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International Business Seminars

All seminars (unless otherwise advised) are held between 12.00pm and 1.30pm in the Meeting Rooms indicated below.

All enquiries should be directed to Betina Szkudlarek

Please RSVP to for catering purposes.

Upcoming Seminars

27th Feb 2017 - 12:00 pm

Venue: Room 4150, Abercrombie Building (H70)

Speaker: Professor Kyung Min Park, Yonsei University Korea

Title: The Effect of Penalty Regulation on Feedback-based Learning and Fuel Efficiency Improvement in the U.S. Automobile Industry

Abstract: This paper examines the effects of penalty regulations with Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and fuel efficiency feedback-based learning on fuel efficiency improvements by model. We tested hypotheses by using data on all new passenger cars and light trucks released in the U.S. market between 2007 and 2012.  We found, first, as car makers’ CAFE decreases below government standard, the size of improvement in their fuel efficiencies increases. Second, as a focal model’s fuel efficiency decreases below its firm’s CAFE, the model’s size of fuel efficiency improvement increases. Third, as a focal model’s fuel efficiency decreases below the average fuel efficiency of all competing models in the same segment, the model’s size of fuel efficiency improvement increases. Finally, as car makers’ CAFE decreases below government standard, a focal model’s effect of fuel efficiency below CAFE on fuel efficiency improvement strengthens. In contrast, as car makers’ CAFE decreases below government standard, a focal model’s effect of fuel efficiency below segment average on fuel efficiency improvement weakens. This implies penalty regulation influences the strength of reference groups in performance feedback-based learning, i.e., internal search within the firm vs. external search within the segment. This paper shows the simplicity as well as complexity in the mechanism of technical improvement in fuel efficiency in the automobile industry.

Bio: Kyung Min PARK is a Professor of Strategy at Yonsei University (Address: Room 520, Building 212, Yonsei University School of Business, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749, KOREA; e-mail: He studies strategic positioning, imitation, blue ocean strategy as well as organizational learning including behavioral theory of the firm. He is associate dean of Sangnam Institute of Management (a unit for executive business education), the editor of Yonsei Business Review, and the director of the Global Business Innovation MBA program at the Yonsei University School of Business. With students and colleagues, he is doing research on performance feedback-based learning, strategic positioning, innovation, and resource dependence in diverse strategic contexts such as semiconductor industry, automobile industry, daily deal site, business group etc. He has published articles in prominent journals such as Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, and Asia Pacific Journal of Management. In Korea, he serves as a vice president of Korean Society of Strategic Management. Originally from southern coast in South Korea, he attended Seoul National University where he received a bachelor's degree in 1989. Soon after, he attended Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology where he received a master's degree in 1991. Then he worked at Korea Mining Promotion Company for three years and LG Economic Research Institute for one year before moving to France for doctoral study on strategy at INSEAD. After studying in Fontainebleau, Columbus, and Singapore, he received a Ph.D. in Management from INSEAD in 2005. He joined the Yonsei faculty in 2006.

9th Mar 2017 - 12:00 pm

Venue: Room 5050, Abercrombie Building (H70)

Speaker: Professor Mats Alvesson, Lund University in Sweden

Title: The Stupidity Paradox. The power and pitfalls of functional stupidity at work.

Abstract: Functional stupidity can be catastrophic. It can cause organisational collapse, financial meltdown and technical disaster. And there are countless, more everyday examples of organisations accepting the dubious, the absurd and the downright idiotic, from unsustainable management fads to the cult of leadership or an over-reliance on brand and image. And yet a dose of stupidity can be useful and produce good, short-term results: it can nurture harmony, encourage people to get on with the job and drive success. This is the stupidity paradox. The talk tackles head-on the pros and cons of functional stupidity. You'll discover what makes a workplace mindless, why being stupid might be a good thing in the short term but a disaster in the longer term, and how to make your workplace a little less stupid by challenging thoughtless conformity. It shows how harmony and action in the workplace can be balanced with a culture of questioning and challenge. The talk shows how anti-stupidity management can work. The talk is based on the presenter’s just published book: The Stupidity Paradox. The power and pitfalls of functional stupidity at work. Profile 2016 (with André Spicer).

Bio:  Professor Mats Alvesson holds a chair in the business administration department at Lund University in Sweden and is also part-time professor at University of Queensland Business School. He has done extensive research and published widely in the areas of qualitative and reflexive methodology, critical theory, organizational culture, knowledge work, identity in organizations, gender, organizational change, management consultancy etc. Mats has published 25 books with leading publishers and hundreds of articles, in Academy of Management Review, Human Relations, Journal of Management Studies, etc. many of which are widely cited and used on higher levels in university education. He is a frequent key note speaker at academic and practitioner conferences.