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Category: Events (page 2 of 6)

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

– 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).



  • 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;

International Conference of Organizational Innovation (2018 ICOI)

The 12th International Conference of Organizational Innovation (2018 ICOI), Asia’s prominent Management and Innovation Conference, was recently held in Fukuoka, Japan. The conference is co-sponsored by La Trobe Business School. Conference host, Fukuoka University, delivered an outstanding event with spectacular views from the top floor of the Business School Building. A highlight was the student drum session. The 2018 ICOI was the most successful conference to date, and LBS is proud to be the only Australian University associated with the conference.

International scholars from over two-dozen countries presented 239 papers associated to organizational innovation. Included were two papers from LBS’ graduate researchers Ana Amirsardari and Roula Tabbah, presented by their Research Supervisor, Professor Alex Maritz.  Seen below is the organising committee of the conference, (L-R) Dr Charles Shieh (Conference Chair), Professor Alex Maritz (VP, International Association of Organizational Innovation), Dr Frederick Dembowski (President, International Association of Organizational Innovation and Mr Aria Aulandri (Indonesian Chair).

Keynotes included dynamic presentations on Renewable Energy, Resource Constrained Innovation and Innovating Organizational Innovation, together with VIP speeches from prominent international scholars, including Professors Niklov, Hristova, Dass, Gunawa, Huang, Jen-der Day, Antanov, de Waal and Engelbert.

Our special appreciation to Professor Yamazaki Yoshhiro, Faculty of Economics, Fukuoka University, for hosting a successful 2018 ICOI. LBS and Fukuoka University have agreed to future research collaboration and student/staff engagement.


2018 ICOI

LBS’ involvement with UN’s PRME

CR3+ is a partnership between LBS, Audencia Business School (France), Hanken School of Economics (Finland) and ISAE Brazilian Business School (Brazil). The partnership builds on the schools’ involvement with the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education, also known as PRME.


2018 CR3+ conference

From the 12th until the 14th of June the 6th CR3+ conference was held at Audencia Business School. The theme of the conference was “Navigating the Plural Voices of Corporate Responsibility (CR)”, which recognises that CR is situated at the interface of business and society, and as such requires business to draw on a multitude of voices (and in some cases, the voiceless) to reduce their negative impact and/or contribute to society’s wellbeing. The conference had four key areas:

  • Education for sustainably
  • Theoretical voices in Corporate Responsibility research
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Giving voice to the unheard actors in Corporate Responsibility


LBS was well represented with 7 delegates attending the conference; Professor Suzanne Young, Dr Leila Afshari, Dr Nicole El-Haber, Dr Jillian Cavanagh, Dr Swati Nagpal, Dr William Keeton and Ms Patricia Pariona Cabrera. The papers presented by our LBS academics covered wide-ranging topics including community engagement, employee volunteering, corruption, graduate skills for sustainability and workers with intellectual disabilities:

  • Graduate Business Skills for Sustainability: The Nexus of Curriculum and Pedagogy.
  • Beyond CSR: Workers with intellectual disability and their ‘calling’ to further their careers.
  • Corporate responsibility and community engagement: complex decision-making in water organisations in Victoria, Australia.
  • Employee Volunteering: Individual and Organizational Levels of Action.
  • Authentic leaders and corrupt practices: Overshadowing effect of corruption normalization and highly regulated localization.

Why not bulldoze business schools?

There were also expert panel discussions, including one that Professor Suzanne Young was part of entitled “Why not bulldoze business schools”, in response to Martin Parker’s article in The Guardian.

The panel members took opposing points of view with some speaking of the importance of business schools in challenging the status quo and embedding issues of responsibility and sustainability into their ways of working; whereas others spoke of business education cementing the norms of business practices and the focus on profit and self-interest. Professor Young took the former viewpoint and gave examples of La Trobe University and La Trobe Business School’s values and practices. Examples included the university’s gender equality practices, sustainability and responsibility courses and curriculum, hosting of governance and sustainability conferences, as well as Sustainable Development Goals workshops.

10 years a UN PRME signatory

2018 marks LBS’ 10th year as a UN PRME signatory and the CR3+ conference is just one example of our global partnerships in corporate responsibility and sustainability. You can read more about LBS’ involvement with UN PRME and the progress LBS is making in research, curriculum and partnerships in our Sharing of Information on Progress (SIP) report later this year. Watch this space for more information.

2019 CR3+ conference

It’s also exciting to announce that LBS will be hosting the 7th CR3+ conference in late 2019 at our city campus. If you would like to be involved in the conference organising committee or the UN PRME community of practice at LBS, please contact Dr Swati Nagpal.

Does Data Eat Strategy for Breakfast?

Businesses are operating in environments with increasingly large and complex sets of data.  This revolution of data is hitting every industry. Every organisation now has the power to harness large amounts of information that can help inform strategic decisions.

La Trobe University organised a panel discussion among leading industry experts to discuss and explore the synergy between data and strategy, whilst highlighting the importance of developing strategies to become a data-driven organisation.

The panel

  • Phil Bolton: Director at PwC Australia, who also leads the Safety Analytics practice. He has been delivering data analytics projects to businesses across a broad range of industries and countries for over 15 years.
  • Edith Cheng: Head of Digital Marketing & Analytics at Lens10, a digital analytics agency. Starting out in digital marketing, she developed an interest in analytics and specifically custom analytics integrations, which enable organisations to unlock the value of their data in innovative ways.
  • David de Garis: Director in Economics, Markets, Corporate & Institutional Banking at NAB. He is a business and financial markets economist and consults with clients ranging from the Bank’s agribusiness and corporate clients, to institutional clients at home and abroad.
  • James Fazzino: Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at La Trobe University. James is an LBS alumnus and recently concluded a highly successful eight-year term as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Incitec Pivot Limited.


Many LBS staff and students as well as people from outside the university attended the insightful event. The evening was opened by Professor Jane Hamilton, Dean and Head of the La Trobe Business School who mentioned that the university is excited to be at the forefront of this data revolution.

Watch the video to see how the panellists discuss questions such as: How do you see data influencing strategic decision making? Which business sectors are ‘doing data’ well? And do you have data influence your strategy, or do you use data for hypothesis testing?


Great PhD success in the La Trobe Business School

Congratulations to Shalinka Jayatilleke, Nick Dejkovski, Tariq Halimi, Teddy Kwakye, Stephen Sim, Joni Vendi, Minh Phong Nguyen and Thi Hoa Nhai Pham on passing their PhD thesis examination and being awarded their PhD’s. Read about their PhD topics below, and check out some of the great graduation pictures.

Dr Shalinka Jayatilleke

Dr Jayatilleke investigated the issue of managing software requirements changes in the Information Technology industry which often result in problems like cost overruns and project delays.  She has developed a method each for; (i) change specification and classification; (ii) change analysis; and (iii) rework assessment, in order to help alleviate the problems.


Dr Teddy Ossei Kwakye

Dr Kwakye examined the effect of business strategy on the cost of external financing. The findings show that innovative-oriented firms have higher cost of equity than their efficiency-oriented counterparts due to their greater non-diversifiable business risk and lower quality of financial reports. The research advances business strategy as a direct antecedent of firms cost of equity capital.


Dr Tariq Halimi

Dr Halimi examined the influence of political relations between countries on the consumer purchase decision. It was found that positive relations between countries can provide a competitive advantage for their international companies when marketing their products. This thesis contributes to theory development in consumer purchase decision-making and develops a conceptual model that has implications for marketers.


Dr Stephen Sim

Dr Sim explored the ethical HRM of workers with a range of mental and intellectual disabilities at two Australian social enterprises. To better support workers with disabilities with inclusive practises, organisational management should not only focus on policies and practises, but also provide innovative and positive workplace experiences.


LBS’ graduate is the 200,000th LTU graduate

In 1967, 552 students enrolled at La Trobe University. Last week, Harsha Iruvaram, a Master of International Business became the 200,000th student to graduate from La Trobe University.

Harsha was unaware of the fact he was the 200,000th graduate until after his name was announced on the podium. It was a lovely surprise for him and those who attended the ceremony.

Deputy Chancellor, Andrew Eddy presented Harsha with his degree, while Professor John Dewar joined them both and presented Harsha with flowers and congratulations on behalf of the university.


“It feels unbelievable and this will stay forever with me”


Professor Dewar was thrilled to see such a special effort made for this special milestone in the University’s history. “Harsha is a very clever young man and it was wonderful to see the look on his face as he was announced the 200,000th graduate,” Professor Dewar said. “He is a hard working individual, who is passionate about his field and always ready to take on the next challenge. He represents what it means to be a La Trobe student.”

Harsha – who moved to Australia from his hometown of Hyderabad – said while leaving his life in India was hard, he felt immensely proud of his decision to study at La Trobe. “It had the subjects that I wanted to do – customer relationship management, dealing with different nationalities and different cultures.”


“I love the campus, I love La Trobe. International Business is what attracted me”


Harsha aims to continue his career in business and specialise in digital marketing. Since earning his degree, he has landed a Marketing Management internship with Smart Solutions.



Information in this blog was originally published by LTU News and the LTU Student Blog

Another successful Financial Markets and Corporate Governance Conference

From the 4th till the 7th of April La Trobe Business School hosted the 9th annual Financial Markets and Corporate Governance Conference (FMCG) and associated PhD Symposium.

The conference was supported by Monash University, University of Queensland, Victoria University of Wellington, and the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) and the Pacific Basin Finance Journal (PBFJ).


PhD Symposium

The PhD Symposium was a major success with more than 30 PhD candidates from 16 universities from all over the world. LBS PhD Candidate Nader Atawnah won the PhD Symposium Best Paper Award in stream 1: Accounting information/ Disclosure practices/ Earnings quality for his paper “Corporate Tax Avoidance and Foreign Competition: Evidence from Industry – Level Import Data”.

Nader Atawnah receiving his PhD Symposium Best Paper Award.


Other PHD candidates that won a PhD Symposium Best Paper Award were:

 Bharat Raj Parajuli from the University of Utah – Asset Pricing/Emerging Markets /Financial Markets/Market Microstructure.


Tom Stannard from Victoria University of Wellington – Banking/Behavioural Finance/Corporate Finance/Financial Economics.


 Hasibul Chowdhury from University of Queensland – Corporate Governance/Social Responsibility.


Chanyuan (Georgina) GE from Macquarie University – Funds Management/Risk Management/Quantitative Finance.



More than 100 researchers from all over the world presented papers at the 9th annual Financial Markets and Corporate Governance Conference (FMCG). Presentations were given in the following streams:

  • Accounting information/ Disclosure practices/ Earnings quality
  • Asset pricing/ Emerging markets/ Financial markets/ Market microstructure
  • Banking/ Behavioural finance/ Corporate finance/ Financial economics
  • Corporate governance/ Social responsibility
  • Funds management/ Risk management/ Quantitative finance

Keynote speakers included world-renowned academics such as Professors Robert Faff, Ron Masulis, Tom Smith and Avanidhar Subrahmanyam.


Keynote speaker Professor Avanidhar Subrahmanyam from the UCLA Anderson School of Management


Researchers that won a Best Paper Award were:

Ankit Jain from the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad – Accounting Information/ Disclosure Practices/Earnings Quality


 Ying Dou from Monash University, Jason Zein and Ronald W. Masulis, both from the University of New South Wales – Banking/Behavioural Finance/Corporate Finance/Financial Economics.


Md Emdadul Islam and Jason Zein, both from the University of New South Wales – Corporate Governance/Social Responsibility


Conference Dinner

The Conference Dinner was held at the Melbourne Aquarium and included an industry-focused keynote by James Fazzino. James joined La Trobe as a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow in November last year. Prior to this, he was the CEO of Incitec Pivot. The keynote focused on the strategic takeover of Dyno Nobel and its impact on Incitec Pivot´s value.

James Fazzino giving his Keynote


The evening also saw Professor Stephen Brown and Professor Ferdinand Gul recognized for their outstanding achievements. Professor Stephen Brown was recognised for his work in theoretical and empirical research in finance and Professor Ferdinand Gul in empirical research in auditing and assurance.

Professor Stephen Brown receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award


Professor Ferdinand Gul receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award


Founder of the Financial Markets and Corporate Governance Conference and Conference Chair, LBS Professor Balasingham Balachandran finished the evening with a walk through history from FMCG’s humble beginnings all the way up the current 9th year. His thank you address focused on the participants that make the conference each year even more successful.

Founder of FMCG & LBS Professor Balasingham Balachandran

Why risk management is so crucial the start-up economy

Traditionally business risk management has been used to reduce and better understand the likelihood and uncertainty various ‘events’ can have on businesses achieving their objectives e.g. financial uncertainty, legal liabilities, strategic management decisions, cyber threats, accidents, natural disasters and business continuity etc. Increasingly, however, business risk methods are being incorporated into new start-up sciences, business design and prototype testing for new ideas, products and services well before firms go to market. Application of these risk based start-up sciences is also a key strategy to help new start-ups attract potential investors by minimising investor risk.


The global business environment is being driven by new digital technologies and disruption. This includes 3D printing, quantum computing, blockchain, artificial intelligence and new platform economics led by Facebook, Google, Uber, and Alibaba etc. (see Klaus Schwab, 2016, The Fourth Industrial Revolution). It continues to be a problem, however, that a lot of entrepreneurs and start-ups fail because they do not clearly understand the ‘risks’ associated with their business proposition from the start. In this context they waste time, money, resources and effort building the wrong product or service for the wrong market at the wrong time.

Risk mitigation and systematically de-risking

So increasingly building a successful product and business is essentially about risk mitigation and systematically de-risking your business model overtime by identifying and testing the problem your product or service is attempting to solve. Applying more rigorous start-up scientist helps reduce the ‘risk ‘of business failure. The approach requires you to develop a feasible solution and prototypes and to try out on consumers to give feedback before launching the final product to the market. Start-up sciences include Design Thinking, Lean Canvas and Innovator’s Method etc. to reduce risks and manage uncertainty across the key end-to-end start-up design process.

For example, in 2012, Ash Maurya redesigned Osterwalder’s earlier Business Model Canvas to develop his Lean Canvas idea.  The Business Model Canvas provided a template describing nine essential elements of an existing business: customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, resources, activities, partnerships, and costs. Maurya’s Lean Canvas is a one-page business modelling tool that helps increase the probability of success by starting with the customer and using information or data derived from business-model hypotheses to lower risk and reduce uncertainty.

National Innovation Forum

At the La Trobe Business School/NORTH Link National Innovation Forum held in September 2017 a number of business leaders, consulting firms and academics came together to discuss Australia’s innovation system and how to increase innovation particularly for start-ups and SMEs. Several of the presentations chose to focus on the use of start-up science as a means to reduce business risk and manage business uncertainty.

For example, Antonio Palanca, CEO and Co-Founder of the HiveXchange presented a case study on his business, which has created a new form of business-to-business e-commerce called trust-based e-commerce, which is designed specifically to meet the challenges in perishable produce supply chains. Palanca described the company’s journey and how the use of Lean Canvas methodology shaped field experiments and prototypes to reveal problems early that became the foundation of HiveXchange’s trust based e-commerce software. Palanca explained that the benefit of this approach was that as you go through the stages you reduce risk and therefore become more attractive to investors and you can drive more commercial innovation on a global scale.

Similarly, Christine Axton, Director in Monitor Deloitte’s strategy practice, presented a short overview the innovator’s method and illustrated its application in a case study. Based on the work of Nathan Furr and Jeff Dyer (2014) the innovator’s method is designed to help firms to specifically manage uncertainty in the innovation process. 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.

Several other presenters at the Forum referenced Eric Ries’ book The Lean Start-up: Creating Growth through Innovation, as a major influence on their business or teaching practice. The thrust of Ries’ book is that start-ups tend to be much higher-risk endeavours than they need to be because they build elaborate products before testing them with consumers. Applying Ries’ build, measure lean-loop, allows firms to reduce waste, optimise production processes and find out what their customers really want before they go to market.


What the above illustrates is that the traditional application of business risk methods and tools are changing. The future of business risk management is no longer just seen as a method to identify, assess and control threats to an existing firm’s systems, people, capital and earnings.  It is increasingly used as a key part of the start-up science that is nurturing a new generation of start-up businesses and de-risk businesses overtime.


This Blog is written by Dr Mark Cloney and originally published in Risk Management Institute of Australasia (RMIA), The Risk Magazine, No.3, March 2018, p.20. Read the full magazine here. Mark is Professor of Practice in Economics at the LBS. Prior to joining La Trobe University, Mark was the senior executive officer responsible for enterprises’ risk management, business planning, audit and protective security in the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water. Mark teaches in the economics discipline and risk management practice.

LBS’s Entrepreneurship Research Excellence Award

Recently the 2018 Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange (ACERE) took place at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.

The research study, “Bricolage, Speed to Market, and Internationalisation: The Contradictory Role of Hierarchy in Entrepreneurial Ventures” by Prof. Tobias Kollman, Dr. Christoph Stochmann and M.Sc. Simon Hensellek was awarded the “La Trobe Business School’s Best Paper on International Entrepreneurship”. The paper examines the relationship between the way start-ups use their scarce resources in the course of internationalisation as well as the influence of their internal structure on this relationship. The recipients are from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.

Best Paper on International Entrepreneurship award

About  2018 ACERE

ACERE is the leading Australian Research Exchange, and attracted International Keynotes including Johan Wiklund, Dean Shepherd, Ted Baker, Sam Gosling, Michal Kosinski and Andres Schwab. LBS Professor of Entrepreneurship, Alex Maritz, is a foundation committee member of ACERE. At the 2018 event, it was announced that Associate Professor Martin Obshonka takes over the reigns as Director of the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship, a position previously held by renowned Professor Per Davidson. Martin has a close association with LBS, and is an External Supervisor for LBS Entrepreneurship PhD student, Ana Amisardari.

Professor Alex Maritz presenting the best paper award to Simon Hensellek

View the 2018 ACERE Program and Handbook

LBS in support of International Women’s Day

Last week, on the 8th of March, it was International Women’s Day. La Trobe Business School took part in several events that day.

ATEM Breakfast Series

The Association for Tertiary Education Management (ATEM) organised an International Women’s Day Breakfast with guest speaker Freda Miriklis. Freda spoke about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and specifically Women’s Empowerment Principles, which relates to SDG number 5: Achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls.


The Women’s Empowerment Principles are:

  1. Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality
  2. Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination
  3. Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers
  4. Promote education, training and professional development for women
  5. Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women
  6. Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy
  7. Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality

LBS staff members attending ATEM’s International Women’s Day Breakfast

IPAA International Women’s Day event

Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) organised an IWD Dinner to celebrate the contribution that women make to the public sector and to commit to the actions that will build greater gender equity in the sector. Special guest speaker was Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission from 2012-2017.

As head of the Australian Human Rights Commission, she led a number of high profile inquiries, including an examination of the impact of prolonged immigration detention on children, and consistently championed the need for a system of checks and balances to protect the most vulnerable people in our community.

Professor Gillian Triggs giving her keynote speech

Gillian was the keynote speaker to the event and talked about her time in the Human Rights Commission. Specifically, how she was able to be resilient in a male dominated environment whilst having the media constantly mocking her. The event also included a panel discussion on each Woman’s career and obstacles faced along with life lessons and the next generation of women entering the workforce.

The panel facilitator was Penny Burke, CEO of Essence Communication. Penny is an accomplished public speaker who has worked in the field of marketing and advertising for over 20 years and has worked on many inspiring and well-known advertising campaigns. Penny’s experience has led her to become a thought leader and an expert in Commitment.

Inala Cooper, Lifelong Fellowship Lead, Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity, University of Melbourne, was a panellist. Inala is a Yawuru woman from Broome in The Kimberley, WA. Born in Victoria, she grew up in the South West on Gunditjmara land and has lived on the land of the Kulin Nations here in Melbourne for over 20 years. Inala has a Masters in Human Rights Law and is an advocate for Indigenous rights and social justice. She encourages young Indigenous people to connect with their culture and find strength in their identities.

Gill Callister, Secretary of the Department of Education and Training, hosted the event. Gill is directly responsible for management of the Department to deliver and improve early childhood, school education, and vocational and higher education services across Victoria. Gill is also President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria).

LBS staff members attending IPAA’s International Women’s day event

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