The Research and Innovation Centre has begun a Q&A series with EIT researchers. Our latest interview is with Dr Surej P John, Senior Lecturer in Marketing in the School of Business.
- How long have you been a researcher?
I have been doing academic and applied research since 2014. I completed my PhD during that period.
- Why do you enjoy doing (quantitative and qualitative) research?
I enjoy quantitative research a lot. I love statistics and statistical methodologies in data analysis. I don’t know, I may be fascinated by the ways quantitative analyses are used in managerial decision making. Besides, being an academic, I prefer to do more quantitative research rather than qualitative, as the results from the former are more scientific and conclusive.
- What research have you done recently or are currently working on?
I have very diverse research interests varying from tourism, e-commerce, relationship marketing to marketing of higher education. The two research projects I have completed in 2021 were investigating the implications of Coivd-19 in higher education and retailing. For example, one of my 2021 research projects that examines the social media practices of FMCG retailers (supermarkets) in New Zealand were published as a book chapter by Sage ( https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-76520-0_19 ). Another research project is investigating the persuasion process resulting from digital marketing practices. The key findings are recently published in the FIIB Business Journal, January edition of 2022 [ https://doi.org/10.1177/23197145211072198 ].
I am currently working on developing a conceptual framework for relationship marketing strategies in tertiary educational institutions in New Zealand. Towards this objective, a systematic literature review and in-depth interviews among various stakeholders are being carried out. I am also developing a survey among major SMEs in New Zealand to examine their attitude towards adopting digital technologies in marketing, management, and other business purposes.
I am collaborating with my research partner in Malaysia to conduct a systematic literature review in narrow influencers in social media channels. The article collection is in its early stages.
- When and where has or will this be published?
The initial findings of the research will be presented in upcoming digital marketing and e-commerce conference in Spain in June 2022. Presentation at the upcoming ANZMAC 2022 conference by end of 2022 would also be considered. The final paper is expected to be published at Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services (ABDC: A). The influencer marketing is expected to be completed by end of this year and is expected to be published in the Journal of Consumer Services.
- What has been your most significant research project?
My significant piece of work so far is a paper published in a Spanish journal called Contaduría y administración in 2015 [http://www.cya.unam.mx/index.php/cya/article/view/821]. The paper received best paper award from the journal editors and has so far received 195 citations as per Google Scholar. The research work examined the integration of Information Technologies in higher education sector.
- What difference has it made/what impact has it had/will it have?
Even though the work was published nearly a decade ago, its findings are still relevant particularly in the context of Covid 19. My research identified a bunch of critical factors that are essential for the tertiary academics to adopt recent technologies in their teaching and learning process. These include computer self-efficacy, computer anxiety, prior IT experience, relative advantage, compatibility, and perceived ease of use. I would say most of these factors are still critical while tertiary educational intuitions implement various online based teaching and learning programs as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns.
- How supportive has EIT been in enabling you to do research?
Very much! I am so grateful to EIT, particularly to EIT Research and Innovation Centre (RIC). I have received excellent support from EIT throughout the last three years, be it mentoring, research grants or access to data analysis software like NVivo and SPSS. The workshops, conferences and other events organised by EIT are really informative and motivating for junior researchers like me. RIC is a great place to work at the campus and I am really enjoying being here with a team of eminent researchers.