Will Microsoft ‘Academic’ get the better of Google ‘Scholar’?

I am a research scholar in the area of ‘Entrepreneurship’. Considering the continuing difficulty of finding the right papers, I have found Google Scholar a real boon. Though recently many other academic social networks (sources of articles) have sprung up (Research Gate), most scholars still create Google Scholar Profiles. Here is mine.

Microsoft which had really lost out in the ‘search’ battle has come with a new product – ‘Academic’ to compete with ‘Scholar’, ‘Scopus’ and the like. But I think the real battle is only with Scholar. Scopus is paid, so unless ‘Academic’ dishes out the validity that ‘Scopus’ users complain about ‘Scholar’, they may not shift. But who knows what the future holds! It appears that almost everyone defaults to Scholar for scholarly search – even if they have other databases. So ‘Academic’ can probably give some exemplary services and attract even paid users to shift out. Here are some initial reviews about ‘Academic’. Though ‘Academic’ is still in its ‘Preview’ stage, it appears to have got some good things going for itself.

I am just about exploring it! Searching for myself I found that ‘Academic’ identified a new citation to one of my papers that still does not show up in ‘Scholar’ and ‘ResearchGate’!!

Sharing it with the readers (especially academics) here too – have a look, explore and see if it really serves you better than ‘Scholar’ and the likes!

Happy Exploring.

Book Reviews in Academic Journals

I always get asked why I read so many books!

I always get asked what I get by reviewing so many books!

Most people think I waste a lot of time writing book reviews for academic journals – since it does not really add up to my ‘academic currency’.

As with most other aspects of life, I felt I got an answer last week. A fellow doctoral student of mine walked up to me and said – ‘Thanks for your review of this title in The Journal of Entrepreneurship‘. It helped me with my questionnaire construction.’

Most people told me very few read reviews and most of them never get cited. So thats reason enough why one should not waste time writing them. But the above statement from a friend gave me some argument against all those voices who are against wasting time writing reviews. I am beginning to feel that this is a kind of commitment to the profession. I am sure ‘reviews’ themselves will be of different levels – some letting others know that a books exists to the other end of the spectrum where a review places the book in a continuum of existing knowledge.

Whatever be it, as a bibliophile, avid reader, and lover of everything books, I am delighted that my book reviewing efforts have borne fruit (tangibly). Though I have reduced the frenzy with which I was writing reviews, I still do a few every year. I now want to raise the level of the reviews I write. It will help me and my fellow explorers with some compasses to tread the ground.

My 2nd Babson Conference

It was great being there at the 37th Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC) hosted at the Michael F Price School of Business, University of Oklahoma, Norman. This was my second Babson (as people there refer to it). While the last time I was a doctoral consortium participant (competitively selected), this time I presented my first paper based on the thesis work.BCERC2017_Raj

I enjoyed my first paper presentation (Corporate Accelerators: A grounded study of its motives, manifestations and measures) at this prestigious conference. It was also my first paper co-authored with my mentor. I met a few of my fellow doctoral consortium participants – Mona, Jerone, Moyra, Beldina, Ida, Wei (hope I’m not missing anyone) and it was heartening to see their achievements and progress. You guys inspire!

I met many stars (Aldrich, Busenitz, Lumpkin, Landstorm, Patzelt, and others) in entrepreneurship research including Prof Robert Baron who won the Lifetime Achievement Award this year. His book ‘Enhancing Entrepreneurial Excellence’ was one of the first academic texts I read as a doctoral student. It was exciting to see his energy and enthusiasm.

I made new friends from across the world. All of them are scholars (some budding) with a keen interest in the phenomenon of entrepreneurship. We spent a lot of time laughing and chatting over trivia between sessions and during the social events.

The BCERC is a cool conference where you get to hear emerging ideas which will probably appear in journals a year or two down the line. It is also highly developmental with people giving each other feedback for improvement. Senior scholars are willing to give time and listen to our ideas and questions without any criticism.

As I told Georgia who is the most important person behind the conference – ‘I’m now a BCERC fan’ and hope to keep coming back to the conference every year (of course to present my research papers) and return ‘recharged and inspired’.

Thanks to the organising team of BCERC and Price School, Oklahoma for making this conference yet another memorable experience.

12th Biennial Conference on Entrepreneurship – My Experience

I have been attending the Biennial Conferences on Entrepreneurship hosted by The Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) starting from the 10th. This time I also had the privilege to be part of EDII hosting the grand event. The Twelfth Biennial was Chaired by Prof. Sasi Misra (Distinguished Psychologist) and hosted by Prof. Sunil Shukla (Director, EDII).

We had over a 100 researchers present and share their ideas at the conference. This time we also had a lot more time for each paper and a whole lot of discussions in and outside the session rooms. It was fun to see scholars debate their findings with peers from both within and outside of India. The proceedings (a two volume collection of 139 papers) was released on the inauguration by the popular and senior academic Prof. Pradip Khandwalla. He kickstarted the event with a memorable talk on why its time to re-look at entrepreneurship in the emerging country setting, especially India.

The Twelfth Biennial was also special as it hosted the Silver Jubilee Celebration of The Journal of Entrepreneurship (JoE) – a biannual academic journal published by Sage Publications. The event was graced by the two past Directors (Profs Awasthi and Patel) of EDII and the founding Editor (Prof. Dwijendra Tripathi). Each of their reminiscences of how the journal birthed and reached its 25th year was both touching and hilarious.

Mine was the first paper in the first technical session. I got done early and had the pleasure of listening to number of other presenters without worry! I had wonderful discussions outside the session rooms with scholars from India and abroad. Our discussions have also resulted in some exchange of contacts and possible future conversations. The hope is that some of these will result in collaborations in the future.

We had two special sessions – one by the GEM India Team on TEA in an Emerging Economy and the other, the Dr Elmar Stuhler Memorial Lecture delivered by Prof Helmut from Germany. His abstract ideas are always a trigger for deeper thinking.

I enjoyed the conference and now energised to do more work on my research. While attending conferences is to present our papers and gain feedback, it is equally to make new friends and catch up with older ones. I did all three! So overall it was three days well spent.

The next Biennial is two years away – and it will be special in its own way. As Dr Shukla mentioned during the Valedictory session, it will be the silver jubilee for the conferences too! Look forward to being there and enjoying the company of scholars in entrepreneurship.

Till then Happy Entrepreneuring!

Attending the 4th PAN IIM Conference at IIM Ahmedabad

It was good being there at the Fourth PAN IIM World Management Conference held between 13-15 December 2016 at IIM Ahmedabad. Out of about 850 submissions, less than 200 were chosen for presentation (paper presentation and poster presentation sessions). I was one of those 150-odd individuals to have their paper selected for presentation!!

Over the three days we met a number of senior professors from various disciplines within management. It was good catching up with number of doctoral students and candidates from institutes across India. It did help presenting my ideas at the conference and have some informal discussions around them.

I had people who simply thought what I was doing was ridiculous, some rubbished me and my work, some gave me encouragement, some showed interest and a few definitely did discuss future possibilities around my topic. It showed how and why academics (industry) is just like other sectors – filled with human beings of all kinds!! Nothing is different in education, though one would expect it to be (remember, holy profession!).

As one who loves teaching and research, I believe that there is tremendous opportunity for young scholars to make a mark in the Indian Higher Education industry – big changes taking place in disciplines, new disciplines emerging, people caught up in old ways of thinking, expanding universities/institutes (IIT, IIM, etc) creating fresh demands, and pockets across disciplines where the average scholarly output is really low. Any young and emerging scholar should see this as a great opportunity, act with entrepreneurial zeal and establish themselves firmly in their domains of interest. Considering the fact that India is being seen as the future land of opportunities and accepting the fact that the world wants to know more about India and Indian management, time is ripe for us to research, write and teach from here.

Let us (scholars) make use of this golden opportunity.

Think about it.

One among ASQ Blog’s Top Ten Posts in 2016

Seasons Greetings and New Year Wishes 2017!!

I am a big fan of the ‘Administrative Science Quarterly’ Journal (ASQ). I was excited when the possibility of interviewing the authors of one of its papers. I enjoyed reading the article as it was close to how I intended (research method) to do my doctoral work. The interview was even more enjoyable. The interview was posted during the second half of November 2016. Link: https://asqblog.com/2016/11/16/delmestri-greenwood-2016-how-cinderella-became-a-queen-theorizing-radical-status-change/

We are more than happy to share that the interview we (Shaya & I) conducted for the ASQ Blog turned up to be No. 4 of their ‘Top Ten Blog Posts’ in 2016. This is really cool considering that fact that we had only about 45 days of presence on the web that year.

We learned a lot by reading that article in the ASQ and especially from the interview that we conducted with the authors. We are happy that our interview was well received by scholars. Hope a lot more scholars (doctoral students in particular) benefit from the interview and the article.

The ASQ blog team wish you a productive and fruitful 2017! Here we present the list of top posts in 2016 on the ASQ blog: take a look and get drunk on some scholarly wisdom before you open the Happy New Year champagne!

1. A Conversation with Jerry Davis, ASQ Editor (2011 – 2016)

2. A Conversation with Charlene Zietsma, winner of the 2016 ASQ Award for Scholarly Contribution

3. Berg (2016). Balancing on the Creative Highwire: Forecasting the Success of Novel Ideas in Organizations

4. Delmestri & Greenwood (2016). How Cinderella Became a Queen: Theorizing Radical Status Change

5. Davis & Eisenhardt (2011). Rotating Leadership and Collaborative Innovation: Recombination Processes in Symbiotic Relationships

6. Michel (2011). Transcending Socialization: A Nine-Year Ethnography of the Body’s Role in Organizational Control and Knowledge Workers’ Transformation

7. Huang and Pearce (2015). Managing the Unknowable: The Effectiveness of Early-stage Investor Gut Feel in Entrepreneurial Investment Decisions

8. Rider (2012). How Employees’ Prior Affiliations Constrain Organizational Network Change: A Study of U.S. Venture Capital and Private Equity

9. Navis and Glynn (2010). How new market categories emerge: temporal dynamics of legitimacy, identity, and entrepreneurship in satellite radio, 1990-2005

10. Merluzzi & Phillips (2016). The Specialist Discount: Negative Returns for MBAs with Focused Profiles in Investment Banking.

via Top Posts of 2016 — The ASQ Blog

Moving beyond the Razor-Blade Business Model

Almost every Business Model Class speaks about Gillette’s excellent idea of what is now popularly known as the ‘Razor Blade Business Model’. So many companies have milked this model. Examples include: Camera Films, Mobiles, Games, etc

There are even examples of the ‘Reverse Razor Blade Business Models’. Example: Apple.

Here is a study from a professor (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0007681316000124) that questions if this model has lived its life and is facing its end-of-life. The study shows how the time has come for organisations to look at better pricing models. The environment in which we live today provides a lot more transparency and access. There are also institutional voids in emerging economies and Intellectual Property is not respected the same way as in the West. With so many new and changed forces, it is time for organisations to innovate with their business models and more importantly their revenue models.

Happy Reading and Happy Thinking!