Beijing provides dramatic backdrop to program coordinated by college’s faculty member.

Mary Ann Von Glinow addresses AIB delegates.

When Mary Ann Von Glinow, professor, Management and International Business Department in the college and director of Florida International University’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), stood on the stage of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, it was the culmination of months of planning and the combined efforts of hundreds of scholars, a number of them from the college.

Von Glinow was program chair of the 2006 Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business (AIB) at which scholars—executives to doctoral students—presented and heard about the most cutting edge research in their field. From the review process of more than 935 articles submitted from fifty-five countries requiring 1,121 reviewers, to the dinner in the Great Hall of the People adjacent to Tiananmen Square, there was ample opportunity for things to go wrong, but nothing did.

Logistics pose challenges.

“As president of the Academy of Management, with a membership of 25,000, I had run even larger programs, but to manage a session with the added logistical complexities in China—where everything is a matter of negotiation—and to bring it all off for the 1,200 attendees was a challenge,” Von Glinow said.

Mary Ann Von Glinow and colleagues on the stage of the Great Hall of the People.

She credits Silvia Salas (MSMIS ’03), a doctoral student in Management Information Systems (MIS) in the college’s Department of Decision Sciences and Information Systems (DSIS), with being an indispensable assistant. Salas was instrumental in organizing the program book, which included more than 100 pages of session and participant information.

“I created a database that enabled us to track and update details on authors, manuscripts, and sessions,” she said. “As specifics—such as names of session chairs, presenters, and many other variables—changed, we were able to stay current more easily than using spreadsheets or a paper solution.”

Members of the college contribute to the quality of the program.

Not only was support of the college and CIBER, along with the organizational contributions of Von Glinow and Salas, central to the smooth running of the conference itself, but also the delegation included some of the college’s established and newest leading lights in the area of international business research.

One such person was José de la Torre, dean of the Chapman Graduate School of Business, himself a major figure in AIB, having served as program chair for the AIB conference in Banff, Canada, in 1996, and then as president of the organization from 1998-2000. He now holds the title “Fellow of the AIB.” He singled out the significance of the college’s partner in China: Peking University’s prestigious Guanghua School of Management.

“This is the number one university in China,” said de la Torre, “and we were most fortunate to have its support for this conference.”

AIB participants at a dinner held in the Great Hall of the People.

He noted the organization’s growth and increasing success.

“This was indeed the most successful AIB conference in my memory,” he said. “When I ran the 1996 conference, we had fewer than 500 delegates and about 160 papers presented. Attendance in Beijing was more than double these figures. I would attribute this in part to the growing importance of international business as a discipline, to the attraction of China as a venue, and to the extraordinary job done by Von Glinow in organizing this conference.”

Other attendees from the Department of Management and International Business included Sumit Kundu, associate professor, who ran the Junior Faculty Consortium and who has been recognized as a major figure in international business research; Dana Farrow, professor; G. Ronald Gilbert, associate professor; and Chris Changwa Chung, a new assistant professor.

In addition, doctoral students had the opportunity to present their research, the college’s Amanda Bullough, Maija Renko, Andrea Jean Roofe, and David Wernick among them.

Renko and Wernick presented material that grew out of work they did in the international business doctoral seminar they took with Kundu.

“Professor Kundu helped me develop the paper further and we co-authored the final version—which addresses the liabilities that international new ventures face when they internationalize their operations—that I presented at the AIB meeting,” Renko said.

Not only did the conference help her polish her presentation skills, but also she met leading academics in her field.

AIB participants at a dinner held in the Great Hall of the People.

“It was a thrill to meet John Dunning, from the University of Reading, UK—one of the most eminent scholars in the field and the author of a number of texts used in our courses,” she said. “Professor Kundu introduced us to him during the first night’s social event.”

Wernick, who has presented at a number of conferences, felt the stakes were higher at the AIB meeting.

“When you are presenting your work to people you admire and who in some cases are pioneers in the field, there’s more pressure to make a favorable impression,” said Wernick whose paper, “Terror Incognito: Is the New Global Terrorism a Form of Political Risk?” was a revised, updated version of a chapter in the just-published book, Corporate Strategies under International Terrorism and Adversity. “Yet the environment at AIB was very collegial and I received valuable feedback on my paper that will allow me to take my research to the next level.”

The conference was titled “From the Silk Road to Global Networks: Harnessing the Power of People in International Business.” Many of the presentations had real world applications, such as a plenary speech on whether China or India will be the next country of major importance for business.

Mary Ann Von Glinow and colleagues at a dinner in the Great Hall of the People.

“Everyone has to deal with some aspect of international business, down to establishing foreign investments,” Von Glinow said. “The content of many of the presentations will be of interest to South Florida, Florida, and the United States.”

Dean de la Torre moves future relationship with Qingdao University closer.

Taking advantage of his trip to China, de la Torre traveled to the city of Qingdao, a major port on the East China Sea and Miami’s “sister city,” for two days of meetings with high-level university officials at Qingdao University.

“We took the next step in the process of securing an agreement that advances the college’s commitment to expanding relationships with leading academic institutions in China, and we will sign the agreement in September after more than six months of discussions,” he said.

The agreement provides for Chinese students coming to Florida International University to study in both the International MBA (IMBA) and Master of International Business (MIB) programs. It also will enable students in the “China Track” of the IMBA to spend two months in China improving their language skills, learning more about the Chinese business environment, and working as interns in Chinese businesses in the Qingdao area.

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