Learning to read research papers is the key to do research Prof. Sanjit Roy | University of Western Australia



Dr. Sanjit Kumar Roy is an Associate Professor of marketing at the UWA Business School. His research examines how the current dynamic market space and new technology (i.e. Artificial Intelligence and Robots) are transforming the roles of customers and employees. He is a Fellow at the UWA Business School’s Centre for Business Data Analytics.

Dr. Sanjit Kumar Roy is an Associate Professor of marketing at the UWA Business School. His research examines how the current dynamic market space and new technology (i.e. Artificial Intelligence and Robots) are transforming the roles of customers and employees. He is a Fellow at the UWA Business School’s Centre for Business Data Analytics.

In addition to his ongoing research, Dr. Roy is a certified LEGO® Serious Play® facilitator which he brings to the classroom by getting students to think more creatively, communicate more effectively and deliver more innovative results. 

Dr. Roy completed his Ph.D. in marketing at Icfai University in India and taught the subject as a senior lecturer at Coventry University in the United Kingdom.


He was a Visiting Research Scholar at Bentley University in the United States and was awarded the UWA Vice Chancellor’s Early Career Investigators Award in 2015 and selected by UWA in the Emerging Research Leader program in 2018.

Dr. Roy’s current research interests are rooted in marketing services, focusing on consumer behaviour and decision making in the services sector (e.g. retailing and financial services) and transformative service research (TSR) with a focus on consumer and employee well-being as well as the impact of new technology on service encounters.

Thank you so much, Prof. Roy for the interview

Inkpothub: Tell us about your research journey

Prof. Roy: It’s not very long at the same time not short as well.

I call myself, a migrant researcher in the field of marketing. My primary interest, my first love is nuclear science. Even today I read a lot on quantum mechanics, quantum physics. But life had other expectations from me.

My research journey started in 2007 after the completion of my coursework. At that time, I didn’t know how to read a research paper? I think that is because of my reading habits which I acquired from my previous experiences because I read mostly in the space of physics, electricity, etc. I couldn’t get much guidance in reading a research paper then. I was just figuring out how to read a research paper.

In the meanwhile, because of MOU between my college and American universities. I got an invitation to go to Bentley university and there I got an opportunity to work with many respectable people like to name some Prof. Raj Sisodia, Prof. Abdolreza (Abdi) Eshghi and late Prof. Gul Butaney.

As I was a visiting scholar, I got two free quantitative research methods courses to audit. I audited quantitative research methods I & II; and learned some of the latest techniques like structural equation modeling (SEM), PLS path modeling and some other techniques. But I emphasized on SEM and PLS path modeling as I proposed these in my thesis.

In America, I was also introduced to the American way of doing research in marketing space. Some of the professors I worked with did their work in a very structured manner. I learned to do structured research from them. Prof G Butaney, one of the professors who taught me the ‘humility’. He knew I like working with numbers. So, he gave me a huge set of data to analyse. From analysing that data, I learned the entire SEM that ultimately ended into four research papers. I published in 3 A’s, & 1 A* journals.

In those 10 months, I learned how to read a research paper and also about SEM. After returning from America, my supervisor Dr. A. K. Rao (ex IIM Bangalore Professor) taught me the nuggets of research. I learned the ways of doing research from him. Then finally I became Dr. Sanjit Kumar Roy in 2011.

Throughout this journey my wife was my biggest support. Without mentioning her my research journey would remain incomplete.

Then I joined ICFAI University in 2011. I always wanted to work in IIMs. So, I asked Prof. Rao for his suggestions on that as he knew the culture in IIMs. He said it’s possible to work at IIMs. And gave me an advice: RESEARCH, PUBLISH and GO, work at IIMs.

But that point in time (unfortunately) I did not get a job at IIMs which I attribute to my weak CV, I didn’t get any interview calls for any of the IIMs.

I went back to Prof. Rao and said “I don’t want to work in India, I want to go out of India, how can I go, can you help me?”

He said:


Then in 2011, I got into Coventry University in the United Kingdom. I started working there from 2012.  After working for 2 years I got an opportunity to work at UWA Business School, Australia. While I was in Coventry University, I published a lot of research papers that paved my way to UWA B-School. I am in UWA because of my research and I chose this school because it is research-oriented school.

“Strong desire to do research led me to where I am today”

Inkpothub: What are your primary research areas?

Prof Roy: My primary research area is services management, services marketing. My Ph.D. thesis is on customer loyalty and customer advocacy in the telecom service. Out of 55 papers we have published almost 41 papers are in the space of services marketing. I have worked on financial services as well. Now For the last 4 years, I am working on tech-enabled services like artificial services and its impact on services, how humans and robots can come together and can create value for the individuals. So, it is more or less impact of technology on value co-creation and value creation in services.

Inkpothub: In addition to doing research you are also a certified LEGO® Serious Play® facilitator. Tell us about that.

Prof Roy: To start, I was never a good teacher. I always worked consciously to improve my teaching. I always wanted to create value for my students.

Then I stumbled on design thinking, service design methodology. This deals with how design thinking be applied in the classroom setting?

I came across LEGO® Serious Play® and started reading more on it. I got to know about a 1-week certification program in Bangkok. I attended it and got certified. The idea behind this play is bringing involvement of all your senses. Using Lego blocks coordination between eyes & hands, mind & hands is been set in the classroom.

I am yet to test it in the class. As it is quite capital intensive because Lego kits aren’t cheap. But in the pursuit of learning Lego serious play, I have learned a lot that I have used in the classroom.

Inkpothub: How are you going to bring research from your experience and experiments into the classroom?

Prof. Roy:  I learned that students always look upon us to learn. As I have done substantial research in the last 5-7years. I try to map my research with my teaching plan. My research topics included impact of technology on services, impact of technology on customer loyalty and many more. So at least for 3-4 weeks out of 12 weeks of my service marketing classes, I try to integrate my own research into teaching. This type of teaching brings lot of credibility to a teacher.

I use my own cases to teach in the classes. I recently have published 2 Ivey Case Studies. I also write a small caselets. I use them most often and students love doing them.

Today I can say that I am a better teacher compared to 6 years ago. I can engage, enhance and facilitate their learnings.

All of his happened because of two things:

1. Research-led teaching

2. Learner centered teaching

Inkpothub: Tell us about your experience in the Emerging Research Leader program 2018.

Prof Roy: This was a brainchild of my emerging Dean Research who instituted this program. This program was designed to bring multi-disciplinary researchers in one place for a substantial amount of time. We had people from Organizational Behaviour, Maritime Law, Social Sciences, and many other disciplines. All of them were experts from their respective fields. We were brought in together to hatch in product ideas to meet Sustainable Development Goals and also to pursue cross-disciplinary research.

Main agenda of this program was team building, cross-disciplinary research. For say, ideas evolve when a lawyer sees a marketing problem in a different lens from his perspective and as a marketer, I may look it through another lens.

This program ran for 6 months. And I certainly gained a lot of friends who will make an impact in the long run if I do any high impactful research in the future. I think the ultimate objective of that program was to create impact while working as a team.

Inkpothub: Do you have any intentions of coming to India and join IIMs?

Prof Roy: In the near future, no, because of my family commitments. But have to see, I cannot say as of now. But YES, if I am shifting anywhere next, it would be India.



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