Business Newsroom

La Trobe Business School

Month: September 2018

Meet our new adjunct professor Stuart Kells

Prize winning author

Most people know Stuart is a successful author. He wrote the critically acclaimed biography of Kay Craddock, Rare, and Penguin and the Lane Brothers (Black Inc.), which won the Ashurst Australian Business Literature Prize. Stuart’s 2017 book The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders (Text) was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s General History Prize and is being published around the world. He also recently wrote a book with Professor Ian Gow on the history of the ‘Big Four’ accounting and audit firms, published by La Trobe University Press. Stuart’s shorter writings have appeared in a wide range of journals, magazines and newspapers, including The Australian Accounting Review, Economic Record, The Guardian, The Paris Review, The Times of London, The Australian Financial Review, The Australian and National Geographic Traveller Magazine.

Research and industry career

Not everybody might know that before becoming a successful author, Stuart used to be a Research Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne and a member of the Centre for Regulatory Studies at Monash University. He also had senior roles in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office, PPB Advisory and KPMG. He has a PhD from Monash University (for which he received the Monash Law Dean’s Award) and a B.Comm and an M.Comm, both with first class honours, from the University of Melbourne.

Besides becoming LBS’ adjunct professor, Stuart is a member of the Abbotsford Convent Foundation Board and the Audit and Risk Committee of Banyule Council.

 

Business Newsroom asked Stuart what brings him to LBS:

“My research and my books have three things in common. First, they are factual but use techniques from literary fiction, such as storytelling, and experiments with language and structure. I also write across disciplines, such as economics, finance, history, bibliography and cultural studies. Second, they are about nostalgia – for lost or threatened values, professions, institutions and objects. And third, they are irreverent and intent on busting myths.

These emphases align well with the work and mission of the La Trobe Business School and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce. I’ve collaborated with a wide range of scholars and I’m eager to collaborate with the faculty and students of the School and the College.”

LBS welcomes Stuart on board!

Bringing together top researchers and leading financial industry practitioners

From the 24th until the 26th of September, the 8th Conference on Behavioural Finance and Capital Markets (BFCM) is taking place at LTU’s City Campus. The conference presents state-of-the-art research in the fields of Behavioural Finance, Experimental Finance & Capital Markets/Market Microstructure.

Its beginnings

The conference started in 2011 with the idea of merging together two fields in finance: capital markets and people’s behaviour. On the one hand, capital markets (or market microstructure) is all about how financial markets are functioning, how liquid, how risky as well as how fair and efficient these markets are. On the other hand, financial markets are driven by people’s emotions and behaviour. Behavioural biases are well documented in the literature. Even financially literate people are prompt to cognitive biases. In other words, investors, traders, bankers and lenders all show such biases while making investment decisions under risk. From the outset, the BFCM Conference bought together top academics such as: Pete Kyle, Avanidhar (Subra) Subrahmanyam, Richard Roll, Peter Bossaerts, Ron Masulis, Terrence Hendershott, Stephen Brown and Tarun Chordia (among others) with industry leaders to discuss relevant topics.

Its aim

The conference merges academic research with the applied work of the finance industry. The conference continuously looks to identify new emerging fields of research and supports better cooperation and collaboration among researchers and between academia and industry.

According to Founder of the BFCM Conference & LBS Professor Petko Kalev it comes down to this:

“The research we do should not only have academic value but also practical application that impacts the finance industry and hence our society. This conference makes that happen.”

BFCM Conference in the news

The conference topics are always relevant. This relevance is highlighted by an article that was published this week in the Australian Financial Review. Chanticleer Tony Boyd wrote an article titled “The highs and lows of retail investing” based on an academic paper that is being presented at the BFCM Conference next week.

The article starts with a story on Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, buying a big stake in Apple in 2016, when the stock was 10 per cent above its 12-month low. Looking back, the timing was perfect. Apple is now trading about 5 per cent below its record high. The article then discusses the idea that institutional investors often profit at the expense of retail investors who sell at the wrong time. An idea supported by the yet to be released paper by Joshua Della Vedova, Andrew Grant and Joakim Westerholm from the University of Sydney. They found that retail investors often sell at the 52-week high because it is a domain for gains and provides an anchor for the highest past price.

Read the full article by Tony Boyd here.

 

Visit the BFCM Conference website for more information.

LBS Innovation Series: How do companies hold on to their ability to innovate?

This episode in the LBS Innovation Series shows Christine Axton, Director in Monitor Deloitte’s Strategy Practice. Her talk is about how companies hold on to their ability to innovate and how they achieve, and keep, an innovation premium in the market.

Innovator’s method

Christine presents a short overview of the business tool innovator’s method and illustrates its application in a case study. The innovator’s method is designed to help firms create and maintain an innovation premium, and more specifically to manage uncertainty in the innovation process. The approach seeks to manage uncertainty across the key end-to-end innovation process for start-ups i.e. insight; problem; solution; and, business model.

Testing uncertainty

Where innovator’s method differs from other tools such as lean start-up, design thinking, agile software, lean start-up and business canvas etc. is primarily regarding the steps of the innovation process they emphasise. The innovator’s method offers a set of tools and methods to consider and test uncertainty at each of the end-to-end innovation process steps. The power of this approach is to ensure start-ups don’t go to market wasting time and resources on things customers don’t want. Many start-ups make the mistake of leaping straight to solutions without first understanding the real problems and uncertainty associated with their product/service.

 

Watch Christine’s presentation below:

 

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School. The series was developed after the successful National Innovation Forum organised by La Trobe Business School, NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L.

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:

LBS’ collaboration with the Research Centre for China Industry-University-Research Institute

As part of the La Trobe University China Studies Research Centre program, Professor Alex Maritz from LBS recently visited Wuhan University’s Research Centre for China Industry-University-Research Institute. The collaboration’s aim is to improve the volume and quality of joint research with China-based researchers, and help La Trobe staff better understand China through improved access to China-based scholarship.

Universities’ initiatives

After meeting with Professor Li Yanping, Director of the China Research Centre (CRC) and her staff, a heads of agreement was developed. This included the launch of the Journal of Industry University Collaboration (Emerald Publishing), research studies on Entrepreneurship ecosystems, and ongoing engagement and collaboration between LBS and the CRC.  Professor Yanping is the Editor-In-Chief of the journal, and Professor Maritz the inaugural Honorary Editor. The aim of the journal is to publish research for an international audience covering theory, empirical research and practice in the field of cooperation and innovation between industry and universities. The collaboration will also enhance research initiatives between the institutions, such as PhD student exchange, seminars and online initiatives.

The largest Industry-University-Research Centre

Similar to La Trobe University, Wuhan University is ranked in the Top 300 Universities according to ARWU, QS and THE. Wuhan University’s Research Center for China Industry-University-Research Institute is the largest and most prolific Industry-University-Research Centre in China, and Wuhan University is ranked in the top 8 Universities in the Republic of China (ROC), similar to the Australian Group of Eight (Go8).

 

LBS’ Professor of entrepreneurship, Alex Maritz, and Professor Li Yanping, Director of CRC, celebrating the new collaboration and engagement initiatives between the two institutions.

LBS’ Peer Mentorship Network initiative

The La Trobe Business School Peer Mentorship Network (known as the ‘Cafe Club’), is an intellectual climate initiative funded by the Graduate Research School (GRS). The initiative was started by two PhD candidates – the newly graduated Dr Stephen Sim, and recently-confirmed Mrs Madeleine Kendrick. The idea behind the Peer Mentorship Network is to create a welcoming and supportive environment during the often-isolated experience of a research degree, aimed at Honours, Master’s, and PhD candidates in the La Trobe Business School.

During meetings, members share tea, coffee and snacks together while discussing whatever’s on their mind – like ‘How do I get that manuscript perfect for a journal?’ and ‘What do more experienced research candidates know about the library that I don’t?’

Why is it important?

Research shows that peer support and a peer network lead to better mental health and wellbeing among junior researchers. Establishing a community of practice, and a network of friendly faces to chat with on-campus, leads to higher rates of research completion. Also, long-term professional relationships are combined with improved academic performance and a higher overall candidate’s experience and satisfaction (e.g. Collings, Swanson & Watkins, 2014; Leidenfrost, Strassnig, Schutz, Carbon & Schabmann, 2014; Phillips, 2009).

A few months into their regular meetings, members of the Cafe Club have begun to generate a sense of camaraderie and increased collaboration with each other.

Peer writing

The Café Club is mainly about meeting like-minded people, talk about the research journey and connecting to more senior candidates. If you like to meet candidates from other schools or think that bi-monthly is not enough, then the GRS is also offering more productivity focused get-togethers. The GRS runs weekly ‘Shut up and Write’ sessions where researchers come together to write using the Pomodoro method of focused writing (25min) interleaved with short breaks. They also organise a weekly online ‘Shut up and Write’ session, every Monday afternoon on Twitter (@LTUresearchers #LTUsuaw)

When is the next meeting?

The next Cafe Club meeting takes place on Wednesday, September 12 at 3pm in the Martin Building 101

For information on how this initiative was started (so you can begin your own network in another department!), or to find out how to join, please contact Mrs Kendrick at 19460000@students.latrobe.edu.au.

– Madeleine

Madeleine is an inter-disciplinary scholar studying governance practices in public health organisations at LTU. In addition to her work combining psychology, public health and management, she engages in community development activities such as the La Trobe Cafe Club, mentoring doctors’ research skills in WA, and engaging in Science Communications on Twitter (@MIKendrick94).

 

References

  • Collings, Swanson & Watkins (2014). The impact of peer mentoring on levels of student wellbeing, integration and retention: a controlled comparative evaluation of residential students in UK higher education. Higher Education. 68(6), pp 927-942.
  • Leidenfrost, Strassnig, Schütz, Carbon, & Schabmann. (2014). The Impact of Peer Mentoring on Mentee Academic Performance: Is Any Mentoring Style Better than No Mentoring at All?. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 26(1), pp 102-111.
  • Phillips (2009). The Impact of Peer Mentoring in UK Higher Education. [THESIS]. Sup: Swanson, V. University of Stirling; Department of Psychology, School of Natural Sciences. Accessed from; https://dspace.stir.ac.uk/handle/1893/2290#.W1As8tIzbIU

Students working together with industry on real-world issues

Every semester, students enrolled in LBS’ Master of Business Information Management and Systems (MBIMS) get the chance to work on live projects for the subject Business Intelligence Project Analysis and Design (BUS5BPD). This semester the students are undertaking a Digital Twin Inspection Tool project for the Australian Marine and Ship Services in collaboration with Deloitte.

What is digital twin technology?

A digital twin is a virtual model of a process, product or service. These ‘digital twins’ are applied to accelerate design, optimise performance and enable predictive maintenance. When delivered effectively, the results are improved product reliability, availability, safety and a reduction in the cost of delivery. Thus, a digital twin could be seen as a bridge between the physical and digital world.

Digital Twin Inspection Tool

Together with Deloitte, a fictional scenario is created; An Australian shipping company is having trouble aligning their digital twin to the physical asset, and they need an improved toolset to enhance their existing audit processes. Even though the Australian shipping company is a fictional company, the HMAS Castlemaine is used as a physical case study. The HMAS Castlemaine is one of the 60 Australian-built Bathurst Class corvettes to serve throughout World War II and is the last such vessel still afloat. The ship provides students with the opportunity to collect data and test their application. Ultimately, students are expected to capture/validate the physical state of the HMAS Castlemaine in a yet to be developed inspection application for Deloitte, compatible with Apple technology.

Students in front of the HMAS Castlemaine

Guest lectures by Deloitte and Apple

Throughout the semester, a series of guest lectures is provided by Deloitte and Apple. These guest lectures help students develop the digital twin inspection tool while using the philosophy of ‘Design Thinking’. Design Thinking is a design methodology that provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. Besides design thinking, these lectures also cover relevant topics such as the digital twins’ concept and designing the  inspection application architecture of digital twins.

Industry-University collaboration

This project is a great example of how university and industry can collaborate to provide students with the opportunity to apply the skills they learn throughout their degree in the real world. Besides developing an actual prototype, this project enhances students’ academic, career, and personal development, increases their understanding of the work place and makes them career ready.

LBS and Deloitte arranged a site visit to the HMAS Castlemaine to give students the opportunity to visualise the challenge.

LBS Innovation Series: University-industry collaboration and Intellectual Property

Dr. Ben Mitra-Kahn, Chief Economist at IP Australia, challenges the established view according to particular OECD statistics and rankings, that Australia is not very good at university-industry collaboration. This also runs contrary to the views of Innovation and Science Australia, the agency charged with developing a plan for Australia’s innovation prosperity through to 2030.

IP data

Ben’s argument is that the OECD’s understanding stands in contrast to the actual experience in Australia, for universities, industry and government when you examine joint patent application data. This IP data (patents, trademarks, design rights etc.) tells you what people are filing for rights protection and with whom they are partnering. This presentation focussed on presenting data from joint patent applications which is reported in the annual National Innovation Systems Report from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Why is this important?

Ben referenced research that shows firms that collaborate with research institutions are three times more likely to experience productivity growth. Ben argues when compared to universities internationally Australia’s performance compares very well with highly innovative and countries such as South Korea and Israel. Finally, Ben suggests the IP data demonstrates that joint patent applications between universities and industry are actually increasing in Australia.

 

Watch his presentation below:

 

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School. The series was developed after the successful National Innovation Forum organised by La Trobe Business School, NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L.

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:

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