Research methods in marketing with Dipak Jain

February 12, 2013

In a way it felt like a privilege to hear that Dipak Jain, current dean at INSEAD and former dean at Kellogg, would be coming to Thailand teaching us research methods in marketing; it is the only place where he still comes as a visiting professor. And we were held in suspense a bit longer than expected because this was the first time at Sasin that the professor was too late for class.

Reading material for the course.

Reading material for the course.

The style of teaching of professor Jain is a bit different than most other professors; he likes to just tell the story without the help of slides, and even though we do have a reader with the material in there he never composed the slides to be used in that way. Apparently the slides were made ages ago by a student in his class and he decided to reproduce the notes to make it easier for the class to follow. Another remarkable thing for this course was that the front rows of the classroom were filled for the first time in Sasin history, partly because professor Jain was sometimes hard to hear due to recent health problems.

Professor Dipak Jain teaching at Sasin

Professor Dipak Jain teaching at Sasin

During the course we had to hand in one case assignment made in groups and even though this case dated back to the dark ages, it is a case about pagers or beepers, those things drug dealers use in old movies, it did perfectly show the content of this course by letting us go through a questionnaire and the interpretation a company had given to the outcomes of the questionnaire and finding the weak spots. This is something that comes quite naturally to me since I enjoy looking for possible flaws in anything that has been produced.

Besides the case we also had 2 exams, one midterm and one final exam, of which neither was comprehensive. The exact material we had to learn for each of them was not totally clear for everybody, at least not for me. I had skipped some of the harder formulas that were covered just before the midterm because I was told we did not need a calculator for the midterm since the calculations would not be harder than simply adding up or substrations. And to my surprise the formulas were needed for the exam, even though they contained square roots, something that is harder than “just adding up” in my book.

Bellboy case, it takes some time but in the end you realize it is about buzzers; those things nobody has anymore

Bellboy case, it takes some time but in the end you realize it is about buzzers; those things nobody has anymore

During the final exam there was also some confusion when we had to calculate the chi-square but were not given the table with cutoff values. One person behind me called upon a shit storm by demanding the tables to check his outcome, something the supervisors quickly granted as they were not inclined to pay his airfare to India so he could ask the professor himself how to answer this questions without the tables.

All together I did not walk out of this course confident that my grade would be something I could be proud of, but my time to ponder this further was limited due to the fact that the final hexamester of the first year Sasin MBA course would already start 4 days later.

For questions/remarks you can contact me at: eric@stuckinthailand.com

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