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Real-world experience for marketing students

26 May 2015

Eat.co.nz, a company that delivers fresh home-cooked meals to people’s doors, was one of eight Wellington businesses that provided real-life experience for 249 third-year students completing a Strategic Marketing Management paper. The students’ brief was to work with a business to create a strategic marketing analysis and a plan looking to the future.

‘Eat Together’ is the brand suggested by student Kallie French, which would involve cooking meals for families of up to five rather than the usual single-serve options, encouraging families to eat together at the table.

“I love the name and the idea, which will help us tap into a different market,” says Margaret Macaulay, managing director of eat.co.nz, who plans to launch the new product in the next few months.

For the assignment, which is likely to become an annual course requirement, students were divided into groups and allocated a business with which to work.

Business representatives came to a tutorial at the University to talk about their strategic issues, enabling students to ask questions. Once the students had completed their strategy, they made formal presentations to their business.

“In a business school, I think it’s incredibly important to students to have some real-world experience, which is why we chose to use actual companies,” says the course coordinator, Dr Janine Williams.

“Students I talked to said they learned so much and enjoyed the practical application. They found it challenging, but more engaging and rewarding because they were dealing with real issues and constraints.”

Cath Randall, from Grow Wellington, helped Janine to identify businesses to participate in the project, and says feedback was positive.

“Not only did the students benefit, many of the businesses remarked on how impressed they were by the students’ insights and ideas,” she says. “This kind of experience is invaluable for students before they enter the workforce.”

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Two papers accepted by Journal of Business Research

18 May 2015

pub_jbrUpcoming issues of the Journal of Business Research will feature two papers by SMIB lecturers. The school extends it congratulations to Yuri Seo and Aaron Gazley on their forthcoming publications.

 

  • Dr Seo’s paper, “Professionalized consumption and identity transformations in the field of eSports”, investigates the social world and self-concept dynamics that underpin an organised and competitive approach to playing computer games, or ‘electronic sports’. The findings highlight that professionalized pursuits can be conceived as distinct fields of cultural production with characteristics that set this form of consumption apart from both casual leisure and work. It also considers how consumer transformations occur when a consumer embarks on a serious leisure career, leading him or her away from mainstream culture and towards becoming a skilled adherent of the professionalised consumption field.
  • Taking into account the lack of research into marketing-related law, Dr Gazley’s paper, “Towards a Theory of Marketing Law Transgressions”, develops and tests a dynamic model of transgressing marketing law. This model investigates both the antecedents and consequences of illegal marketing behaviour. Using a Linear Mixed Model, the results show that conditions of control have the greatest effect on the potential for transgression. The use of compliance programmes and perceptions of risk are identified as being particularly effective in reducing the potential for multiple transgressions.

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Best Qualitative Paper in International Business: finalists announced

13 April 2015

A paper co-authored by Dr Hongzhi Gao has been nominated for the Best Qualitative Paper award at this year’s Annual Conference of the Academy of Management held in Vancouver, Canada. Sponsored by the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, the award is given to a paper that uses qualitative methodology to make a strong contribution to IB theory development.

Dr Gao’s paper examines relational (guanxi) gatekeeping in business network management in China and will be considered alongside a pool of 4-5 other finalists at the conference later this year. Guided by a yin-yang balancing logic, the paper draws on interviews conducted with Chinese and Western business managers to identify a series of key gatekeeping constructs that connect local guanxi insiders with foreign outsiders. The award will be announced and presented to the winner at the International Management Division Business Meeting during the conference.

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IMR editor spends week at Victoria

2 April 2015

Visiting Scholar, Professor John Cadogan, gave a public lecture on the role of market orientation at the first Distinguished Lecture Series event of 2015. Continuing a three year tradition of hosting leading academics in marketing or international business, the school invited Professor Cadogan to spend a week at Victoria, to share his research and expertise with Victoria Business School staff, students, alumni and the wider business community.

Cadogan, who is also editor in chief of the International Marketing Review, spoke to the audience about the logic of implementing a market orientation and the relationship between market orientation and firm success. In addition to the public lecture, Professor Cadogan held a workshop and a seminar at the school, allowing staff and students to benefit from his extensive research and publishing experience in an informal setting.

For more information about upcoming events at SMIB, visit the events page which is updated regularly with information about public lectures, workshops and seminars.

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Poster award for SMIB summer scholar

31 March 2015

Professor Kate McGrath congratulating Lauren Chalmers SMIB Marketing Honours student, Lauren Chalmers, took out one of three commerce prizes at this year’s Summer Gold Poster Competition held at The Hub in Kelburn. The competition offers summer research scholars the chance to submit a poster or video to present their work and findings to a general audience.

Lauren’s scholarship topic investigated advertising of the WWII “Make Do and Mend” campaign, which communicated the importance of making do and re-using in a period of scarce resources and significant rationing of essential products. The judges were impressed by the quality of content and creative appeal of Lauren’s poster, commenting on the clever use of World War Two-era magazine advertisements. They also praised the use of a monochrome colour palette and the artful organisation of typefaces and illustrations used to provoke both nostalgia and interest in the research.

Guests at the event were able to view a range of posters entered into the competition from across the university. Posters entered by other SMIB Summer Scholars were also of a very high standard and compared favourably alongside those from other disciplines.

SMIB Summer Scholars included:

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Corporate social responsibility in the spotlight

30 March 2015

Professor Sankar Sen speaking at the BNZ Harbour Quays

More than 100 Victoria Business School alumni and stakeholders gathered at BNZ, Harbour Quays on March 17 to attend a public lecture by Professor Sankar Sen. Professor Sen delivered an engaging lecture on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), an issue that is increasingly important to the business community, but which many companies are struggling to optimise. He spoke of how companies can optimise their CSR efforts to create value for both themselves and society.

The public lecture followed an earlier presentation at the School of Marketing and International Business. In this presentation, Professor Sen spoke to the school’s academic staff and PhD students about consumer reactions to CSR in the case of disaster relief. Professor Sen’s research in this area attempts to understand consumer reactions to marketer actions by focusing on two factors: the nature of corporate contributions and consumers’ perceived controllability of the disaster.

Professor Sen has lectured extensively on CSR in academic and industry forums worldwide. His research has appeared in both academic and practitioner-directed journals and been cited in leading media outlets. During his visit at SMIB, Sankar Sen was interviewed by journalists from Radio New Zealand and Stuff.

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Myanmar daughter follows in father’s footsteps

12 January 2015

Ohnmar Aung Naing Oo and Aung Naing Oo

Ohnmar Aung Naing Oo (Cheryl) from Myanmar, with father Aung Naing Oo

When Ohnmar Aung Naing Oo (known as Cheryl) from Myanmar graduated in December it was a dream come true for her father, who also studied at Victoria.

When Ohnmar Aung Naing Oo (known as Cheryl) from Myanmar graduated from Victoria University of Wellington in December it was a dream come true for her father, who also studied at Victoria.

Aung Naing Oo (known as Oo), who is a government official in Myanmar, was part of Victoria’s English Language Training for Officials (ELTO) programme from 2002-3.

He says he was impressed with the quality of the teaching on the programme, as well as the safety of Wellington city and the stunning New Zealand landscape.

"I really wanted my daughter to experience study at Victoria as well," says Oo, who travelled to New Zealand with his wife and younger daughter to see Cheryl cross the stage at graduation.

Cheryl studied international business and management at Victoria Business School full-time for three years, starting off with a Foundation Studies year.

"I made most of my friends in the Foundation programme," she says. "It was really great to work with students from other faculties and share knowledge."

She says her studies in New Zealand have prepared her well for a career in international business and plans to complete a paper in business law in Myanmar next year, to familiarise herself with local law, before seeking work.

Myanmar's tertiary system is quite different to New Zealand, says Oo, with all universities run by the government, although recently a law has been passed that will allow Myanmar universities to be set up as autonomous institutions, enabling them to collaborate with foreign universities for the first time.

"Reading is emphasised at university in Myanmar, but there are less opportunities for innovation and individual thinking," he says.

Cheryl agrees: "Back in my country we have to do exactly what the teacher says, but here when I did projects I could explore my emotions and own thoughts."

Oo says his fluency in English increased considerably on the ELTO programme, and as a result he was promoted to a position that involves working internationally.

He is now Director-General of Myanmar’s Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, in charge of the Myanmar government’s increased drive to attract foreign investment.

"I was really fortunate to come to New Zealand, it really helped my career a lot. English has become a big part of my job."

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