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Good Universities or Good Students?

Are the top ranked universities the best places to study or do research?

I ask this because after talking to a number of PhD students studying in the UK, it appears that doctoral researchers in lower ranked Universities get more help and are often better supervised than students in some of the so called "top ranked" universities.

For example, at one doctoral conference I met this brilliant chap who was presenting a poster. He was doing his PhD in one of the "top ranked" Universities in the UK and his supervisor is a leading academics in the field of Marketing. Of course I asked how it was like being supervised by the renowned Professor. Imagine my surprise when I learnt that he had met his supervisor only TWICE ever since he started his PhD and he was already in his second year. And he is not the only one. I know of several guys in top universities narrating their frustration with the lack of good supervision and how their supervisors had sat on their drafts/ repor…

Profile on Coventry University website

My profile is finally on the Coventry University website.

Check it out here: http://wwwm.coventry.ac.uk/researchnet/cucv/pages/Profile.aspx?profileID=585


PhD Acknowledgements

In the name of God, most Gracious, most Merciful.

I wish to express my sincere appreciation to those who have contributed to this thesis and supported me in one way or the other during this amazing journey.

First of all, I am extremely grateful to my main supervisor, Professor Qing Wang, for her guidance and all the useful discussions and brainstorming sessions, especially during the difficult conceptual development stage. Her deep insights helped me at various stages of my research. I also remain indebted for her understanding and support during the times when I was really down and depressed due to personal family problems.

My sincere gratitude is reserved for Professor Lloyd C. Harris for his invaluable insights and suggestions. I really appreciate his willingness to meet me at short notice every time and going through several drafts of my thesis. I remain amazed that despite his busy schedule, he was able to go through the final draft of my thesis and meet me in less than a week …

First week as a Lecturer at Coventry University

Today marks the end of my first week at The department of Marketing and Advertising at Coventry University Business School.

This is my first full time job in the UK and I finally got it after 5 unsuccessful interviews.I am really happy as Coventry University is ranked higher than some of the other Universities which rejected me and it also means that I do not have to re-locate to another city.

My office is located at the historic William Morris building which dates from 1916 and is named after the founder of the Morris car company. They used to build the engines here.

The staff are really friendly and helpful and I have settled in quite well. Today I also finally got my staff card and university email id. Going through the numerous security locked doors every time I wanted to go to toilet or grab a bite, has been really frustrating and I had a strange feeling of freedom being able to roam around the corridors of the William Morris building without having to ask someone for help to get…

Academic promotions at Harvard

I recently participated in a seminar on HBS Case Teaching at the Warwick Business School, which was run by Grier Palmer who is Assistant Dean, Teaching and Learning at the school. He had recently gone to Harvard for a short course and was sharing his experiences.

One of the interesting things he shared among others, was an insight into promotions of academics at Harvard.

In most Universities, the most important criteria for academic promotions are publications. I have had several academics telling me that the secret to success in an academic career all boils down to how many papers you have published in high ranking journals.

One academic even told me that it does not even matter if your teaching "sucks" as long as you have regular publications in top ranking journals. Apparently, in Harvard it is slightly different. The most important criteria is getting publications out but over there they are more interested in case studies. Not surprising as case studies are a major so…

Sample size in Quantitative studies

Is your sample size sufficient for your quantitative analysis? This is a question that a lot of doctoral researchers ask. I guess it depends on the type of analysis used. My PhD research looked at blog readers and I used Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) to analyse my data. I used the following to justify my sample size.
For factor analysis, according to Hair et al., (2010), a sample should preferably be more than 100 for factor analysis to proceedHowever,  according to Tabachnick and Fidell (2007 p. 613), it should be higher than 300 cases, the number that is considered “comfortable”. If you are doing SEM: A ratio of ten responses per free parameters is required to obtain trustworthy estimates (Bentler and Chou, 1987).Others suggest a rule of thumb of ten subjects per item in scale development, is prudent (Flynn and Pearcy 2001).However, if data is found to violate multivariate normality assumptions, the number of respondents per estimated parameter increases to 15 (Bentler and Chou…

Passed my Viva

I finally passed my PhD viva with minor corrections last Thursday (4th of August, 2011). My external examiner was Prof Amanda Broderick, Professor of Marketing & Deputy Dean (Queens Campus) of Durham Business School while my internal examiner was Dr. Scott Dacko, Associate Professor of Marketing & Strategic. Warwick Business School - two of the nicest people.

The journey was hard was it was well worth it in the end.

Read my blog post about it on the PhD Life blog "My Viva – Light at the end of the tunnel".

On the Knowledge Centre website

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Just found out that I am on the University of Warwick Knowledge Centre site. Check out my short video clip of an interview on blogging, which I have uploaded on YouTube.

Related link: "What type of blogger are you?" Quiz.

Non-normal data and SEM

There are a number of interesting discussions going on in the Doctorate Support Group on Facebook. One of the more recent discussion was started by one of the members who had normality issues with her data.

Normality is an issue because it is one of the basic assumptions required in order to carry out structural equation modelling (SEM) analysis (BYRNE, B. M. (2010) Structural equation modeling with AMOS: Basic concepts, application and programming, New York, Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group.).

Normality means that the distribution of the data is normally distributed with mean=0, standard deviation=1 and a symmetric bell shaped curve. Normally the Skewness and Kurtosis measures are checked:

Skewness: value should be within the range ±1 for normal distribution.Kurtosis: Value should be within range ±3 for normal distribution.
So what happens when your data is non-normal?

You don't have to worry unless the departure from normality is very severe.

1. Several studies have shown tha…

Presentation on teaching with blogs

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Finally put up the video of my Presentation on teaching with blogs on YouTube. The clip is quite long (1 hours 1 minute and 42 secs).


Does your first degree even matter?

I was going through the CVs of some eminent professors at the Warwick Business School and I was quite surprised when I found out that the first degree of a number of them was not business related. An excellent example is Peter Corvi who is the Associate Dean (Undergraduate Programme) and Professorial Teaching Fellow in Finance at WBS. Looking at his CV, I discovered that he has a BSc Mathematical Physics (Edinburgh), MASt Mathematics (Cambridge) and PhD Theoretical Physics (Edinburgh). And now he teaches Finance.

There are several other academics whose first degree were not business/ management related including engineering, agriculture, architecture and so on but they are all now teaching business and management related subjects in business schools.

I have a background in Forestry (BSc Forestry and MSc Forest Products) and I am now doing a PhD in Marketing looking at consumer attitudes towards blogs and sponsored posts on blogs. Like a lot of people, I was able to make this huge mo…

Presentation on teaching with blogs

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This Wednesday, I delivered a presentation on 'Teaching with blogs' along with Peter Kirwan from the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick. This presentation was part of the Window on Teaching sessions at the University of Warwick.

While Peter talked about his experiences on teaching using blogs, I talked about increasing the interactivity of the blogs and integrating with social networks.

For more information and to watch a video of the presentation click this link 'Teaching With Blogs'.

Update:  My Powerpoint slides on Social Media

Academics start working with Wikipedia

With the aim of making Wikipedia more credible, I started the Credible Wikipedia page on Facebook some time back and even blogged about it on the PhD Life blog. Unfortunately, I haven't received the support that I imagined that I would get here in the UK or from my friends in Malaysia.

However, academics across the Atlantic are quite proactive and recently the Association for Psychological Science is urging their members to join the APS Wikipedia Initiative in order to "deploy the power of Wikipedia to represent scientific psychology as fully and as accurately as possible".

I foresee the beginning of something huge.

Welcome to Dilipmutum.com

This is where I note down my thoughts on my current research, marketing issues, social networking and other topics of interest.