By Dr Margaret Fletcher, Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow
Why participate in speed mentoring? The WAIB speed mentoring events offer junior and early career academic female staff the opportunity to access specific knowledge to manage their academic career based on the experiences of senior female academics who have an established track record in International Business.
Whilst the institutions and schools we work in may provide formal mentoring opportunities these will be limited to having one mentor and the mentor may not be part of the IB community, or have faced specific gender related issues that women experience. Formal mentoring requires significant resources to operate and as a result may be limited to a specific time frame, such as during probation / new lecturer programmes, other initiatives that support later stage career development may be terminated due to changes in resource allocation, or may not be routinely provided by the School. Relevant IB mentors may not be available in the workplace. The WAIB speed mentoring can provide specific advise tailored to issues that predominantly affect women. I was very fortunate to be awarded a Post Doc Scholarship that included mentoring in a strong IB group, but this isn’t the case for all.
The events not only support the mentees, the mentors have found participating enjoyable and beneficial. Mentors get the opportunity to meet with their peers, the other mentors, as well as the mentees. It really is a great forum for women at all stages in their careers and lives to connect and support each other. The events provide opportunities to build, develop and enhance networks of global scholars, between and amongst mentees and mentors. As a mentor, I was able to reflect on the experience, knowledge, expertise and strategies I had acquired since completing my own doctorate, that I was able to share at the session.
Questions can be based around personal and family or specific work based issues, and be general or very specific. For example common questions address how to manage work-life balance, develop career progression in terms of research and publications, build an academic network in international conferences, become an editorial board member (and does this help for publications), balance research, teaching and administration, keep motivate for continuous publications? The advantage of the speed mentoring format is that participants can gain access to different experiences of several successful academics from around the world to help them gain confidence to develop and manage their own career pathways.
By Prof Christoph Dörrenbächer, Editor of Critical Perspectives on International Business
This is the third year in a row in which the critical perspectives on international business (cpoib) prize at the AIB UKI conference was not awarded. The prize is awarded for ‘the most innovative paper which tackles a new or under-researched topic and which contributes to the understanding of the impact of international business on society’.
In one year, we did not hand out the prize on request of one co-author of the nominated paper who was a central figure in the organizing committee of that year’s AIB UKI conference. In the two other years, the shortlist of the three best-ranked papers provided by the organizing committee of the AIB UKI conference did not allow for a nomination due to a missing fit with the criteria for the prize. Even extending the list to the top 10 ranked papers did not lead to a positive result.
Does this mean we ask for something impossible? For sure, asking for a new or under-researched topic that contributes to the understanding of the impact of international business on society is a double hurdle. But while a decent number of papers that applied in the past for the cpoib award dealt with new and under-researched topics, hardly any paper aimed at understanding the impact of international business activity on society. This is astonishing, as calls for more societal relevance of IB research have been around for long – it is now almost 30 years since the debate about the ‘future of IB’ took off. More recently, this debate and the calls for more societal relevance of IB research seem to gain steam. A number of contributions claim that IB researchers should (re)engage with the real world (Delios, 2017) and tackle ‘societies’ grand challenges’ (Buckley, Doh, and Benischke, 2017).
Does this imply that we have to wait yet another year for submissions to the next AIB UKI conference? I guess not. I rather go with Jonathan Doh’s (2017) argument that scholarly outlets in IB are often not interested in publishing more applied direct and relevant insights. cpoib surely is interested in and does publish such research. But so far, the journal is not on the radar of many IB scholars. A recent investigation* into who writes for cpoib and who cites papers published there found that cpoib is well recognized outside the IB discipline, e.g. in general management, business ethics and organization studies. At the same time, recognition from within the IB field is weak. It is often scholars at a more mature career development stage who publish there; those who can afford publishing in a CABS 2* journal. Here is where we need to take action. We (those who work for the journal) need to intensify our efforts to make cpoib better known in the IB scholarly field and move up the rankings. At the same time, we hope that more scholars interested in a societally engaged IB will consider cpoib as a useful outlet to publish their research. This will turn the nomination for the cpoib award from a hopeless endeavour today to a research competition that matters.
*Dörrenbächer C. and Gammelgaard, J. (2019), “Critical and mainstream international business research. Making critical IB an integral part of a societally engaged international business discipline”, Critical perspectives on international business, issue 2/3, forthcoming