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The Academy of International Business - Middle East North Africa Chapter

Cordially invites you to participate in its 3rd Annual Conference entitled 
"East Meets West: Sustainability, Operation & Co-operation"

The American University in Cairo, School of Business
Cairo, Egypt, January 12-14, 2013


The AIB-MENA Committee cordially invites you to participate in the 3rd Annual Chapter Conference in Cairo, Egypt to discuss research pertinent to the theme “East Meets West: Sustainability, Operation & Co-operation”. 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 this topic. Since business research from the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region is less than 1% of all published research(SCImagojr.com, 2011; Robertson et al., 2011) this becomes an important forum to discuss emerging issues and hot topics especially as the world’s business centre continues to move East with the ongoing economic recession.


This is an exciting time in the history of the world and management research. Great transitions are occurring in almost every corner of the globe. After centuries of Western leadership in most economic matters, China, India, as well as MENA, with their emerging economies, are asserting themselves with new vigour on the world stage. The world appears to be in a transition from “West leads East” to “West meets East” (Chen & Miller, 2010). It’s time to go beyond Western settings to tap into the empirical phenomena of the East and its cultural, philosophical and broader intellectual tradition to create a richer, more robust and “powerful” field of business and Management, in terms of understanding and managing organizations and behaviour globally (Barkema, 2001; Barkema et al., 2002; Tsui, 2007, 2009).


The question now is “What does the future hold for this region?” While no one really knows the answer, the future is being written by the masses yearning to build a new society and become an integral part of the global village. Progress has evaded the region for generations, and, despite optimism surrounding the Arab Spring, all predictions about the future have to be cautious (Zahra 2011). The Key focus of this conference is twofold: 1) to bring MENA’s unique capabilities and needs to the attention of the world’s organization and international business scholars and at the same time, to provide an opportunity for interested colleagues to collaborate and work on the many interesting theoretical and practical problems presented in MENA; 2) to look at the importance of sustainable businesses in the region. Sustainability is becoming more important for the MENA region as water, food, and power become scarce. This region is also home to 20% of the world’s armed conflicts (Ibrahim, 2000). We also have 45% of our citizens under the age of 15 and a growing unemployment rate. This raises interesting questions on not just encouraging entrepreneurship but also social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship as an evolving topic needs to be differentiated from conventional entrepreneurship, philanthropy and NGOs.


The pace at which internationalization and globalization are occurring has also spurred an interest in the emerging theme of co-operation. Alliances (formal and informal) now are increasing in a bid to gain more access to new markets, gain aces to resources, circumvent trade barriers or cut costs.


This conference is an opportunity for participants to meet other researchers from around the world, government and industry leaders from the region. More details will be forthcoming on the paper submission process and conference on the AIB-MENA website: http://www.uowdubai.ac.ae/aib/ .The 2013 conference is hosted by the American University in Cairo, School of Business, Egypt and in partnership with El-Khazindar Business Research and Case Center and Emerald Publishing. The Conference Chair is Dr. Ahmed Tolba (The American University in Cairo) [[log in to unmask]], and the Program Chair is Dr. Hamed Shamma (The American University in Cairo) [[log in to unmask]]. Please contact them if you have need any more information.


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 & Social Entrepreneurship; (2) Islamic Finance; (3)  Business Ethics in the MENA Region and (4) Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability. 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 you to remember:

Full Paper Submission: 30 September, 2012 
Paper Acceptance Date: 31 October, 2012


Track 1: International Business, Management, and Strategy

Track Chair: Dr. Nizar Beicheikh
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Specialist Track 1: Entrepreneurship & Social Entrepreneurship
Coordinator: Dr.  Ayman Ismail
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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.

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


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

Track Chair: Dr. Lawrence Tai 
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Specialist Track 2: Islamic Finance
Coordinator: Dr. Rania Salem
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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 focusing 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. Ali Awni
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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: Dr. Kevin O’Connell
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Specialist Track 3: Business Ethics in the MENA Region
Coordinator: Dr. Iman Seoudi
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Specialist Track 4: Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability 
Coordinator: Dr. Noha El-Bassiouny
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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 Business Ethics has been added. Papers submitted to this track should focuses on ethical challenges facing businesses operating in the MENA region. Possible topics include ethical behaviour of managers; ethical cultures among organization; ethical dilemma in the business environment; among others.

A second specialist track on Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability has been added. Papers submitted to this track should focus on topics including employees’ community involvement, environmental considerations, triple bottom-line targets, long-term orientation, corporate culture, links with non-governmental organization; among others.

Key Areas of Research: Leading and Managing an expatriate workforce (foreign assignments, careers, multicultural workforce; 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; Business Ethics; Governance; Corporate Social Responsibility; Sustainability


Track 5: Education in the MENA Region

Track Chair: Dr. Maha Mourad
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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: Dr. Marina Apaydin
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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-à-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.

Potential types of Case Studies include, but are not limited to the following:


Track 7: Student Research Colloquium

Track Chair: Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Meguid
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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.




Dr Melodena S Balakrishnan 
Founder and Chapter President - AIB-MENA 
Affiliation: University of Wollongong in Dubai





Barkema, H.G,( 2001). From the Editors, Academy of Management Journal, 44 (4): 615-617

Barkema, H.G, J. Baum, and E. Mannix, (2002). Management challenges in a new time, Academy of Management Journal, 45 (5): 916-930.

Chen, M-J., & Miller, D. (2010). West meets East: Toward an ambicultural approach to management. Academy of Management Perspectives, 24 (4): 17-24.

Ibrahim, S.E. (2000), Chapter 3: Arab Social-science research in the 1990s and beyond: Issues, trends, and priorities, In E. Rached& D. Craissati (Eds), Research for Development in the Middle East and North Africa. Canada: International Development Research Centre. Retrieved from http://web.idrc.ca/openbooks/310-0/.

Robertson, C., Al-Habib, M., Al-Khatib, J. and Lanoue, D. (2001), Beliefs about work in the Middle East and the convergence and divergence of values”, Journal of World Business, 36(3): 223-244.

SCImagojr.com (2011).SJR-SCImago Journal & Country Rank, Available: http://www.scimagojr.com

Tsui, A.S. (2007). From homogenization to pluralism: International management research in the Academy and beyond. Academy of Management Journal, 50(6): 1353-1364.

Tsui, A.S. (2009). Editor's introduction – Autonomy of inquiry: Shaping the future of emerging scientific communities. Management and Organization Review, 5(1): 1-14.

Zahra, S. (2011). Doing Research in the (new) Middle East: Sailing with the wind. Academy of Management Perspectives, (25)4: 6-21 




Immanuel Azaad Moonesar

Institutional Research Officer, Office of Planning & Performance

Vice President (Database Marketing & Outreach), AIB-MENA Chapter


[Please note I work Monday, Tuesday & Thursday. For urgent matters outside these days please contact the OPP]


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