In October, Temple University’s Fox School of Business welcomed more than 200 of the world’s leading academics, consultants, and practitioners for a three-day conference on international business, global cities, and innovation.
The Fox School hosted a joint conference Oct. 27-30 of Academy of International Business-Northeast Region members, as well as iBEGIN scholars. In 2013, Fox School of Business Professor Dr. Ram Mudambi and a team of researchers founded iBEGIN – which stands for International Business, Economic Geography and Innovation – to study the connections between global value chains and the locations of economic activity.
The first conference of its kind, held at Temple’s Alter Hall, explored the ongoing global move toward horizontal specialization.
“The world economy is changing in very fundamental ways, and that’s because of a shift in the role of cities,” said Mudambi, the Frank M. Speakman Professor of Strategy at the Fox School. “Previously, all activity would take place in the same city – innovation, design, manufacturing, assembly. Today, we’re moving from local systems to global systems, and cities are becoming centers of specialization. For example, the Bay Area is known as a hub for software engineering and Chicago for commodities trading, to name a few. These cities perform different tasks and, in doing so, they aren’t competing with one another. Instead, they are collaborating.”
The AIB/iBEGIN conference welcomed a number of prominent speakers and panelists, including the following deliverers of keynote addresses:
- Dr. Saskia Sassen, the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and Centennial Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics, from whom the term “global city” originates
- Dr. Keld Laursen, Professor of Innovation and Organizational Economics at the Copenhagen Business School, and President of the Technology and Innovation
- Management Division within the Academy of Management
Dr. Sharon Belenzon, Assistant Professor of Strategy at Duke University
This marked the third iteration of iBEGIN conferences, and the first that bridged with the AIB regional conference. The conference continues to expand its global reach, welcoming guests from four continents: Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.
The conference closed with a dynamic panel discussion on global value chains and industrial clusters; it was chaired by Dr. Ari Van Assche, the Director of the International Business Department at HEC Montreal. Panel participants included Dr. Harald Bathelt, Research Chair in Innovation and Governance at the University of Toronto; Dr. Gary Gereffi, Director of the Center on Globalization, Governance, and Competitiveness at Duke University; and Dr. Timothy Sturgeon, Senior Research Affiliate at the Industrial Performance Center at MIT.
“This powerful panel centered its discussion on clusters of innovation and the concept of cooperation over space, once again calling attention to the modern economy in which we live today,” Mudambi said. “In order for clusters to succeed, they need a particular identity and they need to be the best in the world at what they do.”
The Fox School of Business is at the forefront of international business education and research.
Fox’s International Business Administration program has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top-15 undergraduate programs in each of the last five years. The program receives support from a robust study-abroad program, through Fox and Temple University, as well as from the Institute of Global Management Studies and the Temple Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), both of which are 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 Pennsylvania to have received federal funding for CIBER.
In 2016, the Fox School’s International Business faculty earned prominent national and global rankings from the University of Texas at Dallas Top 100 Business School Research rankings. Fox’s faculty ranked No. 3 in the United States and No. 6 in the world for research quality and productivity, for publications in the Journal of International Business Studies over a four-year period, from 2012-2015.
Located in Philadelphia, the second-largest city on the East Coast of the United States, Temple’s Fox School of Business is positioned for international business excellence. Philadelphia recently became the first U.S. city to earn designation as a World Heritage city.
Additionally, the Fox School is home to AIB President Dr. Masaaki “Mike” Kotabe, who is serving the second year of his elected three-year term on AIB’s Executive Board, as well as Dr. Bertrand Guillotin, Chair of the AIB Northeast Region.
“The Academy of International Business is the most-prestigious and most-relevant community of scholars and practitioners in the world,” said Guillotin, Assistant Professor of Strategic Management at Fox, and Academic Director of its International Business Administration programs. “Coordinating a comprehensive conference like this helps to solidify the Fox School’s reputation as one of the nation’s leading international business clusters.”
–Christopher A. Vito