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 .”

Collaborative consumption workshop, 14th May 2018

Dr Kevin Lu is organising a research workshop exploring “Recent Developments in Research for Collaborative Consumption” which will look at themes such as the sharing economy, cryptocurrencies, green behaviours and service ecosystems. The workshop will count with presentations by the following esteemed scholars:

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In addition to stimulating presentations on the latest research by these experts, there will also be plenty of opportunity for discussions and networking.

 

This workshop has been generously sponsored by the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies (SAMS), and is free to attend. It is open to all, but registration is necessary for catering purposes (which will include lunch).

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Join us on May 14th, 2018, from 10 am, in room ESGW 209.

 

Confirm your attendance, as soon as possible, to Dr. Kevin Lu.

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Brunel Research: Explaining the effect of rapid internationalization on horizontal foreign divestment in the retail sector

Multinational enterprises (MNEs) compete in a fierce global arena. One of the most critical aspects related to their performance, is among others, the speed of internationalisation the adopt, that is how rapidly MNEs expand their foreign operations. Although high speed of internationalisation is important for MNEs in order to leverage first mover advantages and quickly deploy their unique firm-specific capabilities, at the same time the managerial resources needed to execute such a fast-paced internationalization strategy are limited, and to a certain extent, subject to regional availability. As such, firms that grow too rapidly in one period may not only grow more slowly in the subsequent period but may also need to divest some of their operations.

 

The study developed by Dr. Batsakis and his coauthors (Prof. Alex Mohr from WU Vienna and Dr. Zita Stone from the University of Kent) argues that the likelihood of divestment of MNEs’ international operations increases with the speed of firms’ prior international expansion. Given that MNEs are likely to face constraints in terms of quickly deploying managerial resources to new international operations, the study argues that two important factors, namely international experience and regional concentration, can act as “shock absorbers”, thus mitigating the negative effects of the speed of firms’ prior international expansion on the level of foreign divestment.

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Figure: The moderating role of intra-regional international experience on the relationship between intra-regional internationalization speed and intra-regional foreign divestment. (Image source)

Drawing on regional strategy theory and the theory of the growth of the firm (Edith Penrose), the aforementioned arguments are tested using two-stage least squares (2SLS) estimation on panel data that capture the international expansion and divestment of retailers over the period 2003–2012.

 

The article has been published in the Journal of International Business Studies.

 

Dr. Georgios Batsakis is an Assistant Professor of International Business. His research focuses on internationalisation processes and foreign market entry strategies of multinational enterprises. His teaching lies in the areas of international business, strategic management and entrepreneurship. Dr. Batsakis has published in leading international business and general management academic journals, such as the Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business, British Journal of Management, Management International Review, International Business Review, International Marketing Review, Journal of Business Research, among others.

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Developmental programme for doctoral students at Brunel Business School

Message from Dr. Dorothy Yen, Director of the Doctoral programme at Brunel Business School

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This year’s Brunel Business School PGR Student Development Programme has just finished.

 

Six PhD students participated in this programme as mentees. They each volunteered 1 hour per week (10 hours in total), during term 1, to shadow and assist their mentors in the delivery of final year project seminars. This experience allowed them to witness how seminars are constructed, and to engage with final year undergraduate students during the seminars.

 

From the feedback that we have received from both staff and PhD students, this programme was a great success, and we will endeavour to run it again as a regular training opportunity for our PGR students.

 

This is a sample of what our PhD students felt that gained from this experience, and how it will help them prepare them for their future higher education career:

The opportunity from participating in this BBS PGR Developmental programme has provide a valuable experience…This experience has enhanced my confidence in the classroom environment, and my ability to utilise the knowledge and research skills that I have gained throughout my PhD study. I have acknowledged the need to develop my communication skills further in order to explain or elaborate the idea clearly, in the sense that it should not only includes theoretical concepts but to combine with practicality…” Theenida Buntornwon.

What I learnt from this experience will help me in my future academic career on few levels. First, after I built a better understanding on assessing the student capabilities, it will help me to design and prepare the most appropriate teaching material based on the student needs and link it to examples from our daily life. Second, it will help me to build a good and professional relation with the students which increase their productivity and the overall outcome from the course. Third, this experience has improved my time management skills for the class and helped me to have better ideas on how to allocate time for each part of the lecture. Finally, this experience will make it much easier for in term of solving unexpected issues in the class.” Ruaa Hasan.

 

Thank you to the colleagues that have kindly offered to act as mentors for PhD students and allowed PhD students to shadow them when delivering final year projects, this year. Namely, Drs. Bidit Dey, Raffaella Valsecchi, Marios Samdanis, Nikolaos Antypas, Monomita Nandy, Sharifah Alwi, and Sankar Sivarajah.

 

More information about our PhD programme is available here.

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Dr Grigorios Theodosopoulos investigates the management challenges faced by hospices in England

Approximately 70% of the available palliative care beds in England – that is, places offering end of life care for terminally ill patients – are managed by voluntary sector organisations. The great majority of these organisations, known as hospices, are independent local charities, which are subject to an increasing number of regulatory demands covering areas as diverse as health and safety, patient treatment, and value for money. There are also a number of key stakeholders, and associated relations, that impact on what hospices do, and how. Figure 1 illustrates these stakeholder relations.

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Dr Grigorios Theodosopoulos has researched the management challenges faced by hospices in England, and has recently published a paper on this topic. The paper reveals that hospices are called upon to provide an ever-increasing range of clinical and other services, for which they need to secure funding via innovative income generating initiatives. Drawing on interviews and financial data, the research conducted by Dr Theodosopoulos and his co-authors sheds light on:

  • The complexity of the funding model used by these organisations
  • The scarcity of appropriately skilled staff for clinical, nursing and fundraising work
  • The extended demand for hospice care driven by population demographics

 

Dr Grigorios Theodosopoulos is a Senior Lecturer in accounting, and a member of the Accounting and Auditing Research Centre, at Brunel Business School. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, member of the British Accounting and Finance Association, member of the Voluntary Sector Studies Network and has broad working experience in accounting, commercial auditing, and management. His research focuses on the development and application of an accounting business models’ framework within voluntary sector organisations. His teaching interests include: contemporary issues in accounting research, financial reporting and analysis, and introductory accounting.

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The research paper is entitled ‘Accounting for voluntary hospices in England: A business model perspective’, and was published by the journal Critical Perspectives on Accounting. For further information about this work, or for a copy of the paper, please contact Dr Theodosopoulos here.

ANZMAC Best paper award for Dr Marcia Christina Ferreira

Dr Marcia Christina Ferreira, a lecturer in marketing at Brunel Business School, and researcher in the Marketing and Corporate Brand Management Research Group, won the best paper award in the Consumer Culture Theory track, at the prestigious marketing conference ANZMAC, organized by Australia and New Zealand Marketing Academy.

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The paper, titled “The Enmeshed Paths of Consumers as Collectors”, explores the publicisation of once-private collections on social media. This research investigates how the design, materials, and marketing efforts objectified in the branded products interweave consumers and objects through different levels of sociality, leading consumers to develop enmeshed individual and collective paths as collectors.

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Co-authored with Dr Daiane Scaraboto from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and Dr Emily Chung from RMIT University, this paper brings new insights into understanding collectors and their pathways towards becoming (or ceasing to be) devoted collectors. Their approach uses a more dynamic and integrative perspective that is different to the simplistic, linear manner adopted by prior research. The insights revealed by this study can also in turn help brand managers develop tools to better relate to its most loyal consumers.