La Trobe Business School

Month: July 2016 (Page 1 of 2)

LBS Professor of Practice Catherine Ordway sheds light on IOC’s decision to allow Russia to compete in Rio Games


The International Olympic Committee has recently come under fire as a result of their decision not to enforce a blanket ban against the Russian Olympic team from competing in the Rio games. The ban was to come as a result of recent reports which found that the team engaged in state-sponsored doping during the 2014 Winter games.

LBS Professor of Practice Catherine Ordway has been recently interviewed on The Midday Report, ABC News 24 TV, Mornings with Genevieve Jacobs, ABC 666 Radio Canberra, The 2cc Breakfast Show and The World Today with respect to the issues surrounding the IOC and the Russian Olympic team.

The IOC indicated that it decided against a blanket ban to protect the rights of clean athletes who wished to compete in the Rio games. Accordingly, it is now up to individual sports federation to determine each Russian athlete’s eligibility to compete in the Rio games.

When asked why the IOC went down this path LBS Professor of Practice Ordway discusses the complex nature of the situation and concludes by saying that “They [the IOC] have a number of other events that they were scheduled to be holding in Russia. They’re a big player on the world scene. A country like Russia may be too big and too powerful for them [the IOC] to take on head on.”

LBS Tourism and Hospitality International Study Program (THS3ISP) to Vietnam.

Imperial City
On 27th June 2016, LBS’s Paul Strickland and Tanya Thornton accompanied twenty one students studying either a Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality), Bachelor of Business (Event Management) or Bachelor of Business (Event Management/Marketing) from Bundoora and Bendigo campuses for a 14 days study program in Vietnam.

The Tourism and Hospitality International Study Program subject was designed to highlight tourism, hospitality and event related activities, including a range of different dining and gastronomic experiences, various levels of accommodation standards, tourism activities for westerners and the legacy of war. The entire program included breakfast, lunch and dinner daily in a variety of dining environments including set menu, buffet and cooking classes. Sampling all the delicious local cuisine was one of the highlights of the tour.

Commencing our program in Hanoi, lectures took place at Hanoi (Hanu) University where local students studying LTU programs joined in one-on-one discussions. After city tours, rickshaw rides and a water puppet show, we travelled by bus to the World Heritage listed Ha Long Bay for an unforgettable two day stay on a large 28 cabin boat which we had all to ourselves. Students were able to swim, play volleyball, explore limestone caves and kayak in amazing scenery. The itinerary took us to three other cities including Hue, Hoi-An and Hoi Chi Minh City where we soaked up the sunshine with glorious tours of temples, beautiful heritage architecture, solemn war museums and Australian battlefields.

There are simply too many student activities to list, but the program also encompassed many charity restaurants which aim to help street kids train in hospitality and better their lives. We celebrated two birthdays while we were away, singing Karaoke and dancing at a Sky bar, and we relaxed in a resort pool, but to know the rest you’d have to come along and experience it for yourself. Student feedback after the trip; ‘10/10’, ‘wouldn’t change a thing’ and ‘a much better way to learn’…. however, these comments were made before three more assessment tasks were due!

La Trobe Business School partners with the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility on the 2016 Annual Review of the State of Corporate Social Responsibility

Dr Leeora Black Intro (002)

The results of the 2016 Annual Review of the State of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Australia and New Zealand were announced on Wednesday evening 6 July at La Trobe University’s City Campus, at 360 Collins Street, Melbourne.

The review is produced by the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ACCSR).

The review is the longest running study of CSR practices in Australia and New Zealand, and one of the largest longitudinal CSR studies in the world.

This year 1,080 respondents participated in the research. This year’s report also explored the relevance of international CSR frameworks in Australia and New Zealand and indicated that the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) remains the most used and the most useful framework for most organisations, followed by the UN Global Compact.

The results of the Review and Australia’s progress in CSR and towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was outlined by Professor John Thwaites  (Chair, Monash Sustainability Institute and Chair, United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific).

PRME_reports_editedProfessor Thwaites joined a panel with Dr Suzanne Young (Head of Department of Management and Marketing, La Trobe Business School) and two employees from the Top ten companies, Grace Rose Miller (Yarra Valley Water) and Jordan Grace, Corporate Responsibility Manager with the National Australia Bank (NAB), to discuss the Review and provide perspectives from the academic and corporate sectors.

The Review reveals that Australian businesses are very aware of the newly adopted SDGs and many are planning strategies and partnerships to pursue the Goals.

This year the review examined how companies are aligning their business strategies with the SDGs and revealed that the most important Goals for Australia and New Zealand business are Gender Equality; Good Health and Wellbeing; and Decent Work and Economic Growth; followed by Industry Innovation and Infrastructure and Climate Action.  The Review has also shown that the ‘implications of technology for business’ has risen to second top priority from tenth place in 2012.

“It was encouraging to see that organisations are planning to address a multiple set of Goals and see important linkages in their broader societal contributions,” says ACCSR’s Managing Director, Dr Leeora Black. She continued: “Engaging in strategic partnerships is the key action they will undertake in the year ahead – suggesting they understand advancing the Sustainable Development agenda.”

At the same time, in this Review, responses from participating businesses indicate a significant gap between espoused priorities and concrete plans, and the results hint at the continuing struggle of CSR workers to influence organisational decisions and ensure appropriate budgets for their work.

In viewing sustainability and CSR as key management capabilities, La Trobe Business School continues to work with ACCSR to embed sustainability and CSR in the programs and strategy of the School. In line with the themes of this Annual Review, La Trobe Business School is one of the United Nations Champion Business Schools in the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) to advance corporate sustainability and social responsibility in our curricula and research, thought leadership in this area and to develop responsible leaders of the future.

La Trobe Business School is planning to facilitate a series of Australia-wide workshops between PRME higher educational business schools and members of the UN Global Compact Network Australia to present and interact on the theme of the SDGs. The outcomes of the workshops will be improved dialogue and networks between universities and other sectors, and the initiating of joint projects on the SDGs.

Professor Thwaites believes that business understands that the Goals are more easily achieved in partnership than by individual organisations operating on their own. He noted: “What we need to do is establish the right strategic partnerships, and having done that, implement them.”

Professor Thwaites outlined a number of strategic actions businesses can take to work towards achieving the SDGs and said that at present companies are mapping what they are doing, and comparing that to the Goals and targets. He says that businesses are adopting a smart approach but he said that while we are working well towards meeting some goals, “it’s important not to take our eye off what we have ignored.” He sees that there is a need for a degree of flexibility as different companies have different operations, and it is difficult to find a one-size-fits-all model.

Over the next period he believes more products will come into the market to help businesses identify how they can make impact and align their businesses to meet the Goals.

The Annual Review reported this year’s CSR Top ten organisations that scored greater than 75% for CSR management capabilities (as ranked by their employees) are Abergeldie, Deloitte, Ebm-papst A&NZ, KPMG, NAB, PwC, South32, WaterAid, Westpac and Yarra Valley Water.  This year, the Review included New Zealand companies and found the leading three CSR companies in New Zealand are Bank of New Zealand, Toyota NZ and Z Energy.

Grace Miller, representing Yarra Valley Water, said that gender equity and diversity are the big issues for her organisation along with minimising impact on waterways. A strategic priority for the organisation is to work effectively with Indigenous communities and local governments.

Dr Suzanne Young said that generally universities are not performing well in CSR and have an important and essential role in achieving and teaching about the SDGs. “If business schools are educating the next generation of leaders and a key issue is responsible management – it is critical for universities to build the capacity of our future leaders and for them to understand these priorities,” she says.  She believe that students are expecting leadership to be a core of university teaching and research, and that universities themselves have to lead by example in areas such as gender equality where we currently see a low score card. Dr Young also believes that the universities in regional Australia have an important role to play in building sustainable communities and ensuring that educational capability is a priority.

Jordan Grace from the National Australia Bank says that one of NAB’s philosophies in progressing their CSR strategy is that ‘their business will do well if Australians are doing well’. Jordan says that NAB has a sound record of programs that support its customers in financial inclusion and resilience. “Many of these programs sit across a number of SDGs, like Decent Work and Economic Growth and No Poverty. SDGs provide a good lens to look at what we are doing, where we want to go and how we can drive collective impact.”

Partners for the 2016 Annual Review of the State of CSR in Australia and New Zealand were La Trobe Business School, Massey University, the New Zealand Sustainable Business Council, Sustainable Business Australia, Engineers Without Borders and Wright Communications.

The 2016 Annual Review of the State of Corporate Social Responsibility is available for download, here.

The Sustainable Development Goals can be seen, here

More information about La Trobe Business School’s involvement with the PRME can be accessed, here.


LBS’s Catherine Ordway featured on ABC’s Radio Breakfast discussing possible Olympic ban

Professor of Practice Catherine Ordway
was featured on ABC’s 666 ABC Canberra Breakfast with Philip Clark, commenting on the issue around potentially banning Russian athletes from participation in the Rio Olympic Games after the publication of the McLaren Report.

Catherine Ordway spoke about whether the IRC has the freedom to make a decision on whether or not to allow Russian athletes to compete, and what difficulties they face making a decision like this.

Listen to the full fragment on the ABC Radio website.

LBS researchers aim to understand different perspectives on disability in the workplace

It is estimated that there are more than 2.2 million Australians with disabilities, but fewer than half are employed. Rates of unemployment are especially high among individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Some organisations are developing proactive and innovative steps to support employees with autism. One example is the Dandelion Program, a unique partnership among Government (Australian Department of Human Services), corporation (HPE) and social enterprise (Specialisterne).

Dr Jennifer Spoor and Professor Timothy Bartram from the LBS Department of Management and Marketing have been working with the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC) to research the impact of the Dandelion Program for the employees with autism and the organisation itself. It is hoped that this research can be used to support development of similar programs in the future.

From 5th to 9th August 2016, Dr Jennifer Spoor and Dr Jillian Cavanagh will also be chairing a symposium that will be featured in the All-Academy Theme, 76th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, in Anaheim, California. The symposium title is ‘Factors Contributing to Meaningful Employment for Individuals with a Disability’.

The symposium brings together diverse research perspectives on disability in the workplace, within Australia and North America.

The symposium includes two papers by La Trobe Business School academics:

‘An Exploratory Study of the Retention of Workers with an Intellectual Disability in the Australian Hotel Sector’ Authors – Hannah Meacham, Amie Southcombe, Jillian Cavanagh and Timothy Bartram. Hannah Meacham is a current La Trobe Business School PhD student and will present her first conference paper at the Academy.

‘The Dandelion Program: Supporting Meaningful Work for Individuals with Autism’ Authors – Jennifer R. Spoor, Darren Hedley, Cheryl Dissanayake, Amanda C. Richdale, Mirko Uljarevic.

You can read more about the Dandelion Program here.

Watch: LBS Professor of Practice Mark Morris speaks about changes in the world of Australian taxes on CPA-Australia Panel

Recently, La Trobe Business School’s Professor of Practice Mark Morris was invited speak on a high-level panel regarding the new Standard Business Rerporting (SBR)-enabled practitioner lodgment service. The panel was hosted by CPA Australia. This new service will replace the old Electronic Lodgement Service (ELS). Along with ATO Assistant Commissioner Andrew Watson and Keith Clissold FCPA, Mark spoke about what it means for these changes to be put through from a practitioner’s perspective, why they are necessary and what this means for the future of the accountancy profession. The panel was moderated by Gavan Ord, Manager Business Investment Policy, at CPA Australia.

Watch the segments in full on YouTube.

Does Business have a role in Human Rights? LBS Alumni engage in a challenging conversation about Business’s responsibility in society.

Business and Society Cafe

‘Does Business have a role in Human Rights’ was the philosophical question discussed at the inaugural La Trobe Business School-CPA Australia Business and Society Café on 12 July at Secret Society Café.

Kenneth J. McPhail, Professor of Accounting and Associate Dean, Social Responsibility at Manchester Business School and Dr Eva Tsahuridu, Professional Standards and Governance Policy Adviser, CPA Australia steered 25 LBS Alumni and academics through a thought-provoking conversation that began by presenting the idea that while historically business has often played a role in violating rights, the multinational corporation is perhaps seen as a vehicle for realising rights in countries with weak governance regimes. Does this mean that companies should regulate nation states?

The diverse views meandered from business simply operating within the bounds of the law, looking after its own interests, to the prerequisite for incentives and the challenge of objectively measuring value other than profits. It was also raised that corporations are a reflection of the values of the people within it and there is a growing trend for employees and consumers to preference their engagement with businesses that demonstrate sound social value.

Professor McPhail finished by stating that he believed in the power of education and that this means there is a fundamental role for universities and professional bodies, as educators, to raise awareness of the issues and be a part of the cultural shift.

The Business and Society Cafés are a program developed for graduates of La Trobe Business School who aspire to leadership in a context where business opportunities and addressing big global issues will be increasing intertwined. We are most grateful to CPA Australia sponsoring the cafes.

If you are interested in attending future Business and Society Cafes please contact Dr Geraldine Kennett, Professor of Practice in Management and Director of Industry Engagement via email.


Dr Zahirul Hoque gave the keynote address at 2nd International Conference on Business Research

Zahirul Hoque Business Research
Between 27 and 28 May 2016, the second International Conference on Business Research was organised by Dhaka’s East West University’s Business Department in Bangladesh.

La Trobe Business School’s Professor Zahirul Hoque, who heads the Department of Accounting at La Trobe University, was invited to give the keynote address. The conference was attended by 100 participants from more than 60 different countries, and was sponsored by the World Bank’s Higher Education and Quality Project (HEQEP).

In his keynote address, Professor Hoque stressed the importance of business research in Bangladesh’s Business Sector, and emphasized the importance of the role of academic researchers in this landscape.

Choice Modelling Workshop at La Trobe Business School


The Department of Economics and Finance at the La Trobe Business School is running a Choice Modelling Workshop on 15 July 2016. The workshop is timed to coincide with a visit from one of our fractional staff members,Professor Iain Fraser, who is an expert in the area of choice modelling in environmental economics. Many leading Australian researchers in choice modelling in Health Economics, Environmental Economics, Transport Economics and Marketing will be sharing their insights throughout the day.

The one-day workshop will contain 6-10 presentations on the topic of discrete choice modelling across sub-fields such as environmental economics, health economics, marketing and transport and potentially also in other areas.


Professor Anthony Scott, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne

Dr Anke Leroux, Department of Economics, Monash University

Professor Harmen OppewalDepartment of Marketing, Monash University

Dr Akshay Vij, The Institute for Choice, University of South Australia

Professor Iain FraserDepartment of Economics, University of Kent at Canterbury and La Trobe Business School

Associate Professor Emily Lancsar, Centre for Health Economics, Monash University

Professor John Rose, The Institute for Choice, University of South Australia

Our definition of choice modelling is econometric models of discrete, usually multinomial choices, for example choice of transport mode (bus, train, car), healthcare intervention (surgery, medication or physiotherapy), product brand (Holden, Ford or Toyota), or environmental program.

This event is being fully funded by the La Trobe Business school so interested researchers can register for free.


Date: Friday 15 July 2016

Time: 9:30am – 5:00pm

Venue: La Trobe University City Campus, Level 20, 360 Collins St, Melbourne

Register: Register online via Eventbrite.

Cost: Free

James Fazzino appointed as Adjunct Professor: “He will play an instrumental role in building critical industry and research links at the La Trobe Business School”


James Fazzino and Professor John Dewar

James Fazzino and Professor John Dewar

On the 29th of June, La Trobe University appointed James Fazzino as an Adjunct Professor to La Trobe Business School.

“We are very excited to appoint James as an Adjunct Professor,” Vice Chancellor Professor John Dewar commented. “Even though James is already a member of the La Trobe family, we believe that this will make his connection with us even stronger. He will be able to share his experience with the next generation of leaders, and play an instrumental role in building critical industry and research links at the La Trobe Business School.”

La Trobe University

Before embarking on a successful career in the international chemical industry, James graduated from LaTrobe University with a Bachelor of Economics (Hons). “Since I left La Trobe, the accelerating pace of change has staggered me.” Mr Fazzino said. “I must admit that thirty years ago when I first came to La Trobe from Reservoir High I had no idea of where my studies would take me. However, I gained two significant gifts from Latrobe: firstly, the gift of knowledge and critical thinking that has underpinned my career, and secondly and most importantly – meeting my wife and life partner Helen, at La Trobe.”

Productivity is key

James Fazzino has already been professionally involved with La Trobe Business School for a long time, chairing the LBS Advisory Board. Within industry, James has been the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Incitec Pivot Limited (IPL) since July 2009. Prior to this, he served as IPL’s Chief Financial Officer and Finance Director, following senior roles at Orica and ICI.

While James Fazzino has been at IPL, the company has undergone a significant transformation, growing from a fertiliser company operating in two Australian States to a global diversified industrial chemicals business. IPL is now the world’s second largest supplier of commercial explosives, and Australia’s largest manufacturer and supplier of fertilisers. James has overseen the company’s rise from being in the ASX Top 200 by Market Capitalisation to the Top 50. As a prominent Australian business leader, Mr Fazzino has been a strong advocate of the need for Australia to lift national productivity to respond to global challenges and to maintain living standards. Within IPL, he introduced a workplace productivity program that has delivered gross benefits of approximately $250 million in four years.

“It has become obvious to me that the same Productivity challenge is the crisis confronting our nation – it is Australia’s burning platform.” James Fazzino added, “Everyone at La Trobe is aware of the challenges posed by the digital revolution on all organisations and I think, in particular, on education. But I’m confident that the opportunities will be as great, if not greater, than the challenges. As with any challenge, we need to recognise the implications of change and make it work in our favour.”

 “James believes that the systems and processes successfully employed in business can equally be applied to other activities, including education.” VC Dewar said. “We’re excited that our students will have the chance to learn from his experience in developing innovative ways to increase productivity and efficiency, and at the same time deliver sustainable outcomes.”

On top of this, James Fazzino’s strategic expertise has secured IPL a prominent position in The United States’ market. Having the chance to learn from someone who has hands-on experience and knows both the domestic Australian market and significant international markets inside out, particularly makes a difference for students’ learning experience.

 “His involvement promises to greatly enrich the La Trobe Business School’s curriculum and teaching.” John Dewar commented. “We do not make Adjunct Professor appointments lightly. These positions are reserved for the most influential thought leaders in industry. They are for those with special expertise that can have a real impact on our teaching, engagement and research activities. And James Fazzino is definitely one such person.”

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