AIB honours Schulich

Dezsö Horváth, dean of York’s Schulich School of Business, travelled to Stockholm, Sweden, last month to accept the 2004 Dean of the Year Award from the Academy of International Business (AIB). The award was presented to Horváth at the academy’s annual conference.


Right: Dezsö Horváth


Accompanying Horváth to Sweden were three other AIB honourees: Cyril Bouquet, professor of strategic management at Schulich; Preet Aulakh, Schulich’s Pierre Lassonde Chair in International Business; and Marshall-Shibing Jiang, a Schulich PhD candidate. Also attending were Bernard Wolf, professor of economics at Schulich, and Vice-President, Academic Sheila Embleton.


The AIB is the leading association of international business scholars, with 3,000 members in 65 countries. Horvath, dean of Schulich since 1988, is the first Canadian to receive the Dean of the Year award, which recognizes “outstanding leadership” in the internationalization of business teaching, research and outreach. (See the Jan. 15 issue of YFile.)


In accepting the honour, Horváth spoke of his roots growing up in Sweden. Hungarian by birth, he talked of looking at life through a variety of different perspectives – as a Central European, Scandinavian, an engineer, strategist and an educator.


Right: Preet Aulakh


During his speech, Horváth highlighted his strategy to differentiate the Schulich School of Business from its competition, “In 1988, when I was named a candidate for the position of dean of York’s business school, I worked to develop a vision for its future direction.


“In the process, I was able to draw heavily on my experience as a ‘citizen of the world’ and as a strategist,” said Horváth. “I recognized important parallels between Sweden and Canada. To be competitive, each country needed to ‘go global’.”


He explained how he worked to give Schulich a strong competitive edge locally and internationally and strove to differentiate it from other management schools. The strategy worked, said Horváth, and the strategic window he created provided the school with the opportunity to take advantage of the Ontario provincial government’s decision to establish a centre of excellence for international business. “Ultimately, five professional schools from three universities became partners in the centre, as a member of this consortium. It was our role [at Schulich] to develop an international MBA,” said Horváth.


“To sustain this forward momentum, I’ve had to be a dreamer and an optimist. I’ve repeatedly set goals for the school which appeared to be just beyond reach and I’ve encouraged people to strive for them, then when the goals seemed finally to be just within reach, I’ve raised the bar higher. As a result, globalization has been a moving target at Schulich.”


In closing his comments, Horváth thanked York University President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden, philanthropist Seymour Schulich, York’s executive team, and Embleton.


He also paid special tribute to the faculty and students who attended the conference. “Throughout my many years at Schulich, I have had the very best of professional colleagues. I am very proud that two of our faculty members and one of our doctoral students were nominees this year for major AIB awards,” said Horváth.


He was referring to professors Bouquet and Aulakh and student Jiang, who were also honoured at the conference.


Left: Cyril Bouquet


Bouquet was awarded the AIB’s Richard N. Farmer Award for the best dissertation defended in 2003 for his PhD titled Determinants and Performance Implications of a Global Mindset: An Attention-Based Perspective. The award celebrates the memory of Richard N. Farmer, who was a member of the faculty of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University for 22 years. An internationally known scholar and prolific author, he was considered to be among the founding fathers of international business in the United States. The award is designed to reward superior doctoral dissertations in the field of international business. Bouquet received a plaque and a financial award of $1,000.


Over 100 dissertations were submitted to the competition from the top business schools around the world. “In my research, I have tried to understand how multinational companies seek to address the cognitive challenge of globalization, and more effectively focus the attention of their top executives,” said Bouquet. “The results provoke an interesting debate in international management literature, emphasizing the scarce aspects of attention resources, and demonstrating that for many companies – globalization constitutes an expensive, mentally taxing process, that often severely diminishes performance.”


Aulakh and Jiang were honoured for their top-ten finish in the AIB Best Paper Competition for their paper International Technology Transfer: The Nature and Determinants of Licensing Dispersion in Foreign Markets.


Left: Marshall-Shibing Jiang


“This paper argues that technology is becoming a very important firm asset in the contemporary environment. Managers need to get away from the current mindset of viewing technology licensing as a second best option to get marginal returns, and instead use their proprietary technology as a strategic tool to establish industry standards and enhance profitability,” said Aulakh.


The paper contains a theoretical model that was developed to identify the factors that affect the choice between exclusive licensing versus multiple licensing of a technology in foreign markets.

Close to 800 conference participants from 50 countries celebrated Schulich’s honours.