Welch College of Business Hosts International Conference on ‘Business Without Borders’

News Story: October 24, 2012
From left are Dean John Chalykoff, Customer Solutions Group Executive Vice President David Dobson, Pitney Bowes President and CEO Murray Martin, Yale School of Management Senior Faculty Fellow Arun Sinha and Spreadsave.com President Mike Moen.

The 2012 annual meeting of the Academy of International Business – U.S. Northeast Chapter (AIB), hosted by the John F. Welch School of Business (WCOB) at Sacred Heart University, illuminated and captured the minds of more than 100 attendees from 13 different nations earlier this month.

It’s appropriate that Sacred Heart hosted this scholarly gathering as fostering a global mindset has been part of the WCOB’s mission “to develop undergraduate and graduate students prepared to achieve their personal and professional goals and obligations in the business community and global society.”  WCOB professors include acclaimed international business scholars, and the school offers multiple study-abroad programs to undergraduate students and successfully runs an MBA program at Sacred Heart’s campus in Luxembourg – the only U.S.-accredited program in that European nation.

The three-day event, held Oct. 11-13, was the first large international academic conference hosted by the university since its founding in 1963. The conference, which focused on the topic of “Business without Borders,” drew scores of academics and doctoral students who are researching international business. The event also provided an opportunity for the international audience to hear the latest ideas and works in progress.

“Among all the things that we did to make this conference unique, the highest priority was building a bridge crossing the borders between academia and business practice,” said Laura Niesen de Abruna, University provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, during her closing remarks.

WCOB professors and acclaimed international business scholars, Khawaja Mamun and Jing’an Tang, served as co-chairs of the conference that was held at the Sacred Heart’s  campus in Fairfield.

“Business without Borders is a relevant discussion in today’s global economy, because the dilemmas that businesses face in the global arena are extremely challenging,” Tang noted.

“On the one hand, the recent round of globalization has made national borders less of a hurdle to cross for businesses. But on the other hand, the national borders that separate people pose a threat to businesses in dealing with the cultural, institutional, social and political differences in the countries where they operate.”

He said the main objective is to advance knowledge creation and sharing in the field of international business by bringing together scholars and executives to discuss and share research ideas and generate new perspectives and thoughts in various areas of international business.

More than 10 corporate executives from specialized areas of business, including digital and industrial equipment manufacturing, financial services and management consulting, were also in attendance.

“With the intent of building a bridge and mingling these two fields border-less, we added to this academic conference a series of sessions showcasing the perspectives and insights from practitioners,” Dr. Tang said.

 David Dobson

The keynote speaker for the conference was David Dobson. Dobson currently serves as a corporate director and advisor and has worked at senior level positions at CA Technologies, Pitney Bowes, Corel Corporation and IBM. He shared his expertise on current and future challenges/opportunities in the international business world. The conference also incorporated several plenary sessions and panel discussions featuring such business leaders as Mike Moen, president of Spreadsave.com; Arun Sinha, former chief marketing officer from Zurich Financial; and Murray Martin, chairman and CEO of Pitney Bowes. They all shared their practitioners’ perspectives and insights on the current and future challenges in international business.

Former Argentine Minister of Economy and Production Martin Lousteau, who is one of the youngest individuals to hold the post, gave the keynote speech during the closing Award Luncheon. He shared his insights on the “hidden/emerging borders” in today’s seemingly borderless business world, based on his experience in Argentina.

During the awards presentation, Sacred Heart University professors Jeanine Andreassi and Leanna Lawter received the Best Paper Award for their work on “Job Satisfaction Determinants: A Study of Across 48 Nations.” They worked with two colleagues from outside the University on the project.