Relationships make up the foundation of modern business transactions. Argha Sen, a fourth-year Ph.D. marketing student at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business, formed his graduate research around business relationships and how they exist in two-sided business-to-business electronic environments. His dissertation on the subject recently won the Institute for the Study of Business Markets (ISBM) Doctoral Support Award Competition, and the ISBM named him an ISBM Fellow for his dedication to applying knowledge to marketing problems and opportunities.
Working with advisor Dr. Alok Kumar, associate professor of marketing, Sen focuses his dissertation on two-sided electronic markets such as eBay. In these environments, one of the key elements to success involves creating a platform which keeps both buyers and sellers happy.
“My research of the two-sided marketplace provides insights on how an electronic infrastructure brings together buyers and sellers together to interact with each other. It is not an area that has been well-researched in the marketing field, and that’s what makes it more challenging. What makes this two-sided structure interesting is the platform must provide the proper attention for both buyers and sellers because if one leaves the marketplace collapses. I look at how they manage this tension between both sets of customers with distinct but different requirements. I think that was what caught the attention of the ISBM,” he said.
The ISBM provides institutional support for people working in the business-to-business arena. To receive an ISBM Fellow is extremely prestigious, as other Fellows hail from such schools as Harvard Business School, Kellogg School of Management and Wharton School of Business.
“Argha is doing important work in business-to-business marketing arena,” said Kumar. “Though electronic markets and platforms have become progressively more significant mediums for transacting commerce between firms, our understanding of online marketplaces is limited. The ISBM award, which recognizes some of the best business-to-business dissertations in the country, is a testament to the academic and managerial significance of his work.”
Sen noted his research attains additional significance given the sheer financial growth in business-to-business e-commerce, projected to be around $7.7 trillion last year – over three times that of individual consumer e-commerce transactions.
“I have learned immensely from my time in Nebraska,” he said. “Dr. Kumar has taught me new tools, new literature, improvements in writing and teaching. He has been a wonderful mentor ever since I moved to Nebraska from India with my wife and now 10-year-old daughter.”
With 11 years of work experience in business-to-business customer relations, Sen singled out Nebraska Business as the perfect school to pursue his research goals. He saw the research interests of Nebraska scholars matched his own passions, and quickly formed supportive personal relationships to guide him in his work.
“From the day I landed here, it’s been a fabulous experience working with faculty and fellow Ph.D. students in the Department of Marketing. My interests in business-to-business marketing, marketing channels and sales research are all strong areas for the faculty I work with every day,” he said.
Sen hopes to remain in academia to pursue his love for teaching and research after graduating in 2019. He plans on entering the job market this fall.
For more information on the college’s doctoral programs, visit: http://business.unl.edu/phdprograms