The Department of Management Studies (DoMS), IIT Madras, offers internationally reputed research programmes at the Masters and Doctoral levels. The more than 100 research scholars pursuing research in DoMS form one of the largest and finest groups of Management researcher scholars globally. The research works have focused on the functional areas of Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, Operations and Manufacturing, Systems and Information Technology Management, and in management theories, concepts, methodologies and practices pertaining to Organizational Quality and Productivity, Effectiveness and Efficiency, Culture, Climate, Behaviour and Change, Performance Evaluation and Capability Analysis, Knowledge and Learning, Strategy and Decision Making, Projects, Safety and Occupational Health, Social Responsibility, Entrepreneurship, etc. The research work has also covered a wide variety of socio-economic/business sectors and large systems including Agriculture, Education, R&D, Healthcare, Energy, Railways, Transportation, Telecommunications, Public Distribution, Banking, IT and ITES, Machine Tools, Tourism, Retail, Urban Systems, Stock Markets, Waste Management, and Disaster Management.

DoMS is recognized by peer Institutions as a comprehensive, high quality management research institution in the region. Often a few scholars from other countries, especially from Europe and USA, have preferred to spend a semester or two here working with the faculty on their research problems. DoMS has earned this stature by earnestly seeking to realize its vision to be a globally unique and most valuable source of knowledge, insight, creativity and expertise in management thought and practice. Its guiding principle is Quiet Excellence Demonstrated (QED). In this unending journey through research excellence, the Department has steadily built upon the strong foundations of its research philosophy research is vital for shaping individuals who will make a unique, significant and valuable difference to the nation and the world. The research culture in the Department is characterized by the oxymoron serious fun. All of DoMS research scholars value their research as the primary source of enjoyment and fulfillment.

Research Programmes at DoMS

Beginning from the 1970s, the research programmes of DoMS_IITM have been marked with intellectual rigor and passion to quench the continuing thirst for knowledge. The Department offers the MS (by Research), MS (Entrepreneurship) and Ph.D. research programmes. Research work in the Institute is categorized into pure academic research; industry initiated research and sponsored research in collaboration with corporate, professional research bodies and government agencies.

The doctoral research programme of DoMS is designed to

  • prepare and provide exceptional faculty resources for management teaching and research,
  • offer advanced management education in niche fields through knowledge creation and transfer, and
  • expand the body of knowledge comprising all aspects of management.

A unique facet of the research environment at DoMS is the eclectic scholar mix characterized by students from various parts of the country having diverse socio-economic backgrounds and wide ranging experience in industry as well as academics. The research scholars resolutely drive interdisciplinary knowledge exchanges and derive significant intellectual benefits. The programme lays emphasis on research scholars building a strong theoretical foundation, and developing a deep, interdisciplinary understanding of real-world application of theory.

Research Output of DoMS

The research work and the routines and practices of the Department are well intertwined. While extensive research work is being carried out in the area of Knowledge Management (KM), the scholars practice this formally and informally by sharing among themselves their unique knowledge of creating, sharing and utilizing knowledge in general. Regular KM practices include weekly seminars that extend beyond the research areas of the scholars, interactive sessions with guest faculty on several aspects of management, theory and methodology workshops conducted by experts from other academic institutions as well as industry, and field trips that combine learning and fun.

Recent doctoral theses in the area of Knowledge Management (KM) have focused on establishing empirical evidence of KM practices (knowledge creation, utilization and sharing), the enabling conditions for KM and the extent of influence of KM on organizational effectiveness. The specific contexts of these theses include KM in R&D organizations and in product development. The studies have focused on knowledge transfer between individuals, specifically in product development work in manufacturing organizations and understanding its antecedents and consequences. Considering both aspects of knowledge, explicit and tacit, knowledge transfer is characterized by the processes of codification and personalization. The relationship between each process type and organizational efficiency as well as effectiveness has been researched.

Contrastingly, researchers have also attempted to throw light on more subtle concepts such as emotions and spirituality in organizational behavior. For instance, the relationship between emotional contagion (spread of emotions) and team performance has been examined. Differentiating between positive and negative spread of emotions, the structure of the relationships among the underlying variables has been established. What remained uncharted territory a decade ago, the nature of spirituality as manifested in the workplace has been explored by DoMS researchers in terms of its relationship with burnout, job satisfaction, organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior.

As organizational performance can be studied along multiple dimensions, the researchers have also extensively explored the functional area of operations management in terms of supply chain management, vehicle routing, manufacturing systems configuration, production planning and scheduling, inventory optimization, industrial ergonomics, etc. The researchers have employed analytical, heuristic, meta-heuristic and experimental methods for analyzing and optimizing operations in different contexts.

From inventory management to information sharing, we have researchers covering a wide range of topics that are relevant to the worlds of theory and practice. For instance, a research on multi-level supply chains with multiple products has considered the effects of sharing information such as demand data and production capacity on supply chain effectiveness. The effects of substitution, the extent and direction of information sharing (from supplier to customer or vice-versa) have also been researched upon.

The research on vehicle routing has provided organizations with novel solutions to overcome bottlenecks in terms of cost and time. Validation and usability of the model are two fundamental criteria forming the bedrock of the research work. How do researchers work on heavy duty logistics? Here, researchers are involved in uncommon research problems such as optimization of freight train traffic and military logistics. Problems in these areas are particularly complex and extremely difficult to solve analytically. However, using their creative juices, DoMS researchers have published innovative and award-winning solutions to these problems and opened up new avenues of research. Again, these works have exemplified Quiet Excellence Demonstrated.

In addition to the internal organizational factors that impact performance, external factors are also researched upon here. After all, the primary objective of business organizations is maximizing profitability/shareholder value, and they do so by selling their products/services in the market to customers. So, to what extent does customer support and feedback play a role in shaping the policies of an organization? In the context of the Information Technology hardware industry in India, researchers have built models that link organizational decisions with customer responses.

Marketing is about promoting products, attracting customers, influencing their buying decisions, developing markets, increasing customer loyalty and so on. Competing companies wanting to maximize customer purchase use/abuse the concept of sales promotions and discounts. A key research finding born out of an intense work of a scholar is that sales promotions do not always create brand equity in customers minds. The thesis analyzed the differential impact of Consumer Franchise Building (CFB) against Non-Consumer Franchise Building (non-CFB) promotions on Brand Equity. In a different context, another researcher focused on the tourism industry to unravel the underlying dimensions of service quality and its impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty in India. This work is being used by another scholar pursuing the MS (Entrepreneurship) programme to propose a novel business model to develop rural eco-tourism.

The financial services industry is sure to reap benefits from our research on the perception of risk by investors, mental accounting patterns and the differences in steady-state investor behaviour during situations of temporary intrinsic bubbles, permanent intrinsic bubbles and speculative bubbles. Another research examining the effects of futures market indexes on spot market indexes revealed that introduction of index futures reduced volatility in the spot markets and improved information efficiency contributing to a stable long run equilibrium relationship between the futures and spot markets.

Research Environment at DoMS

As mentioned above, the culture of research in DoMS is characterized by serious fun. DoMS attracts young scholars for whom learning is a passion and research is an exciting and disciplined intellectual journey. The prizes, awards, honours, accolades and quick career promotions earned by our research alumni in some of the most reputed multinational and national organizations bear ample testimony to their learning and living experiences at DoMS. They have served as fine examples of our Departments operative principle, Quiet Excellence Demonstrated (QED). The internalization of this principle among our scholars motivates them to continually explore new frontiers of knowledge and push the limits of research excellence.

It is therefore no wonder that our research scholars have won international best thesis awards, publish their works in reputed international and national journals and win awards in almost every prestigious conference and symposium they participate in. They are also offered attractive careers by globally renowned organizations and post-doctoral fellowships by the finest Universities/Institutions worldwide. Also, many graduate students of DoMS have gone on to earn doctoral degrees from other prestigious Universities. The Departments internationally renowned faculty whose intellectual work is regularly published by the most reputed journals, and whose expertise is frequently sought by industry and government, are the foundation for the enviable research environment in DoMS.

Nurturing a fine culture of warmth, openness, transparency and autonomy that is conducive to high quality research and having state-of-the-art research infrastructure, a cutting-edge curriculum and coursework characterized by academic intensity, DoMS continues with its journey to realize its vision.