By 2010, I sent an email to Prof. Parasuraman and Prof. Valarie A Zeithamal to discuss about my MBA project work. I used SERVQUAL model to assess the after sales service quality of Shankar Energy Private Limited, Chennai. I knew that the model can be used for analyzing service quality of any company, I doubted whether the same questionnaire can be used for analyzing after sales service quality.
Since it is a research project you must validate your questionnaire. It is not fair to adopt any questionnaire simply without any literature back up. I mailed Prof. Parasuraman and Prof. Zeithamal. I was surprised, I got a reply back from them just in a day. I have sent mails to some Indian professors too, they never replied me back. Does that reply worth appreciating?. Yes, why not?. They are prompt and they acknowledge you, they value your question. This is not the end, there are many common things that really inspire me to stay in the same profession.
Research: Top priority in their list. Their research works aims to solve a societal problem. Prof. Dan Ariely writes a blog where he responds to the questions on behavioral issues. He involves himself to solve day-to-day problems of the society. Prof. Daniel Kahneman and Prof. Amos Tversky has researched on how we estimate probability of events that we encounter, that helped many to learn how we make mistakes while making decisions.
Approachable: You can send them emails with your queries. If the query is related to their work or if it is worthy enough to respond, they do respond it. You identity is not required for them. What they look in you is the “Curiosity” to learn. Prof. Adam Grant author of “Originals” normally respond to the tweets I post to him.
Focus: Right from their Facebook to Twitter feeds they focus only on learning and disseminating the information. It is mostly based on the subject they teach and research. If you wonder what the world is heading to in terms of research, just follow their Twitter feeds.
Acceptance of Mistakes: I bought a book named “Introduction to Consumer Neuroscience and Neuromarketing” written by Prof. Thomas Z Ramsoy . When I was going through the book, I found some errors. I mailed to his company website since I don’t have his personal mail id. I got a response from him directly via his personal email. I’m attaching it for your view. I have seen this character in many of the Professors who work abroad. Work ethics and commitment is really high with them.
Updating : Constantly updating themselves to match the current technology and theories admire me the most. Neuroscience and Bayesian statistics is now trending in the behavioral sciences field. Professors who teach psychology, business, law and so on started to involve both of them in their research. Prof. Nicholas Nassim Taleb at 55 use R programming in his research papers, we need this attitude in Indian Professors too.
Unique: They want to be unique, right from the way they look at a problem and till they find the solution to the problem. This uniqueness gives them confidence and make them to stand out as a Brand. Once I got a reply from Prof. Dan Ariely for a question I posted related to his book “Predictably Irrational”. At the end of his response he mentioned “Irrationaly Yours, Dan”.
Multi Disciplinary Approach: A professor from law learns the fundamentals of psychology and wrote book on it. Prof. Cass Sunstein wrote a book named ” Nudge” along with Prof. Richard Thaler, where Prof. Cass is a legal scholar. Likewise I have seen one Professor who went from Physics to Consumer Neuroscience. This is the need of the day, because to research one must have the knowledge of Research Methodology, Statistics, and knowledge one or two major subjects.
Observations I have made are purely based on few Professors I follow. I’m not sure whether their characters can be equated to the rest of the Professors who work abroad. I work in India, and I wrote this blogpost about Professors who work in other countries.