Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Research activities enhance decade-long relationship between UT COBI and PSG Institutions

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation and PSG Institutions in Coimbatore, India have enjoyed a mutually enriching relationship for a decade. PSG MBA students spend a semester or more at UT.  Additionally, COBI faculty members go to India to teach at PSG Institutions.

But a meeting in October marked the beginning of another aspect between the educational organizations as PSG and COBI faculty members and grad students met to discuss joint research projects.

Dr. Paul Hong, Professor of Information Operations and Technology Management in COBI, said that it might be six months to a year to determine exactly what type of research project could be jointly undertaken, and that such research could lead to perhaps partnering with a journal, or hosting an international conference.

“Doctoral students are very motivated, and such a joint project could connect UT doctoral students with international scholars. Without our meeting in October and the visit from these PSG professors, this would take a lot of time.”

Dr. D. Sudharani Ravindran, professor and admission counselor, and Dr. R. Deepa, assistant professor, both of PSG Institute of Management in Coimbatore, India, visited UT COBI in October to work with faculty and students on a project that may help business professionals in both countries.

“Every year a faculty member comes to UT to collaborate on research for one month,” Dr. Ravindran said. “I did my MBA in marketing from PSG in 1979, and we are exploring other opportunities such as research. Furthermore, our marketing students in India and the Schmidt School of Professional Sales students here can have a cross-cultural exposure through video conferencing of sales role plays."

Dr. Deepa said, “I am exploring emotional intelligence with Dr. (Margaret) Hopkins, and looking at the big picture about what kind of research we can do together.”

Dr. Jung, an assistant professor in IOTM at UT COBI, said, “The research project involving supply chain and information technology to be explored by this international group will be transformational and key in the next decade.”

“A lot of my research deals with foreign exchange and international markets,” noted Marc Simpson, Ph.D., the John B. and Lillian E. Neff Endowed Chair in Finance at UT COBI. “It can often be useful to have insights from people in international markets to get the local perspective and to enrich the research project.  Institutions often vary internationally and the emerging markets, such as China and India, have been the focus of intense research in recent years. Our collaboration with PSG in recent years gives us advantages in conducting such research.”

Dr. Hong said “The growth of many businesses has slowed down, so small companies in cities such as Toledo are looking for business opportunities in China, India and emerging economies. Entrepreneurs have an idea to develop money, and investors have money and are looking to facilitate business opportunities. There are growth engine opportunities in emerging countries.”

“Companies here are also employing MBA students from India and China, recognizing that they are their future global business partners.”

Dr. Hong also said there are three criteria for companies considering new or enhanced involvement in working with foreign companies:

“One is that people appreciate this international network on a personal level; they must ask themselves if they value this kind of relationship of an international networking experience. The second is, can they handle the growth beyond their own region; they may want to do more, but do not know how. And finally is the reality that entrepreneurs in the Toledo area are increasingly going global, even small companies. They have to examine what kind of problems they struggle with, and when we talk with them, they talk about issues such as leadership and product development.”

“In Northwest Ohio we have a tremendous Indian community, so we have a lot of connections, which will open the door to great opportunities,” Dr. Hong said. “There are treasures in your own back yard. You just need to look around.”

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