AIB 2020 Online - my first virtual conference

Brief report on the AIB virtual conference in July 2020

After more than 4 months of virtual meetings, two big CYGNA meetings on work-life balance in a global pandemic and MBTI & Stress, as well as an online writing bootcamp, I was ready for my first vitual conference, the 2020 Academic of International Business conference. A picture of the Opening plenary session is below with John Van Maanen, Rebecca Piekkari, Eleanor Westney, Udo Zander and Kerstin Sahlin discussing the role of translation in understanding how crossing borders changes business.

I had not initially intended to attend the AIB conference this year as I wanted to go the Academy of Management meeting. However, given that the conference was now online and the conference fee a very reasonable $99 I thought I might as well show my face :-) After all, that's what AIB members (rightly) expect of their AIB Fellows. So I volunteered for two AIB Fellow Cafés, Women in AIB speed-mentoring sessions with female mentees, as well as a WAIB panel with "Hidden Stories" from all female AIB Fellows. One of my co-authors had submitted a co-authored paper, so we even had a paper in a live author show-case. For news about other AIB sessions not covered in this post, please see the Twitter feed and the LinkedIn feed.

Live author show-case

Martyna Śliwa, Sylwia Ciuk and myself had a paper accepted for the conference (see full reference below). It was even nominated for one of the best paper awards. Martyna had recorded a presentation of the paper [slides can be downloaded here] and we had a great conversation about it with Komal Kalra in the life author show-case. I have made a compilation of the showcase page and some slides from our presentation below, but by all means download the full presentation.

  • Śliwa M., Ciuk, S. Harzing, A.-W. (2020) Reframing Our Theoretical Perspectives on Language Differences in IB: Leveraging Fluidity and Reciprocity to Achieve Linguistic Inclusion,  paper presented at the AIB 2020 Virtual Conference, July 1-9, 2020 [nominated as one of the finalists for the Aalto University That’s Interesting! Award].

AIB Cafés: the future of international mobility research

I conducted two well-attended AIB Fellow Cafés, with 30-40 academics dropping by. Below you can see two slides from the short presentation I gave to introduce the Café, interspersed with a pictures of the attendees. The full presentation can be downloaded here.

In the first panel most people were happy to switch on their cameas for a group picture. As we know, all these pictures of Zoom meetings tend to blend into each other. So I have tried to bring some variety to the conference pictures by wearing a different colour jacket and changing the photo canvas in my background. 

In case you were wondering: yes they are canvas prints of my own pictures from our 13 years in Australia. You can see mainly see kangaroos and koalas, but there is one of the Great Ocean Road. in one picture there is a koala with young on its back walking straight towards me, probably one of my most magical moments in Australia.

Watch the videos on my own YouTube channel

AIB Fellow's Café: Dana Minbaeva & Paula Caligiuri

Personally, I found the Fellow's Cafés the most rewarding part of the conference as there was more interaction than in the panels. The best one I attended was Dana's and Paula's Café [see below]. It was a very lively discussion with lots of new research ideas. You can download the presentation here.

A much longer presentation about the same topic can be found on the Center for International Human Resource Studies (CIHRS) website, which will feature three more seminars. These virtual presentations will reflect the keynotes that would have taken place at the IHRM 2020 Conference that was to be held in Paris.

WAIB speed-mentoring session

Since a number of years the Women in AIB group organizes speed-mentoring events at the annual conference. They are described as follows:

The aim is to provide a supportive platform for junior faculty, ECRs and doctoral students to engage in one-on-one interactions with senior women academic mentors through a series of focused conversations about career-related issues. Mentees will meet with mentors in a ‘speed-dating’ format. The mentor-mentee conversation is intended to provide helpful advice on a wide range of topics to women looking for answers and insights to career-related questions and challenges they are facing.

At this AIB virtual meeting I had the pleasure of speaking with Jennet Achyldurdyyeva and Jana Bucher about their research interests and career plans. Jennet Achyldurdyyeva is studying the adjustment and coping strategies of well-educated Filipino women who have been recruited by Taiwanese MNCs to compensate for local labour shortages in the semi-conductor and consumer electronics industry. The very rich data she collected for her PhD also speaks to HR practices and the role of employment intermediaries as well as language barriers. I am sure we can expect a lot of interesting papers coming out of her PhD, with lessons for other countries struggling with an ageing workforce.

Jana Bucher has published about repatriate knowledge transfer in IJHRM and is currently finishing up her PhD on the very timely topic of virtual assignments and their role in interpersonal knowledge transfer. She presented a very interesting paper Digitalization and Cross-Border Knowledge Transfer at the AIB conference. It generated a lot of interest in the Discussion Forum, including an invitation to submit to a special issue of JIBS! For next year, Jana is looking for a job in the California area ;-). She is equally passionate about research and teaching and from my brief conversation with her, I am sure she will perform excellently on both.

Female AIB fellows panels

24 percent of the active AIB Fellows are women; they represent less than 1% of all AIB members. Eleanor Westney and Lorraine Eden had therefore planned a Female AIB Fellows panel for the AIB Miami meeting to tell the "Hidden Stories" behind their career successes. With the conference turning virtual, they decided to ensure that all Female Fellows (26 in total!) could participate. Lorraine did a brilliant job organizing us all, resulting in four panels in different time-zones.

As I could not make my allocated panel, I recorded a short 5-minute video to tell my story. You can just about see my CYGNA pin in the video. If you want to know more about CYGNA, see: Celebrating CYGNA: Supporting women in academia.

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