ISBM at the Penn State Smeal College of Business – Academic Institute supporting B2B Research. Switch to the ISBM-Corporate website.

ISBM at the Penn State Smeal College of Business – Academic Institute supporting B2B Research. Switch to 

This course is for PhD Students only who are enrolled in a PhD Program at an Institute for Higher Learning

Establishing Causality: A Multi-Method Approach


This course is designed to expose Ph.D. students to a multi-method approach to establish causality, especially in the context of inter-firm relationships. Causal inference is an increasingly important issue that you will confront in conducting your own research and in evaluating the research of others. We will discuss two approaches for causal inference in the course. First, experiments, the gold standard for internal validity, have typically been ignored as a method in inter-firm/B2B research; half of this course will focus on how to conduct experiments in B2B settings, not using undergrad students as respondents. However, not all research questions lend themselves to experimental studies. Thus, the second half of the course focuses on empirical strategies that provide causal interpretation. The students will be required to submit a final research idea that uses a mix of methods (experimental and econometric) to establish causality.

The course will be offered on Fridays from 12:00pm-2:00pm ET beginning on March 6 through May 8, 2020 (no class on Apr 3 or Apr 17). The course consists of eight sessions of 120 minutes each.  If needed, a technology session will be scheduled before the course begins.


Mahima Hada (Ph.D., Penn State) is an Associate Professor of Marketing and Director of Marketing Analytics Programs at the Aaronson Department of Marketing and International Business at Baruch College, City University of New York, NY. Her research has been published in the Journal of Marketing, Journal of International Business Studies, the International Journal of Research in Marketing (IJRM), and others. Her paper on Referral Equity won the 2016 Naresh K Malhotra Long-Term Impact award, and her paper on B2B referrals was a finalist in the prestigious MSI Paul H. Root Award 2015. Her work on effect of franchisors’ strategies during the recession resulted in her being named the Lang Fellow in 2014. She serves on the ERB of the Journal of Marketing Research, Industrial Marketing Management and the Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing. She received Baruch’s “Excellence in Teaching” Award in 2017, and has been invited to be on industry panels on Data Science and Machine Learning.

Alok R. Saboo is the Associate Professor of Marketing and Director of the Master of Science in Marketing program at J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University. Dr. Saboo is primarily interested in leveraging data and analytics to improve the effectiveness of firms’ marketing actions and helping firms increase the returns on their marketing investments. His research falls in three broad areas: 1) enhancing outcomes of organizational actions such as mergers and acquisitions or product recalls, 2) developing dynamic marketing resource allocation approaches, and 3) improving marketing actions such as those related to innovation and customer management. His research is published or forthcoming in premier journals including Marketing ScienceJournal of Marketing ResearchJournal of MarketingManagement Information Systems Quarterly (MISQ)Production and Operations Management (POMS)International Journal of Research in Marketing (IJRM), and the Journal of Service Research (JSR). His co-authored work on new product introductions in the pharmaceutical context in the Journal of Marketing won the 2019 Don Lehmann Award for the best dissertation based paper. His research on customer concentration was the finalist for 2018 Shelby D. Hunt/Harold H. Maynard Award for significant contribution to marketing theory and thought. He currently serves on the editorial review boards of Journal of Marketing ResearchJournal of Marketing, and Journal of Business Research and regularly serves as a referee for several top-tier journals. Dr. Saboo is a 2019 Marketing Science Institute (MSI) Young Scholar and was named by Poets and Quants as one of the Top 40 under 40 Business School Professors Worldwide in 2017.