Past Seminars and Workshops

Year 2016 Seminars

Presenter: Associate Professor Jim Jose Deputy Head of Faculty Assistant Dean of Research    Newcastle Business School, Faculty of Business and Law

Date: 2 August 2016 (Tuesday)

Time: 10.30am to 11.30am


In 1871, John Stuart Mill appeared before the Royal Commission on the Administration of the Contagious Diseases Acts. He testified that these Acts violated the principle of the ‘security of personal liberty’, not just for prostitutes but potentially for all women. He did not concede that the rationale for these Acts, namely the greater good of protecting public health, should trump personal liberty as a matter of course. Mill’s testimony provides a unique perspective from which to consider the relationship between law, liberty, and the greater good. A close examination of Mill’s testimony in the context of his broader political philosophy would suggest that this relationship is rarely a straightforward trade-off between the public good and personal liberty. Rather it reveals the way in which the law masks its particularity while claiming to mediate between two assumed universals, namely liberty and the greater good.

Presenter: Dr Patricia Johnson, Lecturer, Newcastle Business School (Tourism)

Date: 14 July 2016 (Thursday)

Time: 2:00pm to 3:00pm


This seminar will introduce the basis of a new collaborative research project based on the impact of short term mobility programs (STMPs) on student development. In the new degree program format, the Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Commerce offers BUSN badged courses as both directed and electives.

This seminar will introduce these courses and explain what they entail, and importantly how interaction and student assessments become the source of rich qualitative data for analysis. On a discipline level, this research seeks to address one of the most pressing issues forecast for tourism in 2017 which is to understand the transformative effect that tourism has on the geopolitics of socio-economic progress (Edgell 2016). This research seeks to examine STMPs and their role in developing global citizenship in our graduates, increasing cultural literacy, transforming the self through travel, transforming the self through directed study and shaping identity to create narratives of self.

Presenter: Associate Professor Tilak Abeysinghe, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics

Date: 8 April 2016 (Friday)

Time: 10:00am to 11:30am


It is now well recognized that preventive health care requires going beyond the immediate causes of diseases and understanding their fundamental socio-economic determinants. Cancer is one of these diseases that has emerged as the top killer, both physically and economically, in many high-income countries. Does stress contribute to these increasing trends in cancer incidence and deaths? This is a question that does not have an easy answer.

Opinion surveys tend to over-estimate or under-estimate the role of stress in causing cancer. Although it is not possible to conduct human experiments similar to those on animals, stressful events like the Chinese Cultural Revolution are a natural choice to study this link. Cancer incidence among the cohorts born in the 1950s in two of China’s largest cities, Shanghai and Tianjin, shows similar increasing patterns. A regression analysis of the data from Shanghai shows a robust link between the Cultural Revolution and cancer; young adults who faced the Cultural Revolution had become more susceptible to cancer as they aged.  These results bring out an unexpected link, a link to the so called ‘lost generation’ of China, those born in the 1950s. It shows that the plight of the lost generation has gone beyond the already documented socio-economic circumstances to other manifestations such as cancer. The talk will also focus on other aspects of cancer research. Full paper at:

Presenter: Dr Ralf Wilden, Senior Lecturer, Newcastle Business School, Faculty of Business and Law

Date: 26 February 2016 (Friday)

Time: 11:00am to 12:00pm


Service-dominant logic (SDL), the dynamic capability view of firm strategy and open innovation have had significant impact on business research. Almost 20 years since Teece et al. published their landmark article on dynamic capabilities, a decade after Vargo and Lusch published their seminal article on SDL and Chesbrough introduced the idea of open innovation, it is relevant and timely to conduct a systematic review of business research to analyze the theoretical underpinnings of these fields. This research combine modern bibliometric methods (co-citation analysis and text mining) to uncover existing structures and patterns of these emerging schools of thought. Interestingly, Dr Wilden identify influential author constellations, crystallize different research foci across various methods, and illustrate alternative research emphases across time. Although touchpoints between these three research streams are identified, there is limited overlap between these. Dr Wilden further identifies significant potential for cross-disciplinary integration.

Year 2015 Seminars

Presenter: Mr Pavan Gandhok, Affiliate Faculty & India Initiatives, International Office, Singapore Management University (SMU)

Date: 9 October 2015 (Friday)

Time: 10:00am to 12:00pm


Mr. Pavan examines the issue of 'slow' intuition and it's complex interactions with analytic thinking, especially in the context of breakthrough ideation. In addition, he will share findings from the effect of popular external stimuli and the effect of individual differences in preferences for analytic vs. intuitive thinking styles on the number of high quality strategic options generated by a sample of experienced executives.

The most interesting findings from this study are that although the conventional view typically associates effective strategy formulation with conscious analytic thinking, however this study's findings support the view that perhaps we need to better appreciate the role of the intuition end of the cognitive continuum and participants' 'Cognitive Versatility' (i.e. their high engagement in both analytic and intuitive thinking styles) for strategic option generation. There is also some preliminary evidence of an interesting interaction effect where the external stimulus option generation technique that is opposite to the individual's preferred thinking style yields better results.

Presenter: Professor Jian Wang, School of Public Health, Shandong University, China

Date: 2 October 2015 (Friday)

Time: 3.00pm to 4.00pm


Jian Wang is a Professor in health economics at the School of Public Health, Shandong University. He holds a Master of Public Health in Social Medicine from Shandong University, a MA in health economics at the University of the Philippines, and a PhD in economics from the University of Newcastle, Australia. He has research expertise in health financing and the economic evaluation of the chronic disease in China. Professor Wang was a key local expert on "Technical Assistance for EU-China Social Security Reform Co-operation Project" - Component 2: Social Security Systems/Administration Development".

He has undertaken intensive consultancies for the World Bank, EU, DFID, UNICEF in China and Myanmar. In addition, Professor Wang is a board member of public policy China Healthy 2020 committee. He has published papers in Vaccine, Diabetic Medicine, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Health Policy Plan, Journal of Asian Economics, International Journal of Healthcare Finance and Economics.

He was a semi-finalist of Global Development Awards and Medals Competition 2009, a Japanese award for Outstanding Research on Development. He was granted project from the Ministry of Science and Technology, National Foundation of Scientific Committee, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, and National Population and Family Planning Commission of China, and the World Bank.

Presenter: Dr Akhtar Hossain, Associate Professor of Economics, Newcastle Business School, University of Newcastle, Australia

Date: 3 August 2015

Time: 3.00pm to 4.30pm


This research highlights the issue of persistent inflation volatility in Malaysia from the late 1950s and draws implications on monetary policy for stabilizing inflation and economic growth. The findings provide some justification for deployment of a monetary aggregate as an instrument of monetary policy for price stability, especially when the flexibility, and hence the effectiveness, of a zero-bound interest rate has become doubtful as an instrument of monetary policy in a low-inflation environment.

The article draws conclusion that a rule-based monetary policy, such as monetary targeting or inflation targeting, remains appropriate for an open-economy like Malaysia to maintain low and stable inflation provided that it adopts a more flexible, if not perfectly floating, exchange rate system, with or without some market-based capital controls.

Presenter: Dr Akhtar Hossain, Associate Professor of Economics, Newcastle Business School, University of Newcastle, Australia 

Date: 4 August 2015

Time: 10.00am to 12.00pm

The workshop outline includes the following:

  • Academic research: some observations
  • Fields of research
  • Research strategy
  • Publication strategy
  • My research: background and profile
  • My research and publication: the way I work or worked
  • Chronological evolution of my research and publication
  • Publishing in top ranking journals
  • Concluding remarks
  • Comments, questions and discussion


Dr Lisa Robyn Barnes, The University of Newcastle, Faculty of Business and Law

Dr Norman Cameron Croker, Consulting Engineer, Abundance Holdings Ltd, Hong Kong

Date: Friday, 13 March 2015

Time: 3.30pm to 5.00pm


The Hong Kong construction industry ("HKCI") comprises a small number of large local and overseas contractors. They are dependent upon (primarily SME) sub-contractor firms for which the concepts of Social and Environmental Responsibility are still poorly understood. The aim of this research is to empirically investigate the drivers of improvements in Social and Environmental Sustainability in the HKCI. The results of the study partially fill gaps in the Social and Environmental Sustainability literature relating to firms in the construction industry; and, confirm that the level of social and environmental maturity of HKCI firms is similar to their Australian counterparts.

Presenter: Mrs Elizabeth L. Ratnam, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Newcastle

Date: Friday, 13 March 2015

Time: 4.30pm to 5.30pm


We propose a linear programming (LP)-based algorithm to schedule battery storage co-located with residential solar photovoltaics (PV), when excess generation is compensated via net metering. While the objective of this LP-based approach is to maximize the operational savings that accrue to customers, an undesirable consequence to the utility is reverse power flow during the peak pricing period. We show that it is possible to balance the objective of the utility in limiting reverse power flow with the customer objective of increasing operational savings, in the context of net metering, using a quadratic programming (QP)-based algorithm for battery scheduling. Both the LP-based and QP-based scheduling algorithms are applied to measured load and generation data from 145 residential customers located in an Australian distribution network.

Presenter: Professor Alison Dean, Faculty of Business and Law, University of Newcastle

Professor Alison Dean has two major areas of research interest. The first is service marketing and management, which includes customer loyalty, consumer participation in service delivery, co-created value, and service quality. Alison is particularly interested in the connections between elements of marketing theory and how each element contributes to effective practice. She is currently engaged in a study about consumer participation and responses in different industries. Alison's second area of research interest is pedagogy in business courses, with special emphasis on graduate attributes and assessment. She was the lead in the Newcastle team  in a collaborative ALTC project with Griffith University on commencing students' perceptions of assessment (2009-2010).

Alison has extensive teaching experience in distance, online, face-to-face and block modes. Her areas of teaching speciality include service marketing and management, marketing research, and business research methods. She has a long standing interest in generic skills development, graduate attributes and technology-enabled learning. Alison has been the recipient of various teaching awards, including the 2009 University of Newcastle Vice Chancellor's Faculty Award for Supervision Excellence (Faculty of Business & Law). She has supervised more than 20 Honours, Masters and PhD students to completion.

Topic 1:  Using Feedback to Improve Teaching

Date: Thursday, 19 June 2014

Time: 10.30am to 12.30pm

Topic 2: Service Quality and Process Mapping

Date: Friday, 20 June 2014

Time: 10.00am to 12.00pm

Topic 3: The History of Service Thought

Date: Friday, 20 June 2014

Time: 2.30pm to 4.30pm

Presenter: Professor Morris Altman, Faculty of Business and Law, University of Newcastle

Date: Monday, 9 February 2015

Time: 3.30pm to 5.00pm

Morris Altman is Dean and Head, Newcastle Business School and Professor of Behavioural & Institutional Economics at the University of Newcastle, Australia and Professor Emeritus at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. He was formerly the Head of the School of Economics and Finance and Professor at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

A former visiting scholar at Cambridge, Cornell, Duke, Hebrew, and Stanford Universities, he served as Editor of the Journal of Socio-Economics for 10 years and is currently the Editor of the Review of Behavioural Economics. Morris has published about 100 refereed papers on behavioural economics, x-inefficiency theory, institutional change, economics of cooperatives, economic history, methodology, and empirical macroeconomics and five books in economic theory and public policy.