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Reza Alibakhshi

Assistant Professor, IE Business School

Information Systems and Operations Management

Reza  Alibakhshi? PhD Alumnus 2022, ISOM, HEC Paris

A PhD journey is as much about personal growth and learning about yourself as it is about your research.

 

What is your current position and academic background?

I'm currently serving as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Information Systems and Technology at IE Business School, Madrid. I completed my PhD in Information Systems and Operations Management (ISOM) from HEC Paris in 2022. Prior to that, I obtained an MBA in Management Information Systems from the University of Tehran, Iran, and a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Iran. 

Visit Reza's personal web-site

Why did you decide to join the HEC Paris PhD Program?

Choosing to join the HEC Paris PhD program was a decision influenced by the breadth and depth of academic expertise offered by the faculty members at the ISOM department. The faculty's diverse specializations encompass a wide range of information systems topics, offering me the unique opportunity to learn from their extensive experience and knowledge in this academic domain. The educational enrichment promised by this environment was exactly what I was seeking to nourish my future academic career. 
In addition to that, HEC Paris is globally recognized for its rigorous, research-based programs, making it the perfect platform to delve deeper into my field of interest. Also, the support I received through the HEC Foundation was influential in this decision, as it underscored the institution's commitment to nurturing researchers. 

Can you talk about your research?

My research focuses on understanding behavioral patterns on social media platforms. I'm particularly intrigued by the interaction between User Generated Content (UGC) and user engagement. In the first stream of research that I pursue, I analyze various factors like emotions expressed in the content, the creativity of visuals used, and how these elements impact and are impacted by user engagement with digital content such as images and videos. In my second stream of research, I try to examine the influence of platforms’ strategic decisions, such as channel diversification for content creation, on the collective behavior of various contributors such as content creators or influencers on these platforms. I’m also keen on bringing cultural factors of individuals into these research streams which allows for the understanding of broader societal trends and behaviors online. In terms of methodologies, I employ a blend of econometrics, machine learning, and experimental design to delve deeper into these subjects, aiming to provide valuable insights for the design and management of social media platforms.

Read his article co-authored with his Thesis Supervisor Shirish C.Srivastava 'Using Innovations on Social Media for More Engagement? Be Aware of The Cultural Differences' available on Knowledge@HEC

What advice would you give to someone who would like to pursue a PhD?

Choosing to pursue a PhD is an immense decision that should not be taken lightly. The first piece of advice for future PhD students is that the passion for your chosen field is crucial - it will fuel your motivation during challenging times. Secondly, persistence is key. You'll face numerous trials and tribulations, and it's your resilience that will guide you through. Be prepared to work hard and dedicate substantial time and effort to your research. Furthermore, communication is vital. Engage in academic discourse, attend conferences, and build a network of colleagues. Not only will this help in knowledge sharing, but it will also provide you with different perspectives, stimulating ideas for your research. Also, don't underestimate the value of fostering a strong, collaborative relationship with your advisor - their guidance can truly illuminate your path forward. 
Lastly, remember to take good care of your mental health during your journey. It's okay to take breaks and make sure to maintain a work-life balance. A PhD journey is as much about personal growth and learning about yourself as it is about your research.