ by Paul R. Lawrence and J. W. Lorsch and ‘A Theory of Leadership Effectiveness’ by Fred Fiedler.
He concluded his talk discussing about the future of contingency theory.
The third day of the conference witnessed a Keynote Address by Professor Rajendra Srivastav, ISB Hyderabad. He spoke on the topic—‘Challenges in Education and Research in Context of Emerging Markets’. His talk revolved around challenges like relevance of management research in the current business context and lack of focus on emerging markets. The last workshop of the conference was on the topic—‘Science and Scientific Writing’ conducted by Professor Ramadhar Singh, Ahmedabad University. The workshop provided insights to the do’s and don’ts of academic research writing.
The last day of the conference witnessed a Doctoral Colloquium followed by valedictory function. The guests of the function were Professor Kamal K. Jain, Dean (Academic), IIM Indore and Professor Patturaja Selvaraj, Chair, FPM, IIM Indore. Professor Jain discussed various malpractices in research and its affects. He noted that education isn’t about delivery, it is about learning—and this is what the conference aims on.
The participants then also shared their views about the conference and how much it helped in gaining knowledge and enhancing their research skills.
This was followed by the declaration of the Best Paper Awards. The CERE Advisory Committee consisting of a panel of five membered IIM Indore faculty selected the best paper on the basis of originality, methodological rigor, its contribution to the literature and relevance to the industry. The winners received certificates and a cash prize of Rs. 30,000. The Best Papers we given under three categories as follows:
- General Track—Paper by Saswat Patra and Malay Bhattacharya from IIM Bangalore on the topic—‘First Passage Time Probabilities for Pearson Diffusion Process with Application to Options’.
- Contingency Track—Paper by Harpreet Singh Bedi from Lovely Professional University on the topic—‘A Contingency Approach to Entrepreneurial Orientation—Business Performance Relationship’.
- Best Paper Award for Doctoral Colloquium—Paper by Sonal Thukral from Sriram College of Commerce on the topic—‘Financing Pattern of Outward Foreign Direct Investment by Indian Multinational Enterprises’.
Conference Coordinator, Shweta Gupta then gave the vote of thanks. The conference concluded with lot of enthusiasm among the participants, who got an opportunity to learn skills for better research and publications.