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Aug 12, 2019 2019-08 Business Administration Faculty

Natural-born researcher, Ghoshal, returns to Gies Business

Abhijeet Ghoshal is constantly seeking answers to the most pressing questions facing businesses and consumers today. He’s a natural-born researcher, who has found a home at Gies College of Business. The new assistant professor in the Department of Business Administration is eager to further his research interests with the collaborative environment and organizational support offered at Gies.

“The faculty and administration at Gies are very enthusiastic about research. Their passion is what brought me back here,” said Ghoshal, who previously served as a post-doc research associate at Illinois from 2013 to 2015. “As a person who is very passionate about research, I always knew this was the type of place where I wanted to be.”

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Ghoshal’s research spans a variety of fields, including recommendation system design, data mining, business analytics, data privacy, and software support. Recommendation systems – when companies like Amazon suggest ‘products you may like’ based on previous purchases – are of particular interest to Ghoshal based on the competing interests of profitable business practices and consumer privacy concerns.

“When I started my dissertation several years ago, recommendation systems were very new,” he said. “Now they have become very advanced, and they have spread from traditional e-commerce systems like Amazon to social media networks like Facebook and LinkedIn offering you ‘friend’ and ‘connection’ recommendations.”

Another one of Ghoshal’s recent papers examined the “commitment problem” softwarevendors face when announcing the end date of critical support, like when Microsoft announces it won’t support the XP version of its Windows operating system after a certain date. If Microsoft later backtracks on its commitment of ending the support, that is known to be detrimental to its profit. Using a Game Theoretic setup in “Drawing a Line in the Sand: Commitment Problem in Ending Software Support,” Ghoshal and his colleagues examine a couple of ways that a company can convince consumers that its commitment is firm, so it can avoid falling into the trap of retreating on its own commitment and bearing the consequences.

That inquisitive mind is what drew Ghoshal back into academia after several years in the software and technology sector. The graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology couldn’t shake his desire to dig deeper into issues facing businesses. So he returned to school and earned his PhD in management information systems at the University of Texas-Dallas. That’s when he knew a career in higher education was his calling. He has spent the past four years teaching at the University of Louisville and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

At Gies, Ghoshal will teach two courses: IT for Networked Organizations and Social Media Strategy. He admits he’s not a lecturer, opting instead for more discussion-based formats that catalyze student involvement and participation.

“Teaching is a way I can quickly disseminate the knowledge I have generated,” he said. “The students here are so talented, and I’m looking forward to showing them how they can apply their knowledge as they pursue their passions in business.”