Dr. Alok Kumar’s perseverance writing and resubmitting research articles on business-to-business marketing dominated his early years as a scholar. Through his dedication, along with support from colleagues, Kumar now stands among the top 50 researchers on the Author Productivity in Premier American Marketing Association Journals list for 2019.
“In my research, I’m often trying to tell a story which has not been told,” said Kumar, associate professor and W.W. Marshall College Professor at the College of Business. “It can be difficult to sell a storyline in the area of business-to-business marketing because it’s a big area of research in marketing, management and economics. You have to make it novel and present an interesting story to reach those top journals.”
Kumar’s first paper went to multiple journals and had to be reworked many times before being published. His belief in the impact he could make telling his research stories pushed him forward.
“Having faith in yourself and your ideas is critical. Business-to-business markets are much larger than business-to-consumer markets. The products we consume happen through distribution partnerships between suppliers and dealers. My research studies how firms can do that more efficiently, and through that value chain create cheaper products for consumers and make their lives better,” he said.
Kumar arrived at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2013. He immediately felt the support from people in the Department of Marketing and the Office of the Dean to help further his research.
“Gathering the data for research can be quite time intensive and expensive, calling firms and getting access to the complex data sets we require,” said Kumar. “Both Dean Kathy Farrell and our department chair, Ravi Sohi, help facilitate my research through their support. Getting a named professorship also brings recognition by signaling the value in the business-to-business research I’m doing.”
Dr. Ravi Sohi, professor and Robert D. Hays Distinguished Chair of Sales Excellence, noted Kumar’s distinction in the AMA list of top marketing research scholars. He believes getting in the premiere journals goes hand-in-hand with Kumar’s drive to create meaningful research.
“Alok is a true scholar and deep thinker,” said Sohi. “He puts in a lot of work to make sure his research is of the highest quality. That is reflected in that all his publications are in A-level journals. He does not give up. When a paper is rejected at one journal, it’s easy to move it to a lower-level journal, but Alok wants to make sure it goes to the highest level journal. That’s a reflection of his work ethic.”
Kumar sees his research as a collective enterprise with his co-authors and former mentors. He also praised the work of Ph.D. students who help see him through the long hours of preparation.
“The students keep you honest because they read your work and ask probing questions about the relevance of what you’re doing. They want to know how to connect ideas to tell a better story. To be recognized on the AMA list is a collaborative effort from many people. There are some heavy hitters on the list and it’s great to see my work among them,” Kumar said.
To view the full AMA list, visit: https://www.ama.org/author-productivity-in-the-premier-ama-journals-2019-list/.
To learn more about the Department of Marketing, visit: https://business.unl.edu/academic-programs/departments/marketing/.