Doctoral research on role of Artificial Intelligence in Customer Service receives Vice Chancellor’s Travel Prize

Brunel Business School doctoral student, Ms. Daniela Castillo, has been awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Travel Prize for Postgraduate Research. The travel prize aims to support students in communicating and disseminating high quality research to wider audiences. This prize is awarded, via a competitive process, to doctoral students who have had their papers accepted at a national or international research conference, and is based on the following criteria:

  • The originality, rigour and significance / impact of the research to be presented
  • The significance and reputation of the conference within the field of research
  • The benefits and relevance of the proposed conference to student progression and research output
  • The student’s engagement with personal development and skills training opportunities
  • The strength of support from your supervisor


Ms Castillo’s doctoral work is exploring the role of Artificial Intelligence in Customer Service Encounters. She will be presenting her work at the Academy of Marketing’s conference, taking place at the University of Stirling, between the 2ndand 5th July 2018.


Ms Castillo is a part-time doctoral student, who lectures at the University of Malta. She is supervised by Dr Ana Canhoto from Brunel Business School, as well as Dr. Emanuel Said from the University of Malta. Dr Ana Canhoto said:

Daniela’s doctoral work is exploring a very topical issue, and we anticipate that her study will make significant contributions to theory and practice. We believe that she will benefit greatly from attending this conference, while the conference delegates will benefit from hearing about the research findings.

2018 Doctoral Conference at Brunel Business School

Brunel Business School hosted the 4th Doctoral conference, on May 14thand 15th. This annual event provides an opportunity for doctoral students, at any stage of their programme, to present their work to their peers and to the Business School faculty.


This year’s event received 38 paper submissions and saw presentations across 12 panels. Dr Jane Hendy, head of the Business School, opened the event and welcomed students, alumni and academic staff. On Monday, May 14th, Dr Sankar Sivarajah delivered a keynote speech where he talked about the importance of Research Impact. The second keynote speech took place on Tuesday, May 15th, and was delivered by Professor T C Melewar who shared his passion for research.

Reflecting on this event, Dr Dorothy Yen, Director of the Doctoral Programme at the Business School said:

This event has been a great success. It provided Brunel Business School PhD students an interactive platform for them to present their works and exchange ideas with each other and to receive constructive feedback from academic colleagues and PhD alumni in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.

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The following students received a best paper award for their submissions, including a certificate and an Amazon voucher:

  • Callen Clegg
  • Fadiah Alraies
  • Ismaeel Ibrahim
  • Jaskaran Kaur
  • Jin Wang
  • May Al Dubayan
  • Parsim Kaushik
  • Sarah Binsaied
  • Shi Ha
  • Syed Mohammad


Brunel Business School hosts interdisciplinary research sandpit event on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence

On May 2nd and 3rd, Brunel Business School hosted about 25 academics from multiple disciplines, ranging from anthropology to physics, and from four countries, to consider the implications of Big Data and of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for individuals, organisations and society. This event was led by Professor Ashley Braganza, who is Deputy Dean, CBASS and Professor of Business Transformation at Brunel Business School, and by Professor Maureen Meadows, who is Professor of Strategy at Coventry University’s Centre for Business in Society.

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Over the course of two days, the participants in this event explored various future scenarios resulting from the confluence between the generalised collection and processing of large volumes of data and the ubiquitous adoption of artificial intelligence. The researchers then explored a multitude of first, second and third order consequences from these phenomena. These, subsequently, informed the definition of a set of research priorities and associated overarching research questions. Finally, the researchers agreed on a number of targeted initiatives to foster greater collaboration and interdisciplinary research in this area.

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Reflecting on the event, Professor Braganza said:

“Having different disciplines in the room discussing AI made a hugely positive impact as colleagues were able to challenge taken-for-granted assumptions to get under the skin of how AI is going to impact on how we work, live and interact with each other.”


This event was sponsored by Brunel Business School including the HR/OB Research Group, and by the following special interest groups from the British Academy of Management:




Dr Michael Heller appointed editor of Palgrave Macmillan Business History Series

It has recently been announced that Dr Michael Heller (Senior Lecturer within the Marketing and Corporate Brand Research Group) has been appointed editor for Business History of the leading publisher Palgrave Macmillan.

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Dr. Michael Heller is an expert in the history of the office, the history of clerical work, internal communications, the history of public relations and corporate branding and communications. He is also the Programme Leader for the MSc in Marketing, which is one of the leading marketing graduate programmes in London.


Professor John M.T. Balmer reflects:

“Dr Heller enjoys an enviable profile in the business history and marketing fields and this prestigious appointment is a recognition of his reputation and scholarship in these critically important areas .”