By Dr. Surinder Batra,
Dean, School of Management Studies


Role of Social Media in International Academic Research
and Cooperation in Management Disciplines

In today’s complex world of social media dominating every section of the society in all countries, even management research has been caught in the whirlpool of social media. Increasingly, the scope of management research is global in terms of the geographical areas targeted by the researchers. For example, I have had the opportunity to be part of the Information System Dynamics Project of CIGREF Foundation, France, which aims at studying the long term impact of Information Technology on organizations, individuals and societies. The project mobilizes research expertise from several countries to plan and conduct research projects concerned with obtaining a comparative assessment of the impacts of IT in multiple geographical locations across continents. The driving factor of the project is of course the ubiquitous nature of modern day IT. Social media penetration in every walk of life is an integral part of this digital age. This is also increasingly being reflected in what is called in the Global IT Report 2012 as “hyper-connectivity”, thanks to the phenomenal growth in social media, mobility, cloud computing and analytics (what we commonly have started calling as SMAC).

How is social media influencing management research? We see several newly emerging trends.
  • Lot of management research is now being focused upon impact of social media on business. In fact, whole new disciplines variously called as digital marketing, Internet marketing etc. have emerged in the recent years.
  • Social media is increasingly being used as a means of designing “research instruments” in the form of on-line questionnaires and on-line Delphi applications.
  • The process of literature review in management research has undergone a paradigm shift. Gone are the days when literature review was confined to books and journals available in one’s institute library or borrowed through inter-library loan systems.  Search Engines such as Google and Bing provide us thousands of instantaneous results related to the topic of research, though quite a few of them turn out as irrelevant.
  • Wikipedia is perhaps the biggest source of what I call as preliminary knowledge about any subject on the earth. This wonderful facility of tapping knowledge instantaneously has a flip side as well, reflected in three risks. These are (i) the risk of unsubstantiated or even false information/ knowledge; (ii) risk of plagiarism; and (iii) risk of incorrect referencing in research.
  • Blogs help contemporary researchers to share and co-create knowledge. There exist innumerable resources in the blogosphere which help the researchers develop a continuing link with professionals in their respective fields to deliberate upon research topics of their common interest. This is also seen as what is typically called “Communities of Practice”, wherein discussions on common threads among researchers and academicians can continue endlessly. The output of all this endless blogging and commenting with active participation of the blogger and the readers is what might be termed as informal insightful research on the issues being blogged about.
  • Lot of Blogs exist which provide guidelines to researchers on how to effectively use social media for their research. is one typical blog singing the virtues of using social media in academic research and providing guidelines on how to remain focused. Another resource is, the University College London Website, providing a link on the role of social media in academia. Blog Post by Peter Phillips on this site give his account of a social media and academics workshop, narrating views of different speakers at a UCL event on this subject. The site itself provides useful guidelines for effectively using various social media tools in academic research.
  • Formal research in the form of published papers in Journals has received a fillip in the recent years. There exists a plethora of on-line journals as well as classical hard copy journals today. On-line editorial platforms exist which help the authors submit their papers; reviewers give their comments; and editors take decision on acceptance or rejection of a paper, all through the tools created on the editorial platform. The advantages of this include anonymity, traceability and speed (though there is a question mark on whether the lead time in publishing a paper in a journal has reduced or not).
  • Another important trend is on-line announcement of research conferences which provide information to the researchers and help them identify venues and conference organizers which match their academic interest and at the same time give them an opportunity to see new places. This commonly happens though LinkedIn or even Face book (though LinkedIn is more known for professional networking and Face book, more for social informal information sharing among your family friends).
  • Besides, conference related backroom activity such as keeping track of submission of papers, getting them reviewed, accepting or rejecting decisions and keeping the conference participants informed, are happening effectively through tools such as Easy Chair and Abstract Review etc.
  • Though Twitter has been cited as an important social media tool, I am not very sure whether it is being used extensively in academic research per se. I see this more as a tool for celebrities to share the trivia in their life with their followers and also as a means of assessing their popularity by comparing the number of followers with other tweeters.
  • In the context of academic teaching and learning, we find very interesting and growing examples of tools such as On-line Learning & Teaching, Moodle and Blackboard, etc., which provide facilities to the faculty and students share the resource material, help conduct on-line evaluation, monitor academic progress and remain in touch with each other through group mail etc. At IMT Ghaziabad, the student body came out with IMT G Connect, a platform for the students and faculty to share interesting material with each other. I had created a section called “Extra Bytes” to share additional information and resource material for students who are interested to pursue advanced or exploratory research in topics of their interest.
  • YouTube has been also cited as an important social media tool. I have seen it predominantly as a tool for entertainment through watching videos. But there is also a plethora of resource material on YouTube in the form of lectures, instructional videos, animated videos giving glimpses of new technology etc.
In conclusion one can say that social media has quietly and irreversibly penetrated the world of academic research in management disciplines. What we see happening is just a tip of the iceberg; innovation has no limits and social media use has no boundaries. Perhaps in a year from now, what has been written on this blog may already sound old-fashioned.

By Dr. Surinder Batra,
Dean, School of Management Studies


We are not in the top league; therefore, we try harder!

It is well known that a management degree is an important qualification today in the world of business. It prepares you for career options in different fields of management in business, industry and Government. You can have marketing finance, operations, or even international business as your domain of expertise and you can get absorbed in many a lucrative sectors, which are growing in India.

There are a large number of management institutes, and those in the top league such as the IIMs are regarded in great esteem world over. On the other extreme, many management schools have mushroomed all over the country. What then is so special about the School of Management Studies (SMS) at Ansal University? Well, the answer is that we at SMS have taken several initiatives which reflect our commitment to impart quality management education to the students chosing to pursue an MBA or a BBA degree at Ansal University. We are not in the top league, but we aspire to be there; and we are steadily working towards that goal.

MBA and BBA Programs at Ansal University will give you a new experience of trans-disciplinary learning. Students from multiple disciplines jointly work on real life projects and pool their varied expertise to solve real life problems during the tenure of their studies at AU. Besides, we strongly believe that soft skills are necessary supplement to the work-related knowledge and skills which the students must acquire during their management education. We have therefore embedded the learning of soft skills in all our management programmes through dedicated courses and unique pedagogy. The learning of soft skills helps our students gain confidence, enhance their communication skills and develop good inter-personal skills and teamwork abilities—attributes, which are so critically sought by the employers today!

A special treat for those of you who are interested in a career in the hospitality industry is our under-graduation programme in Hotel Management & Catering Technology. This sector has grown phenomenally in the country and we are in the process of collaborating with some of the leading hotel chains and other organizations in this sector to provide internship and placement opportunities to our hotel management students.

We at SMS boast of an aesthetic academic environment, a well-equipped infrastructure to support teaching and student-based activities and sports facilities to provide you the necessary recreation facilities outside the class room. Our sister schools, namely, Sushant School of Art & Architecture and Sushant School of Design are among top leading institutions in their respective domains today. We, along with them, have inherited the three decade old legacy of Ansal Group in the higher education sector in India.

Should you have any queries about our MBA, BBA or Hotel Management Programmes, please feel free to contact me.