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‘Patience, positive mindset important for researchers to navigate through all obstacles’

Assistant Professor of Apeejay School of Management, Dr Akshita Arora talks about the mental strength that a researcher needs to achieve their objective



An extensive process, research can take a toll on your body and mind. On the journey, one is likely to face several hurdles that can challenge their resilience. Patience is the key to overcoming it all, believes Dr Akshita Arora, Assistant Professor and Area Chair Finance, and a member of the Faculty Board, Board of Studies, and Academic Council of Apeejay School of Management (ASM).

“When you are doing research, sometimes there are rejections, long wait for acceptance emails, multiple revisions, and so on before the paper gets published. I think patience is extremely important for all researchers to navigate through all obstacles and challenges that come their way. I think my patience, persistence, and perseverance paved the way to success,” she shares.

Awarded the “Best Researcher” certificate for 2021-22 by ASM, Dr Arora published five papers and one case study in the past year. “The latter has been published in The Case Centre under the title ‘Corporate Governance Fiasco at National Stock Exchange’. All the papers have been published in different journals including Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC), Scopus, and Web of Science. Four of these papers are single-authored papers. For the award, a score is calculated based on the number and quality of publications. I am happy that my efforts were recognised by ASM,” she says.  

Dr Arora’s research work is in corporate governance with a focus on gender. “The research entails an analysis of how women in leadership positions contribute to the marketing and operating performance of the company. I am working on the top 500 listed companies available,” she explains.

‘The day we plant a seed is not the day we eat the fruit’

Elaborating on the importance of being patient, Dr Arora emphasises, “One should not start out thinking their research would be recognised and published at the earliest. It is a time-taking process that can go on for six months or a year and sometimes even two years.

“The first step is idea generation by reviewing literature and identifying the research gap. Then we go for an extensive comprehensive literature review. Further, there needs to be an appropriate selection of methodology, data collection, and mining, followed by results, conclusions, recommendations, and limitations,” she says, adding that her research is based completely on empirical data.

While the journey can be challenging, a researcher needs to maintain a positive state of mind and make continued efforts towards reaching their goal.

Another important aspect of research is the selection of the journal for publication. “It is one area that needs a lot of effort. Choosing the right journal takes a lot of time. In addition, it is very important to get a good number of citations for the work. I have around 700 citations on Google Scholar which gives me assurance that my research is making a meaningful impact in the corporate governance area,” adds Dr Arora, who was among the first scholars in India to have researched in the field.

“To PhD aspirants, I would like to say, stay motivated and keep going till you attain your objective. A researcher should not give up after one rejection. At the same time, one should not sit back after completing one paper but strive to explore more,” she advises. 

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.