In 2018, The Department of Management was the recipient of the Award for the Disciplines in the annual AUC Research and Creativity Convention (RCC), becoming the first department to receive such award. The recognition stems from the academic department delight in curiosity, wonder, inquiry and exploration, and advances students original research and creative works. Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, this prize is a formal recognition with a grant award of $25,000 used for further research, innovation, and creativity activities.
“Commitment to excellence in learning, intellectual contributions, and service” are in the essence of the department highlights Mourad, “by intellectual contributions, we mean publishing in top-tier journals and publishing more journals rather than cases; this is the type of environment we have at the School of Business.”
The role of faculty leadership in undergraduate research was exhibited. School faculty currently serve as reviewers for the Undergraduate Research Journal (URJe), qualifying them to advise and mentor students in conferences and publications, and also engage them in activities requiring research and creative work, such as case writing and case based research projects, engagement in the RCC, participating in competitions and debates, developing research based marketing plans, consultancy projects and more.
Furthermore, spotlight within the department is presently on experiential learning. With this in mind, students have recently been engaged in various class trips to shadow entrepreneurs and write mini cases, took part in case competitions, and got exposed to genuine corporate issues where they were required to discover sustainable solutions.
As far as assessing the outcomes of such activities, the department upon research concluded that 25% of courses use business simulations, 60% use guest lecturers from market professionals, 25% use and develop case studies, 25% go on field trips to factories and companies, 80% have applied business projects, and 20% are conducted with industry collaborations.
Ahmed added that there are three pillars to the Student-Led Research Hub; research development, experiential learning, and consultancy and creativity activities. The principal stage was preparing undergraduate research assistants (RA’s) through teaching them how to conduct research. During the second phase RA’s are assigned to one of eight professors who supervise the students and assist them in their research projects. Upon completion, the third phase incorporated students attending conferences such as EURECA, BCUR19 at the University of South Wales, and the Sustainable Development Conference at Misr International University (MIU). The last phase is paper publications; by May 2019, papers in marketing, finance, economics and education are expected to be published by students.
Currently, in terms of sustaining this project and its effort, an undergraduate students’ database is in the process of formation to include an updated database of all the RA’s. Furthermore, the income generated through joint efforts different organizations from several industries is intended to fund the research assistant assignments in the future.
As Ahmed sums it up: “The main achievements of the award were developing the research abilities of our students, enhancing existing courses through adding an aspect of experiential learning, and getting student hands into real life cases and getting research output out of that. This award has enabled us to start enhancing the students research abilities since it is not as intuitive for undergraduates as it is for graduates to be involved in research.”