Celebrating Dr. Emily Xu!

Emily Xu, standing together with her doctoral degree disputation opponent, Tommy Inkinen, Professor at the Centre for Maritime Studies, University of Turku, Finland. Emily successfully defended her thesis entitled, “The Internet of Things: Projects-Places-Policies” [1] on 25 Oct. 2017.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

Doctoral degree disputation events are special because it is not everyday that one comes around in the proximate circle of your closest colleagues. On 25 Oct. 2017, Emily Xu, who is a member of faculty at the Centre for International Business Studies (CIBS) at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled, The Internet of Things: Projects – Places – Policies. Her dissertation publication is timely, considering the progressive interconnectivity enabled by digital infrastructure and technologies. Her main argument is that the Internet of Things (IoT) is a paradigm shift in terms of machine intelligence, its knowledge production and interaction occuring with little or no human intervention. Digital intelligence are their own agents in producing, storing and transferring knowledge. These events and activities call for a myriad of human knowledge in order to manage the situation, from product to policy, it seems sometimes that humanity is both at the forefront of knowledge creation whilst trying to ‘catch the tail of the Dragon’ at the same time. A seeming contradiction that some might not wish to see solved by an unsuspected and imposed Singularity by artificial inteligence.

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Towards an advanced services economy in Basque Country, Spain: The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (GMB) is more than a landmark for the city of Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain.
Designed by Frank Gehry, it opened in 1997. In three years it had attracted 4 million visitors [1].

Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

On 6 Jan. 2014, The Economist ran a print edition special report on cultural centres and “The Bilbao effect” [2]. Referring to findings of a McKinsey study, the central observation and argument made is that a vibrant cultural sector, alongisde green spaces and people of diverse backgrounds and nationalities are core elements for the success of any city.

The opening of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (GMB), Basque Country, Spain in 1997 stands as prime illustration of how a museum commissioned by a city’s mayor can help transform citylife and living. GMB had as ambition, to attract 400,000 art visitors in the first year of its opening. This number would have enabled them to return total investment in a reasonably short timeframe and deliver income to the city and Basque Country economy [3]. GMB attracted 1 million visitors in its first year of opening. Within the first three years of GMB’s opening, the museum raised over 100m Euro in taxes for the regional government, an amount that more than covered the construction costs. GMB contiues to draw about a million visitors annually, even if its exhibitions remain modest. This observed success of the GMB had a cascading effect on other cities looking to revitalise their economies where over the next decade witnessed the mushrooming of cultural centres in various cities from Brazil, to China and Saudi Arabia [2]. Over the next decade more than two dozen new cultural centres focused on museums are due to be built in various countries, at an estimated cost of $250 billion, according to a study by AEA Consulting, a New York firm that specialises in cultural projects. The Guggenheim “Bilbao effect” as discourse theme was picked up by the news media and reflected in different scholastic and practitioner circles [8-13].

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The 27th annual RESER (European Association for REsearch on SERvices) Conference 2017, Bilbao, Spain

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The 27th annual RESER (European Association for REsearch on SERvices) conference was held from 7 to 9 September in Bilbao, Spain.
Text & Photo © J. Bröchner, JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

The theme for this year’s 27th RESER conference on service research is the crucial role of services in business and cities competitiveness. The conference was held between 7 to 9 September 2017 at the Euskalduna Conference Centre, hosted in collaboration with Mondragon Univeristy of the Mondragon Corporation in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. The core theme was structured around 7 topics: city service, servitization, service ecosystems, service innovation and international perspectives, value creation and methodological challenges in service studies. A core value of RESER conferences, that could also be observed in this context, is to encourage interdisciplinary perspectives and interaction of scholars across disciplines in order to address complexity. It is always this element of the plurality of perspectives that I enjoy most when meeting with the RESER community of practitioners and scholars. There were 104 listed participants for presentation over three parallel sessions. Four social events were scheduled, one per day beginning 6 September with the doctoral colloquium meet and concluding with an interesting tour of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. The conference days pendulumed between rain and sunshine. On the evening of the gala dinner however, conference participants were treated to a spectacular 360 degrees view of the city of Bilbao from Torre Iberdrola, located on the 24th floor of the Iberdrola Tower. RESER 2018 is set to be held from 20-22 September 2018 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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4-5 Jul. GEM&L International Workshop on Management & Language, Copenhagen, Denmark

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro with Philippe Lecompte at the GEM&L International Workshop on Management & Language, 4-5 Jul., Copenhagen, Denmark. The theme this year was “Revisiting multilingualism at work: New perspectives in language-sensitive research in international business”.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

The 11th international workshop of the Groupe d’Études Management & Langage (GEM&L) was held on 4 to 5 July 2017 at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) in Copenhagen, Denmark. 34 papers were presented at the workshop that ran in three parallel sessions. About 50 participants attended the conference with international representation from Australia, Canada, Colombia, India, Europe, Singapore, South Korea and the USA. The theme addressed this year was Revisiting multilingualism at work: New perspectives in language-sensitive research in international business. Pursuing a continued and parallel interest on research methodology from EURAM 2017 that took place just over a week ago in Glasgow, Scotland, to GEM&L 2017, I followed papers presented that addressed new directions in research in international business (IB) studies at this international workshop.

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21-24 Jun. EURAM 2017 Conference, Glasgow, Scotland

21-24 Jun. EURAM 2017 Conference, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
“Managing Knowledge: Making Knowledge Work” was the overarching conference theme for 2017.

Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

The conferences organized by the European Academy of Management (EURAM) are generally well anticipated and draw a large number of international submissions for presentations. This year’s 21.24 Jun. EURAM 2017 conference held at the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, was no exception. The key to navigating EURAM conferences in general is strategy in following focused individual research specific interests or complementary topics that might help broaden the perspective to one’s own research interests. EURAM 2017 had 13 strategic interest groups (SIG) of which this year, I chose to focus attention on SIG 12, on Research Methods and Research Practice (RM&RP).

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15-17 Jun. China Goes Global (CGG) 2017 conference, Kristiansand, Norway

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The 11th China Goes Global 2017 conference, Kristiansand, Norway
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

The 11th annual China Goes Global conference (CGG 2017) took place between 15-17 June at the University of Agder, in Kristiansand, Norway. I was last at this conference in 2014 [1, 2] in Shanghai, where this year’s gathering in Kristiansand, Norway, provides yet another splendid opportunity and platform for networking and the exchange of ideas on internationalisation processes related to China and the Chinese context.

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Collaborative Robot Test Center (CRTC) official opening in progressive city Västerås, Sweden

Anders Teljebäck, Chairman of the Municipal Council, Västerås, Sweden, was guest of honour at the CRTC opening ceremony.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

The opening ceremony of the Collaborative Robot Test Center (CRTC) at Robotdalen, Expectrum, in Västerås, Sweden, took place on 4 May 2017. CRTC is located within the creative learning hub of Expectrum, Västerås city’s meeting place for technology entrepreneurs, thought leaders and innovators. In terms of providing pioneering robotics solutions, CRTC, a joint project between ABB, Robotdalen and Mälardalen högskolan, will offer pre-studies to SME automation processes in use of collaborative robot, YuMi (Bergman, 2017; Löfvenberg, 2017).

Urban landscapes increasingly leverage advancing technologies to co-create socio-economic infrastructures and processes (Wakeford, 2004). In that aspect, CRTC’s lab location and its evolution as a robotics solution unit now officially open, could be seen as marking in contribution towards a larger global movement in the democratising of technology.

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Singapore Management University BSM Scandinavia 2017 visit to the Swedish west coast

The Singapore Management University (SMU) Business Study Mission (BSM) Scandinavia 2017 group visits the Swedish west coast.
The group is led by Tom Estad, Associate Dean Undergraduate Student Matters, and Academic Director, SMU.

Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, J Hagman, Sweden 2017

One my own personal highlights of spring is to meet with students of the Singapore Management University (SMU) Business Study Mission (BSM) Scandinavia. Led by Tom Estad, Associate Dean for Student Matters and Academic Director at SMU, the programme is dynamic in its approach towards teaching and student learning. A core philosophy of SMU is to increase efforts towards interdisciplinary programmes, outside of classroom experiences for students and helping individuals cultivate lifelong learning skills. In hosting the Straits Times (ST) Education Forum 2017 and discussing the future scenario of work, SMU, as an institution of higher education, is explicit in its efforts of striving to be an ecosphere where individuals can “learn how to learn” [1]. Continue reading “Singapore Management University BSM Scandinavia 2017 visit to the Swedish west coast”

New publication, April 2017

Using systemic functional linguistic metafunction as a tool in identifying Agency in organizational change in cross-cultural management contexts


This contribution addresses the echoing sentiment that the function of language is not enough focused on in management as an academic discipline even as it is acknowledged that language lies at the heart of international business (IB) activities that take place in cross-cultural management (CCM) contexts. Organizations operate in contexts of uncertainty and change, finding themselves increasingly having to navigate in cross-cultural environments in the context of globalization and international management. Yet, few studies outside the field of applied linguistics (especially discourse analysis) have used language as an instrumental tool in uncovering the subtle workings of influence in organizational change. Scholastic literature in CCM suggests that language in IB is generally studied in two broad dimensions of inquiry – language as (i) object/phenomenon (nature of language) and as (ii) process/function (nature of meaning from language). Because organizational change can be difficult to define when looking at it as a broad process over time, this article addresses the latter nature of language in CCM and IB studies in illustrating how language metafunctions can be used as a methodological tool in analysing qualitative data in order to uncover Agency or actors of influence in processes of organization change in a cross-cultural working context.

cross-cultural management, international business, systemic functional linguistics, language as research method

Cordeiro, C. M. (2017). Using systemic functional linguistic metafunction as a tool in identifying Agency in organizational change in cross-cultural management contexts. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 17(1): 125 – 135. doi: 10.1177/1470595817694914

Rediscovering the civic district of Singapore, a walk through Singapore Management University (SMU) campus, Singapore 2016

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As testament to the centrality of location of the Singapore Management University (SMU) campus, a reflected view of the CHIJMES steeple as seen on its building facade along Victoria Street, Singapore 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

The plan was to have an informal lunch meet with students from the Business Study Mission (BSM) Scandinavia, a course offered by the Singapore Management University (SMU), where students travel to Scandinavia with the learning goal of gaining a deeper understanding Scandinavian businesses, corporate cultures and their approaches to sustainable business practices. And while it has become a small tradition to meet in Sweden [1, 2], the lunch meet at SMU was a nice counter perspective for me, for one who has lived and worked in Sweden for almost fifteen years now. But before the lunch meet, a quick tour of the SMU campus with Tom Estad, Associate Dean Undergraduate Programmes of the Lee Kong Chian School of Business at SMU. Having not truly explored the historical civic district of Singapore since its refurbishment, the walkabout of the campus was something I looked forward to.

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