Research Seminars

 Research Seminar 134

 

Tenia Kyriazi

Middlesex University Dubai

Trafficking in human beings: Is it a form of slavery?

A critical study of the ECtHR jurisprudence

 

Abstract

Trafficking in human beings, as defined by the 2000 United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, is an international problem with political, legal, social and economic implications that traditionally fell within the scope of Criminal Law. However, during the past two decades, considering that human trafficking can constitute a serious offence to the integrity and dignity of the victims, it has been increasingly recognized by the international community, consisting of international law instruments, international bodies and judicial and semi-judicial organs, as a serious human rights violation. In this framework, trafficking in human beings falls within the scope of International Human Rights Law and has often been classified as a modern form of slavery. In this context, the paper examines whether and under what circumstances and conditions can human trafficking fall within the scope of the prohibition of slavery, as it is stipulated in the 1950 European Convention for Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. With this aim, this study explores the applicable regulatory framework and its interpretation, critically studying the jurisprudence of the European Court for Human Rights and relevant doctrinal analyses.

 

Biography

Dr. Tenia Kyriazi holds a Ph.D in International Law from the University of Athens, Greece (Human Trafficking – International and European Human Rights Law) – published in Greek in 2010. She received her LL.B. from the Law School of the University of Athens and her LL.M. in International Law with International Relations from the University of Kent, UK. Tenia joined Middlesex University Dubai as a part-time lecturer in 2008-2009. After 2 years in Singapore she re-joined Middlesex University Dubai again, in 2013, as a full-time senior lecturer in Law. Previously, She has worked as a legal adviser and project manager in International and Non-Governmental Organizations in Greece, mostly involved in coordinating the implementation of and providing legal support to EU and government funded projects on human rights education, migration and research on trafficking in human beings.

 

 

Date: Wednesday 28th May 2014 (4-5pm)
Venue: Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Middlesex University Dubai, Knowledge Village.

 

Research Seminar 133

 

Lejla Vrazalic

Middlesex University Dubai

Supporting the Development of Critical Thinking Skills in the Age of Google: How Information Systems Can Contribute

Abstract

Information Systems (IS) as a discipline is mainly associated with technology and widely misunderstood. An IS professional or systems analyst is generally concerned with designing technology-based solutions that support an organisation’s work flows and business needs. However, the skills and tools used by IS professionals are easily transferable into other domains, in particular management and decision-making. IS graduates have a strong knowledge of research, problem solving, design and evaluation skills, which are developed by learning practical tools and techniques for making sense of information, and analyzing systems and processes. This presentation will consider the ways in which the IS curriculum can contribute to other disciplines, and argue that systems analysis tools and skills should be integrated into a range of curricula as a means of developing critical thinking abilities in the age of easily accessible limitless information.

 

Biography

Dr. Lejla Vrazalic is the Campus Programme Co-ordinator for Business and IT programmes at Middlesex University in Dubai. Prior to this, she held the position of Chair of the College of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Wollongong in Dubai.  Lejla has more than 15 years of experience in the higher education sector, having held various positions and taught in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and the UAE. In 2006, Lejla was awarded a Citation for educational leadership by the Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, and in 2004, she received the Australian Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Business Community Partnerships. In addition to her roles in educational development and leadership, Lejla was a founding member of the UAE Heads of Research Group and an international assessor for the Australian Research Council. She has been an external reviewer and executive officer for the Oman Academic Accreditation Authority since 2008. Lejla holds B.Comm (Hons) Information Systems and PhD degrees from the University of Wollongong in Australia.

 

Date: Wednesday 28th May 2014 (4-5pm)
Venue: Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Middlesex University Dubai, Knowledge Village.

 

Research Seminar 132

Ajit Karnik & Mala Lalvani 

INCUMBENCY AND RE-ELECTIONS: An Analysis of General Elections in India

 

Abstract 

Incumbency has been found to bestow significant advantages in an election. Evidence from the USA and some European countries suggest that the probability of winning for an incumbent is higher than that for a challenger. However, care has to be taken in arriving at this conclusion: it is quite possible that the incumbent may be genuinely better qualified than the challenger, in which case the re-election of the incumbent may have nothing to with his/her incumbency status but more to do with the quality of the contestants. If this is the case then the importance of incumbency in determining re-election may be biased upwards. This paper looks at the importance of incumbency in eight parliamentary elections in India spread over the period 1980 to 2004. We employ the technique known as Regression Discontinuity Design to overcome the bias in estimating the influence of incumbency. Our results suggest that incumbency is, in fact, a disadvantage in Indian elections.

 

Biography

 

Ajit Karnik is a Professor of Economics at Middlesex University Dubai and is a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He was Reserve Bank of India Professor of Political Economy and Director, Department of Economics, University of Mumbai; he was also Professor of Economics at the UoWD. Visiting Assignments have included: Indo-American Fellow, University of Texas at Austin; Visiting Scholar, St. John’s College, Cambridge; British Council Higher Education Link Visitor, University of Ulster (Belfast); Fulbright Fellow, University of California at Berkeley; and Smuts Fellow, Faculty of Economics and Politics, Cambridge. He has supervised 11 Ph.D. thesis, 5 M.Phil dissertations and numerous MAMC and MBA dissertations. Ajit’s research specializations comprise political economy, fiscal economics, economic growth and econometrics. He has published 32 papers in refereed journals, 12 papers in edited books, 90 other papers (including conference and working papers), 3 authored books and 4 edited books. He has undertaken consultancy for Government of Maharashtra (India), United Nations Development Programme, World Bank, Unilever India and is a referee for the International Journal of Applied Economics, Journal of Sports Economics, Publius: Journal of Federalism and Public Budgeting and Finance

 

Date: Wednesday 21st May 2014 (4-5pm)
Venue: Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Middlesex University Dubai, Knowledge Village.

 

Research Seminar 131

 

Cody Morris Paris

Middlesex University Dubai

 

Unplugged and Disconnected: Tech-Savvy Travelers’ Experiences

 

Abstract

Through the analysis narratives of experiences of disconnection by technologically savvy travelers this paper will contribute a deeper understanding of how new technologies ‘separate’ travelers from the physical and embodied travel experience, and how experiences and tensions caused by being disconnected or unplugged are negotiated by travelers.  For this study, travelers own experiences were elicited through a series of online interviews conducted primarily through email and Facebook. Pearce and Gretzel (2012)’s technology-induced tensions and recent literature on internet/technology addiction provide a conceptual framework for the analysis.

 

Biography

Cody Morris Paris is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Coordinator for Social Science programmes and Chair of the Research Committee at Middlesex University Dubai. He has taught classes in a wide range of topical areas including: Tourism, Social Science, Sustainability, Community Development, Entrepreneurship, International Development, International Politics, and Research Methods. He completed his PhD in Community Resource Development at Arizona State University. He also holds a MSc in Tourism Studies and a Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies in International Geography and Political Science-International Studies with minors in Cultural Anthropology and Tourism from Arizona State University. Additionally, Cody is currently a Senior Research Fellow at University of Johannesburg in South Africa. Cody has won several prestigious awards for his research, and published widely in peer reviewed journals. The primary interest areas for his research include: Geopolitics and Tourism, Technology and Tourism, Sustainable Development, Mobilities, and Experiential Learning.

 

Date: Wednesday 14th May 2014 (4-5pm)
Venue: Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Middlesex University Dubai, Knowledge Village.

 

Research Seminar 130

 

Racquel Warner

Middlesex University Dubai

Students’ Perceptions of E-assessments

Abstract

One of the core values in education is the need to align assessments with content, skills, and knowledge in order to maintain validity and reliability. There is good research evidence to show that well designed assessment systems lead to improved student performance and ensure success of students. Electronic assessment, which is regarded as the flip side of the e-learning coin, is acclaimed by some stakeholders in UAE higher education institutions as a possible magic bullet or saviour for the evaluation of learning. Others argue that e-assessment might herald the death of assessments with high levels of reliability and validity.  The participants  in this qualitative study, offered unique insights into the conduct of e- assessment and most were concerned about the prospect of electronic feedback replacing verbal feedback and face-to-face interaction between the lecturers and students. Most participants indicated some benefits of e-assessments to the pedagogical processes in the university, but were reluctant to express wholehearted agreement with a transition to e-assessments a sole method of summative evaluation. The study concludes by recommending ways of promoting the idea of e-assessment to lecturers and students including new codes of practice, training and assurances to both stakeholders that these new methods are an improvement on previous practice and that e-assessment can actually increase reliability and validity.

 

 

Biography

Racquel Warner holds a Masters degree in TESOL from the University of Wollongong in Australia. She is a doctoral student with Exeter University with research interests in Learner Autonomy, Professional Development and Educational Leadership. Racquel has been an educator for over 18 years and now works as the Programme Coordinator for the Academic Enrichment Programme,  MA TESOL and  International Foundation Programme at Middlesex University in Dubai. She is a committee member of TESOL Arabia and has contributed to research in this field  with conference presentations and publications about the discipline.  In her spare time Racquel serves as social planner and runs a taxi service for her daughters Laura and Ashley

 

Date: Wednesday 7th May 2014 (4-5pm)
Venue: Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Middlesex University Dubai, Knowledge Village.

 

Research Seminar 129

 

Avantika Agrawal

Middlesex University Dubai

 

FROM ASSUMPTIONS TO BEHAVIOUR AND THE NARRATIVES IN BETWEEN.

Behaviour is a manifestation of the stories we tell ourselves. If you want to change the behaviour, change the story.

 

Abstract

 

Recent research across evolution, cognition, fiction and behavioural science reveals that we are, fundamentally, storytellers. We represent and express ourselves through narratives. This paper postulates that behaviour is a manifestation of the stories we tell ourselves. Our brains integrate our impressions, beliefs and values into coherent narratives which motivate our attitudes and behaviour. Using Schein’s model of organizational culture as a guide, this paper examines how we acquire intuitive assumptions, which transform over time and experience into the beliefs and values that govern our behaviour. These beliefs and values, then in turn reinforce and strengthen the underlying assumptions that lie beneath them. This cross disciplinary paper looks at theories across psychology, media narrative, neuroscience, economics and management to explore this fundamental link between the behaviour that manifests as a result of the stories we create and consume.

 

Biography

Avantika Hari is a multi disciplinary story teller. She graduated with a double major in Digital Arts and Economics from Stetson University Florida and then managed her own multimedia consulting firm while studying Creative Writing and Filmmaking at Stanford University in California. She got her Masters in Filmmaking from the London Film School. Hari is a multi award winning writer and director of the English feature Land Gold Women (2011). The film is the world’s first English language feature to explore the issue of honour killing and was released in India in conjunction with the Movement to End Honour Violence. The film releases in North America on DVD this year. She is currently a lecturer in the BA Journalism and Media programme at Middlesex University, Dubai. Her research interests include the links between story and behaviour, the urban medium, multimedia storyteliing, design thinking, character based narratives and communication for social change.

 

Date: Wednesday 30th April 2014 (4-5pm)
Venue: Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Middlesex University Dubai, Knowledge Village.

 

Research Seminar 128

Book Launch

 

Marcus L. Stephenson

Middlesex University Dubai

 

Raoul V. Bianchi

University of East London

 

Tourism and Citizenship: Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities in the Global Order

For further details, please see: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415707381/

 

Book Description

More than sixty years since the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights first enshrined the right to freedom of movement in an international charter of human rights, the issue of mobility and the right to tourism itself have become increasingly significant areas of scholarly interest and political debate. However, despite the fact that cross-border travel implies certain citizenship rights as well as the material capacity to travel, the manifold intersections between tourism and citizenship have not received the attention they deserve in the literature.

 

This book endeavours to fill this gap by being the first to fully examine the role of tourism in wider society through a critically-informed sociological reflection on the unfolding relationships between international tourism and distinct renderings of citizenship, with particular emphasis on the ideological and political alignments between the freedom of movement and the right to travel. The text weaves its analysis of citizenship and travel in the context of addressing large-scale societal transformations engendered by globalization, neoliberalism and the geopolitical realignments between states, as well as comprehending the internal reconfiguring of the relationship between citizens and states themselves. By doing so, it focuses on key themes including: tourism and social citizenship rights; race, culture and minority rights; states, markets and the freedom of movement; tourism, peace and geo-politics; consumerism and class; and, ethical tourism, global citizenship and cosmopolitanism. The book concludes that the advancement of genuinely democratic and just forms of tourism must be commensurate with demands for distributive justice and a democratic politics of mobility encompassing all of humanity.

 

This timely and significant contribution to the sociology and politics of international tourism through the lens of citizenship is a must read for students and scholars in both in the fields of tourism and social science

 

Biography

Dr. Marcus L. Stephenson is an Associate Professor of Tourism Management at Middlesex University Dubai (United Arab Emirates). His has a BSc (Hons) in Sociology and Social Administration, and an MA in the Sociology and Anthropology of Tourism and Travel. Both degrees were awarded by the University of Surrey (UK). He gained his PhD in the field of social tourism in 1998 at Manchester Metropolitan University (UK); where he carried out a four year ethnographic research project concerning Manchester’s Caribbean communities- looking at their aspirations, perceptions and experiences of travel and tourism. He also has an Advanced Diploma in Professional Development in Education: ‘Teaching and Learning in Higher Education’, awarded by the University of North London in 1999. Prior to Middlesex, Marcus was the Director of Postgraduate Research for the Department of Business and Service Sector Management at London Metropolitan University (UK). He has published extensively on the sociology of tourism, especially in relation to aspects of race, ethnicity, nationality, citizenship, culture and religion. He has conducted tourism-based research in the Middle East, Caribbean, Tanzania and the UK, and carried out research for various tourism-related institutions at both regional and international level. He is on the journal editorial advisory board for four academic journals, and has acted as an external advisor and examiner for a number of  university institutes offering tourism degree programmes. As we know, he has recently co-authored the book ‘Tourism and Citizenship: Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities in the Global Order’, a Routledge publication.  He is currently in the middle of another book project looking at tourism development challenges facing the Gulf Cooperation Council states, this edited book  is anticipated for publication next year.

 

Date: Wednesday 23th March 2014 (4-5pm)
Venue: Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Middlesex University Dubai, Knowledge Village.

 

 

Research Seminar 127

 

Adrienne Isakovic

e-School of Business and Quality Management

Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University

 

One Size Does Not Fit All: Evidence for Tailoring HRM Practices for Self-Initiated Expatriates in the United Arab Emirates

 

Abstract

This paper reports on an exploratory study examining differences between two subgroups of self-initiating expatriates in the United Arab Emirates: academics employed by various higher educational institutions and blue-collar service workers employed by one organization in the health and beauty industry. Significant differences found both in the demographic and employment characteristics of these two subgroups, as well as differences in factors which influence cultural, interaction, and work adjustment indicate that human resource management practices cannot uniformly be implemented for all expatriate groups in the United Arab Emirates. Results obtained from factor analysis, correlation analysis, means testing and post hoc analysis are given. Suggestions of how to tailor human resource management practices are given. In addition, limitations of this research as well as suggestions for future study are given.

 

Biography

Dr. Isakovic is an Assistant Professor of Human Resources at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University in Dubai. She teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in HRM. In addition, she is the Curriculum Coordinator for the Master’s in HRM program. Dr. Isakovic has almost a decade of comprehensive experience in practitioner/managerial roles in Human Resources in the UAE in both private and government organizations, including as Acting Director and Vice President, Office of Human Resources. Dr. Isakovic holds an MS and a PhD in Organization and Management from Capella University, a MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from Florida State University, and a BA in International Studies from the University of South Florida.

She has won awards for Global HR Leadership and Teaching Excellence. Her research interests include expatriate adjustment, HRM impact on total quality management, research methodologies in HRM, and management education in online/blended-learning settings. Her work has been published in several international journals and she has presented her work at international conferences. She recently was awarded the Best Practice and Innovation Prize by the International Council on Open and Distance Education for her research on self-reflection blogging in blended learning courses.

 

Date: Wednesday 16th April 2014 (4-5pm)
Venue: Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Middlesex University Dubai, Knowledge Village.

 

Research Seminar 126

Robert R. Nelson

University of Delaware

 

Jan A. deRoos (Presented)

Cornell University

 

Russell Lloyd

Cornell University

 

The Impact of Publicly Subsidized Hotels in the United States on Competing Properties

 

Abstract

This paper examines the use of publicly funded subsidies to encourage hotel development in the United States. It reports highlights from the largest and most complete data base assembled on these transactions. This data shows that public subsidies play a significant role in American hotel development and many projects that are in various stages of the development pipeline include the use of public funds. It goes on to present eight impact analyses that look at how key performance metrics of competing hotels in various markets are affected when they have to contend with new entrants that are subsidized. Three markets saw increases in indexed RevPAR, while in the other five markets competing hotels seemed to suffer after the introduction of publicly subsidized competition.

 

Biography

Professor Jan A. deRoos, Ph.D., on the faculty of the Hotel School since 1988, has devoted his career to hospitality real estate; with a focus on the valuation, financing, development, and operation of lodging, timeshare, and restaurant assets.  He teaches courses in the Hotel School’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs, teaches extensively in the Hotel School’s executive education programs, and has developed on-line professional Certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management.  Prof. deRoos is director of the Hotel School’s Center for Real Estate Finance, which includes an undergraduate Minor in Real Estate and a professional master’s degree concentration in real estate.  His most recent work includes the 4th edition of The Negotiation and Administration of Hotel Management Contracts, co-authored with James Eyster, the 3rd edition of the Hotel Valuation Software, co-authored with Stephen Rushmore, and chapters in the most recent editions of Hotel Asset Management: Principles and Practices and Hotel Investments: Issues and Perspectives, both published by the American and Hotel Lodging Association.

 

Date: Wednesday 2nd April 2014 (4-5pm)
Venue: Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Middlesex University Dubai, Knowledge Village.

 

 

Research Seminar 125

 

Jakob Pietschnig

Middlesex University Dubai

 

Dark Superstitions: Effects of the Dark Triad of Personality on Self-Reported Superstitious Beliefs

 

Abstract

Superstitious beliefs and behaviours have been shown to be prevalent across many different cultures for thousands of years. It has been suggested that such beliefs may serve as adaptive mechanisms facilitating coping with anxiety, traumatic experiences, and uncertainty. Typically, superstitious beliefs have been positively associated with the Big Five personality dimension of neuroticism, whilst associations with the remaining four dimensions appear to be less clear. Moreover, comparatively novel developments indicate the explanatory value of aversive subclinical personality traits such as the Dark Triad of personality (i.e., Machiavellianism, Narcissism, Psychopathy) within the framework of personality theory. In the present study, I provide evidence for associations between the Big Five personality traits, the Dark Triad of personality, and subclinical Sadism with beliefs in superstitions in a sample of 1,772 (672m; mean age = 39.8, SD = 17.2) European volunteers. Multiple hierarchical stepwise regressions showed predominantly positive associations between all Big Five personality dimensions and negative associations of Narcissism with positive superstitious beliefs, whilst negative superstitious beliefs appeared to be mainly driven by Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Sadism. Of interest, Neuroticism emerged as the strongest predictor for both positive and negative superstitious beliefs, thus suggesting that higher superstitious beliefs may be expressions of emotional instability. In all, the present research suggests that positive superstitions may plausibly act as adaptive mechanisms in regard to anxiety and uncertainty coping whilst negative superstitions may reflect more maladaptive strategies.

 

Biography

After receiving his M.Sc. in Psychology in 2008 from the University of Vienna Jakob worked as a Research Associate at the Methods Unit of the Department of Basic Psychological Research at the University of Vienna. At this very place he received his Ph.D. (with distinction) in June 2012 and has been working with Middlesex University Dubai since September of the same year. Jakob co-authored more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed international scientific journals and boasts an equal number of contributions in international conferences. Jakob has been consulted as a peer-reviewer by several high-impact journals, including among others the European Journal of Personality, Personality and Individual Differences, and PLoS ONE. In 2011, Jakob received the John B. Carroll Award for Research Methodology of the International Society for Intelligence Research. More recently, he was co-awarded the Innovation Award for Teaching and Learning 2013 from Middlesex University Dubai. Jakob’s research interests include statistical methods in the framework of meta-analysis, suicide prevention, and generational IQ gains (Flynn effects). His work on the Mozart effect was covered by media in more than 75 countries.

Date: Wednesday 26th March 2014 (4-5pm)
Venue: Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Middlesex University Dubai, Knowledge Village.

 

 

Research Seminar 124

 

Mohammad Meraj, Kieran Ross, and Cedwyn Fernandes

Middlesex University Dubai

 

Importance of Marketing Mix constructs for MBA programmes in the UAE

 

Abstract

In the UAE an MBA degree is much sought after and the number of institutions offering this graduate degree has increased. This has led to excess capacity in the market thereby making it extremely competitive. Graduate Schools need to understand what factors determine the choice of MBA students in this competitive market, if they are to survive. This is not an easy task; given that the diversity of MBA students reflects the diversity of UAE’s population mix of more than 80 different nationalities. Institutions offering MBA programmes within the UAE also represent a diverse range of  MBA programme curricula; with MBA’s being offered across institutions from the UK, France, US, India, Iran, Australia, Pakistan and the UAE. Given this diversity on both the supply and demand side of the market coupled with the excess capacity, it is important for institutions to understand the specific expectations students have with respect to their MBA degree programme(s) and the implications this may have in regard to developing effective marketing communication strategies.

This study,  which adapts research undertaken by Ivy (2008), identifies the factors that influence consumer behaviour of MBA students/graduates in the UAE – these include expectations about; the content and quality of the programme,  brand value of the Institution, price, networking opportunities, class times, work experience of the cohort, quality of the cohort,  diversity of the faculty and cohort, industry experience of faculty, location, online facilities,  field study trips, outside the classroom learning experiences, placement opportunities and the like. The population of this study are MBA students and MBA graduates who have completed their degree in the UAE from a range of institutions.

All constructs were tested for validity using Cronbach Alpha test. The relative importance of factors was analysed via the analysis of the means of the constructs. The difference between the most important factor (People) and the least important one (Promotion) was as much as 34%. Hypotheses were tested using the Single T-test. All factors identified were significant for MBA students in the UAE. Marketing implications for HEI are not only to focus on improving the quality of the factors identified but also how to communicate the quality of these factors, especially of the intangible ones, to potential MBA candidates.

 

Biography

Mohammad Meraj is a management professional with an Australian education (MBA) and over 10 years experience within the higher education sector in the United Arab Emirates. He is current the Quality Manager at London-based Middlesex University’s campus in Dubai. Over his management career he has established successful departments in international HE institutions in the areas of institutional research, quality management and customer service. He has been recognised through several institutional (staff) awards for demonstrating business excellence, improving bottom-line results through process mapping and enhancement, developing policies and manuals, conducting feasibility studies for accreditation purposes and new programme development, as well as preparing comprehensive reports, briefs, press releases, and web content for corporate purposes. While his professional practice is strategic management and business excellence, he maintains an academic interest in Marketing Strategy, lecturing on undergraduate and MBA courses in Marketing Strategy and Planning. His research reflects his academic interests in marketing and professional practice in business excellence.  He is a qualified EFQM assessor and has worked with the Business Excellence Centre at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce to assess candidates for Dubai Government’s Excellence Awards scheme.

 

Kieran Ross is a Lecturer in the Business School at the University of Middlesex in Dubai where he has been a faculty member since 2010. Kieran completed his MBA and Master in Quality Management at the University of Wollongong in Dubai, his PG Certificate in Higher Education with Middlesex University and his Bachelor of Economics at LaTrobe University in Australia. His research interests lie in the area of quality management (student satisfaction), strategic management and most recently consumer behavior.

 

Date: Wednesday 19th March 2014 (4-5pm)
Venue: Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Middlesex University Dubai, Knowledge Village.

 

Research Seminar 123

 

John Sutton

Middlesex University Dubai

 

FROM DESERT TO DESTINATION: Conceptual Insights into the Growth of Events Tourism in the United Arab Emirates

 

Abstract

This paper presents case study findings of an exploratory research on the growth of Event Tourism in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  The UAE targeted tourism as a growth industry in the 1990’s with the aim of developing a strong service sector to diversify its oil based economy. Today the UAE is emerging as world-class Event Destination and currently hosts countless international sporting, cultural and MICE events.    According to WTTC (2012) by 2020 tourism will contribute 15 per cent of UAE’s GDP valued at US$75.62bn. Much of this growth will be through the promotion of major events.  These events attract large numbers of visitors from around the globe, and create strong influences on local culture, business, entertainment, leisure and society.  This research, through a typology of Dubai events, provides a narrative of the growth of Events Tourism in the UAE with the aim of developing a conceptual framework to guide related research into the behaviour of the events tourist.

 

Biography

Dr. John Sutton is a faculty member at Middlesex University Dubai Campus teaching on the MA Marketing Communications and MBA Programmes following a spell as Chair of Business & IT at Higher Colleges of Technology. Prior to this he was Professor and Program Director at the Emirates Academy for ten years, and before that was Principal Lecturer at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. John retains close links with industry having worked for many years as a senior manager in the Hospitality and Tourism industry; including setting up his own award winning Restaurant and Events Management Company. He has worked as a senior consultant for many major international hotel groups, airlines and service organizations, and has taken part in Government funded educational projects in Asia and the Middle East. John is a multi-disciplinary researcher in the areas of culture and organization, service quality, and curriculum development and has been awarded several major research grants in these areas. He has co-authored three teaching text-books and written many internationally refereed journal and conference papers. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and is on the Editorial Board of three established journals. He has been a Visiting Professor at several Universities worldwide and takes an original and innovative approach to the advancement of teaching, scholarship and research in his discipline.

 

Date: Wednesday 12th March 2014 (4-5pm)
Venue: Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Middlesex University Dubai, Knowledge Village.

 

Research Seminar 122

Mick King

Middlesex University Dubai

 

PERSONALISING LANGUAGE NEEDS: An Action Research Investigation into the Potential Benefits of Individual Diagnostic Feedback in Improving Students’ English at an English Medium University

 

Abstract

The rise of English as a medium of instruction in tertiary settings in the Arabian Gulf brings with it challenges when some students who meet language entry requirements still seem to struggle linguistically. This short-term, small-scale action research project conducted in an off-shore campus of a British University in Dubai aimed to see whether individual diagnostic feedback would benefit students in error reduction and in building confidence in their linguistic ability. This feedback was conducted via email on work that students had already submitted for assessment and focused on repeated errors. Findings indicated that quantitatively most of the ten participants reduced their errors, and qualitatively all, regardless of their level, found the project beneficial for their language and their self-confidence. It is recommended, both internally and in other institutions which experience similar issues, that individual diagnostic feedback be considered a suitable approach to assisting students in coming to terms with the linguistic challenges of tertiary study.

 

Biography

Mick King has taught, lectured and managed in TESOL environments for 24 years in various European and Middle Eastern countries. He has published and presented research in a number of areas linked to TESOL and Education and currently has 2 book chapters in press and one under review. Mick is a submissions reviewer for 2 regional journals, a proposals reviewer for the TESOL Arabia International Conference, and Co-Chair of the TESOL Arabia Teacher Training and Education SIG. He has worked on projects for Stenden University Qatar, the UNESCO Sharjah Chair Program and Aston University, UK. He holds an M.Sc. in Educational Management in TESOL from Aston University, UK, PG Certificates in Education from both Groningen University, The Netherlands, and Middlesex University, UK, and is in the final year of a Doctorate of Education with Exeter University, UK.

 

Date: Wednesday 26th February 2014 (4-5pm)
Venue: Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Middlesex University Dubai, Knowledge Village.

 

 

 

Research Seminar 121

 

Keith Reynolds

Middlesex University Dubai

 

Global Talent For Competitive Advantage: ‘Getting To The Table Sooner’

 

Abstract

The research examines the issues surrounding current and future global talent shortages and offers possible HR strategies to address these issues.  There is evidence that the strategic management of global talent may lead to sustained competitive advantage.  The research draws on current literature, case studies and primary data in 17 multinational organizations. Organizations that ‘get to the table sooner’ are likely to have already identified the demand supply imbalance and implemented effective interventions to resource global talent enabling them to be better placed to respond to changing international markets.

 

Conclusions from the research identify that without exception organizations are turning to markets abroad to further their growth strategies.  The pool of available global talent is limited and the problem is exacerbated by an ethnocentric approach of many multinationals who seek and develop talent in their own parochial image.  Given that demand is so clearly in excess of supply many roles are going unfilled and business growth ambitions are faltering and not meeting stakeholder expectations.

 

Organizations that have aligned their talent strategy to their business strategy are reaping the rewards of forward and strategic thinking.  This is reflected in the positive perception of their brand, their employee value proposition, improved retention and engagement and lower employment costs.  There is evidence of a business case for global talent management.

 

Biography

Keith is a Senior Lecturer in Human Resources Management at Middlesex University Dubai. Keith completed his undergrad studies in Business and his MSc in HRM.  In his early career, he was an HR Manager in manufacturing sector in UK (Employee Relations role – multi union negotiations).  He joined academia in the 1990s as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire teaching across undergrad, post-graduate and professional programmes (CIPD).  He was the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Course Leader and Certificate in Management Studies Course Leader.  He has been a CIPD External Examiner and Verifier for 20 years.   Currently, he is a CIPD External Verifier to Level 3 and 5 Centres in Bahrain.  Primarily his research focuses on Reflective Learning. From 2001 – 2011 he ran his own consultancy  in London UK, as well as running CIPD postgraduate competence assessment for CIPD Membership and teaching MA HR at University of Westminster in company training and development. In 2011, he relocated to Dubai due to his wife, Stacey’s, job as HR Director.  HPT at MDX MA HRM.  Teaching CIPD Level 3 and 5 in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar.  Research in Global Talent Management.  Supporting three kids at University in UK and Nottingham Forest!

 

Date: Wednesday 19th February 2014 (4-5pm)
Venue: Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Middlesex University Dubai, Knowledge Village.

 

 

Research Seminar 120

 

Dr. Fehmida Hussain

Middlesex University Dubai

 

Effective Group Work Management Using Web 2.0 Technologies

 

Abstract

Groupwork (group coursework) is one of the popular forms of collaborative learning. Majority of the courses taught at tertiary level employ group work as an assessment tool (either formative or summative). However, it works best if everyone makes equal contributions otherwise it could result in frustrating and de-motivating the more serious and able students.  This paper presents the results of an action research study that collects data about students’ experience of working in groups. This data is collected via a pilot study carried out with students enrolled in two Information Technology modules at an offshore campus of a British University in Dubai. The aim of the study is to mainly assess whether the non-contributor and communication related issues were of concern to these students.  Analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data demonstrates that the non contributor issue is definitely a major concern which gravely de-motivates the serious students. It is interesting to note that although students these days are so connected via technology, communication still appears to be of grave concern. Another issue related to communications is difficulty in collaboration and compilation of individual contributions. However, the overall experience with working in groups for the students was extremely positive. It is recommended that use of Web 2.0 collaborative tools and technologies will help to overcome these problems and in turn, enhance student experience. It is suggested that advantage of using such collaborative web tools is two-fold. Firstly, to provide an ubiquitous access to the tutor of all team members’ work and the ability to monitor individual effort more accurately. Secondly, it will further empower the students to collaborate their work online, thus reducing communication related issues. Wikis, Google Apps, Zoho and Dropbox are the tools suggested for use, appraising the offerings and features of these tools. It is posited that the use of such applied learning technologies with cloud storage and synchronization solutions will not only help students acquire transferable skills such as effective communication, academic writing and team work management, but will also promote learner independence, and possibly reduce the negative impact of group work.

Biography

Fehmida is currently a senior lecturer in the school of science and technology at MDX Dubai. She has a DPhil in Informatics from the University of Sussex, UK, school of Informatics and a BS in computer Science from the University of Houston, U.S.A. Her professional experience of over 16 years comprises teaching, research and industry. She has worked in the IT industry for 6 years taking up various roles such as manager e-commerce services, IT Project manager and systems analyst. She brings her industry experience to academia, now her 12th year in teaching. She is quite actively involved in research, her main interests being cognitive modeling, health informatics, e-Learning, Cloud Computig and digital forensics in which she has published papers and presented at international conferences. She is on the editorial board of Journal of cognitive science and Frontiers in psychology. She holds professional memberships with BCS, ACM, Cognitive science society and AISB.

 

Date: Wednesday 5th February 2014 (4-5pm)
Venue: Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Middlesex University Dubai, Knowledge Village.

 

 

Research Seminar 119

 

Professor Thomas Lange, Ph.D. FRSA CAHRI

Middlesex University Business School, London, UK

Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia

 

Well-being at Work: The counterintuitive case of self-employment

 

Abstract

 

Most studies in the economics discourse argue that the impact of self-employment on job satisfaction is mediated by greater procedural freedom and autonomy. Values and personality traits are considered less likely to explain the utility difference between self-employed and salaried workers. Psychology scholars, to take a different example, suggest that entrepreneurial satisfaction also depends, at least in part, on specific values and personality traits. Utilising a dataset derived from the 2006 European Social Survey, this study performs a complementary analysis by taking personality traits, values and indicators for workers’ autonomy explicitly into account. The empirical findings add further strength to economists’ argument that, net of values and personality traits, autonomy and independence are the mechanisms by which self-employment leads to higher levels of job satisfaction. These results hold true for both male and female sub-samples even when a multitude of socio-demographic characteristics, personal values and personality traits are controlled for.

 

Biography

 

Thomas Lange serves as Professor of Economics and International Management and Head of the Department of International Management & Innovation (IMI) at Middlesex University Business School, London – the largest department of its kind in the UK, comprising around 80 faculty members and sessional lecturers. He is also Adjunct Professor of HRM at Curtin University, Western Australia. During the past 14 years, he held several Dean & Pro Vice Chancellor positions in the UK, NZ and Australia. His research and consultancy work included, amongst others, projects for the European Commission, International Labour Organisation, Institute for Personnel Management Sri Lanka, NZ Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs as well as economic development agencies and industry associations worldwide. Professor Lange has written extensively in the empirical HR & OB research arena, with numerous peer reviewed papers in leading international journals to his credit. Recent examples include articles in Small Business Economics, British Journal of Management, International Journal of Human Resource Management, and Journal of Vocational Behavior. He also serves as Associate Editor of the International Journal of Manpower and Editor-in-Chief of Evidence-based HRM: A Global Forum for Empirical Scholarship

Date: Wednesday 15th January 2014 (4-5pm)
Venue: Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Middlesex University Dubai, Knowledge Village.


Past Research Seminars

Research Seminars 2008 – 2010

Research Seminars 2011 – 2012

Research Seminars 2012 – 2013

Research Seminars 2013 – 2014