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Iowa City, Iowa

What an amazing experience. Look at how many smiley faces, these expressions don't lie. If you are looking for me, you can spot me in the 4th row from the bottom right corner.

At this doctoral consortium, I had the chance of meeting the best scholars and the best future scholars of the world in a very informal environment. On the human side, it is nice to be able to meet motivated and successful individuals and to be able to create life-long bonds. On the professional side, it is incredible to be able to attend talks about practical topics such as getting your first job, managing your early career, teaching effectiveness, and writing well.

Although it was hard to choose, I attended these sessions out of the whole program. If you have not participated to this doctoral consortium you might find these main takeaways quite interesting.

New Research Technology
Speakers: Markus Giesler, Jeff Inman, Ying Xie, Bill Hedgcock

In this session, I found the following to be extremely interesting and worth looking into:

  • Web scraping.  Web scraping is data scraping used for extracting data from websites. Although it can be done manually, for our research purposes it is advisable to automate it based on some key criteria. In the past, I had used, a free user-friendly software, to scrape data for my Body Ownership paper. Unfortunately, it is now not free anymore and this is the problem with most "user-friendly" software. In this talk, they advise to use Python programming language to build a web crawler and I think that programming is the only way out spending lots of many for ready made software, and it allows more flexibility.
  • Facial Action Coding System (FACS). The FACS is a tool for measuring facial expressions. It is an anatomical system for describing all observable facial movement. It breaks down facial expressions into individual components of muscle movement. This tool is used to determine whether an individual is experiencing a certain emotion. Back in the days, for emotion research experiments, trained coders would read the manual and code participants' facial expression. Today, this function is automated and integrated into software. The software that was mentioned in the talk was Affectiva. I only knew about the Noldus' FaceReader because I attended a presentation of the software that was given at INSEAD by one of the company reps. I was thinking about using a FACS tool for my research on disgust and now I have more options to look into.
  • Collaborative Networks. Nowadays, we are witnessing an increase in the number of research collaborations, not only within our field (e.g., universities, organizations, companies), but also with external agents (e.g., governments, media groups, think thanks. To learn more about how to build collaborations to boost your scholar brand, read this presentation by Markus Giesler, and visit the website where he managed to institutionalize these collaborations.

Effective Teaching: Using Simulations and Case Teaching
Speakers: June Cotte, John Deighton, Goutam Chakraborty

The main takeaways for this session on case teaching are:

  • Cases are the best way to teach leaders. You need to create learning teams, and explain to your students that they should prep individually at home, but come to discuss and learn in class.
  • Tips for new case teachers: 1) Don't over prepare. Students sense when your leading style is fake and unnatural. 2) Don't under prepare. If you need to carry out some calculations, write your math down. 3) Show no fear. As a teacher, you need to take control of the discussion and don't show uncertainty. 
  • Common mistakes to avoid when teaching cases: 1) Do not look confuse while listening. Do not put your finger to the chin, make eye contact instead. 2) Don't be mean. Do not tackle a person when they say something obviously wrong, paraphrase and let them see the mistake by themselves. 3) Talk only when needed. Let students debate each other, do not have them talk to you. 4) Do not over paraphrase their answers. Don't let them think that you don't care about what they say.
  • Powerpoint slides should be used for preparation, not for presentation. Time in class is important, interact with your students instead of lecturing them.
  • Wrap up a class always by asking students to list the main takeaway points even if you have a slide ready to use.
  • When you use either big box simulations (e.g., Markstrat) or HBR simulations (e.g., pricing simulation) in class always lead them through the discovery process as if your were their coach not their teacher. Moreover, when the simulation is done and the teams are given their results, always pick the losing team and make them reason about their failure. Reasoning is learning.

Meet the Editors of the Consumer Behavior Journals
Speakers: Darren Dahl, Amna Kirmani, Murali Mantrala, Robert Palmatier

The main new entry for this type of "meet the CB journals editors" session was Prof. Palmatier presenting the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science (JAMS). In particular, he talked about the editorial team that will be reviewing consumer behavior submissions.

Research for Impact 1
Speakers: John Lynch, Deborah MacInnis, Andrea Morales, Joann Peck

This session was extremely interesting because we had the opportunity to listen to researchers at different stages of their career talking about their idea generation and idea testing processes. In particular, I liked how Prof. Morales talked about the importance of designing experiments which measure actual behaviors and not only likelihood to behave. I guess that her talk was greatly inspired by the recent JCR tutorial that she authored.

Positioning: Papers, Research and Yourself
Speakers: Americus Reed, Derek Rucker, Venky Shankar, Leigh McAllister

Venky Shankar opened the talk with a diagram to talk about positioning your papers. So simple, yet so clever.

  1. Priority topics;
  2. Conceptual / early works;
  3. Low hanging fruits;
  4. Sweetest spots.
Definitely something to keep in mind when considering whether or not to start THAT next project.

Leigh McAllister talked about positioning the field. She said that our field is poorly positioned and we should be able to always convey "why marketing is important" to our students and to the general public. She suggested a book to use for our next marketing introductory class, not a classic textbook, but a book written by successful consultant that helped hundreds of company: "The Growth Gears: Using A Market-Based Framework To Drive Business Success". I think it is worth a read before I start designing my next marketing course.

Derek Rucker and Americus Reed then talked about positioning your research. The main takeaways here were:

  • What's new? so, what? The answer to these questions should appear in the first two pages of your academic paper. 
  • When you are asked "what is your area of research" you want to be able to say "I am the world leader in...".
  • If you have different projects, you need to construct a narrative, you need to build your brand as a researcher. What draws you to those projects? Find a theme, create a bucket.
  • Always think about the nature of your contribution, you need to be able to say how you contribute to both theory and practice.

KILL OFF IDEAS. They know it is hard, but they reiterated the importance of doing so. Our time is limited and we need to make the best use of it.

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