The 25th Annual IAJBS World Forum was officially inaugurated at the premises of Xavier University, Bhubaneswar on 21st July 2019. The inaugural event of this prestigious conference was ‘Case Writing Workshop and Doctoral Colloquium’ which was led by Ms. Tracy Couto, Director - Donald J. Savage Center for Reflective Leadership, Director- GJCS, Director- IgnitEd and Mr Jim Joseph, Dean,  Madden School of Business, Le Moyne College; Co-Chair, GJCS Advisory Board.

Ms. Tracy Couto is the Director of the Donald J. Savage ’51 Center for Reflective Leadership housed in the Madden School of Business at Le Moyne College. Ms. Couto is an experienced professional in value-based education for connecting across global universities around the globe. Her work has been instrumental in founding IgnitEd (ignited.global), a platform designed to meet the needs of faculty by offering opportunities to collaborate on research, share and download curricular tools, register for conferences and to create community. Ms Couto is also the Director of Global Jesuit Case Series, an alternative voice to existing case collections focused on holistic and compassionate leadership, interdisciplinary case studies and new formats for case studies.

Mr. Jim Joseph is the Dean of Madden School of Business, Le Moyne College. He is also the co-founder of Global Jesuit Case Series (GJCS). During his tenure as the Executive-in-Residence of Madden School, Mr. Joseph spearheaded the strategic alliances with major universities both regionally and around the world. Before coming to Le Moyne, Mr Joseph was the Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Oneida Ltd., the number one tabletop brand in North America and one of the largest designers, marketers, and distributors of housewares products.

The Case Writing Workshop and Doctoral Colloquium were aimed to illustrate the importance of keeping the readers hooked through thoroughly researched methods. The furtherance of the event was led by Ms. Tracy Couto, who emphasised on the pertinence of case studies for students through which they can interlink the business decisions with the theories taught in the classroom. Ms. Couto further emphasised on the relevance of case studies in providing business theories with a more comprehensible look.

The workshop was taken forward by Mr. Jim Joseph by elucidating the opening hook of any case writing. Mr. Couto emphasised on the topic of the opening hook with a few examples followed by a group activity. The group activity was engineered to shed some light on the pertinence of tonality and structure of a case which received some eclectic and creative re-iterations from the participants. Mr. Joseph also emphasised on the importance of conviction, passion and mental mapping while writing a case along with providing the physical, cultural, social, emotional, and intellectual context.

Ms. Couto stressed on the importance of re-arrangement of events in a case and its congruity with the opening hook. To take the discussion forward, Ms. Couto also prioritized the usage of drama while writing a case to inspire and hook the readers with a hint of caution. She also discussed the importance of drawing a line between drama and true unfolding of the events to maintain the authenticity of the event. The discussion also led to the importance of writing a case to align with the pedagogical alternative. One of the important insights which were brought to notice during the group discussion was the tendency to confuse readers and students when cases are not aligned with pedagogical requirements.

The event was carried further by Mr. Joseph by underlining the importance of the closing hook followed by another group activity. The group activity was received by the participants in high fervour as they let their creativity flow in alignment with the pedagogical constraints. Mr. Joseph also illustrated the usage of cold facts and sensational drama to keep the readers hooked while keeping the veracity of the events intact through pictorial representations. The rollercoaster of facts and drama also shed light on the issue of biased writings and the grey areas of case writing. The usage of artistic license and the extent to which it can be used was also discussed with much enthusiasm. Mr. Joseph also highlighted the importance of maintaining the chronological order of events unfolding in a case while still being able to create an air of suspense to keep the readers hooked till the end.

In the final leg of the event, Ms. Tracy Couto discussed teaching notes to assess the learning outcome of any case writing. While discussing teaching notes, Ms. Couto accentuated the importance of assessing a case in a classroom environment to evaluate it across the entire spectrum of students in a usual classroom scenario. She also highlighted the importance of general discussions and epilogues while writing a case to make it more comprehensible for students. Finally, she discussed Bloom’s Taxonomy Foundation which is one of the most used hierarchical ordering of cognitive skills which help teachers in teaching and students in learning. Ms. Couto also discussed the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy which has been pivotal for developing learning objectives, and hence, writing cases. She also highlighted the various levels in Bloom’s Taxonomy: Knowledge, Create, Evaluate, Analyse, Apply, Understand, and Remember. Ms. Couto finally emphasized on the importance of creativity in the business world, but, also discussed drawing the line where creativity must not be muddled with controversies. The event was finally concluded with the usage of creativity and the importance of sustaining the veracity of the events through cases to inspire further generations to come.

The Doctoral Colloquium opened with Ms. Preeti Sharma, who presented a report on “Recruitment: The Emerging Challenge” followed by a review of relevant literature on “Employer Provided Childcare Facilities” by Ms. Bhawana Pal. A detailed analysis of “Projection of Women in Advertisement: Changing the Portrayal of Women in Advertisements” was put forward by Ms. Priyadarshini Patnaik who talked about the negative impacts of the TV advertisements.

In the second half of the event, Ms. Sharmistha Kar talked about “Planning for Digital Transformation: Implication for Institutional Enterprise Architecture” followed by a presentation by Ms. Sucheta Sucharita on “Talent Management System: An Exploration of Issues and Benefits”. The event concluded with a vote of thanks to all the leaders and faculties.

The inaugural meeting of the Colleagues of Jesuit Business Education (CJBE) South Asia Regional Chapter was held next. CJBE in partnership with the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools (IAJBS) helps business school Deans and Faculty Colleagues orient to the mission of Jesuit business education and to deliberate on how to transform curriculum, teaching, pedagogy, research, and service that can reduce growing inequality at different levels of our society and ensure overall sustainability.

Dr. S. Peppin, Academic Dean, Xavier School of Sustainability, along with Ms. Tina Facca Miess, Ph.D., President – CJBE, welcomed the august gathering of eminent academicians. Dr. Amar KGR Nayak, Professor, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, shared his findings from a classroom interaction with the 2nd year students. About 85% of these students, who had recently completed their summer internships in various corporates, when about their perception on sustainability practices in their respective companies, responded negatively.

 The attendees were then divided into groups so as to facilitate the agenda, which was –exchange of ideas by means of a few questions to be considered and discussed during the Inaugural CBJE South Asia Chapter Meeting at the 25th IAJBS Conference, Xavier University Bhubaneswar, India.

What ensued was an enthusiastic brainstorming session within groups, followed by an open of exchange of ideas. When asked about the sustainability of corporations and companies of the current market scenario, Dr. Snigdha Pattnaik, Professor, Xavier School of Human Resource Management, began by identifying the different kinds of sustainability, namely economic, social, and environmental. The group deliberated on how there is a lot of emphasis on sustainability because of the rules and laws developed for it in other countries, and contrasted that with countries like India, which are currently focused on attaining economic sustainability.

On contemplating business and economic logic, values, tools, and techniques taught in business schools, being contrarian to those of sustainability, Prof. Bhasker Basu, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, spoke about how business education is leaning towards certain demographics by being accessible mostly to the elite as compared to a field like engineering, which enjoys a more inclusive representation. Some also felt that the pedagogy can be updated to incorporate more creativity in the mode of teaching. The academicians questioned whether the education being imparted in business schools was adding to un-sustainability of the planet in general. While most acknowledged the importance of writing comprehensive vision and mission statements to encapsulate the essence of their goals, some felt that despite the clear agenda, there was often misalignment when it came to implementing actionable measures. To have a wider view of the progress that the world is making on sustainability, faculty should also be encouraged to travel to expose themselves to new practices, which they can subsequently pass on to their studentsThe gathering then reflected upon whether education in business schools had become exceedingly anthropocentric. Everyone present was in agreement that business education has indeed continued to become more anthropocentric, which was not the case 60 years ago. This has led to severe environmental concerns.

On the topic of whether business education can be made to encompass consideration towards the relationship and nature (bio-centric), one of the groups developed a model that could facilitate such an educational goal. The model showered importance on three stakeholders, namely, faculty, organization, and policies. There are two levels to this - faculty to students, by bringing more content that emphasises sustainability and ; policies in an organization that reflect concern for the nature.

Another group was of the view that to make business education more bio-centric, it’s essential to have a dialogue between parents, students, alumni, and faculty.

One group was of the view that even though we have theorised a bio-centric approach to business education, we are not walking the talk. If one looks at the larger context, it is an evil cycle. Natural resources being increasingly depleted contributes to climate change and humidity, which altogether makes it difficult to have a classroom environment without air conditioners.

The concluding point of dialogue was on generating interest and curiosity among students regarding the matters discussed in this session. There were some key takeaways from this discussion. There are two components that can facilitate this process, namely – head: it should be communicated to the students how corporates can be both, sustainable as well as profitable and; heart: it is necessary to appeal to the emotions of the students

One group was of the view that more courses related to the environment needs to be introduced . More students need to be encouraged to pursue sustainable entrepreneurship. The PESTEL model is also crucial. Until all the components are addressed, it become significantly difficult to become sustainable. There is a need for more integration among courses, they are being taught in silos, maybe more cross functional assignments and projects need to be provided.

Ms. Tina Facca Meiss summarized the session and briefly talked about the Economic Justice Model, which they developed, having five major components –

  1. Authentic engagement
  2. Value co-creation with consumers
  3. Sustainable future investments
  4. Interest representation of stakeholders
  5. Long term profit management over short term profit maximization

Dr. Peppin ended the session by talking about what can be done to overcome sustainability challenges. He believes that interfaith dialogue may help overcome these challenges. Concrete steps were taken to tackle the concerns raised through the establishment of a committee consisting of five dignitaries from the session. The committee will seek to continue the dialogue on sustainability by collaborating with other universities.

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