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:

 

 

 

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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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.

Dr Andreas Georgiadis contributes to key resource for policy makers

Dr Andreas Georgiadis, Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Economics at Brunel Business School, has contributed to the “Disease Control Priorities” (DCP) book series, which has been described by former prime minister of the UK, Gordon Brown, as a key resource for Ministers of Health and Finance.

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Dr Andreas Georgiadis

Dr Andreas Georgiadis’s contribution to this series draws on empirical evidence regarding the impact of interventions on Health and Development during middle childhood and school age, and shows that:

“the effects of early deprivation do not necessarily persist throughout life, especially if environmental circumstances change, and the trajectories of child growth and cognitive development respond rather strongly to growth-promoting interventions after age two years.”

 

The central message of this contribution is, thus, that it is possible to reverse the effects of deprivation in early childhood, through coordinated growth promoting interventions. Given the readership of this book series, it is expected that this work will influence government policy and interventions around education and child health.

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Image source: @DCPThree

 

The latest volume in this important series was presented at an event which included representatives from the World Health Organisation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and various other dignitaries and policy makers.

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Image source: @DCPThree

More information about the book series is available here.

 

 

Professor Catherine Wang co-authors key entrepreneurship textbook

Professor Catherine Wang has co-authored the second edition of the textbook “Exploring Entrepreneurship”, with Professor Richard Blundel from The Open University and Professor Nigel Lockett from Lancaster University. Professor Wang contributed her expertise in entrepreneurial learning, ethnic minority entrepreneurship and international entrepreneurship, as well as a number of international case studies and examples of entrepreneurship from China.

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This textbook offers:

‘A detailed and critical analysis of the multiple types of entrepreneurship, helping students to understand the practical skills and theoretical concepts needed to create their very own entrepreneurial venture.’ (source: Sage Publishing)

 

Professor Catherine Wang’s research interests are in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation and strategic management. She teaches Entrepreneurship and Strategy at Brunel Business School. Before joining academia, Professor Wang worked in small business support and consultancy, and international trade and investment. More information about her work is available here.

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Professor John M.T. Balmer co-edits landmark book “Advances in Corporate Branding”

Professor John M.T. Balmer, who some credit with formally introducing the ‘corporate brand’ notion, and who held the first chair in corporate brand management, is one of the co-editors for the recently published “Advances in Corporate Branding“. Published by Palgrave, this book is a cornerstone anthology on corporate brands aimed at scholars, practitioners, and managers. A list of Professor Balmer’s publications is available here.

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This prestigious edited collection of articles from the Journal of Brand Management (JBM) provides an overview of the corporate brand field, including its historiography. Among the topics examined are: franchise management, co-creation of corporate brands, alliance brands, and  internal branding.

 

Along with Professor Balmer (Chairman of the Board of Senior Consultant editors of the JBM), this compendium is co-edited by the three editors in chief of JBM who, respectively are from Australia, Switzerland, and Germany: Dr Shaun M. Powell, Dr Joachim Kernstock and Professor Tim Oliver Brexendorf.

 

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Professor Balmer notes: “This book aims to be ‘essential reading’ for all those interested in corporate brands“.

 

Brunel Business School enjoys an international reputation for its research and scholarship in corporate branding and is credited in introducing the first MSc in Corporate Brand Management. Further information about our postgraduate courses in branding, here.

Another successful PhD conference for Brunel Business School

BrunelBBS PhD Symposium Group photo BBS (2) 20 per centBusiness School held its annual PhD conference on the 4th and 5th May with over 20 of its PhD students presenting papers to an audience of peers and experienced researchers.

The annual conference invites Business School doctoral students, at any stage in their programme, to put forward a paper for the conference and to present it over the two-day event.

62 doctoral student papers were received for assessment by the conference panel and 10 top paper accolades were awarded at the event.

The annual doctoral conference was created by the Business School to allow PhD students to get valuable engagement with the research community as well as to hear from experienced researchers. Key note speakers for the event were Professor Bradley Barnes from Sheffield Hallam University, and Professor Jǒskos Brakus from Leeds University Business School

Head of School, Professor Christos Pitelis opened the event and Professor Bill Leahy, Deputy Vice Chancellor for academic affairs and civic engagement presented awards to the 10 PhD students whose papers received the highest scores from reviewers.