Mukesh Kumar teaches Managerial Communications at IIM Amritsar. Before joining this Institute, he worked with IMT Nagpur, IIM Raipur, Amity Noida and Google India Private Ltd. During his tenure at Google India, he conducted training programs on internal and external communications for Google employees. Over the years, he has conducted several MDPs on communication related themes for IOCL, IMA-Dehradun, BSF Academy, Gwalior, etc. He was awardedhis doctorate in Linguistics from JNU, New Delhi, for the thesis titled ‘Interlingual Errors in the Writing Samples of the Undergraduate Students in Bihar.’ His research interests include ‘second language learning,’ ‘pubic speaking anxiety,’ ‘crisis communication,’ ‘persuasive communication,’etc. Besides these, over the last three years, he has published many cases in the areas of Marketing and Communications. His cases are available through case publishing houses like Ivey Publishing, HBR and Case Centre. In June 2017, one of his cases titled ‘When the Tone of an Email Went Wrong’ was featured in the bestseller list.
Question: What is the future of management research?
This question is too big for an assistant professor. You would not have a single answer or a very comprehensive answer to this question where this research will lead and what kind of research will be doing, and I am not that experienced to make a comprehensive comment about it. My perspective is still limited to marketing and organizational behavior, communication and in these areas, I have worked, and I feel in next four-five years I see people working a lot on analytics and digital platform related issues or digital context will be revealed for relevant management research, how human values empathy and these things will get affected because of technological advancement. These are some of the tricky questions on which people are working on at present, and I think this trend will continue for some more years. Things will evolve. In operations, I hear that they are working on block-chain and artificial intelligence. That’s affecting some of the core functions they are doing so far. I feel its more digital artificial intelligence and human interaction these will be the trends in the near future. But as I said, I am too young to make comments on this broad and comprehensive question.
Question: How can professors contribute to the ongoing collaborations of the institute or industry?
In my experience, how research happens is through networks. We primarily work with people we know, and we are introduced. Even if I am working in an area if someone is interested at, they will not approach me directly they will want someone to introduce them to me, or I will find someone to introduce me to someone. So I feel this area need much work it is not evolved yet. People go through the current trends like journals, journal site, or google scholar; these are some platforms where you find some interesting research, or you may want to connect with researchers. But it is not happening at a vast scale in India. They will work with their contacts. With people, they had earlier known as a colleague or met them in some conferences. So this area needs a lot of its too fuzzy as if now. I want to say the platform what you are creating those will help connect faster and with the right kind of people.
Question: What type of online collaboration do you need?
When you go on linked-in you have an option that is you looking for a job, if you make that option active then employers will start sending you messages and try to convert, and the same thing goes for research, if someone is looking for collaboration, there is an option of being available that I wish to collaborate, I want to collaborate is Asia, America. I want someone from these places, so if there is a collaboration option that is going to be active that I am actively looking for collaboration from this areas, and they are available for this window when I would want some collaboration, so in that way, people will approach the right kind of audiences. This kind of feature will be helpful because otherwise you talk to people and they will have their other motivation. When it is known to the audience that there is a possibility of collaboration, then the convergence rate will be much higher.
I work on case studies. I love writing a case study and drive for me is we do not have enough India specific cases. The maximum case studies that are taught are from Harvard, Ivey. Ivey has many Indian cases. However, it is not sufficient as if now in every area the dependencies will be 50% on the other territories. So if I am teaching negotiation. I would have to depend upon the text of Canada or U.S or India. Hardly any cases available for economics I would be happy to hire a few people. Case writing requires good writing skills. I would be happy to take students on work. Generally how I select because I have said that people work with their network and their contacts. If the top 2 or top 3 in my class are interested in writing with me, I will approach them. I do not make it public out of class if some students have secured A or A+ , I will give an offer to them to write a case with me. That’s how I approach. Still, I think we are not much comfortable in working with researchers in remote locations. It is a desire that we wish to work in a remote location, but it is still not working. I have worked with one of the leading tech companies and we heavily dependent on these video conference calls, but the virtual connection is not real, and we will have to enhance augment its features so that the things will work like real-time connect that’s still an issue. That is the reason why I select the students from the institute or from my network.