Observations from the Chairs of the Chapter (from 1985 to 2022)
Peter Buckley: Chair of AIB UK 1985-1991
The impetus for the establishment of a UK Chapter of AIB came from Michael Brooke. In 1973 Michael organised (what in retrospect became) the first meeting of AIB UK in Manchester. I attended as a Ph.D. student from Lancaster having been recently appointed Esmee Fairbairn Research Assistant to John Dunning at Reading. Dunning gave the only formal talk on the state of the art in IB and the other participants all gave short summaries of their research, before we adjourned to the pub. The first formal meeting of UKAIB took place in Reading in 1975 and early meetings settled into a Bradford-Manchester-Reading-Strathclyde circuit. By 1985 the time was ripe for more formal organisation as Michael led on a personal basis and my assumption of the Chair also involved the creation of a committee structure that replaced the informal ‘steering group’.
The first and overriding concern of my period as Chair was viability. Chapter numbers were miniscule and activity reliant on the goodwill and efforts of a very small number of dedicated and individuals. From memory, the 1986 meeting had 19 paid attendees! Constant efforts were made to attract academics to the Annual Conference, and therefore to AIB. The focus on doctoral students and early career training was vital as IB as a subject was developing from a small but firmly anchored base in a number of pioneering Universities and Business Schools. It was always pleasant to see new ventures in IB to swell the ranks!
Critical to these developments were advances in the theory, practice, and teaching of IB particularly ‘local’ (UK) advances. The ‘founding’ schools, Reading, UMIST, Bradford and Strathclyde begat children. PhD students were attracted in increasing numbers to a vibrant research community that still had a notion of ‘pioneering’ in advancing theory, empirical work and novel notions of teaching (“foreign”, “international”, comparative even “global” case study material for instance, radical in their day). There was also the sense of creating a unique niche between economics, finance, marketing and later strategic management. This had to be fought for and protected, so AIB became the focus for like-minded individuals to coalesce around research and teaching programmes identifiable (not standardised) as IB.
The formalisation of IB as a discipline paralleled the increasing formalisation of research and teaching in Universities generally – not always welcomed by those of us on the coalface. At the time, I was recruited to the Universities Funding Council (UFC) – the forerunner of HEFC and became involved in the early Research Assessment Exercises (RAE), now the REF. This helped IB to achieve provenance as a ‘discipline’ within business schools and ensured a place for IB at the top table of research policy, but it had downsides (in terms of workload and aggravation!). I was also a member of the Research Grants Board of ESRC and tried to disseminate the knowledge of how to get research grants (and what we were doing wrong) through AIB.
Relations with AIB ‘centrally’ were not always good. There was a lack of understanding of non-North American academia at AIB headquarters and the UK as the first Chapter outside North America raised new issues, often perceived as problems. Successive Chairs have worked on these problems and achieved much – AIBUK&I is now seen as a ‘model Chapter’ and its path breaking work is recognised (by many). I was elected a Fellow of AIB in 1985 (at what I now appreciate was an incredibly young age) and saw at first hand the “culture clash” and the genuine (but sometimes frustratingly slow) attempts to address the issues – often mundane things (aren’t they always?) like collecting dues, having a channel to voice our issues and the bigger issue of the legitimacy of “foreign” chapters. The growth of AIB into a truly global organisation has ameliorated, if not removed, many of these frictions.
Looking back, the achievements of the small leadership team were enormous. AIBUK Conferences became annual, better quality, open to all, with a special emphasis on young scholars and doctoral students and a ‘fixture’ on academics’ calendars. The Reading Conference of 1982 had produced an edited book (Casson 1983) and the 1989 Bath Conference followed this (Buckley and Clegg 1991) and led to the successful Macmillan /Palgrave/Springer series that continues today. AIB became a recognised ‘scholarly association’ with representation at the highest levels of UK academic and government bodies.
Much later, I saw things “from the other side” after becoming President of AIB (2002-2004). I had been Vice-President (1991-1992) and was responsible for the academic programme for the Brussels conference. As with many other AIB Committees, mine tried to build a stronger dialogue and have strong ties with the Chapters (later Regions) of AIB. And, as ever, this met with only partial success. The global/local conflict is present in academic institutions as well as in multinational enterprises! My period as Chair of UKIB stood me in good stead as President – I tried to see the problems “from both sides”.
The development of UKAIB parallels and regularly leads academic developments in business schools. Its leadership role has to be consolidated and developed by each successive generation of IB scholars.
Buckley, P. J. and J. Clegg. (Eds.) 1991. Multinational Enterprises in Less Developed Countries. London: Macmillan.
Casson, M. C. (Ed.) 1983. The Growth of IB. London: George Allen and Unwin.
Brooke, M. Z. 1998. The United Kingdom Chapter of the Academy of IB: The first 25 years. London: City University Business School.
Stephen Young: Chair of AIB UK 1991-1996
Following Michael Brooke and Peter Buckley, I took over as AIB Chair after the AIB Conference in Spring 1991, with our first meeting being held at Brighton Polytechnic on 24 September that year. The members of the Executive Committee comprised me as Chair (University of Strathclyde); Secretary Dr Carla Millar (Thames Polytechnic Business School); Treasurer Fred Burton, (UMIST); Newsletter Editor Dr Jeremy Clegg (University of Bath); Member Hafiz Mirza (University of Bradford); Current Conference Organiser Barry Scherer (Brighton Polytechnic); Past Conference Organiser Dr Howard Cox (South Bank Polytechnic).; and Past Chairman Professor Peter Buckley (University of Bradford).
At this meeting a Mission Statement was agreed, to be put forward at the following (1992, Brighton) AIB Annual meeting.
‘To promote the teaching and research of all areas of IB, within the framework of the worldwide AIB, and to act as the forum for the development and exchange of views in IB, mainly by means of the UK AIB Annual Conference and the AIB UK Newsletter.’
This was a challenging period for me personally as I had been appointed Professor at the University of Strathclyde in 1987 and I was Director of Strathclyde IB Unit (SIBU) and Head of the Department of Marketing during most of my period as AIB Chair. Fortunately, we had a hard-working and innovative Executive Committee, and I had the great support of my secretaries Betty McFarlane and Ann Johnstone.
It was also a challenging but exciting period for the AIB UK. The academic landscape was changing with the emergence of the ‘new’ universities commonly focusing upon (international) business studies. There were also problems associated with finances and payment issues; relationships between AIB worldwide and AIB UK; the launch of the Macmillan-AIB (now Palgrave) book series; the creation of the formal Constitution for AIB UK; and the initiation of a Doctoral Colloquium, still a regular and well supported feature of the annual conference. The preparation of the first ever set of accounts was presented by the Treasurer Fred Burton for the period January 1st-December 31st 1991.
The Academy of IB Series. At the first Executive Committee meeting discussions were held about the formal publication of the AIB UK conference proceedings. To this point the proceedings had been published either paper bound or with mainstream publishers (Brooke, 1998: Appendix 1). Carla Millar (CM) took the initiative in approaching publishers (aided by Jeremy Clegg), the aims being to enhance the AIB UK’s image, help achieve the agreed Mission, and also generate much needed funds. This was to be an annual volume focusing upon a specific theme but covering all areas of IB. A positive response was received from Macmillan resulting in the signing of a five-year contract on 28 September 1993 led by Carla Millar (AIB UK) and Jane Powell (Macmillan). The actual publication of the initial planned volumes was slower than planned partly due to the inexperience on both sides and lengthy review periods, and the first volume appeared in 1996 (Burton, Yamin and Young eds. (1996) (IB and Europe in Transition) followed soon after by Chryssochoidis, Millar and Clegg eds. (1997) Internationalisation Strategies.
The AIB UK Constitution. During this period the AIB worldwide (AIB WW)was growing rapidly with over 2,300 members in 50 countries by the 1990s (Brooke, 1998: 3). In 1995 AIB Headquarters (a controversial term!) prepared a set of AIB Chapter guidelines with individual chapters being requested to “develop or revise your own Constitution and Bylaws in accordance with these guidelines”. The basis of our Constitution derived from the mission statement agreed at the 1991 Brighton meeting and amendments subsequently. This was submitted to AIB Worldwide in 1996 and agreed with minor changes; and approved at UK level at the UK Members Meeting of June 1997.
As hinted above a number of controversial issues emerged in relationships between AIB UK and the worldwide organisation which came to a head at the AIB UK Business Meeting in March 1994. The UK membership was 143 in May 1993 (a significant increase over previous years) and the UK was the fastest growing Region in AIB WW. However, no information was available on membership in 1994 as UK dues could no longer be paid locally and so it was not possible to trace members. This was viewed as “a highly unsatisfactory situation”. A board member of the AIB WW organisation (Jean Boddewyn) was present and it was agreed that the dues should be made to UK AIB in £ and remitted to the US in $. The Minutes record the following: “the AIB WW was too top-down and too US-centred ”…AIB WW should operate as a network, not on the basis of a HQ subsidiary relationship”. In a subsequent letter to the UK Executive Committee, the Chair remarked that: “A heterarchical Academy of IB this is not!” (For more details of the controversy over Subscriptions, see Brooke, 1998: 2-3).
UK AIB Membership. As indicated above, data on membership numbers were quite poor during this period and numbers fluctuated greatly from month to month because many UK members joined by attending one of the annual conferences. In a report to the AIB WW Annual Meeting in Banff, Canada in 1996, it was stated that “UK membership increased from 35 in the late 1980s to approaching 200 in the early 1990s, but numbers have fallen back since then to around 150 in 1996” (specifically a membership total of 151 was reported at the Banff Meeting in 1996). The latter ties up with a figure of 241 quoted by the AIB UK Membership Secretary Dr Simon Harris in his report of April 2005.
The AIB UK Newsletter. This was agreed at the Brighton Executive Committee meeting in 1991, its aim being to disseminate information concerning developments in the UK Chapter. Jeremy Clegg was appointed as the first Newsletter Editor.
At this same meeting, on a related theme the Chair also agreed to prepare a promotional Leaflet for new members.
The Doctoral Colloquium. Alongside the Book Series, the AIB UK Doctoral Workshops have probably proved to have the strongest impact and greatest longevity among the initiatives instituted by the Chapter. The stimulus to the Doctoral research methods workshops derived from the approval and support of the ESRC through an award of £7,000. Initiated by Committee members Jeremy Clegg and George Chryssochoides, a workshop was held at the University of Bath in September 1994 with 25 postgraduate IB and management students participating. The high calibre of the academics supporting the presentation and discussion sessions at this ESRC / AIB UK Chapter workshop undoubtedly raised the status of the programme which has remained a flagship annual event.
I stepped down from my AIB chairman position at the Business Meeting at Aston on 30 March 1996 after five years in office, presenting a personal statement summarised in the Minutes as follows:
Fred Burton: Chair of AIB UK 1996-1999 (prepared by Stephen Young)
I am very pleased to present this account of Fred Burton who was Chair of the UK AIB during the years 1996-1999. Sadly, Fred passed away in the Spring of 2016 and I attended his funeral in Colwyn Bay where he and his wife lived after his retirement from UMIST (University of Manchester). I think golf was a significant driver here!
Much of the early material here derives from a speech presented by Stan Paliwoda (a very well-respected Marketing scholar) at Fred’s funeral service and I am very grateful for this*. Stan worked with Fred for 10 years at UMIST and together they taught programmes in Africa, USA, Canada, France, Germany and Spain. Fred was a strong academic and the first to graduate from the University of Hull with a First-Class honours in economics. But he was multi-talented, as an accomplished pianist, footballer, squash player, athlete and golfer. Fred was forthright and very sharp and could sum up a situation or people quickly and often come out with a humorous, very accurate and concise but demining one liner.
Fred was widely respected by all whether as a lecturer, doctoral supervisor or external examiner. His former PhD students include many who have attained very senior positions in business and academic. Stan Paliwoda writes: “When I think of Fred I think of a sincere, dependable friend, unwavering in his support.” His dedication to his work (at the expense in this case of his health) was shown when he came to Strathclyde University to examine a PhD of mine. Coming up the steep hill after lunch he took ill but still insisted on carrying on to Mongolia (where he was working for the World Bank) when he took a heart attack there, but fortunately recovered fully. Clearly, we had no idea of such health problems. As Stan Paliwoda observes: “Fred leaves a very large footprint behind him and lasting memories for all who knew him.”
In an AIB UK context Fred Burton and I worked together as Treasurer and Chair respectively from 1991 when we had our Executive Committee meeting at Brighton Polytechnic. The UK AIB had 27 paid up members at £20 and a current balance of £4,300. Fred was a committed and efficient Treasurer and took over from me as Chair in 1996. In addition, he was on the EIBA (European IB Association) as UK representative and became its chairman when UMIST hosted the conference in 1999. Generally, links with EIBA were strong at this time and Danny Van Den Bulcke (a major player in EIBA) attended some of the UK AIB meetings.
Fred was a strong supporter of the important AIB Book Series and co-edited a number of its volumes during his period as UK AIB Chair from 1996-1999. Namely:
Vol. 1 Fred Burton, Mo Yamin, and Stephen Young (eds.), (1996) IB and Europe in Transition.
Vol. 3 Peter Buckley, Fred Burton and Hafiz Mirza (eds.), (1998) The Strategy and Organization of IB.
Vol 5. Fred Burton, Malcolm Chapman and Adam Cross (eds.) (1999) IB Organization.
In addition, aside from implementing the new UK AIB Constitution and supporting the Book Series, an important initiative during Fred Burton’s term in office was a renewed emphasis upon membership. The number of members increased from 35 in the late 1980s to approaching 200 in the early 1990s, before falling back to around 150. To tackle this decline, Fred brought Eleanor Morgan into the Committee as Membership Secretary and Conference Continuity Coordinator. This membership drives targeted heads of IB departments and related fields through the Newsletter, leafleting and inserts in publishers’ mail-outs as well as targeting Doctoral students.
*This material derived from: Stan Paliwoda’s Speech at Fred Burton’s Funeral Service, Colwyn Bay, Spring 2016
James Taggart: Chair of AIB UK 1999-2001 (prepared by Stephen Young)
James Taggart took over as UK AIB Chair from Fred Burton for a short period from June 1999 to April 2001 when he resigned owing to ill-health. This period included the Annual UK AIB Conference held at the University of Strathclyde on 14-15 April 2000 titled The Multinational in the Millennium: Companies & Countries, Changes and Choices. James sadly died in November 2014, aged 71.
Jim (the name I knew him by) was a fervent Scot and lifetime believer of Scottish independence. He wore his kilt proudly and as a talented musician played the bagpipes at SIBU (Strathclyde IB Unit) events and at the UK AIB conferences we held at Strathclyde University. He left a well-paid, secure job in 1984 aged 41 to become a full-time student. I taught him on his MBA and supervised his PhD. He then progressed as an academic and was an energetic, enthusiastic and well-respected teacher of IB and business strategy.
I remember one day he came into my office and in typical Jim fashion he blurted out: “you are a professor – tell me what to do to get a chair”. I was a bit bemused, and I muttered something like: “well I never really thought that way, but I’ll give you some advice.” So, I told him what was required, focusing upon a balanced portfolio, and he went away and did it in super-fast fashion.
In a highly productive period from 1987 to 1999 he produced 61 published outputs, many in top European and American journals, and some in collaboration with his wife Jennifer who has a PhD in economics. His main contributions to the IB field relate to the strategies and strategy shifts of multinational subsidiaries and headquarters-subsidiary relationships. His most influential papers were those published in the Journal of IB Studies (1997, 28, 51-76 and the Strategic Management Journal (1998, 19, 663-681). Progressing to Senior Lecturer at Strathclyde University, he was then promoted to Professor at Glasgow University in 2000.
As head of the UK AIB he chaired three meetings of the Executive Committee. These mainly dealt with routine matters relating to recent and forthcoming conferences, namely the 2000 conference at Strathclyde University, and upcoming conferences at Manchester Metropolitan University (2001, Conference organiser Frank McDonald) and the 2002 conference to be held at the University of Central Lancashire.
By this time the web page had become an important means of communication; but concerns were raised about the financial implications of developing the web page. In the end Macmillan offered to host the AIB website, taking care of the technical aspects of the site and saving £500 for website development. The Macmillan Series was proving a valuable source of income, although sales were slipping.
*With assistance from Jim’s wife and other family members I prepared an Obituary which was published by The Herald (Glasgow) newspaper. I spoke to this Obituary at the AIB Annual Conference on 17 April 2015.
Jeremy Clegg: Chair of AIB UK&I 2001-2007
I was elected chair of the UK Chapter of the Academy of IB at the annual conference in 2001. It was not an honour that I had sought or had envisaged. In fact, I had been on the committee of the chapter for quite a number of years and had served as the organizer of the doctoral workshop, which then became the Doctoral Colloquium. The doctoral workshops had their origins much earlier in the chapter's evolution, although a significant change, for the better, was marked by the 1994 ESRC sponsored Doctoral Workshop in Advanced Research Methods for IB and Management, held from 5-8 September, at the School of Management at the University of Bath.
When I took over as chair of the chapter, I saw it as my job 1. Develop the Doctoral Colloquium; 2. Further increase membership; 3. Increase participation at AIB conferences; and 4. Ensure that the Book Series remained in a healthy state. Broadly speaking these were the priorities which I kept as the centre of my vision for the UK chapter. What I did not anticipate was a significant opening of my eyes to the very exciting prospect of expanding the chapter, not through organic growth, but through joining with Irish colleagues, members of AIB, who up to that time did not have a chapter of their own.
In the immediate period after my election as chair, one of the biggest challenges that I faced was the state of administration in the AIB Secretariat in the USA. Limited by the technology of the time, it was impossible for me as chair, or as any of my committee members, to know precisely who a member at any one time was. The UK chapter had its own list of members, which was not only wonderfully out of sync with the actual membership - based on the records of who had paid their dues to AIB - but was also troubled by having multiple entries and different addresses. This situation needed to be sorted out before we really made a concerted effort to develop our membership.
I was especially fortunate to meet Dr Bryony Conway, at a conference held at INSEAD. Bryony was at this time Dean of Wolverhampton Business School, and as such, she was blessed with a personal assistant, Marie Porello who became essential to realising our ambitions on the membership front. Bryony was not only an academic but also a senior manager, and brought an administrative gravitas to the committee, as well as a very wise head. Bryony and Marie were the key initiators of the new strategy to grow membership in a way that we had been unable to do before. Crucial to this, was a new, closer relationship with the AIB Secretariat, which was to be ushered in within a couple of years. At the University of Michigan our key contact point was Tunga Kiyak, at that time very new to his job. I was able to talk to Tonga in a constructive way concerning our membership ambitions while leaving the membership strategy entirely in the hands of Bryony and Marie, who had regular dealings with the Secretariat. A new closer relationship with the AIB worldwide was thus forged.
In April 2003 Bryony and Marie produced a detailed analysis of membership within the UK, by region, and for the first time we were able to see where membership could be expanded strategically. I was fairly confident that this could be achieved, but we would need resources and the imprimatur, of the AIB, on this new development work. Therefore, with the support of the committee, I applied for funding from AIB to grow membership. AIB resourcing support allowed us to engage in promoting the new chapter, now with a new and refurbished membership list, in a way that we had not been able to before. In particular, we were able to write to people whose membership had lapsed and suggest to them that they rejoin. This resulted in a very significant upswing in membership, as people not only joined but realised that the Academy actually cared about having them as a member. This brought our chapter to the attention of AIB worldwide, as a chapter which had a vision to contribute to the worldwide Academy, and to influence IB research and teaching - a vision which it has retained, and significantly developed, to this day.
What we achieved organically, through this initiative, in terms of membership, was the platform for what I regard as the next big initiative during my period of office. This reached fruition during my second three-year term but has its origin in my first term of office. This was the idea to expand the chapter to include Irish colleagues working in the field of IB. How this came about, was through two key events. The first was that Professor Jim Bell at the University of Ulster, had offered to host the 2003 conference at the Magee Campus, in Northern Ireland. Somewhat presciently, an email from Jim, sent to me on 7 June 2001, says that he has in mind a conference in 2003, and describes it as the “UK (& Ireland) AIB conference”. Whether this was the genesis of the initiative to create a unified chapter of British and Irish AIB members, I cannot be sure. But for certain this conference, run by Jim Bell, Dr Sharon Loane and Trevor Morrow was a turning point, in so many ways. Jim referred to an enhanced number of delegates at the 2003 conference being drawn from the Republic of Ireland, in addition to the regular participants from the United Kingdom. In fact, in 2002, I took the opportunity to attend a different conference, also organized by Jim and his team at the University of Ulster and was greatly impressed by his ability to bring people together from both sides of the border. As a Jean Monnet professor, I could see that Jim was achieving something significant not only for the people of Ireland and the United Kingdom, but also for the European Union, and that this, surely was a new and important direction that the UK chapter should follow. This view became more concrete following discussions I had with Professor Colm Kearney, then of Trinity College Dublin, and a participant at Jim’s conference, who told me that colleagues within the field of IB in the Republic of Ireland were keen to increase their presence in the international IB community.
First, however was the AIB UK Chapter (as it then still was) was to run its conference- very successfully so – at the University of Ulster. Exactly as envisaged, the atmosphere was more international and, for the first time, was able to benefit from a closeness with the Republic of Ireland that we had never enjoyed before as an Academy. Throughout the discussions that led up to the proposal to the AIB UK Executive Committee, the vision that Jim had started as a unified chapter for Irish and British colleagues met approval from the AIB Secretariat and everyone else consulted. It was at the Executive Committee meeting at the University of Leeds in June 2005, that a unified UK-Ireland Chapter was proposed by me as chair and then verbally approved by each executive committee member, thereby creating a new regional chapter under the constitution of AIB (as opposed to the existing national UK chapter). I felt it was necessary to ask each committee member individually, as this was the most important constitutional change in the history of the Chapter. And I am glad that I did so.
As I went round the table asking each member to give his or her assent, I collected only “yes’s.” Until, that is, I came to Jim Bell - the inspiration for the proposal in the first place. In his best Ulstermen accent, indistinguishable from the famous tones of the Rev. Ian Paisley, Jim let out a resonant “No!” After the initial shock - we realised we had been “had” and fell about laughing. Jim had punctured the rather excessive formality and the rest, as they say, is history. * Approval was formally granted by the AIB for our new chapter, known as the Academy of IB UK & Ireland Chapter (AIB UK & I); and approved by the Members’ Meeting of the AIB UK in 2006. We were then free “legally” to hold our annual conference outside of the United Kingdom, and we did so as soon as possible, at Trinity College Dublin, with Colm Kearney as the conference chair. The Chapter of which I was chair had now grown both organically, and through the merger of Irish and UK academic colleagues.
At this point in the evolution of the Chapter, it was clear that the annual conference would now become in the steady state, a prestige offering, not just for a British membership, but for a membership that placed the subject above national affiliations. As I, and my colleagues on the executive committee believed, the annual conference was an international conference, which just happened to be held in the United Kingdom, and now in the Republic of Ireland as well. I believe that this shift in the national political affiliation of the chapter, to having no political affiliation, was the starting point of the Chapter’s growing international component, to the extent that participation of AIB members from outside of the UK & Ireland came to represent 50 per cent of registrations. From being a nationally focused academic body, the chapter was well on the way to “walking the talk” of having an international mindset. The quality of bids to host the annual AIB UK & I conference rose. From a position where, as chair, I had to worry about where the next conference host was coming from, I was now in the luxurious possession of having universities lining up, and making formal bids, to host the annual conference. I realised that threshold had been passed, when in one year I had three bids to host the annual conference. Each institution bidding came to run the annual conference in due course.
During my period of office, I instituted an extra annual meeting of the Executive Committee. Having been on the Chapter Executive Committee for many years, it had long struck me as problematic that the committee met only once at the annual conference, in a timeslot that was always pinched for time, before the conference proper began, and once on a day trip to the following year's conference venue. No longer was this short amount of committee time sufficient. Also, the finances of the Chapter had improved considerably, and we now had a larger bank balance than ever before, as membership had risen, and any surplus from the now larger annual conference, was (at the time) retained by the Chapter. This extra committee meeting became known as the annual “Strategy Meeting,” and it was an opportunity for us to think of blue skies developments for the Chapter, but also to consolidate on the growth that had already taken place. Academic time is always costly, and I became more and more impressed with the number of colleagues who were prepared not only to join the committee, but to give their time so freely to develop an academic organization.
In developing the new Chapter I relied increasingly on the Constitution, which had been written by Stephen Young and approved by the AIB Secretariat in 1996. Stephen had taken on this job in order to give the Chapter a far more regular basis for its existence, and its governance, than it had enjoyed up to this point. The Constitution set out, in very plain terms, the normal membership of the executive committee. This was to be based around a chair, a secretary, and the treasurer. Roles such as membership, publicity and so on, could either be co-opted - in the form of individuals – or could be enshrined of offices within the constitution. My principle, was, that if a role was useful, then it should be in the constitution. Therefore, with the support of the committee, and the administration of the committee secretary, we would when it was required, hold a ballot of the membership (which we now had on record, owing to our improved membership recording) as to whether our recommendation to add a new post (or to remove a post) had their approval. It was also possible to make such constitutional changes at the annual conference members meeting but, given that things were moving fast, we were not always able to wait for the next annual conference. The Constitution therefore became the indispensable instrument that governed the operation of the Chapter, and the executive committee could not have achieved what it did without this basis to steer itself into new enterprises.
Looking back, I am delighted to have had the opportunity to Chair the AIB UK in such fascinating times - and have some fun along the way!
*Sadly, Prof. Jim Bell passed away in 2009. Born in Peru he was Irish through and through. A respected academic, Jim was a prolific writer and teller of tales from many adventures. He was clever, witty, charming, and ever mischievous. For further details, see the introduction to Vol. 17 of the Palgrave Macmillan Series, Resources, Efficiency and Globalization. P. Dimitratos and M.V. Jones (eds.).
Frank McDonald: Chair of AIB UK&I 2007-2011
I was elected chair of the Chapter in April 2007. I had been the Treasurer of the AIB UK&I for four years before my election as Chair and had worked in the Executive Committee under the leadership of Jeremy Clegg. I had been drawn into the work of the Chapter by Fred Burton. In addition to Fred, several people generously provided me with support and guidance during my time as Chair. Two of the founding fathers of the Chapter, Stephen Young and Peter Buckley provided unstinting guidance and support. During my period as Chair many people were instrumental in laying down the foundations of systems and procedures that have been developed over the years and still guide the Chapter today. Notable contributions were made by Colin Wheeler who served as Secretary for many years and was involved in setting up many of the procedures that underpin how the annual conferences are run. Colin also played an important role in creating effective procedures for producing the Palgrave book. Marian Jones set up the foundational structures for the doctoral symposium and encouraged the Chapter to make as a core objective the promotion of activities helpful for embedding doctorial students into the community of IB scholars. The Chapter was very fortunate in having the support and guidance of such people and in my time as Chair I benefitted greatly from their guidance and support.
When I was elected Chair attendance at the annual conference was growing and attracted not only IB scholars from the UK, but increasingly from further afield. Delegates from Europe, especially Scandinavian countries, grew considerably in this period. The base for the growing number of delegates had been enhanced by support from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) that in the period when I was Treasurer of the Chapter had regularly sent 25 plus Master students to the annual conference. This support from UCLAN was an important contribution to the conference being regarded as one of reasonable size. This helped in the development of the numbers of delegates that were attracted to the annual conference. The grow of the health of the finances of the Chapter together with a growing number of delegates provided the basis for the annual conference to become the largest conference among the Chapters of AIB. In this period the annual conference cemented its position as an important IB conference, which although focused on the UK and Ireland attracted delegates on a global basis, especially from Nordic countries.
In my period as Chair various steps were taken to enhance the academic standing of IB in the UK and Ireland. The first moves towards promoting IB journals in the major journal quality lists were made in this period. The Chapter made submissions to the second version of the Association of British Business Schools (ABS) Quality Journal List and the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) Journal Quality List. The Chapter arranged for testimonials from leading IB scholars to be submitted to these bodies, to support an upgrading of the IB Review. This was successful as the journal was moved from a 2 to 3 in the ABS list and its rank in the ABDC list was also raised. In another move to support the development of the IB community two new conference prizes were introduced – the Neil Hood and Stephen Young Prize for the Most Original New Doctoral Work and the Critical Perspectives on IB Award. In this period, approval was received from AIB HQ for the Chapter to present an award - John Dunning Lifetime Achievement Award. The development of special sessions at the conference to promote particular areas of interest were also promoted in attempts to enlarge the spheres of influence of the IB community in the UK and Ireland. One of the first of these types of sessions ‘meet the editors’ the conference in the University of Edinburgh in 2011. Editors of the Journal of IB Studies, IB Review, Journal of World Business, Journal of International Management took part in this session. At the conference in the University of Liverpool in 2012 one of the first sessions involving collaboration with another academic body (Royal Geographical Society) took place with a special track on the research connections between IB and Economic Geography. Foundations were also laid for a variety of symposiums and seminars held outside of the annual conference. In 2012 the Chapter encouraged the development of a British Academy of Management Special Interest Group (BAM SIG) in IB and International Management. This BAM SIG was established in 2012 by Jeremy Clegg and me with the intention of encouraging collaboration with the AIB UK&I Chapter. The late Keith Glaister, the BAM Fellow associated with the SIG, made tremendous contributions to encouraging collaboration between the SIG and the Chapter. The linkages established between these two bodies led to successful joint workshops and seminars in issues such as preparing for REF 2014 including a session on developing impact studies in the area of IB. Some the first Chapter seminars on qualitative research methods were also developed in this period.
I encouraged Heinz Tuselmann to become involved with the Chapter and he was elected as Secretary of the Executive, and he quickly became a major pillar of the Executive. When I stepped down, he was elected as Chair. In 2014 Annie Wei asked me to be co-chair for the annual conference at the University of York. I therefore found myself for a year back on the Chapter’s Executive. I was delighted, but not surprised, to find that under Heinz’s leadership the Chapter had developed and improved in many ways. I have kept in touch with developments at the Chapter and am delighted that it is going from strength to strength. It has been a privilege to be involved with the Chapter and to have played a part in its development.
Heinz Tüselmann: Chair of AIB UK&I 2011 – 2017
I was elected Chair of the Chapter in April 2011. I had been Secretary of the AIB UK&I from 2005 to 2011 during the chairmanships of Jeremy Clegg and Frank McDonald and I am proud that was able during this period to support their various initiatives and achievements. Although Jeremy and Frank left big shoes fill, working closely with them during my time at the AIB UK& I executive prepared me well for the important role of Chair of the Chapter. I take pleasure that during my leadership of the Chapter I was able to build on their achievements. I am also grateful that I was supported by a sterling executive committee during my tenure as Chair, and in particular by the Secretary and my successor as Chair, Pavlos Dimitratos who sadly passed away in January 2021.
Building on the hard work of my predecessors, it was pleasing to see that during my tenure and the initiatives we undertook during that time, that the Chapter continued to be in a steady state and grew originally in terms of membership, continuing to be one the largest and longest established Chapter in the AIB family, and the largest regional AIB conference.
Conference attendance continued to grow. The annual Chapter conferences further cemented its position as an important IB conference, which although based in the UK and Ireland, continued to attract a large share of delegates from Europe, especial from Nordic countries, and beyond. Special workshops and events led by leading IB scholars, such quantitative and qualitative method workshops for IB research, IB pedagogy, research and paper development workshops and publication sessions with IB journal editors have become a permanent a fixture of all AIB UK&I annual conferences.
Our conferences have also connected beyond the remit of our annual conferences, such as the 2012 Liverpool conference which was run in parallel to the Royal Geography Society conference at Liverpool University with lots of crossovers and debates between IB and economic geography researchers, or the 2017 Reading conference which brought together the Chapters’ conference with the biannual John Dunning Centre and UNCTAD conference. Importantly, the doctoral programme, which has always been the backbone of our annual conferences and an important aspect of the Chapter’s commitment to promote the next generation of IB researchers, has been further strengthened thanks to the commitment and initiatives of the doctoral convenor Margaret Fletcher. In this connection, I am grateful to Sinéad Monaghan and Sharon Loane for having organised several AIB UK&I sponsored doctoral events in Ireland, that fed into AIB UK&I doctoral streams at our annual conferences.
An important milestone during this period was the Chapters’ establishment of the John Dunning Lifetime Achievement Award to recognise outstanding achievement in (i) contribution to IB research, (ii) services and support to AIB UK&I, (iii) development of the next generation of IB researchers. I took great pleasure that the inaugural award was bestowed to Stephen Young, who sadly passed away in 2021, at the 2015 conference held at Manchester Metropolitan University. In the years to follow during my tenure, the recipients were Peter Buckley, Mark Casson and Bob Pearce. Sadly, Bob passed away before the award ceremony and he received the award posthumously.
Another noteworthy development during this time was the formal recognition of the longstanding conference attendance of our European colleagues and particularly those from Scandinavian countries. Olli Kuivalainen and Ulf Andersson were co-opted to the AIB UK&I Executive Committee in capacity of Nordic Countries’ Representatives. They have very much enriched the Executive and are committed and much valued members. We also appointed Olli Kuivalainen and Rudolf Sinkovics as dedicated book editors for the annual Palgrave MacMillan IB Book Series arising from the annual conferences. The book editors support and assist the conference host editors, ensure consistency across the annual volumes, as well as guidance as to thematic themes and content. In addition, they are the focal point of contact between the Chapter and the publishers. A notable initiative during this time was the initiation of academicians, bestowed on the former Chairs of the Chapters and holders of the John Dunning Lifetime Achievement Award. This is an informal body of the Chapter to provide counsel and advise to the Chair and the Executive Committee on strategic matters and acting as a sounding board. Indeed, they constitute a valuable pool of knowledge and experience for the Chapter to draw on.
Yet, the frontrunners and inspirators of this were the infamous annual “old gits meetings” of Stephen Young, Jeremy Clegg, Frank McDonald, and me. This was an evening out at Don Giovanni’s restaurant in Manchester, where over dinner we discussed issues, initiatives, and future direction of the Chapter. I am grateful to Stephen, Jeremy and Frank for their counsel and advise during these very productive meetings. However, after the second bottle of wine and when AIB UK&I business was done, in a truly “old gits” fashion, we put the world to rights. Thanks Stephen, Jeremy and Frank for their invaluable advice and inspiration, and importantly, for making the “old gits meetings” such memorable happenings and fun.
The initiative by Jeremy Clegg and Frank McDonald leading to the creation of the British Academy of Management Special Interest Group (BAM SIG) in IB and International Management in 2012, constituted another major milestone during this period. Jeremy and Frank were subsequently the founding co-chairs of the BAM SIG, setting the scene for strong collaboration with AIB UK&I and also increasing the voice and stature of IB within BAM. The linkages established between these two bodies has led to successful joint BAM and AIB UK&I sponsored workshops and seminars and these continue to be intensified further by the BAM SIG and the Chapter.
I am particularly pleased that during my tenure and as subject expert for IB of the influential Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS) Academic Journal Guide, we were able to upgrade several of our IB journals and IB related journals. In particular: Journal of IB Studies to world elite status, Journal of World Business to grade 4, Journal of International Management to grade 3, Management Organization Review to 3, inception grade of Global Strategy Journal as grade 3 (and in 2021 upgrade to grade 4), as well as promoting a number of grade 1 IB journals to grade 2 and including a number of new and emerging IB journals onto the CABS journal list. This is an important development for safeguarding and growing IB as subject area in the competitive international journal landscape.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Chapter Chair and to have made some contributions to the long and proud history of the Chapter. The upside to the end of my Chairmanship is perhaps that the conference delegates are no longer subjected to my German jokes at the conference gala dinner speeches. It was a pleasure when Pavlos was elected as my successor, although his tenure was cut short when he passed away untimely. His progressive leadership and his various initiatives have made major inroads in the further development of the Chapter.
Pavlos Dimitratos: Chair of the AIB UK&I, 2017 – 2021 (prepared by Mario Kafouros)
No doubt, the period between 2017 and 2021 was one of the most eventful periods in the history of the Chapter.
While the Chapter further consolidated its strengths during this period, the unprecedented disruption caused by the spread of Covid-19 also put the Chapter (and the IB community more widely) to the test. Yet, this one-of-its-kind crisis has shown to all of us how strong the IB community is and how good we are at bouncing back from setbacks. The leadership of Pavlos Dimitratos as Chair of the AIB UK&I Chapter played an important role in weathering this unprecedent challenge.
Pavlos served for over ten years on the Executive Committee of the Chapter and after being the Secretary for several years (during the Chairmanship of Heinz Tüselmann), he become the Chair of the Chapter in 2017. He remained in this post and worked enthusiastically with various colleagues (e.g. Mario Kafouros and Heinz Tüselmann) until his death in January 2021.
During the 2017-2021 period, Pavlos as Chair of the Chapter built on the work of his predecessor (Heinz Tüselmann) to develop and introduce initiatives that strengthened and progressed the Chapter within the IB community. He placed a lot of emphasis on community-building work that was instrumental in developing the institutional scaffolding that IB scholars within the UK and internationally needed. The fact that Pavlos had leading roles in the European IB Academy (EIBA) and the British Academy of Management (BAM) also helped him to champion the Chapter in a unique way in the wider academic community and make it more inclusive than ever.
The chapter introduced new and refined existing initiatives over the years, many of which were aimed at supporting and promoting doctoral students and early career researchers. These included the sponsorship of various seminars and doctoral events that complemented the annual Chapter conference. Pavlos was passionate about developing early career academics and this passion was shared by the rest of the executive board. He loved to welcome them into our community (seeing them as the ‘future’). In turn, because of Pavlos’ social nature, openness, and kindness, both senior and early career scholars wanted to work with him to contribute to the Chapter. During Pavlos time as Chair he initiated a survey of members to improve interaction with the members of the Chapter. Pavlos also encouraged the revamping of the communications systems of the Chapter leading to Noemi Sinkovics developing as new web site and an improved social media presence.
Pavlos also introduced two new AIB UK&I conference awards: the “Adam Smith Business School Best Doctoral Dissertation Award” and the “Peter Buckley and Pervez Ghauri Prize for the best Early Career Research Paper”. These further signify his commitment and initiatives to bring along the next generation of IB scholars. In addition, he installed the Global Strategy Journal Prize. Adding to the existing AIB UKI&I awards, Pavlos’ initiatives ensured that the Chapter has now a variety of high-profile prizes and awards to celebrate and acknowledge the best work of established and emerging IB scholars.
As a result, the annual conferences of the Chapter not only further consolidated its position as an ‘exemplar’ chapter but also continued attracting many participants from various other European countries and increasingly from America and Asia. The conference continued to be one of the most important IB annual events. Both attendance at conferences and Chapter membership remained very high. This international reach and inclusion were also reflected on the Executive Board of the Chapter which included co-opted members from other European countries. Moreover, reflecting Pavlos’ progressive and forward-looking Chairmanship, he made several strategic appointments on the executive board, including co-opted members for “Diversity and Inclusiveness” and “Impact”, with the latter reflecting the growing demands for IB to not only make academic contributions but to be relevant and impactful for policymakers and practitioners to address and provide answers to real-world problems facing the international community.
The executive board meetings were not only constructive but also very enjoyable and fun to attend. They often felt like a gathering of long-standing friends, rather than work-related meetings that people had to attend. This kind of collegiality and friendship could be seen in different circumstances and many colleagues still recall a variety of stories demonstrating just this. For instance, after the Gala dinner in one of our annual Chapter conferences, one of the delegates could not find a taxi. Although it was very late (after midnight), she decided that she had no option but to walk to her hotel which was nearly two miles away from the Gala dinner venue. Pavlos was quick in asking other colleagues to join him to walk with her back to her hotel, making sure she was safe. There was a very enjoyable discussion on the way to the hotel. This kind of collegiality run through all the activities of the Chapter.
Nevertheless, despite these successes, the Chapter was not immune to the widespread disruption caused by Covid-19, which arrived at Europe in January-February 2020. The Chapter faced unprecedented challenges and the IB community as well as the rest of the world were hit very hard. While the situation is currently improving, it is worth remembering that we all had to isolate. This effectively led to the cancelation of the Glasgow AIB UKI&I conference and also meant that one of the most important scholarly activities (i.e., meeting with other IB friends and colleagues face to face) came to a standstill overnight.
This kind of disruption however has shown how resilient the Chapter, the wider IB community and our society are. Pavlos’ steady hand played an important part in weathering this challenge. After the spread of Covid-19, we were very quick in adapting to online forms of interacting with people. Although many fellow academics will agree with the view that such online interactions are not as enjoyable as meeting people face to face, they enabled us to keep interacting and working with each other. They also allowed the Chapter to run a very successful and well attended conference in Greenwich in 2021. It was certainly a challenging period, but no doubt it made the IB community stronger and better prepared for the future, and Pavlos played an important role in advancing the Chapter during this difficult time.
Pavlos left a considerable legacy in promoting and advancing the Chapter in the UK and Ireland and beyond. His progressive leadership of the Chapter, his support for the next generation of IB researchers and his steady chairmanship during a difficult and challenging period have made a considerable contribution to the long-term well-being of the Chapter. Although his untimely death cut short his chairmanship, his successor Davide Castellani is building on Pavlos’ contributions, leveraging new initiatives to move the Chapter along to continuing to thrive in the future.
Davide Castellani: Chair of AIB UK&I 2021 - to date
I was appointed as interim chair of the Chapter in January 2021, after Pavlos Dimitratos passed away, and then formally elected chair in April of the same year at the Annual Conference held online and organised by the University of Greenwich. I had been the Membership Officer of the AIB UK&I for three years before my election as Chair and had worked in the Executive Committee under the leadership of Pavlos Dimitratos. I had been drawn into the work of the Chapter by Heinz Tüselmann. In the Spring 2020 Pavlos Dimitratos informed me that he was not keen on a second term as Chair, and he proposed that I put my name forward to succeed to him. Pavlos and I had some conversations on the future of the Chapter, and I treasure the suggestions he had for me at the time. The Annual Conference of 2020 in Glasgow has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Members Meeting did not take place that year and Pavlos stayed at the helm of the chapter for another year. Sadly, Pavlos then passed away in January 2021 and at that point, the Executive Committee appointed me as an interim chair to oversee the work of the Chapter until an election could take place. When I was appointed interim Chair, I was relatively inexperienced and could not rely on my predecessor for advice. Frank McDonald and Heinz Tuselmann kindly agreed to act as advisors, and I am extremely grateful for their unstinting guidance and support. Mario Kafouros, as the Chapter Secretary was a steady hand and trusted advisor I could always rely on.
During my first year as Chair I could rely on a great team of colleagues in the Executive Board. Xiaohui Lui acted as the Treasurer, Vikrant Shirodkar was the Communication Officer, Sinead Monahan the Membership Officer, Surender Munjal as the Doctoral Colloquium convener. The co-opted members of the Executive Board were Margaret Fletcher as the Diversity and Inclusion rep, Marty Reilly as the Irish rep, Ulf Andersson as the Nordic countries rep and Olli Kuivalainen as Book Series editors' representative and Heinz Tuselmann representing the Academicians.
The first initiative that the chapter took under my leadership was to find ways to keep the memory of Pavlos alive. We opened a space online were friends and colleagues could leave their thoughts. Dozens in the AIB community responded and these memories have been collected to a remembrance booklet. A widely participated and heartfelt session in memory of Pavlos was organised at the Greenwich Conference in April 2021. The many shared memories reminded us of what a great scholar, mentor, leader and friend Pavlos has been. In the same occasion, we took the decision to rename the AIB-UKI Best Dissertation Award, that Pavlos had introduced during his time as Chair, as the Pavlos Dimitratos Best Dissertation Award. I am grateful to the Adam Smith Business School for agreeing to sponsor this award and to Margaret Fletcher who facilitated this.
These were challenging times, as we were in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that did not allow for the second time to miss the opportunity to meet in person at the Annual Conference. Thanks to the University of Greenwich, we were able to organise, in just a few months, the first Online Annual Conference of the AIB-UKI. I am grateful to Spiros Batas, as the Conference Chair, for an excellent job that allowed us to share our research and meet, although only virtually.
For the future of the Chapter, I can build on the shoulders of the giants that came before me. I lead a Chapter that has healthy finances and a strong membership, has a Book Series with Palgrave, organises one of the largest conferences among the Chapters of AIB and several initiatives for doctoral students and early career researchers (including a Doctoral Colloquium and Paper Development Workshops) which, although focused on the UK and Ireland, attract delegates on a global basis. In 2022, the Chapter has introduced the AIB-UKI Research Methods workshop, which builds on previous initiatives connected the Doctoral colloquium. This workshop spans over two half days prior to the Annual Conference and aims at offering practical advice to doctoral students and early career researcher on key aspects of qualitative and quantitative empirical research methods. I hope we will be able to establish this as a regular pre-conference event. Hopefully, the annual conference and pre-conference activities will build on each other’s strengths to provide value to AIB-UKI members and the wider IB community. In order to facilitate this, I endeavour to make these events as affordable as possible for all members of our community.
One of the key initiatives of the Chapter is to publish volumes in Palgrave’s AIB-UKI Book Series. With the help of the Book Series Editors - Olli Kuivalainen and Rudolf Sinkovics, I hope we will be able to make this publication an ever more interesting publication outlet, by working on a sleeker and more focused structure.
It is an honour and a privilege to be involved in the leadership of the Chapter and I hope I will be to follow in the footsteps of the previous Chairs and play a part in its future development.