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Ram MudambiFox School of Business Professor Dr. Ram Mudambi and his team of researchers received a prestigious grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to host the First International Business, Economic Geography and Innovation (iBEGIN) Conference at the Fox School. It was preceded by workshops in 2013 and 2014.

The two-day conference, held Nov. 13-14 at Fox’s Alter Hall, was sponsored by the NSF, with support from Temple’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) and the Fox School Institute for Global Management Studies. It was aimed, Mudambi said, toward using research from his team’s iBEGIN initiatives as the foundation for a long-lasting research community focused on the intersection of the three fields of international business, economic geography, and technology/innovation studies.

“In a very deep sense, all society is based upon human connections. We’re social animals,” said Mudambi, the Frank M. Speakman Professor of Strategic Management and Perelman Senior Research Fellow at Fox. “This conference applied that theory to the sphere, and business and economics. We developed the concept that the human experience is built on human socialization, and use it to understand how connections across space create value.”

The conference featured three keynote speakers, who addressed attendees Nov. 14 in an open-to-the-public setting. The keynotes included:

  • Dr. John Cantwell, Rutgers University, Distinguished Professor of Management and Global Business, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Business Studies
  • Dr. Harald Bathelt, University of Toronto, Canada Research Chair Professor in Innovation and Governance, and editor of Journal of Economic Geography
  • Dr. Mark Lorenzen, Copenhagen Business School, Professor of Innovation and Organizational Economics, and Director of the Danish Research Unit of Industrial Dynamics (DRUID)

“These three keynote speakers have been great supporters of our iBEGIN work, and I could not have been more delighted to host them,” Mudambi said. “John is the editor of the top international business journal, Harald is the editor of the top economic geography journal, and Mark is the director of DRUID, one of the world’s largest research networks in innovation studies. To have them under one roof at one conference was a truly unique opportunity.”

The iBEGIN Conference is being promoted as part of GlobalPhilly 2015, a two-month international exposition, featuring events geared toward the promotion of international arts, commerce, education, heritage, and more in Philadelphia. Mudambi said papers were submitted to the conference from all over the world, including from: Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States government, the United States Federal Reserve, and more.

Mudambi’s ongoing iBEGIN initiative is a collaborative effort with professionals in centers around the world, including: Denmark’s Copenhagen Business School, Italy’s Politecnico di Milano and University of Venice Ca Foscari, the Indian School of Business, Henley Business School at the University of Reading (UK), and many others.

The next research project on the horizon for Mudambi and his globally dispersed research team involves battery power, a progression of yet another long-running iBEGIN segment on renewable energy and sustainability. The team has documented the important role that emerging economies like China and India are playing in the innovative landscape of the wind turbine industry, but batteries are the key to unlocking the potential of these renewable energy technologies.

“Batteries are the steam engine of our age,” Mudambi said. “We have ways to produce energy, but we have no way to harness it and store it. Today, if we had to run our planet on stored battery power, we could run perhaps 1 percent of our power applications. Imagine if you could run the whole planet on batteries. It’s a problem that, once solved, will revolutionize society.”

–Christopher A. Vito

wmof-logo2mb-300x157Roughly 800,000 people flooded Philadelphia in late September for a visit from Pope Francis and the World Meeting of Families, a global gathering of Catholics.

So… now what?

An event jointly sponsored by Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) and Temple’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) considered that very question.

Gathering Philadelphia’s leading minds in tourism, international business, and government at its event, titled, “The World Meeting of Families is Gone: Now What?”, STHM and CIBER aimed to address how Philadelphia could leverage the international exposure and media focus it received from the World Meeting of Families in order to further its status as an elite host for future global events.

“This was our finest hour and it can be again,” said Pat Ciarrocchi, the event’s keynote speaker and a longtime Philadelphia news anchor who covered the World Meeting of Families.

“The World Meeting of Families brought Pope Francis to Philadelphia and, along with him, more than 15,000 reporters representing media outlets from around the world,” said Dr. Elizabeth H. Barber, STHM Associate Dean. “This event generated an unparalleled level of visibility to viewing audiences that wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to what Philadelphia has to offer. In order to best capitalize on the tourism opportunity created by the World Meeting of Families, we as a city will need to maintain the open dialogue we’re initiating today through this event.”

In examining the future of a post-Pope Francis Philadelphia, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) CEO and President Jack Ferguson nodded to the efforts by Desiree Peterkin Bell, director of communications for the Office of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, the Mayor’s Office, and Visit Philadelphia in building upon the city’s strengths.

Photo of event at Mitten Hall.“We can dissect this forever, but what we will learn is what works,” Ferguson said.

In the days and weeks following the WMOF, Ferguson said he observed how the event boosted the reputation of the city’s businesses, for how well they worked with a large influx of tourist traffic. This positive interaction, Ferguson said, won over consumers.

To do that, Meryl Levitz said she designed a faith-based marketing strategy that invited those looking for love and family with the pope to experience it in Center City, too.

“We watched, we listened, and we helped tell Philadelphia’s story,” said Levitz, CEO and President of Visit Philadelphia of the campaign that featured local catholic organizations, bible studies and family-friendly events.

For Brian Said, executive director of the Tourism Division of PHLCVB, Bell’s efforts to remove the walls between the pope and those wishing to see him resonated with Philadelphia’s foreign visitors. Accessibility to Pope Francis, according to Said, was what put Philadelphia on the map as a global city that is welcoming to all.

“We cannot arm-wrestle New York, and we cannot arm wrestle D.C.,” he said. “We have to work together to show Philadelphia is both safe and fun.”

Zabeth Teelucksingh, executive director for Global Philadelphia, looks forward to that “next great event,” as Ferguson called it. Global Philadelphia works to show foreign travelers the city’s significance as a birthplace of democracy and innovation. Philadelphia has the potential to be the next World Heritage City, which Teelucksingh said is a highly marketable title in countries looking to experience a quintessentially America city. Should Philadelphia become the next World Heritage City, it will enjoy increased property value, stature and economic gains, Teelucksingh said.

All of the event’s panelists agreed that the city’s next steps must be geared toward reminding the world that Philadelphia has successfully managed a world-class event once, and is capable of doing so yet again.

“No one else could have been at the helm of this event,” Bell said. “We’ve done big events and we do big events well. We’re on the map.”

Fox’s Ram Mudambi hosts NSF-sponsored iBEGIN Conference


Discussed in this issue:
• NSF iBegin Conference
• Regulating Emotions
• Social Media Branding

The International Business faculty at Temple University’s Fox School of Business have earned prominent national and global rankings for research output.

According to the University of Texas at Dallas’ Top 100 Business School Research Rankings, Fox School’s International Business faculty rank No. 3 in the United States and No. 6 in the world for research productivity for publications in the Journal of International Business Studies over a four-year period, from 2012-2015. Fox shared its global ranking with Australian National University, which received an identical score.

“This is a proud moment for the International Business faculty at the Fox School of Business,” said Dr. Arvind Parkhe, Chair of Fox’s Strategic Management department, which houses the International Business program. “International Business is one of Dean M. Moshe Porat’s strategic pillars and one of Fox’s historic core strengths. Exceptional, research-active faculty and doctoral students continue to add to our growing reputation as a leader in this area.”

UT Dallas has published its Top 100 Business School Research Rankings since 1990. The rankings assess research contributions based on publications in the world’s 24 leading academic journals and across all major business disciplines. Schools receive full-point scores for research papers produced by single authors, according to the ranking’s methodology, with schools receiving fractions of a point for papers that feature multiple authors.

This marks the second time that Fox’s International Business faculty have earned a top-5 ranking for research productivity. Previously, Asia Pacific Journal of Management has ranked the program No. 3 in the U.S. and No. 4 in the world for research output.

In September, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Fox School’s International Business undergraduate program among the nation’s top-15 such AACSB-accredited programs for the fourth consecutive year.

Three Fox School of Business undergraduate programs – Risk Management and Insurance, International Business, and Management Information Systems (MIS) – again rank among the best in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 edition of Best Colleges.

The Fox School’s Risk Management and Insurance program ranks No. 5, marking three consecutive years that it has earned a top-5 ranking. International Business is No. 13, and MIS is ranked No. 14 in the country. This marks the third consecutive year in which three Fox undergraduate programs have been respectively ranked among the top-15 in the nation.

“It’s rewarding for the Fox School to once again be recognized among some of the nation’s finest undergraduate business programs, but we are not content,” said Dean M. Moshe Porat. “We are constantly introducing innovations to our programs and services to improve upon the exceptional business education we deliver, and to further enhance the value of a Fox degree.”

The business school rankings in the 2016 edition of Best Colleges, released online Sept. 9, are based on peer assessment of deans and senior faculty at each AACSB-accredited undergraduate business program in the U.S. over a two-year period, including a Spring 2015 survey.

The Fox School’s Risk Management and Insurance program is the nation’s oldest, continuously running program of its kind. Among the largest programs in the country, too, Fox’s Risk Management and Insurance program is also home to the Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma. The chapter, the international professional fraternity’s largest, has earned the Edison L. Bowers award as best overall chapter in 18 of the last 23 years.

Fox’s International Business program is supported by a robust study-abroad program, through the school and Temple University, as well as from the Institute of Global Management Studies and the Temple Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), which is based at Fox. Temple CIBER is one of only 17 such elite centers in the nation to have had its grant-renewal proposal approved for federal funding from the United States Department of Education. Temple is the only university in the Greater Philadelphia region and in Pennsylvania to have received funding for CIBER.

MIS’ research faculty rank No. 1 in the world in research output for a five-year period, from 2010-2014, according to the My Vision Research ranking and the University of Texas at Dallas Top 100 Business School Research ranking. Members of Fox’s Association for Information Systems (AIS) student chapter, the first ever, have earned first place in four consecutive years at the AIS Student Leadership Conference and IT Competition. Recently, Fox’s AIS was recognized as the 2015 Distinguished Chapter of the Year.

In all, the Fox School offers 15 undergraduate majors, more than 20 Student Professional Organizations, the Fox Honors program, cutting-edge technology and stellar student services, including a Business Communications Center and Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD), which has a 94-percent job-placement rate for undergraduates who use its services. The Fox School also offers an Online Bachelor of Business Administration, a degree-completion program in accounting, business management, legal studies or marketing.

Overall, the Fox School’s undergraduate business program is 61st in the nation out of 478 schools in this year’s ranking, placing it among the top-13 percent in the U.S.

Ram Mudambi

Innovation in the United States is not lacking. It’s just that patents are being registered in less-likely locales, according to researchers from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

The findings are part of an ongoing research initiative spearheaded by Dr. Ram Mudambi, the Frank M. Speakman Professor of Strategic Management.

The umbrella project is dubbed iBEGIN, or International Business, Economic Geography and Innovation. A segment of the project explores innovation hubs in the United States, undertaking detailed analyses of more than 900 metropolitan areas in the U.S. In one of the first published outcomes of this research effort, Mudambi and his team examined the evolution of Detroit, a mainstay of the global automotive industry for over a century. While Detroit, a downtrodden city, continues to experience manufacturing decline, it is doing well as an innovation center, he said.

“The beauty of innovation is that it never stops,” Mudambi said. “In 1960, the U.S. was the richest country in the world, and Detroit was its richest city. And while the city has been in a continuous state of decline, we found that Detroit’s innovation numbers are very healthy.”

iBEGIN researchers define innovation through patent output, and they say Detroit’s patent output since 1975 has grown at a rate of almost twice the U.S. average. Detroit’s innovative resilience, Mudambi said, is due to its continuing centrality in global innovation networks in the automotive industry. It has maintained this centrality through connectedness to other worldwide centers of excellence in this industry, such as Germany and Japan. Its innovative links to Germany have been rising steadily over the last three decades, while its association with Japan began more recently, but also shows a steep upward trajectory.

Their research also unearthed a clearer picture of the shifting lines of American innovation. Today, Mudambi said, the Sun Belt features the country’s leading innovation hubs like San Francisco; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Austin, Texas. Though the more traditional centers of innovation excellence in the Rust Belt cities have generally maintained healthy rates of innovation output, they have seen their shares of national innovative output decline. These include cities like New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Chicago.

“In the 19th century and for most of the 20th century, the innovation hotspots were co-located with centers of manufacturing mass production,” Mudambi said. “These were concentrated in the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest. That’s not the case anymore. We’re seeing the lion’s share of patents being registered in regions dominated by high-knowledge industries. These industries create mainly white-collar positions for people with a bachelor’s degree, at minimum.

“However, what Detroit’s innovative success says about economies everywhere is that the roots of innovation are very deep. Policymakers spend a lot of time worrying about manufacturing. But manufacturing can be very ephemeral and firms often relocate manufacturing plants with very little notice. Innovation is more deeply rooted and, once an innovation center roots itself in an area, it’s much more likely to stick.”

Mudambi said the ongoing iBEGIN research initiative is a collaborative effort, with professionals in centers around the world, including: Denmark’s Copenhagen Business School, Italy’s Politecnico di Milano and University of Venice Ca Foscari, the Indian School of Business, and many others.

In addition to studying innovation in American cities, iBEGIN has ongoing research exploring other contexts. These include country contexts like China, India, Brazil, Portugal, Greece and Korea as well as specialized industry contexts like automobiles, renewable energy and pharmaceuticals.

shutterstock_146356064While money can’t buy happiness, access to technology is capable of producing that very result, researchers from Temple University’s Fox School of Business found.

The team of Fox School researchers examined the role played by information and communication technology (ICT), uncovering a link between it and personal well-being. Their research paper, titled, “Does information and communication technology lead to the well-being of nations? A country-level empirical investigation,” has been accepted for upcoming publication by top academic journal, MIS Quarterly.

Kartik Ganju, Fox School PhD candidate; Dr. Paul A. Pavlou, Milton F. Stauffer Professor of Management Information Systems; and Dr. Rajiv D. Banker, Merves Chair in Accounting and Information Technology comprised the Fox research team.

The team argued that the adoption of ICT by countries leads to an increase in levels of well-being of its citizens, and that doing so helps citizens develop social capital and achieve social equality.

The Fox research team grouped 110 countries into three categories (low ICT, medium ICT and high ICT). The researchers found that countries with low levels of ICT could increase the happiness levels of their citizens by giving them access to mobile telephone lines. Hence, countries with low levels of ICT may not have to invest in expensive fixed line networks to increase the level of their citizens’ happiness, but could “leap-frog” the adoption of these systems in favor of mobile telephones, to increase happiness.

Using the results of a Gallup World Poll survey, which measured the global well-being of individual nations, Fox researchers found that the adoption of ICT led to an increase in the well-being of its citizens. Moreover, they found that access to ICT gave individuals a voice, “and an opportunity to communicate with others like themselves,” Ganju said. ICT also impacted the health of a nation’s people, with newfound access to proper healthcare practices, the team said. The researchers also cited access to education and real-time information that ICT affords as additional benefits.

“Most people assume that by giving an individual a certain amount of money that you can make him or her happier, and we found that this is not the case,” Ganju said. “We found that it is not just the income of GDP of a country that renders happiness. Access to information and communication technology allows people to feel an interconnected bond with each other than cannot obtain with money.”

“Suddenly, people were being exposed to different markets and rates. This allowed them to better bargain and achieve more-favorable pricing scenarios,” said Pavlou, Fox School’s Associate Dean of Research, Doctoral Programs and Strategic Initiatives. “Regardless of a particular nation’s gross-domestic product, access to technology can amplify that country’s productivity and the well-being of its people,” Pavlou added. “ICT works to even the playing field between the wealthiest and poorest of nations.”

The city of Philadelphia has reason to be proud: It outpaces the nation as a whole in terms of innovation connectedness. About 9 percent of patents with at least one Philadelphia-based inventor are internationally connected, compared to approximately 7 percent of patents with inventors in the United States overall. However, there is also some bad news: Philadelphia’s share of all U.S. innovative activity has dropped by half in 35 years.

A research team led by Professor of Strategic Management Ram Mudambi at Temple University’s Fox School of Business analyzed patents in the United States from 1975 to 2010 and extracted relevant data from more than 7 million observations to analyze innovation trends in the United States. To map out where inventors are located, the research team looked at all 917 geographical areas that make up the country, as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

The top six foreign locations of inventors collaborating with Philadelphia-based colleagues are the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, France, Japan and China, which has risen to prominence only in recent years.

Industries represented by Philadelphia-based innovative activity include chemicals, computer and communications, drugs and medical, electrical and electronics, as well as mechanical industries.

Philadelphia is the seventh-largest core based statistical area (CBSA) in the United States, and the city has a long history of innovative activity commensurate with its population size.

However, Philadelphia ranks 34th of the top 35 CBSAs in terms of growth of number of local inventors from 1975 to 2010.

Although the growth of local inventors is low, “our inventors are more connected, which is good news,“ Mudambi said. “They also collaborate with networks of inventors that are overall more internationally dispersed.”

Despite the growing trends in connectedness and total patenting that Philadelphia has experienced over the past 35 years, the share of Philadelphia’s CBSA patents as a percentage of U.S. patents has fallen from about 4.8 percent in 1975 to about 2.1 percent in 2010. In other words, Philadelphia is becoming a much smaller contributor in the national production of knowledge.

The team also noticed another worrying trend between Philadelphia and its traditional knowledge partners, such as the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. Over a 30-year period, the number of inventors who collaborated with Philadelphia from the United Kingdom dipped from about 125 inventors to 40. Inventors from Japan and Germany also dropped by more than half. These drops could be due to the relocation of research-and-development activities by pharmaceutical and chemical firms – some of the Philadelphia region’s traditional innovative sectors.

However, there has been an increase in collaboration with China. Over two years, from 2005 to 2007, inventors from China collaborating with Philadelphia rose from about 18 to 130.

“China’s come in this huge way recently,” Mudambi said. “So we wanted to know, why China? We did a little digging and found there’s one company that accounts for much of this connectedness: Metrologic.”

Metrologic Instruments is an automated identification and data-capture company based in Blackwood, N.J. (part of the Philadelphia CBSA). The company makes barcode scanners that are used in retailing, healthcare, postal services, logistics services and other industry verticals. By operating in a variety of verticals, Metrologic innovates in a way that is resilient to shifts in the economic fortunes of individual sectors.

Metrologic holds 446 patents, with 3,189 participating inventor locations. Honeywell acquired it in 2008. According to Mudambi and his team, Metrologic represents about 70 percent of the Philadelphia CBSA’s connectedness to China.

Metrologic is one of the reasons why Philadelphia surpasses the United States in terms of innovation connectedness. Philadelphia-based inventors also collaborate with South American countries (Colombia and Chile), Africa (Botswana and Madagascar), as well as Sweden, Turkey, Syria and Australia. ­­

“Mapping the innovative connections of inventor networks gives us a picture of the dependence and linkages of a location in terms of other locations, industries and individuals,” Mudambi said.

–Alexis Wright-Whitley

The Fox School of Business is ranked No. 12 worldwide for International Management in the 2013-14 edition of the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report. The Fox School received a score of 97.3 out of a possible 100.

“Top business schools have seen the necessity of creating international MBA classroom environments that reflect the ever-increasing international working environment,” the report said. Schools were ranked based on details provided by more than 4,300 employers who actively recruit MBA graduates. The research and findings from QS’s report is intended for MBA employers, prospective MBA students, and institutions interested in international business education and recruitment trends.

The Fox School has a long-standing reputation as a global leader in international business, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Its undergraduate international business (IB) program is a perennial Top 10 or Top 15 program, according to U.S. News & World Report. The undergraduate IB program is currently ranked No. 11 nationally.

Fox’s full-time Global MBA program is also ranked highly – No. 23 nationally – among MBA programs with an international focus. The Global MBA features faculty-led international immersions and the capstone Fox Management Consulting experience, which gives students the opportunity to provide professional-grade strategic solutions to paying clients.

In addition, the Global MBA program is currently ranked first in the nation for job placement, according to Forbes’ 2013 Best Business Schools ranking. Forbes described the nearly 98 percent job-placement rate for 2012 Fox MBA graduates as the nation’s best. Fox’s renowned Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) oversees internship and job placement for both undergraduate and graduate students.

“International business is a pillar of the Fox School, and we are proud that it continues to be recognized as a strong one when compared to business schools nationally and globally,” Dean M. Moshe Porat said. “We are based in Philadelphia but truly connected to the world, and our global network greatly benefits our students and alumni.”