Concord Students Present Research at National Meeting in Chicago

For Immediate Release: 
May 18 2004

Concord Students Present Research at National Meeting in Chicago

Athens, W.Va. - for the first time, undergraduate students from Concord College presented an article at a national meeting in Chicago, Il. The meeting was the annual gathering of the Midwest Business Administration Association (MBAA).

The AIB session presented by Christy Elliott and Jason Fraley was concluded by accolades from professors of International Business in attendance from a number of Universities.

Eleven formal organizations with over 700 active members make up the Midwest Business Administration Association (MBAA). These organizations represent a variety of disciplines, including accounting, economics, finance, health administration, human resources, information systems, insurance, international business, legal studies, management, marketing, operations management and entrepreneurship, and case studies.

The Academy of International Business (AIB) is the leading association of scholars and specialists in the field of international business.

In March of 2004 the Midwest Academy of International Business (AIB) Chapter met in Chicago for its annual meeting and conference. This annual gathering of researchers, scholars, and teachers from around the U.S. provided a venue for the presentation of scholarly works. Consistent with the theme of Midwest Business Administration Association's conference "Ethical Organizational Practices for the 21st Century", papers were selected for presentation on the basis of a double blind-review process reflecting the diverse interests of the contributors and appropriateness of the research process.

The paper authored by Christy Elliott and Jason Fraley under the supervision of Christopher Ziemnowicz was entitled: The Case for Sustainable Development: an Oil Company Operating in Nigeria. It was the only paper accepted for presentation at the conference by undergraduate students. Although there are separate competitive tracks for doctoral and MBA students, this article was submitted through the regular process.

The student’s research analyzed the public proclamations concerning sustainable development in Nigeria by Royal Dutch/Shell Group. The actions by this company have recently prompted outside critics to question whether the company really conducts its business with this strategy focus. This paper defined sustainable development, highlighted the various dimensions of sustainability, and reviewed Shell’s viewpoint on sustainability. The firm’s activities in Nigeria were evaluated. The research concluded with suggestions to improve management decision-making at Shell to emphasizing the benefits of following community and ecologically friendly strategies.

The story of this project began as a case assignment in Christopher Ziemnowicz’s International Business course. The students expanded it as one of the required group presentations in his Strategic Management course. Both Christy Elliott and Jason Fraley then signed up for a one credit hour Business Practicum under the direction of Christopher Ziemnowicz. The purpose of this experience is that students will be given "hands on" experience that emphasizes the application of theory and skills learned in their business coursework.

Both Christy Elliott and Jason Fraley, as well as Anthony Johnson attended other sessions that included a presentation trade representatives from Switzerland and Hong Kong. They discussed international business issues as they relate to their country, the United States, and for world trade as a whole. The opportunity for students to prepare for the Midwest AIB meeting and to be a part of the annual MBAA conference in Chicago will serve them well in their future academic and professional endeavors.

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