Exploring the latest trends in management literature podcast

The series Review of Management Literature gives cutting-edge insight on the emerging concepts, theories, and research trends across all management disciplines. Here, the Series Editor sheds light on the creation of this series, how it has influenced him, and been influenced by him, and the ‘state-of-the-union’ of management research. We also discuss, in brief, the major changes, trends, and developments in management research since the 1980s, and contemplate the factors driving those changes.

The most recent volume in the series includes research on general management and public policy, finance and economics, marketing, human resource management, operations and information system management, and international business, strategy, and entrepreneurship. Written in an engaging yet authoritative way, the volume gives quick insights in research trends and developments across subject areas while providing extensive information and guidance for those researchers seeking to explore further research.

Speaker profile:

Dr. Sudhir Rana is a faculty of marketing and strategy at the College of Healthcare Management & Economics at Gulf Medical University, UAE. His research areas are in Consumer Behaviour, Organizational Performance, Emerging Markets and Business Education. Dr. Rana holds Ph.D. degree with the Ministry of Human Resource Development Scholarship from Government of India and Post – Doctorate from Putra Business School (AACSB Accredited), Universiti of Putra, Malaysia. Dr. Rana is academically associated with the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Nagpur, Fortune Institute of International Business, India and Putra Business School, Malaysia. 

In this episode:

  • How has management literature changed over the years? 
  • What are the emerging trends in management research?
  • What is the importance of striking a balance between technology and the human element in management research and practice?
  • How is the field of management evolving and adapting to the changing needs of society? 

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Exploring the latest trends in management literature with Sudhir Rana

Hello and welcome to the Emerald Podcast Series! I'm Thomas, and today I have the pleasure of speaking with Sudhir Rana, Associate Professor at the College of Health Care Management and Economics, Gulf Medical University, UAE. Sudhir is the Co-editor-in-chief of the Emerald journal South Asian Journal of Marketing and the Series editor of Review of Management. He specializes in conducting conceptual and literature review-based studies and has contributed to over 200 workshops and sessions on literature review.

Sudhir Rana (SR): I work as an Associate Professor and Program Director at the College of Healthcare Management and Economics. My research focuses on emerging markets, consumer behaviour, and business education. I have a particular passion for conducting conceptual and literature review-based studies, which started during my PhD and has continued to shape the papers I work on.

Thomas Felix Creighton (TFC): Could you tell us a bit about your PhD research?

SR: Sure. My PhD research was driven by various considerations, as I initially had some confusion about the topic. However, I ultimately decided to explore the intersection of international business and strategy, with a specific focus on international markets. It has been an incredible journey, transitioning from international markets to emerging markets and studying consumer behaviour in these contexts. I always try to make my research enjoyable.

TFC: It's always fascinating to hear about the journey that leads to a research topic. What inspired you to establish this podcast series?

SR: That's a really interesting question, and it's close to my heart. During my PhD, I encountered numerous challenges and questions due to the abundance of literature available in various journals and research books, indexed in databases like Scopus or Clarivate. There are well-regarded research sources that business scholars tend to follow, such as COC SBDC and ABS ranking. In the business domain, there are hundreds of journals, some with hundreds of papers and others with thousands. Keeping track of all the journals and their publications is truly difficult, especially for young scholars who are selecting PhD topics. Literature review papers played a crucial role for me during that time, providing guidance on future research areas to explore. This is what sparked my interest in literature review papers. I realized that these papers are invaluable for scholars, especially young ones, as they provide guidelines for their work. However, there weren't enough dedicated outlets exclusively for literature review papers. While there are outlets like the Academy of Management Reviews, submitting and getting published there can be challenging for young scholars due to limited space and diverse topics of interest across geographies and changing business landscapes. So, I identified a need in the scholarly community and saw an opportunity to establish this series, which caters to specific domains and addresses the challenges faced by scholars. Each volume of the series focuses on different perspectives, allowing us to serve scholars in specific domains. I believe this series will be valuable and help scholars overcome their challenges.

TFC: Can you share the most rewarding aspects of being involved in this endeavour?

SR: It is a challenging journey, but also highly rewarding. In the teaching profession, we continuously need to learn in order to effectively teach. Being a series editor and participating in various volumes requires investing sufficient time to understand the research domain, debates, discussions, and the changing thought process. This, in turn, allows us to interact with different researchers from around the world, which is fascinating. It's a win-win situation where we learn a lot and also contribute to the community. I consider it a personal growth opportunity as well. Learning, interacting, contributing, and building a network of researchers are the most rewarding aspects of being involved.

TFC: That sounds fantastic. Can I ask just a very, very, very general question. I was an experienced manager. I'd say that between ‘day one’ as a manager and ‘day… however many thousands’, my views changed quite a bit. Have you found that your views have changed over the course of researching management? What changes have you noticed in management literature over the years?

SR: Management literature has evolved tremendously over the years, and that's an interesting question. When I started my career, there was a significant focus on business strategy and related topics. However, now it has transitioned into more diverse areas. Today, we talk about artificial intelligence (AI) big data analytics, and many other topics that were not part of management literature earlier. Technology has influenced management literature to a great extent. However, it's important to remember that management is all about humans. So, while technology is a key driver, the human perspective remains significant. We cannot ignore that, especially when it comes to topics like leadership or motivation. So, while there is a shift towards technology-driven research, the human aspect is still essential. One thing is that I always see is that management is not only content, it's also a perspective. So, for example, the challenges that you come across, you solve it your way. I may have the same challenges, but my strategies or my way are different. For solving this challenge, somebody else may have a different way of addressing this challenge. Management is mostly the best practices of management, or as much as policy based, or equally the perspective based. So, you need to have your perspective. And that perspective will give you more sense of satisfaction will bring more of your experience into the practice. So, the practice and practice perspectives that goes hand in hand for example, you're driving a car, and as long as you drive it you have perspective so many times you will not ever even thinking about what whether you're a foot is on the pedal, the car goes on. And with the same speed, even though you're thinking of something else. So, these perspectives, keep your decisions well on time, and help you in choosing the right path and the decision. So, this makes you, the Decision Makers. And as much as you keep nurturing the perspective, they also make you the Problem Solvers over a period of time. So, you don't just think about your perspective, you also start thinking about others perspective. So, of course, it gets into perspective change over a period of time with more readings by having more experiences in touch.

TFC: Absolutely, striking a balance between technology and the human element is important. Are there any emerging trends that you see in management research?

SR: Definitely. One trend I have observed is the shift towards interdisciplinary research. Management researchers are now collaborating with researchers from different fields like psychology, sociology, economics, and more. This interdisciplinary approach allows for a holistic understanding of management issues. Another emerging trend is the focus on emerging markets. The world is changing rapidly, and emerging markets are becoming crucial players in the global business landscape. So, there is a growing interest in studying these markets and understanding their unique challenges and opportunities. Additionally, research is becoming more relevant to practitioners. Earlier, research used to be purely academic and focused on theoretical aspects. Now, there is a greater emphasis on practical implications and how research can be applied in real-world scenarios. These are some of the emerging trends I see in management research.

TFC: That's fascinating. It's great to see how the field is evolving and adapting to the changing needs of society and businesses. Thank you so much for joining me today, Sudhir. It was a pleasure talking to you.

SR: Thank you, Thomas. It was my pleasure.

TFC: Thank you for listening to today's episode. For more information about our guest a full transcript of today's episode, please see our show notes on our website. I would like to thank Nick Wallwork and Daniel Ridge for their help with today's episode and Alex Jungius from ‘This is Distorted’. You've been listening to the Emerald Podcast Series.

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