Using both computer science and business to improve software management

The Sprott School of Business’s interdisciplinary doctoral program in management has much to do with Subhas Misra’s successful integration of his background in software engineering with his interest in business operations management.

Misra graduates this June with a PhD in Management after defending a thesis that combines the fields of information systems, organizational behaviour, and technology, innovation and operations management.

“He came from the computer science field with a strong analytical background,” notes Vinod Kumar, professor of technology and operations management and head of the manufacturing system centre, “and very quickly picked up knowledge in various management fields.”

According to Kumar, Misra’s thesis supervisor, Misra is able to quickly convert his ideas into research papers. One of his papers received Best Paper Award in an international conference in the United States.

While Misra completed his undergraduate studies in electronics and telecommunications, a master’s of technology in computer science and data processing and a master’s in computer science, he developed a strong technical background as well as a solid knowledge of business, the social sciences, psychology and statistics. This training, along with years of industrial experience in software quality management at Nortel Networks, helped Misra focus his research in the emerging fields of software management and software quality management.

He developed several breakthrough models in software innovation process improvement, change and risk management in information technology adoption, risk management in software engineering and information security management. He received some 15 academic awards, a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) scholarship and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

Carleton’s “cutting edge research facilities” and its location in Canada’s high-tech city attracted Misra. “But most importantly,” he notes, “I wanted to work under Professor Vinod Kumar, who is internationally well-known in my field of research.” Kumar’s research interests focus on innovation management in defence and the high-tech sector, managing the innovation process, e-commerce technology strategy, technology transfer and small businesses.

Sprott’s PhD program in management is among the largest of its kind in Canada. It focuses on the interdisciplinary, “because we believe that business problems in today’s world are complex and cannot be solved through a single discipline approach,” explains Kumar.

Misra speaks highly of the courses offered by professors Uma Kumar in technology management, Gerald Grant in information systems and Roland Thomas in statistics. “I am sincerely thankful to Professors Vinod Kumar and Uma Kumar for mentoring, encouraging and supporting me at all stages of my PhD program. They have been parent-like figures for me and will remain as role models in my career.”

Misra is currently a visiting scientist and NSERC post-doctoral fellow at State University of New York. He plans to move to Harvard Business School for his post-doctoral research work.

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Susan Hickman

By Susan Hickman

For nearly four decades, journalist Susan Hickman has written about every imaginable subject for sundry newspapers and magazines in Canada and abroad, as well as for CBC TV and CBC Radio. She has also managed various publications, including academic newspapers and technology magazines, and was recently commissioned to write a guide for foreign missions serving in Canada. Currently, she is working on a couple of personal memoirs.

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