8.1.6 Worked Example: Rabi Bhagat

In July 2010, two of my colleagues had organized a 2-day workshop on Global Teams. One of the keynote speakers was Rabi Bhagat. Although I had seen his name in press before, I could not recall clearly in what context and I had never met him before. I therefore ran a quick Publish or Perish Author Query. The results for his most cited works are below.

Bhagat 1

I could see immediately that he had done influential work on the impact of culture on transfer of technology and knowledge across borders, which is most likely where I had seen his name in print as I have done some work on transfer of management practices across cultures. However, I also noticed that he has a fairly large body of work related to stress and stressors in the workplace. This made me realize that his disciplinary background might be in organizational behavior or even psychology. His work on technology transfer had led me to the erroneous assumption he was a more macro oriented strategy scholar.

That first result also showed me that he has worked with a fairly varied group of co-authors, and acted both as first and second author. The titles of his papers led me to conclude that he seems to prefer conceptual work to empirical work as most of his papers appear to be about building theory, creating frameworks and providing an integrative perspective.

Sorting the results by year (see below) showed me that recently he became interested in the role of Asia in management theories and in global mindsets. I also noticed that he has maintained his interest in stress, but has added a cross-cultural element to it. Further, I noticed that although his most cited (older) work is mostly conceptual, his recent articles seems to include empirical work, with data collected in a lot of different countries. Given that he is the first author on these articles, I conclude he was leading those projects. As I have led several multi-country projects myself, that might be a nice conversation topic.

Bhagat 2

Sorting the results by journals showed (amongst others) no less than four articles in the Academy of Management Review (a journal that only publishes conceptual work), three articles each in Human Relations (two of which theoretical) and Journal of Management and two articles each in Journal of Organizational Behavior and Journal of Vocational Behavior. This confirmed my earlier impression that my counterpart was strong in conceptual work. It also confirmed that he was more of a micro Organizational Behavior scholar more so than a macro International Business scholar.

Within five minutes, I was all ready to meet our keynote speaker. As it turned out, we only talked about Melbourne (the location of the conference) and Publish or Perish, and more in particular the differences between ISI and Google Scholar citations. But at least I felt prepared for any conversation about his academic work!