Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Professor Hong's new book reflects expanding horizons in emerging global markets

Learning from successful businesses located in critical areas of the global economy not only provides useful and practical information for other business owners, but also provides rich resources for students studying in business colleges.

That is why Dr. Paul Hong, professor of operations management at The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation, wrote Building Network Capabilities in Turbulent Competitive Environments. Business Success Stories from the BRICs, published in December, 2014. Dr. YoungWon Park is the coauthor.

"Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) are among the largest and fastest growing economies in the world," Dr. Hong said. "The enormous size of the customer base in these emerging markets is the strategic concern of global business firms. Successful market performance in these markets requires sound understanding of dynamic environmental factors and timely investment of appropriate resources. This book presents strategies for recognizing the challenges and optimizing the opportunities for building network capabilities and competitive advantage within the context of these emerging markets."

Dr. Hong previously wrote a book about building networking capabilities in global companies in Korea and Japan, but noted that his new book expands that to the "next level," with a different research model that looked at what the companies do, recent plans and successes, and much more.

"The seed idea was part of a UT discussion," Dr. Hong explained.   "We had 15 general papers and did field visits to companies in Russia, China, India and Brazil.  We met senior executives at their sites. We tracked their revenue in sales and their market share.  They did not just want to tell their stories; they wanted to be seen as credible, explain what they are about, what they are doing and to have the value of their company recognized."

"We did not just want a nice story," he added.  "We wanted to see their challenges and problems and how they address them.  We see how they became leaders in their country, and then became globally competitive.  They also wanted to learn from us, learn about what we do and share what other companies do."

The initial reaction toward the book from professors around the world has been extremely positive.

"BRICs have increased their influences on the entire world economy since the beginning of this century, but there have been relatively few studies that focused on their critical industrial issues. The balance between their tenacious field works and logical thinking has made this seminal book’s arguments persuasive to both researchers and practitioners in the field of global management," noted Takahiro Fujimoto, Professor of Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo and a Senior Research Associate, Harvard Business School.

"It can be used for MBA students for case studies and Ph.D. students as cases leading to problem identification, and/or hypotheses formulation. The cases can also be used as training materials for industrial people about how to develop network capacities within and beyond BRICs countries. I highly recommend this book to both academic and practical people," said Hongyi Sun, Ph.D., Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, City University of Hong Kong.

"A sound theoretical framework is provided at the beginning of the book, to help the reader in interpreting the various cases. This makes the book interesting for both managers, students and researchers," noted Federico Caniato, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Gestionale, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.

"This book is a must read for executives, researchers, and students who are serious about expanding their knowledge and understanding how to create competitive advantage in the global marketplace of the 21st century!" said, Clinton O. Longenecker, Ph.D., Stranahan Professor of Leadership and Organizational Excellence at the UT College of Business and Innovation.

Dr. Hong stated, "This research is not just an individual effort. It is not about me, but about the College of Business and The University of Toledo. This book was possible because COBI supported my research, gave me time to do it.  I have great colleagues, and really appreciated the support of the deans, our chairs, and the provost.  It is just like supply chain itself: It is not just one individual, but everybody contributes."

"Research is very crucial and very well related to teaching. It has great impact; it enhances the reputation of the college and the university. Through good research, teaching and our reputation we train and prepare students who are then successful in the marketplace.  Through my research I am returning back to the college and the university so I can be better at preparing students."

"I always wanted to write books because I do a lot of research, to actually be able to benefit society at large. A book like this enriches quality teaching because I can speak from my own experience, not just from what someone else says through a textbook."

"The students all want to be successful," Dr. Hong said. "Now they know global companies and understand global issues.  We prepare our students very well, and that gives us satisfaction. It also emphasizes to students that we are on a tier with other national universities. It tells them you are in a very good college of business, and it builds their sense of confidence.  We tell them 'You are destined to succeed.' "

Make reservations now for March 23 Celebrity Wait Night to support COBI Alumni Affiliate scholarship

There is still time to make your All are invited to attend the UT College of Business and Innovation Alumni Affiliate Celebrity Wait Night; A Scholarship Benefit for Tomorrow's Business Leaders on Monday, March 23, 2015 at Ciao! Ristorante, 6064 Monroe Street, Sylvania.  Several alumni and college representatives will be on hand to wait on you. All proceeds/tips from the evening will support the College of Business and Innovation Alumni Affiliate Scholarship.

This casual-dress event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a networking and cocktail hour, and dinner will be at 6:30 p.m. A silent auction will offer great items, and all of those proceeds will benefit the scholarships.

The price per person is $40, which includes your selection of an appetizer, dinner salad, entree and dessert.  When making your reservation you can event indicate who you would prefer as your celebrity waiter. Your "tip" to your waiter benefits COBI scholarship.

If you are interested in participating but cannot stay for dinner, come for the cocktail hour and enjoy mingling with fellow alumni for an hour of great networking.

Celebrity Waiters include COBI Dean Gary Insch, Mark Andrews, Peter Davis, Dawn Humphrey, David Liebrecht, Dan Silvers and Blaine Stout.

Dan Silvers, Client Executive, Hylant, said he volunteers for this event as a Celebrity Waiter because "it is a great way to lessen the tuition burden of College of Business students, and it's a fun evening. The best part is mingling with your guests and meeting new friends who love UT. You should definitely make this event.  You've got to eat anyway, might as well make it for a good cause."

Peter Davis, Owner, Dundee Manufacturing Company Inc., said, "The event has a lot of purposes: first it helps fellow UT students get scholarships; second has good food provided by CIAO’s, and great opportunities to network with UT Alumni."

To make a reservation, you can call the UT Office of Alumni Relations at 419.530.2586 or click here

If you are not able to attend but would like to make a donation, select "REGISTER" and you will have the option to make a donation.

UT College of Business and Innovation presents fourth GlobalTarget series

The University of Toledo’s College of Business and Innovation (COBI) is again partnering with United Parcel Service (UPS) and the U.S. Commercial Service to provide area small and medium-sized businesses access to experts who will help their company enter new global markets through the GlobalTarget program.

This is the fourth year UT COBI is offering this program. Beginning in March, 2015, GlobalTarget participants meet monthly for nine months in specialized sessions covering relevant topics based on an understanding of current members’ needs. The program then helps companies develop plans to improve their business’ supply chain, identify talent, understand export financing, and develop market entry strategies.

“It’s a global world. Facilitating existing or new exporters to enter foreign markets benefits all of Northwest Ohio,” noted Dr. Gary Insch, COBI’s Dean. “Companies often recognize that expanding to global markets is something they should do. We make it easier for them to do this, because we have the experts who will show them how to proceed. Furthermore, we provide them with all the criteria for success, whether they have a manufactured product or intellectual property.”

“Global Target not only assists companies that are planning to conduct international business, but it also works with businesses already doing business globally who are looking for ways to expand their international presence, ” noted Debbe Skutch, Director of UT’s Center for Family & Privately-Held Business and GlobalTarget Program Coordinator. “Furthermore, GlobalTarget is the first organized, focused attempt in this region to not only provide information, but to actually match local manufacturing companies with foreign markets."

Kurt Miller of Northwood Industries found his recent experience with GlobalTarget very beneficial. “The UT Global Target program covered topics that included understanding business and social cultures, credit policy and getting paid, international marketing and shipping. Topics were led by knowledgeable individuals who work directly in those areas of international business."

He added, "I think our greatest lesson from the GlobalTarget program was the quality of professional contacts available to us and the vast resources accessible to companies who want to pursue international business.”

Maureen Georgevich of Right Way Safety Equipment said, “GlobalTarget is not only an educational experience, but also a celebration of local businesses. Right Way Safety is better prepared to handle the importing and exporting of goods from other countries: we will utilize shipping strategies to keep costs low and we have a better understanding of international contracts and legalities, which will ensure that business continues to run smoothly."

"The resources, advice and knowledge offered by the guest speakers are valuable beyond estimation," she observed. "Those who spoke were eager to answer any questions and help with any dilemmas. The experience will surely benefit us for years to come.”

GlobalTarget participants also have access to the International Trade Assistance Center (ITAC), which provides free export assistance services to small- and medium-sized businesses. Services include market research; an examination of their culture, finances and resources to make sure they are ready to export; locating sources of funding, such as a loan or grant; export compliance education; cultural and language assistance; export documentation; and logistics.

Other features and benefits of GlobalTarget include access to ancillary educational programs offered by UT COBI - - such as the Schmidt School of Professional Sales and the Center for Family and Privately-Held Business - - and site visits to area companies that have already achieved a level of success in global entrepreneurship.

UT COBI’s fourth GlobalTarget series of programs begins in March, 2015.  A limited number of grant and funding opportunities are available. For more information, you can download a registration form at, or call the UT COBI Center for Family and Privately-Held Business at 419.530.2068.

Huntington Bank provides $10,000 in scholarships to five UT business students

Huntington Bank presented scholarships totaling $10,000 to five University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation (COBI) students on January 22 in the Huntington Sales Lab, located on the fourth floor of the college's Savage & Associates Business Complex.

The recipients are graduate student Cassandra Wenman ($3,000) and undergraduate students Paviele Pena ($2,000); Kaleigh Rapp ($2,000), Jae Huth ($2,000) and Boram Kim ($1,000).

"We were extremely impressed with the recipients, and their respective accomplishments and aspirations – a compliment to the talented students that the University is developing," noted Joel Jerger, Senior Vice President, Huntington Bank, Toledo. "The scholarships reflect Huntington's commitment to Northwest Ohio. We look forward to continuing to work with the University as it educates the next generation of leaders.  "

Through an expanding banking program between Huntington Bank and UT, Huntington is providing $150,000 in academic programming and scholarships for students and additional convenient banking options on campus.

"Both The University of Toledo and the College of Business and Innovation are extremely grateful to Huntington Bank for their outstanding support of our tremendous students," noted Dr. Gary Insch, UT COBI Dean.  "Huntington is serious about its role as UT's banking partner, and these new scholarships reflect their commitment to provide meaningful financial support to some of our extraordinary business students."

Rapp, a junior double majoring in accounting and finance, said, "Becoming a recipient of this scholarship shows that my hard work has paid off.  It really means a lot that I was chosen out of a pool of recipients to represent the College of Business and Innovation. This scholarship is going to help me achieve my academic goals because I will be able to focus more on my school work rather than the stress of making ends meet."

Pena, a financial services major, said, "This scholarship is a proud pat on the back and a reminder that all this hard work, stress, and sacrifice we go through in college isn't only for a degree. It's for the discipline we get out of it.  Thank you to The University of Toledo and to Huntington Bank for the opportunity and your investment in our success."

Wenman, who is in the masters of science in accountancy program, said, "I'm very appreciative of the relationship that the University of Toledo and the College of Business and Innovation has with Huntington Bank.  I feel honored to be a recipient of this scholarship, and receiving the Huntington scholarship reaffirms UT and COBI's role in my success."

Jae Huth, a junior marketing major, said, "Being honored with a scholarship from Huntington Bank is truly empowering and I appreciate it more than words could ever say. This scholarship means that there are organizations, such as Huntington, that truly care about the importance of education and are willing to help students make their dreams come true."

COBI professor and student take part in International Consumer Electronics Show

The annual International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) attracted more than 170,000 people who thrive on the business of consumer technology to Las Vegas from January 6 - 9, 2014.  Companies from McDonalds to Walt Disney, Google to Intel to Ford and beyond were all part of the show, taking in the latest from more than 3,600 exhibitors within 2.2 million sq. ft. of space. They learned about 3D printers, life-saving body monitoring systems, mobile devices, connected homes and more.

Despite the massive amount of people attending, you have to be credentialed to get in, something that does not happen for many college professors, and for even fewer college students.

Yet the UT College of Business and Innovation was represented at the show by Dr. Seth Powless, Department of Information Operations & Technology Management, and Tim Moore, a COBI freshman.

COBI freshman Tim Moore and Professor Seth Powless show momentos of their participation
in the International Consumer Electronics Show, including a digital chip within a plastic
building block and an MIP robot which can talk, dance and be used for security purposes.  
Moore works in the college's IT department, helps with the college's annual summer Technology Camp for high school students, has his own technology blog (, and even his own company, Razelle Technologies, which he said  "is proud to be at the cutting edge of technology, and we will forever provide services that make human life simpler and easier."

"It was interesting to see ways to incorporate different ideas and talking business with other companies, both from the marketing and IS sides" Moore said.

He added that "the coolest thing I saw at CES was a BMW that could drive itself."

Moore and Powless both said attending CES enables them to share information and ideas with COBI IOTM students who plan on making their careers within technology and business.

"Furthermore," Powless said, "now that we have attended, we will be able to go back to CES next year, in hopes of partnering with some companies. That could be a huge opportunity for the 'College of Innovation.' "

COBI students and alumni interested in more information about CES can email or

COBI students on UT team for case competition in Dubai

Two COBI students will be on a team of University of Toledo honor students selected to compete in the HULT Prize regional finals in Dubai in March.

Honors business major Abigail Dudek, a sophomore, and Nehemiah Scott, a COBI alum now working on his doctoral degree, will represent UT in Dubai, one of five cities hosting regional finals this spring.

The HULT Prize is the world's largest student case competition in which students compete for a $1 million startup prize.  Also competing in Dubai will be teams representing Cambridge, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, the London School of Economics and other fine institutions. The global finals will be held in New York City during the Clinton Global Initiative in September.

This year's challenge is to develop a social enterprise that addresses early childhood education disparities experienced by children living in urban slums.