Minor Research Project funded by UGC

Duration of the Project: 2016-2017



-with special reference to Social and On-Line Word-of-Mouth


Retailing is a social institution traditionally associated with the selling of products to consumers. Retailers meet the needs of their customers by providing essential services such as accessibility of location,convenience of timing, size, information and lifestyle support. The changes in our national and social environment have been constantly affecting the wants of consumers and how these wants are satisfied by the retailers. The developments in the retail and consumer technology has increased the spread of shopping. Consumers expect better services from retailers as their standard of living and life style have improved. Retailers are interested in the changing environment which is affected by the changes in the demographic, technology,economic, social, political and cultural factors.

The retailers use a range of methods to promote their offerings. The factors that determine the effectiveness of the retailer`s communication and the choice of appropriate goals are based on the messages that are sent out. The message has to be appropriate to the social and cultural context of the intended audience. The retail communication ensures that the customers receives the correct message. Communication is an integral part of the retailer`s marketing strategy. Communication is used inform the customer about the retailers, the merchandise &services. It is also serves as tool for the building the store image.

Retail Communication has moved on from the time when the retailer alone communicated with the customers. There are different methods in retail communication such as – Direct Marketing, On-line Marketing,Sales promotion, Personal selling, Advertising and Public relations. According to Fill (2009) four important characteristics can guide the choice of the communication tool used for delivering marketing communication messages to the customers by the retailers – Communication potential, Credibility, Cost and Control.

A communication program can be designed to achieve a variety of objectives for the retailer, such as building a brand image of the retailer in the customer’s mind, increasing sales and store traffic, providing information about the retailer’s location and offering, and announcing special activities. Retailers communicate with customers both online and off line interactively and passively. Direct marketing has received the greatest increase in attention by retailers and can occur using telemarketing (offline/ interactive),mobile marketing (online/interactive), direct mail and catalogs (offline/passive), and e-mail (online/passive). These elements in the communication mix must be coordinated so that customers have a clear,distinct image of the retailer and are not confused by conflicting information. Retailers go through four steps to develop and implement their communication program: Establish objectives, determine a budget, allocate the budget, and implement and evaluate the program.

Marginal analysis is the most appropriate method for determining how much should be spent to accomplish the retailer’s objectives because it maximizes the profits that could be generated by the communication mix. Since marginal analysis is difficult to implement, however, many retailers use rule-of-thumb methods to determine the size of the promotion budget. The internet and social network has brought new digital marketing perspectives to the retail industry as it serves as an additional channel for communication and promoting brand image and product information.

In the retail industry digital marketing strategies are aligned to meet the retailer-customer demands. The most popular digital marketing techniques available are Content marketing, social networking tools, re targeting community building etc., Digital Marketing in the present environment is able to speak to a large number of relevant people directly, effectively and relatively cheaply. It is understood that about 40% of there tails marketing spend are on digital marketing techniques compared with less than 10 % about five years from now. The digital marketing has become the most celebrated way to speak to the customers. Social Commerce is a sub-set of digital marketing. In November 2005, Yahoo!introduced the term social commerce. Yahoo! defines the term social commerce as “The Shoposphere and Pick Lists are examples of social commerce. We believe the community of shoppers is one of the best sources for product information and advice” (Yahoo! 2005). The official literature of Social Commerce can be traced from 2005. It is the combination of e-commerce and social media enabling the consumers to share information, experiences and opinions. A purchasing decision after doing research on-line, or via mobile and flipping the different purchasing options, has replaced the earlier version of shopping where 70% of purchasing decisions were made in-store. The relationships on the internet through social networking sites and the emergence of Web 2.0 applications has created enormous opportunities for business.

The social networking sites have developed e-commerce as an excellent channel for meeting business solutions. Consumers regularly search for specific product and service information. Retailers have to focus more on their on-line strategies and identify social networks as a tool for brand enhancement. The consumers still have a fear to buy on-line as they are not sure whether the retailer will support them after sale or whether they have to face a product or service failure. The electronic environment in retail sales is always challenging. The electronic marketing environment still has a greater scope and more to be achieved.

The effect of social interactions through the social networking sites on on-line and off-line purchase behaviour, among the different sections of customers will be explored and compared in the present study. The findings of the study is expected to contribute to the academic literature on social commerce and its role in the retail communication process. Furthermore, this research would contributes directly to the area of Information Technology due to a common interest in studying the environments and contexts in which people,information and technology interact and interplay.

2. Statement of the Problem

The Word Of Mouth (WOM) is considered as the primary source of information that would influence the Consumers purchase decisions.Although WOM has a significant role to be played in the Consumers Pre-purchase and Post-purchase decisions, relatively less attention has been focused on the measurement of the variables of WOM that influence the purchase decisions. The present study will identify the product categories that are influenced by WOM and also focus on the effect of social and on line word of mouth on Consumer purchase decisions.

3. Objectives:

  1. To discuss how retailers and Shoppers interact through social commerce technologies

  2. To identify the trends in the customer acquisition process influenced by social and online word of mouth

  3. To discuss how on line consumer generated content affect traditional media in retail industry


The purpose of this study is to identify the trends in the consumer purchase decisions comparing its influence from the social and online word of mouth. The variables of customer acquisition process will be explored in this study through the level of Education, Engagement, Experience and Exposure through and with the e-commerce channels. This study will be conducted from the user`s expectations and experience on the knowledge of Web 2.0, and Social Networking Sites. Purposive sampling will be adopted to select 150 samples. This study will use social support theory and related theories on intention to use to propose a theoretical framework for the adoption of social commerce. The study will employ primary data collections through structured questionnaire and interview from customers of Central Districts of Kerala – Thrissur and Ernakulam. Electronic questionnaire will also be use to collect data from vendors and retailers. The present study will adopt both qualitative and quantitative approaches for analysing data collected. The main data analysis method will be text and content analysis using coding and pattern coding of the collected data.

Social Media and Talent Management

As presented at the National Seminar Organised by Department of Commerce and Management Studies,  Sri Achutha Menon Government College, Thrissur, Kerala – February 2016



Abstract: The actions of the Company and its employees are influenced by many factors such as company’s vision, implicit values, physical and procedural structures, customer feed backs about the company, market behaviour, place of the company’s operations etc., These factors are shaped and reshaped by the people in the organisation. HR being the most important component in the Organisational strategy, managing them is a great challenge. With the advent of technological innovations in the world of business, especially the growth of social media and the presence of digital natives it is important to understand the relationship between the integration of Talent and Technology. The present study is undertaken to find the effect of Social Media on Talent Management. The findings are based on the review of literature on the relationship between Social Media and Corporate Culture & Social Media and Employee Branding . It is also a realised fact that the quality of human inputs are the greatest asset to any organisation. The quality of human resource enhanced by the social media has a great scope to be researched. Thus this paper aims to contribute to the academic community and add on to the existing body of literature relating to the effect of Social Media in Human Resource Management.

Key Words: Social Media in HR, Corporate Culture and Technology, Employee Branding through Social Media

Responsible Education and Sustainable Development

As presented at Sree Kerala Varma College, Thrissur – UGC sponsored National Seminar, Organised by the Department of Philosophy




Globalization has challenged us to rethink not only how much education is required but also the mode and the environment in which it is delivered. The new information technologies open up new avenues of teaching and learning. The Society that is more concerned about its future should also be concerned about their students. The learning environment is directly influenced by the teacher-taught relationship contributing to the learning process and motivating the students for appropriate learning outcomes. The relational ethics which is beyond the normal code of conduct and teachers duty, comes into lime light and receives greater attention nowadays. These are exhibited by teachers during the negotiation of fixing the relationship boundaries, thereby balancing the care ethics as well as productive level of control on students. It is very essential to discuss how teachers are socially and emotionally connected with the students to realise the relationship tension they undergo while providing education for Responsible Growth and Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development is the United Nation backed initiative (2005-2014) to promote corporate responsibility through formal education.

The four elements of care ethics in the teacher-taught relationship are identified as – Attentiveness, Responsibility, Competence, and Responsiveness. The cooperative, inquiry, and experiential learning environment is identified as the lead contributors to quality enhancement of educational outcome and a reflection of responsible education for sustainable development. The teacher plays the most vital role by identifying the inferred and expressed needs of the students through observation and interactive methods. The teachers role in promoting Sustainability, Equity, Interdependence and Responsibility for action through adopting a ethical care perspective, has a lot to contibute through the Higher Education Platform mobilising Sustainable Development in all fields.

Keywords: Responsible Education, Relational Ethics, Ethical Care, Sustainable Development

Financial Innovation and Consumer Protection

As published in FINNOVA ’14  by the Post Graduate Department of Commerce and Management, ISBN 978-81-89085-91-9, November 2014


– with special reference to the Role of Financial Consumer Protection Agencies in India


The Indian financial services sector has undergone metamorphic changes in the recent past. The financial sectors in India is ever expanding and dynamic in nature. It comprises of banking and non-banking financial companies, Insurance companies, cooperatives, pensions funds, mutual funds and other smaller financial entities.i The growing competition, coupled with globalisation, deregulation and marketisation have thrust innovations in processes, products, practices and service standards. Innovation means introducing something new that could replace the old ways. The traditional product portfolios of financial institutions are being replaced with more complex products, which have given birth to a new discipline known as financial engineering.

Financial engineering very often creates complex products out of inherently simple products. This is found very common world over especially in the structured financial derivatives, where the payoff profile and risks inherent in the structure are significantly different from those of its underlying constituents. When such product design is combined with aggressive sales practices led by perverse compensation systems, it leads to mis-selling to vulnerable consumers. The end result is of consumer disputes, resulting in loss of reputation for the financial service providers.

The protection of investors and financial consumers ensures that the consumers receive information to make informed decisions. This facilitates the need for Financial Literacy which gives the knowledge, skill and confidence to understand and receive information to evaluate the risk and reward that is inherent in the innovative financial product. The major challenges of financial innovations in India in the post financial crises are matching financial products with the risk takers; regulators keeping track with what is happening in the market; Innovation and product structuring coupled with supervisions; Customer orientation and delivery and Consumer level of literacy.

Today’s Indian financial system is characterized by existence of various financial innovations in the field of corporate finance, bank finance and investment finance. India is also undertaking a fundamental review of its financial sector legislation, with the creation of the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC), whose mandate is to rewrite and harmonise the sector lawsii and multiple regulatory authorities and consumer protection agencies.

Through this paper, the author puts a sincere effort in exploring the concept of financial engineering, and its effect on the financial products. An attempt is also made to discuss the issues relating to financial illiteracy and financial consumer protection in the backdrop of the enactment of the Indian Financial Code.

Keywords: Financial Engineering, Financial Product Innovation, Indian Financial Code, Financial Consumer Protection.

CSR Redefined with Responsible Growth Initiatives

As presented at the National Seminar sponsored and organised by Chinmaya Mission College – Thrissur       on the 21st of January 2014


– Redefining Corporate Social Responsibility of Business, Integrating Economic Growth with Environmental Responsibility and Social Equity.


Globalization has brought economic and cultural interdependence. The world is getting closer creating new opportunities for growth. The growth will have major consequences for both production and consumption – particularly of food, water and energy. There is a shift in the axis of economic powers towards Asia, as the advanced nations are still in the after-shock of recession. India is acknowledged as an emerging nation to drive growth of the world GDP in the years to come.

The millennial generation living in an electronic age have more access to information. They define a good corporate citizen as someone who takes responsibility in effecting change for sustainable growth. The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which was a deliberate inclusion of public interest into corporate decision making and honouring the triple bottom-line: People, Planet and Profit is now regarded as an old fashioned and outdated concept, which is criticised for being used only for marketing purposes through hypothetical window dressing.

The major issues faced by society are social inequalities, injustice, corruption, bad governance, uncaring corporate behavior, environmental degradation and climate change etc., which is coupled with the faulty economic growth models. Corporates must assume responsibility for both humans and the environment, while taking business decisions.

CSR was used to manage the businesses and to produce an overall positive impact on society through economic, environmental and social action. The global financial crises have considerably disturbed the CSR departments. The companies are now on the move to shift from CSR to a more encompassing concept of “Responsible Growth”.

Responsible growth is a behaviour which aims in creating a better place to live. A Responsible growth strategy focuses on a shared value for both the company and society. The social media brings the likeminded people together, who have their own version which effects change. The shared value perspective focuses on business strategies and investment that creates value for the company while at the same time solving social and environmental challenges. All the stakeholders of business such as Consumers, Investors and the Companies are in move to promote responsible growth.

As wealth and education are increasing, customers are becoming aware that their own well being is tied to the well being of the environment’s sustainability and societal harmony. If corporate are involved in solving the society’s shared challenges and ensuring sustainable growth, it is important that the public sectors takes the lead and that investors and consumers demand responsible products and services. Responsible Growth is also emerging as a new field in the Management Research.

In India, many firms like ITC, Hindustan Unilever, TATA etc., have taken the initiatives of Responsible Growth practices that were already practising CSR for decades and have met with varying needs of the society. ITC is committed in establishing competitive and sustainable value chains, linked to its businesses which create sustainable livelihoods, especially amongst the poor in rural India. The three global environmental distinctions of ITC of being “Water positive”, Carbon positive” and “Solid waste recycling positive” is also considered as a Responsible growth Strategy for sustainable development. Hindustan Unileaver has operated in India for 78 years. They are successful in reinforcing their commitment to consumers through their key goals of the “Unilever Sustainable Living Plan”. Companies in India must look into solving genuine problems and not those artificially created hypothetical problems in the name of exposing their corporate social responsibility. It is not enough to create value for the products but the values should be created in the lives of the people and the society at a large.

Companies are facing growing pressure to devise and communicate clear policies on their marketing activities that enables customers to become – educated customers, better informed citizens and are therefore better able to make healthy lifestyle choices. Along with the positive benefits that technology can offer consumers, there is also an exposure to potentially harmful and irresponsible digital contents.

Responsible Growth concerns more than economies, social development, and environmental protection. It is an integrated approach, built on the moral imperatives of protecting our planet and making it safe, secure, and prosperous for all.

The present study is a sincere effort to focuses on the Responsible Growth initiatives in the field of Agriculture, Banking, Aviation, Tourism, Marketing and Communication. This also highlights that the Consumers must assume greater responsibility and be given better opportunity for demonstrating social responsibility through their choice of consumer goods. As the global population is approaching 7 billion, today’s society is consuming resources at a greater rate than the earth’s ability to replenish them. As companies are increasingly under the limelight of accountability, this study will show how pursuing values of self-regulation, environmentalism, or fair labour can improve the bottom line — public image, employee satisfaction , access to industry and societal impacts.

Key words: Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable development, Responsible growth, Responsible Consumer Behaviour, Corporate Citizenship Behaviour.


As published in  Integral review – A Journal of management, Vol. 6 No. 1, June 2013, p-ISSN : 0974-8032, e- ISSN : 2278-6120, Indexed at J-Gate and EBSCO



with special reference to College Teachers in Thrissur Dist., Kerala


The present study was undertaken to explore the relationship between the Quality of Work Life (QWL) and its effect on Organisational Citizenship Behaviour. The report findings are based on the review of literature on the relationship between the QWL & OCB combined with a survey among College Teachers in and around Thrissur Dist. Based on the findings, the report also offers an insight and advice on the ways to enhance the QWL among College Teachers. According to Ray Kroc “The Quality of an Individual is reflected in the standards they set for themself”, it is also a realised fact that the quality of human inputs are the greatest asset to any organisation. Thus this paper aims to contribute to the academic community and add on to the existing body of literature relating to the effect of QWL on OCB

Key Words: Quality of Work Life, Organisational Citizenship Behaviour, College Teachers perception on QWL,

Positive College Culture on Students Academic Achievements



With Special Reference Arts and Management Colleges in Thrissur Dt., – Kerala


The present study was undertaken to find the existing gap in the college culture between the actual and the expected culture and also to examines the impact of positive college culture on students academic achievements. The report’s findings are based on a review of literature on practices of culture audit in institutions combined with a survey among students and teachers of colleges in Thrissur District, Kerala. The literature review provides the context for the study, while the survey supplies empirical evidence about the perceptions and preferences of positive college culture among students and teachers. Based on the findings, the report also offers an insights and advice on ways to build an inclusive institutional culture. This study also highlights the radical change in the educational institution’s culture as well as the growth in the educational industry which was mainly pumped up by the three development offered to us in the past decade “LPG” – Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation.

Key Words: Culture Audit, Students, Academic Achievements, Need for Achievements

BPO as an effective HRM Strategy

As published in MIRROR, ISSN 2249-8117, March 2012


with special reference to Information Technology Companies , Chennai – Tamil Nadu


In the era of “ Global Market” and “e-economy” outsourcing is a new way to conceive the relationship among companies. Out sourcing (external source) is a management approach that allows delegating to an external agent the operational responsibility for processes or services that were previously done with in the enterprise. Outsourcing is the product of globalisation and is inevitable. Outsourcing has also become the trend in most Human Resource (HR) activities. HR outsourcing refers to a particular type of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in the corporate environment. When Organisations turns over the management of a particular Business Process (such as Accounting, Payroll etc.,) to a third party that specialises in that process a BPO occurs. The increased emphasis on outsourcing is a natural progression in the present competitive industry. Today’s HR outsourcing companies are ready to deal with all of these tasks, so businesses are actually capable of outsourcing their entire HR department. This allows the business to focus on other issues, including working on growing the business. It also means that they no longer have to deal with any of the time-consuming paperwork or tasks that HR departments must deal with, including various compliance issues.

Outsourcing the human resources department can also help the employees. Because they specialize in human resources, these outsourcing companies often know how to get employees the best HR services around, including health benefits and great retirement plans. They may also be able to provide rewards programs to the company for much less than what the company might otherwise pay. Also, if the employer or employees have a need of any kind of HR support in issues like worker’s compensation, these companies have years of expertise that is available to them.

One of the nice benefits about human resource outsourcing is that it is not an all or nothing situation. Outsourcing only the payroll and attendance, for example, while dealing with compliance and taxing is also possible. Outsourcing different HR tasks to different companies is also possible. It all depends on what the business needs. This paper is a sincere effort in bringing the HR outsourcing as an effective HRM strategy which is a hype in the globalised business scenario.

Key Words: HR strategy, HR outsourcing, BPO

Outsourcing and Multi-sourcing in Banking Industry

As presented in the National Seminar on Banking Divergence , Organised by Department of Commerce and Management Studies, Sri Achutha Menon Government College, Thrissur, Kerala – 21st February 2012


– with special reference to Business Process Outsourcing


Banking Sector is termed as an industry because of the vast spheres in operations. The banking industry in India has been on a boom with the minimizing of risk involved in cash trading and transactions. Banks play as secured institutions with the internet transactions being the fastest and safest mode of transferring money which is an accepted fact world over. The banks started getting closer to common people as the explored avenues in retail. Most of these banks within the banking industry have provided the consumers with so many products and services that it is impossible not to fall for their products. They offer various schemes on their products, like offering free gifts or higher returns for family savings account.

As globalization continues to grow, banks in mature markets will look to outside expertise from global providers. Technology is a key driver in the banking industry, which creates new business models and processes, and also revolutionizes distribution channels. Banks which have made inadequate investment in technology have consequently faced an erosion of their market shares. The beneficiaries are those banks which have invested in technology. Adoption of technology also enhances the quality of risk management systems in banks. Recognizing the benefits of modernizing their technology infrastructure banks are taking the right initiatives. In this context banks need to clearly define their core competencies to be sure that they are investing in areas that will distinguish them from other market players, and give them a competitive advantage. A further challenge which banks face in this regard is to ensure that they derive maximum advantage from their investments in technology and avoid wasteful expenditure which might arise on account of uncoordinated and piecemeal adoption of technology; adoption of inappropriate/ inconsistent technology and adoption of obsolete technology. This paper will provide the readers with an understanding of the transformation from traditional outsourcing to modern multi sourcing concepts in the banking industry. It also highlights the challenges and trends in the banking industry which is influenced by globalization and technological advancements.

Key words: BPO, Technological Advancements in Banks, Banking divergence, Multi sourcing in Banks

The Proprietory Vs. Open Source Software in Management Education

As published in RESEARCH SCHOLAR, Volume I No.II-B December 2011, ISSN 2249-6696


Making the Right Move with IT in Management Education


This paper is a sincere effort to discuss the impact of the open and free source software over the patented software in the field of Management Education. It also throws light into the role of the Government of Kerala – one of the pioneers in the free and open source software revolution in education in India. The various useful and important software that a Management student will have to deal in his/her curriculum is discussed. A Comparison of GNU/Linux (free source software) with the other proprietary software with special reference to the Management education reveals the effect of the software with regard to its cost and usability. This paper will provide readers with an understanding of both open source and proprietary methodologies and help explain why GNU/Linux and open source is possibly the driving force behind the future of computing which would naturally have an implication in Management Education as well.

Key Words: Patented software, FOSS, IT in Management Education


September 2020

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