2nd Annual AIB-MENA Conference: Second Call for Papers

Zayed University, Dubai, UAE. January 13-15, 2012


You are invited to participate in the Second Academy of International Business, Middle East and North Africa (AIB MENA) Chapter Conference to be held in Dubai, UAE, on January 13-15, 2012. AIB-MENA is a professional, academic organization dedicated to serving scholars, students, managers, and consultants who are interested in advancing knowledge about the international business, and organizations operating in the MENA context.


As countries within the MENA region play an increasing important role in the world economy, the need to understand, explain, and guide the operations and practices of international business and management in the MENA region becomes more and more urgent. The conference’s goal is to provide a forum for scholars, industry professions and government specialists from around the world to present and be exposed to the latest research on these topics. The theme “Managing in Uncertain Times” reflects the challenges and opportunities businesses have in disruptive global market and should provide a broad scope for a variety of research that would contribute to the increasingly important knowledge on organizations and management in the MENA context.


Conference Theme: Managing in Uncertain Times

The dominant worldwide trend towards globalization has benefited many countries both economically and socially. However, globalization has impacted different groups differently. Since late 2008, the financial crisis began to roll across the world, the combined effects of the global slowdown and low oil prices have evidently affected the economies of the Middle East and North Africa region. Having recovered markedly in 2010, the economic outlook for the Middle East and North Africa is still highly uncertain given the ongoing political turbulence that is sweeping the region. At this critical juncture, the value of globalization is now being questioned not only by a few advocate groups but by governments and societies at large and the voices favoring de-globalization are becoming stronger than ever. On the other hand, the world is unprecedentedly interconnected through a complex web of product, capital, labor, and knowledge flows. Dozens of countries, thousands of companies, and billions of people have now become part of the world of international business. The critical question is to identify what role the Middle East and North Africa region play in the global community and the level of integration and development of its member countries.

As MENA moves beyond its initial economic success, organizations within the MENA region are aiming to transform themselves into competitive and responsible participants in the global marketplace. This signals a shift of developmental focus for both the governments and the organizations to prioritize innovation by harnessing human capital as the true driver for sustainable growth and change. The critical task every individual and every organization faces is to prepare for the unknown. During these challenging and uncertain times, the contributions of management and management research in business and organizations are paramount. The academic world is not isolated from the world of practice. As the world struggles with the new realities of this unprecedented financial crisis, conflict, environmental fury, demographic disparity, social media and ethics; management researchers, students and practitioners must pay attention to the role that academic theories may play in the world developments.


As one of the leading business and management scholarly communities in the MENA region, the big questions for the Academy are "Do we understand the nature and the impact of these processes and do we stand ready to help companies and managers to not only survive but also thrive in a post-crisis world? How can we as international business scholars contribute to resolving the current tensions by offering ideas or even solutions for minimizing the risks of globalization while leveraging its benefits?"


To address these challenges, we are inviting submissions in the following areas (1) International Business, Management, and Strategy (2) Advances in Economics, Finance, and Accounting; (3) Global Marketing Management and the Value Chain; (4) Management: People, Knowledge and Organizations (5) Education in the MENA Region (6) Business Case Studies (7) Student Research Colloquium.


In addition this year we are having 4 specialist tracks: (1) Entrepreneurship; (2) Tourism & Hospitality Management (3): Islamic Finance and (4) Operations Research, Security, & MIS. The popular student track is back for Bachelors and Masters students, PhD Students are encouraged to submit to the regular program. The Case study track looks at business/practitioner cases. Each paper submission should be addressed to only one specific track (please highlight specialist tracks and case studies). Select the track closest to your proposal.


Important Dates for 2nd Annual AIB-MENA Conference


a. Submission Deadline: 10 September, 2011

b. Reviewer Deadline: 10 October, 2011

c. Manuscript Decisions Announcement Date: 1 November, 2011




Track 1: International Business, Management, and Strategy


Track Chair: Dr. Arijit Sikdar, University of Wollongong in Dubai

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Specialist Track 1: Entrepreneurship

Coordinator: Dr. Murat Erogul, Zayed University, Dubai

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Specialist Track 2: Tourism & Hospitality Management

Coordinator: Dr. Sheena Westwood, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi

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This track invites conceptual papers, cases and empirical research that highlight the challenges, opportunities and areas of development in the Middle East North Africa region. In this region the concept of international business is evolving into the understanding of a global business. Entrepreneurship is the driving force of the non-hydrocarbon part of the economies with up to 80% of the organizations in some countries being classified as Small and Medium Enterprises.  This makes funding by angel investors important as more hydrocarbon based economies diversify. Free trade zones or export processing zones today account for approximately 20% of world trade and are a strategic part of a nation’s economic success. Logistics is driving trade and the MENA ports system, for example, is dominated by the UAE. UAE currently account for up to half of the throughput. With these opportunities come the challenges of market entry – the connections or “wasta” and understanding of government regulation and applicable law. A strong refocus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and governance is taking place in both government and private sector. Issues like sustainability where some countries have the highest carbon footprint in the world are becoming more important.

There are also two specialist tracks included. Specialist Track 1 focuses on Entrepreneurship: Major entrepreneurship topics include but are not limited to new venture creation, opportunity recognition, new and small firm financing strategies, new and small firm management practices, corporate venturing and innovation, and women-, minority-, and family-owned business. Submissions with international, public policy, and/or educational perspectives are encouraged.

The second Specialist track focuses on Tourism & Hospitality Management. Submissions for this track includes topics such as: Arabian hospitality, Museum and heritage, indigenous tourism and products, destination tourism, education tourism, cruise and yacht-based tourism, culinary and wine tourism, event management, gastronomy and organics, human resource management in hospitality, hotel development & investment in the Middle-east, hospitality real estate, etc.

Case studies on any of these topics should be submitted to the Practitioner/Case Study track.

Key Areas of Research: Free trade zones; Franchisee management / Interaction with foreign firms and local counter-parts, Entrepreneurship, Logistics and market entry, International Law, Sharia Law and government regulation, Wasta, Corporate social responsibility and governance; Uncertainty in decision making/security management, Competitiveness and innovation/ R&D, Tourisms, Hospitality, Leisure, Place Marketing,



Track 2: Advances in Economics, Finance, and Accounting:


Track Chair: Dr. Peren Arin, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi

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Specialist Track 3: Islamic Finance

Coordinator: Dr. Issam Tlemsani, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi

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The MENA region includes a group of countries whose social, political and economic developments vary significantly from one country to another. Over the last decade, the banking sector in the region has expanded strongly, particularly in the area of Islamic Banking and Finance  which is now growing at 15% pa with an estimated worth  of US$300 billion. A number of the GCC countries are also in the process of setting up a common currency which should lead to increased business opportunities similar to what was witnessed after the introduction of the Euro currency in the European Monetary Union in 1999. However, the region faces a number of challenges including the management of  fiscal policies designed to create sufficient employment for their young and growing local populations, as well as economic diversification away from hydrocarbon based activities. According to the World Investment Report (2007), global acquisitions were valued at USD 1833 billion with cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) accounting for 89% of that value at USD 1637 billion. Though this region has some of the largest Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs), SWFs from the Gulf and Asia hold only 0.2 percent of their investments in the form of FDI, with up to 75 percent concentrated in developed countries. These are just some of the key areas that highlight the need for more focus on this region, especially in the development of financial markets and institutions that will enable strong and sustainable economic growth moving forward. 


A specialist track focussing on Islamic Finance has been added to this track. Papers are encouraged to relate and are not restricted to the following areas: Relationship between economic development and Islamic financial sector development; Role of Islamic finance in financial sector development, Barriers to Accessing financial services and role of Islamic in enhancing financial inclusion; Comparative studies of effectiveness of national IFSD strategies and policies; Resilience, performance and stability of Islamic financial institutions and markets; Development of domestic Islamic financial infrastructures, regulation, supervision, legal framework and tax neutrality and other support institutions; Islamic finance perspectives on global financial crisis and crisis resolution; Islamic finance and international financial architecture.


 Key Research Areas: Micro and Macro theoretical/empirical economics, GCC Monetary Union; Free Trade Agreements, Foreign Direct Investment; Sovereign Wealth Funds; Mergers and Acquisitions; Industry based studies; Economic perspective of these developing economies and the region; SME and its relation to economic development; Regional integration; Trade; International finance and taxation; increasing financial market sophistication, Taxation issues particularly for oil-dependent economies;  Capital market structure; Accounting systems - comparative studies; Mergers and Acquisitions, Islamic Finance




Track 3: Global Marketing Management and the Value Chain


Track Chair: Dr. Tariq Bhatti, Zayed University, Dubai

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MENA region has interesting demographics, one of the largest percentages of young population (below 25 years) and a very diverse group of residents in the Middle-East (ME) where 70-80% are expatriates leading to a diverse customer base. Concepts like Halal Marketing are gaining more importance for successful launch of campaigns. On one hand this is a very successful luxury market and on the other hand, in some areas international brands have problems of entry due to the country of origin effect. Marketing has evolved here from simple translation of western campaigns and ideas to adaptation and now regional-bred, region centric campaigns are being adapted for markets outside the region. Besides product strategies which are adapted for the region, other marketing mix elements play a significant role. The MENA is home to some of the world’s largest malls, and supply chain affects product value. For example places like UAE import more than 80% of their food. Promotion campaigns are also adapted. Some countries do not have government established postal systems and GSM penetration is high. This diversity in innovation adaptation, cultural perspectives all add to the challenges of marketing. This track will look at the practical issue of managing customers, developing loyalty and building brands. The research must have a practical outcome contributing to knowledge of consumer behaviour, understanding the market, the challenges facing marketers in building brands, developing markets and managing stakeholders in the value chain.

Key Areas of Research: International and regional products, brands and branding strategies; cross national market segmentation; Standardization vs. adaptation issues; Country of origin effects; Research design challenges in International marketing from MENA region context, International marketing mix strategies for SMEs in MENA region; Service benchmarking; Sports Marketing/Sponsorships as a vehicle for creating brand value; Islamic Marketing/concept of Halal and Targeting Muslim Consumers; Women as consumers and their role in decision making; Supply chain management, sourcing Supply chain strategy and integration.


Track 4: Management: People, Knowledge and Organizations


Track Chair: Marsha Ludwig, and Dr. Batoul Fathi, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi

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Specialist Track 4: Operations Research, Security & MIS

Coordinator: Dr. Batoul Fathi, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi

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 The most significant development in the region has been the increasing emphasis on the Strategic Role played by HR. This region has the world’s second fastest growing population; managing and nurturing young talent poses new challenges in this region, especially as the workforce is largely dominated by a majority expatriate population. Multi-cultural dynamics of this largely expatriate population presents new challenges requiring HR practices and policies that are culturally sensitive and equitable. In addition, women are taking a more prominent role in management and this brings unique challenges with regard to diversity management. Nurturing local talent and integrating them into the workforce is a priority. Leading and managing a divergent workforce to create a Learning Culture focused on Knowledge Creation, Knowledge Sharing and Innovation is a critical focus area for many large organizations in the region wanting to sustain their competitive position. Performance Management through integrated Performance Measurement tools is adding credibility to Organizational efforts aimed at developing and retaining a competent workforce.


A specialist track on Operations Research, Security & MIS has been added. Papers submitting to this track should focuses on the management of the transformation processes that create products or services. These processes are found in all organizations including profit and non-profit organizations. Conceptual, empirical, and methodological contributions are encouraged, as are cross-functional linkages and perspectives. Major topics include operations strategy, product and service development, supply chain management, project management, and quality management, IT issues facing operations, Computing and information technologies, Decision analysis, transportation and security, Environment, energy, and natural resources, Manufacturing, service sciences, Policy modelling and public sector work, Revenue management simulation, Stochastic models, etc. A selected papers accepted by this track will also have an opportunity to present their research at the Decision Sciences Institute Annual meeting.


Key Areas of Research: Leading and Managing an expatriate workforce (foreign assignments, careers, multicultural workforce); Emiratization; Knowledge Management (creation, sharing, transfer, sourcing; reverse knowledge transfer); Talent war; Learning organizations and innovations; Building Value and Competency in organizations; Modular organizations, newer forms of organization structure design and implications; Change Management; Performance Management;  Women in Management; e-services, MIS, Security, Operations Research,


Track 5: Education in the MENA Region


Track Chair: Dr. Lydia Barza, and Lolowa AlMarzouqi, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi

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Educational institutions are responsible for developing the necessary skill levels required by the public and private sectors of business. This track encourages submissions that focus on all aspects of business education. These aspects include but are not limited to, curriculum, best teaching practices, and innovations in teaching and learning for future business leaders. Empirical, theoretical and practical contributions are welcome, grounded in the literature on education pedagogy that focuses on the explanation of emerging or alternative teaching methodologies. Focus is on outcome-centred approaches to teaching and learning supported by pedagogical tools and assessment techniques that foster innovation and creativity. Please plan on sharing your pedagogical experiences and innovations, so that we can all benefit from the shared experience of the many excellent educators at AIB.


Key Research Areas: Challenges in business education and research in the MENA region; Innovative practices in teaching and learning; Education and Industry: Collaborative approaches to building knowledge capital; Knowledge transfer; Service learning and internship programs.




Track 6: Business Case Studies (research methodology) & Practitioner Submissions: Business, Government, and Industry Perspectives

Track Chair: Marc Cohen, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi

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Case Studies provide an excellent venue for presenting results that represent the synergistic combination of practice and research, addressing particular phenomena in real-world contexts. A Case Study could involve an in-depth, possibly longitudinal, study of a specific event or a particular problem encountered and solved. We expect the author(s) to have gained a better understanding of why the event happened as it did or why the problem occurred, and also to reflect on issues arising from the experience that should be investigated more fully and extensively. Case study submissions should be written to publishable standards. Case studies will be subject to the same criteria and the processes as research papers.


The “separate silos” of Academia and Practice continue to address need for cutting edge research that develops, investigates, and explains the many theories related to how organizations function, the manner in which they are governed, the organizational and the international cultures, and the continuing application of these findings to the practitioners of today. AIB MENA 2012 conference welcome practitioners from both industry and the public sector, with their own intellectually-focused, applied contributions to share with the researchers. This track shall provide a venue where scholars and practitioners can meet to push the envelope of their respective positions. Interestingly, an additional group of scholars and practitioners now blurs and expands these boundaries. The scholar practitioner of the past decade is now, more appropriately, the scholar + practitioner in the new millennium, developing a global web of knowledge. The inclusionary plus sign reflects the intertwined linkage of education and practice, practice and education - research, innovation, insight, and education that develop from both sides of the equation.


In expanding the line between scholarship and practitioner, AIB MENA 2012 seeks submissions to explore what it means to be on either side, or both sides, of the plus sign. Are there now multiple boundaries? What is the role for scholarly research, vis--vis, the new and the existing boundaries? What is the role for practitioners in developing and/or applying research? Indeed, do scholars and practitioners share certain roles? Are there organizational and international linkages that fit the inclusionary plus sign? How do we identify and utilize these linkages today and in the future for the greater development of MENA region, and what effect do these linkages have in our various communities? Practitioner autobiography, government research, business report, and case studies developed for or based in MENA, etc. are welcomed to submit.



Track 7: Student Research Colloquium


Dr. Constance Van Horne, and Mariam Omran Al Hallami, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi

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The Academy of International Business MENA is organizing the colloquium for students in international business. The student research colloquium provides nascent researchers in International Business with the opportunity to present and discuss their research with a panel of distinguished scholars, in interactive sessions that are open to all conference delegates. The student research colloquium is held in a collaborative, open and friendly atmosphere. Students receive oral and written feedback from leading experts in the field on the positioning of their research, refining data collection approach and translating their work into papers. All students in different stages of their studies (Bachelor or Masters) can apply for participation in the colloquium. Doctorate students are advised to apply under regular tracks.

Key Research Areas: Students papers can be submitted to any track. They must have a strong literature review. They can be conceptual, empirical or qualitative in nature. These articles can be co-authored by Sr. Academics as long as the Academic is not the fist author. All papers must have a letter from the supervisor that states the work is largely the students’ work. All submissions must mark student paper.






Victor Z Huang PhD

2012 Program Chair



College of Business Sciences,

Zayed University, Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

P.O.Box 4783

United Arab Emirates

Tel: 00971(0)2 599 3826

Fax: 00971(0)2 599 3561

Mobile: 00971(0) 509058619

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Conference Website: 




For any additional details please refer to the conference website:  or send a letter to the following committee members:


For conference papers:

Program Chair: Dr. Victor Huang ([log in to unmask])



For Conference logistics and venue:

Conference Chair: Dr. Ian Michael ([log in to unmask])

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