Research Centre

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Research into Management

One of the two founding objectives of the PIM is the generation of new knowledge in management, while the other objective is the dissemination of knowledge in that field. Research into management, therefore, is a primary function to which the Institute has devoted its resources since its establishment in 1985. The PIM is the leading higher education institution in the country that conducts research in the discipline of management. This is amply reflected in our claim that our MBA is one of the few, and best, MBA programs in the world where research is an important and essential component of the degree. While many MBA programs elsewhere have conveniently abandoned the most precious learning activity of research, we proudly continue to improve upon the quality of our research activity in the MBA program. And, we have done so over two decades. Research interests developed at the Master’s level are promoted through the doctoral program of study. Our quarterly publication, Sri Lankan Journal of Management, is the only refereed periodical in Sri Lanka that is fully devoted to the dissemination of management research undertaken in this country.

Management research is multi-disciplinary. The concepts and theories of management have historically benefited much from the work in other disciplines such as Anthropology, Economics, Mathematics, Political science, Psychology and Sociology. The body of knowledge called ‘management’ deals with such complex, open-system entities as individuals, groups, organizations and their environments whose boundaries are only vaguely defined. Management researchers have to grapple with all sorts of problems of scientific research: measurement of service quality, applicants’ aptitude, determination of activity costs and the like on the hard side of empirical reality, and abstract entities such as cultural values, political climate, relevance of the process of globalization and the like, on the soft side of investigation. The successful management researcher, therefore, must command multidisciplinary knowledge, practical understanding, and skillful application of methodology.

Our policy framework for the promotion of management research is set out in the following set of objectives and priorities:

a) Research effort must be directed to understanding problems of resource utilization at national, sectoral and corporate levels;

b) Research work, including methodology, must have a reasonable balance between theory and practice, rather than being purely theoretical or practical, so that the research contributions satisfy the basic requirements of scientific knowledge;

c) Research outputs must make a significant contribution to practice at strategic, policy, procedure or action levels of performance;

d) A conscious effort must be made to study and understand the local context of research phenomena and the methodological tools suitable for the study of socio-cultural, political and economic conditions/values are chosen accordingly; and

e) Given the complex and multi-disciplinary nature and problems of management, researchers must consider collaboration at national, regional and international levels.

  • Study of problems and prospects of business organizations operating in key economic sectors of Sri Lanka
  • Cultural/cross-cultural understanding of management models and practices
  • General management research (e.g. human behavior)
  • Policy-directed research (public or private sector, or macro-society)

Our objective is to promote small and medium size research projects, undertaken by one, two or three individuals rather than large-scale programs which aim at grand or fundamental shifts in understanding. It is our belief that the field could benefit much from a series of ad-hoc research projects that are conceived within the above broader framework of interest.

The Researcher

A variety of researchers will be encouraged to contribute to the research undertakings, so that a comprehensive research portfolio may be produced to stimulate further research work.

Academics and professionals in Sri Lanka: Local researchers usually come from our Universities, Research Institutions and Organizations, and Professional Associations. Individuals in a private capacity may also participate.

Research students: Students in the Masters degree and Doctoral degree programs of the PIM qualify for participation for the purpose of publication of their work.

international scholar program: Scholars from higher learning/professional organizations in other countries can participate through collaborative arrangements with a researcher in Sri Lanka. Priority will be given to persons from institutions with whom PIM already has working relationships.

It must be noted that organizations or institutions do not qualify to participate in this program. However, organizations and institutions are welcome to explore other options of collaborative research with the Institute.