The Management Advancement Research Centre (MARC) was established at FAST_NUCES Islamabad to conduct leading edge research in management sciences with the aim to enhance knowledge and find solutions for industry challenges. Various Special Interest Groups (SIGs) work under MARC, all committed to taking up projects which contribute to the body of knowledge, yet at the same time provide a bridge between academia and practice.
The Leadership and Management SIG has carried out various projects on leadership, cross-cultural HRM and performance management over the past few years. International projects and partnerships include work with the Cross-Cultural Management Network (CCMN) under which the main past project covered trust and leadership across cultures, while the current project is based on leadership behaviors, trust and job embeddedness across cultures covering data from 25 countries. Another landmark project of the SIG includes collection of data on GLOBE's cultural dimension in Pakistan and comparison of Pakistan with 61 GLOBE countries in collaboration with the GLOBE team and the Thunderbird University. The lead researcher has also been involved in various projects on performance management to improve industry practices, and has a special interest in using data to improve HR practices.
The Project Management and the Organizational Behavior SIGs are recent additions to expand the scope of MARC. The team's expertise include behavioral decision making in project management, justice, creativity, organizational politics, workplace stressors and psychological stressors. The SIG researchers have various publications in the above mentioned areas and are interested in working with industry to improve organizational practices.
The MARC Team
The MARC team is lead by the Director MARC, Dr. Sadia Nadeem and Deputy Directors Dr. Muhammad Abbas and Dr. Shuja ul Islam. The core team also includes Dr. Ayub Siddiqui, Ms. Ayesha Bano and Ms. Sara Qazi. Other faculty members, researcher and students join the MARC team on a project by project basis. The team is committed to taking projects which contribute to the body of knowledge, yet at the same time provide a bridge between academia and practice. Businesses interested in initiating projects under MARC are welcome to contact the MARC team.
Contact emails for projects in various areas are:
- Leadership, cross-cultural HRM, performance management and HR systems: Dr. Sadia Nadeem at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Behavioral decision making and project management:Dr. Shuja ul Islam at email@example.com
- Justice, creativity, organizational politics, workplace stressors and psychological stressors: Dr. Muhammad Abbas at firstname.lastname@example.org
Current projects at MARC
The Management Advancement and Planning Study (Funding Agency-HEC): The Management Advancement
and Planning (MAP) Study aims to identify and describe the management and HR practices which exist in the in the
Rawalpindi, Islamabad and surrounding areas, and explain whether differences exist in establishments of different
sizes and sectors. It also aims to evaluate the impact of these organizational structures, management and HR
practices on employees’ behavioral and attitudinal indictors, as well as on the workplace performance indicators.
The study will achieve its objectives by using a matched employer-employee survey which will include structured
management interviews in approx. 300 establishments and self-completion questionnaires of a maximum of 25
employees in each of these 300 establishments.
Impact of Business Education: Using the data collected over 4 years, the study aims to provide preliminary evidence on how business curriculum, text, content, terminologies and language is harming our graduates’ moral values and norms. We also want to explore whether the contents of BBA and MBA degree programs are inculcating selfishness, immorality, individualism, greed, opportunistic behaviors and materialistic values in the students’ minds. In addition, we want to explore whether our business graduates, by the time they complete their studies, forget their terminal values and consider only instrumental values as their ultimate goals of life. Finally, the purpose of this study is to examine whether the business students, by the time they complete their degrees, give less importance and less priority to religious and societal norms as compared to the capitalist norms or vice versa.
Management in Pakistani culture (Funding Agency-HEC): The Management in Pakistani Culture (MiPC) project examines the compatibility of Pakistani culture and societal values with leading HR practices often cited as high performance work practices in the Western literature. Using an inductive qualitative approach, the study is based on interviews and focus group discussions with over a 100 participants. The outcomes are focused on whether these practices should be adopted as such or modified, to improve effectiveness of human resource management in large organizations operating in Pakistan.
IESE Project (MARC-IESE) JELER study: Covering data across 25 different countries, the project aims to understand how leaders and the trust that subordinates in their leader impact employee commitment to the jobs and the organization, and how their relationship vary between different countries.
Business leadership in Pakistan: The project on leadership is based on highlighting differences in desirable leadership competencies in different regions of the world, focusing on cross-cultural comparisons, particularly the comparison of Pakistan with various regions of the world. The project also aims to explore differences in Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) behaviors across cultural clusters.
Lateness at work project: It is almost axiomatic to say that time is the most valuable asset, yet only a meager number of studies have explored pertinent factors which shape employee attitude towards time. This project focuses on delving extensively into the causes of employee lateness, elucidating the phenomenon on the basis of Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). The findings of the project will provide guidance for managers to understand, refine and control the factors shaping employee attitude towards time, thereby improving time consciousness.
The way forward
To achieve its goal – to conduct leading edge research in management sciences with the aim to enhance knowledge and find solutions for industry challenges – the main strategies of MARC are as following:
- Research Activities
MARC aims to provide and develop a research environment by involving faculty and staff in various activities. At a basic level, dissemination of knowledge is encouraged through monthly seminars delivered by the faculty. All faculty members who have either presented a paper or published a journal article are requested to present their work in the seminar. Presentation of working papers is also encouraged. MARC leadership also encourages faculty to present their work at national and international conferences. Academic conferences will be held at FAST NU Islamabad as well. To develop and maintain a formal structure, researchers will submit proposals to national funding bodies, such as HEC, ICT R&D as well as international funding bodies. While the MARC team will work together under the MARC umbrella at the beginning, development of additional research centers will be encouraged to improve research focus.
- International Research and Collaborations
International research and collaborations will be encouraged through inviting visiting scholars to FSM Islamabad, pursuing international funding opportunities, attending international conferences, involvement of international faculty in PhD program, and collaborative research projects.
- National Collaborators and Research Partners
Setting up collaborations with local and national industry, corporate sector, practitioner and academic forums with the aim to improve industry-academia linkage. These partners are involved in identifying research needs, sponsoring research projects and refining courses. Collaborations with local universities are established to identify research partners on the one hand, and to facilitate each other in PhD course development and delivery on the other hand. The latter initiative aims to address the shortage of PhD faculty in management sciences.
- MARC Student Chapter
The main aim of the student chapter is to encourage undergraduate and MBA students who are interested in applied or pure research to work under the guidance of the MARC team on specific projects. Student involvement in MARC may be a part of the final year project work that the student is required to do for degree completion, or additional work.
Proposed targets for next five years (2014-2019)
- Register 15-30 PhD students
- Acquire funding for five to ten funded projects
- Publish approx. three journal articles per year for the first two years, and five journal articles per year for the next three years
- Conduct three to five academic conferences over five years
- Represent MARC at approx. five conferences per year
- Carry out three student projects under the MARC Student Chapter per year
- Sign six MoUs with national partners
- Sign three MoUs with international partners
- Establish a experimental behavioral science laboratory
- Establish two more sister research centers by the end of five years for focused research activities