Posts By / ebolat

Dr Nasiru Taura – Keynote speaker at the Africa Logistics Conference

Digital innovations of the future in the field of flying robotics and drones technology are competing over the African Airspace. Few examples include: The UPS, Zipline, & GAVI partnership to begin aerial transport of healthcare supplies in Rwanda; The AfroTech Spin off Red/Blue testing of cargo drones capable of covering distances of up to 80km (50 miles) as well as the Flying donkeys (robotic flying vehicle) to deliver cargo across Africa?

While it is clear that these companies could benefit from scale economies due to humanitarian/development issues in Africa and save lives, it is unclear how Africa could make the most of this opportunity. Dr Nasiru Taura of the Faculty of Management – Department of Marketing, Strategy, and Innovation – was invited as one of the few world-leading experts on digital entrepreneurship in Sub Saharan Africa – to be a guest speaker at the recently held 7th Africa Logistics Conference. The annual Africa Logistics Conference (ALC) brings together local and regional researchers, business leaders and professionals from humanitarian, government, donor, academic and private sectors to share knowledge on issues, trends, and opportunities related to supply chain networks in the context of humanitarian & development logistics in Africa. The event was held from 2nd to 3rd October 2019  in Nairobi, Kenya.

Dr Taura draws from his research and professional practice expertise across a range of his publications on digital entrepreneurship to reflect on issues such as:

  • why Africa on one hand and drones/robotics companies on the other needs each other?;
  • why the 4th industrial revolution presents different sets of opportunities for actualizing African dreams?.

Dr Taura argues that Africa can become more prosperous by taking an active, instead of passive, role to co-create/co-produce body of knowledge that could underpin the development of the said futuristic technologies. However, he asserts that African governments need to engage in globalisation, improved absorptive capacity, & knowledge mapping of the humanitarian/development supply chains to be successful.

Should you be interested in Dr Taura’s work please see some of the favorites below or get in touch via email:

1) The digital entrepreneurship in Sub Saharan Africa (2019);
2) Accelerating Tech-enabled Entrepreneurship in Sub- Saharan Africa: A two-sector assessment – work presented  in 20th Annual International Academy of African Business and Development (IAABD) held at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (May 2019);
3) Feature in the Conversation Africa;
4) A recent paper titled ‘Intra-cluster knowledge exchange and frequency of product innovation in a digital cluster’ published in 3* (ABS ranked) Journal of Small Business Management.

 

New publication alert: Mobile Tech – Superfood or Super Fad of Business?

Dr Elvira Bolat has had success with third paper from her PhD thesis being published in the Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing.

The article titled ‘Mobile Tech: Superfood or Super Fad of Creative Business?’ discusses how the use of mobile technology can potentially enable innovative solutions and processes in the organisations. It provided a detailed overview of three different clusters of the organisations that might use mobile technology to improve processes such as communication, research and project management but also reorganise their business structures into virtual entities with flexible working processes and portfolio mobile-integrating products, i.e. mobile apps and mobile advertising.

New book: Digital Entrepreneurship in SSA

We are pleased to let you know that our book titled “Digital Entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges, Opportunities and Prospects” is now published. Book, edited by Dr Nasiru Taura, Dr Elvira Bolat and Dr Nnamdi Madichie, is a unique collection of case studies from Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, Kenya and Tanzania and seeks to unpack and debate why and how some digital enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa progress while other firms either stagnate or regress.

https://biteable.com/watch/presentation-1-copy-2206199/

The book features cases across multiple industries which are today revolutionising the use of digital technologies, i.e. fin-tech, ed-tech, media-tech, animation games and agri-tech. For example, Chapter 6, written by Dr Paula Callus, discusses “how digital art practices can challenge notions of authenticity in the discourse of African art” (Callus 2019, p. 126). Ten chapters are authored by the pull of international academics across different disciplines.

We hope you might be interested to find out more and order your own copy. Do get in touch with the editors via:

Dr Nasiru Taura – ntaura@bournemouth.ac.uk

Dr Elvira Bolat – ebolat@bournemouth.ac.uk

Dr Nnamdi Madichie – nnamdi.madichie@lsbm.ac.uk

 

BU continues growing its impact in researching social media influencing

In addition to the active role, Dr Elvira Bolat took in supporting the BBC One Panorama research team and the editor, Jamie Hamilton, in preparing the latest episode titled, Million Pound Selfie Sell Out, she has also been interviewed by The Times journalist, Kaya Burgess.

The Times article titled ‘Instagram life is far from a pretty picture, insist bloggers‘ talks about the true reality of shiny and glossy lifestyle portrayed by the influencers online with less glam and numerous negative effects on mental health the bloggers/vloggers live with. In addition, the article features one of the Bournemouth Bloggers – Emma Longden, who confirms that being a micro-influencer comes with side effects and pressures, many are not aware of.

Beyond this particular interview, but in numerous media interviews and providing insights to the Panorama research and editorial teams, Dr Bolat emphasised that the ecosystem of influencing marketing is much more complex. She highlights that, with the presence of brands and businesses in such an ecosystem, responsible business practices should be shaping the future of influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is a fantastic phenomenon enabling social media users to express their creativity, connect with various audiences and serve the social purpose. However, as it stands it became a powerful financial engine to further foster consumerism and, beyond that, harm not only followers but creators of content, who no longer have control, passion, and purpose with their social media storytelling.

 

Dr Elvira Bolat featured in BBC World Service documentary

In December 2018 BBC World Service has broadcasted its new documentary titled “When you tire of tech”. The documentary is presented by Ana Matronic who explored dangers associated with tech addiction and what is done currently to minimise our over-reliance on tech.

The documentary features the interview with Dr Elvira Bolat, who comments on intimate relationships tech users have with their devices and social media. This interview is underpinned by various studies Dr Bolat has carried out to understand the usage of mobile tech and social media by consumers and businesses. It is also reflecting on the latest research discoveries around social media influencing and the dark side of relationships between social media leaders and followers – work co-authored with Dr Parisa Gilani and BA (Hons) Business Studies with Marketing graduate, Cladia Wilkin.

Do listen to the podcast and tune in to discover what Dr Bolat has said [12:35].

BU research is featured by the Times

We, Elvira Bolat and Parisa Gilani, are quite pleased to see the article, published by the Conversation on 7th August, quickly picked up by Mark Bridge, technology correspondent of the Times. Article titled “It’s depressing to be slightly influential on social media” was published both in online and paper versions of the major national newspaper on 9th August.

Dr Parisa Gilani was interviewed prior to the publication and addressed all questions of the correspondent. It is critical to highlight that the research itself is based on BU’s BA (Hons) Business Studies with Marketing final year student Claudia Wilkin’s research project. Although the CEL-funded co-creation project focused on understanding what makes social media influencers successful businesspeople, one of the finding was quite fascinating and contributing to literature around FOMO, cyberbullying and leader-followers relationships.

As Mark Bridge noted, there is a need for responsible behaviour and actions within online space and as most of us consume content online, we need to be much more thoughtful on how we express our reactions to various types of content.

Read full article online via: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/it-s-depressing-to-be-slightly-influential-on-social-media-xf75sztff 

Erasmus+ Staff Mobility (Teaching) experience at the University of Beira Interior (UBI)

I just came back from a beautiful place in Portugal, Covilhã, where I went to deliver teaching to the Department of Management and Economics (Faculty of Humanity and Social Sciences, UBI) students. Covilhã is a city surrounded by mountains.

Serra da Estrela is the highest mountain range in Continental Portugal

It is because of its location, access to water and forest, the city was chosen as the Portugal’s centre of wool and fabrics making. In fact, Covilhã used be known as Portuguese Manchester. However, industrial crises led to a close of numerous factories, with these that are left operating now mainly producing wool for export purposes. Streets of Covilhã are continuous reminder of its heritage and history via unique street art.

UBI is a public university that was established in 1973 as Polytechnic Institute (hence very similar to BU). Currently, UBI hosts more than 7000 students who study across five faculties, Arts and Letters, Sciences, Health Sciences, Human and Social Sciences, and Engineering.

UBI – main campus

The BU-UBI Erasmus staff exchange partnership was first established by Professor Chris Shiel back in 2010. As it stands both institutions have not extended the partnership to cover student exchange because up until now UBI has not delivered their content in English. While teaching digital marketing to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, I have met many Erasmus+ exchange students who came to UBI from Bulgaria, Poland, Spain and Brazil.

UBI – Faculty of Human and Social Sciences

Majority of students expected teaching delivery in English and for this reason, as well as increasing interest towards UBI from EU students, from September 2018 the Department of Management and Economics starts delivery of their business and management courses in English. In light of such positive improvements, it is worth for us reviewing our Erasmus partnership with UBI.

Back to main focus of this post: this teaching opportunity was my first experience of teaching outside the UK and Russia, and first experience of engaging with Erasmus+. My teaching content and learning outcomes were agreed prior to the visit. I was down to teach aspects of e-commerce [I decided to talk about Headless Commerce instead] to final year BA (Hons) Marketing (1st cycle programme) students and digital marketing communications to MA Marketing (2nd cycle programme) students. In both cases students had not covered the topics previously so my aim was to introduce these, explain basics, critique applications and instil interest to read further. I did, however, felt nervous about the language, the pace of teaching and students’ understanding of concepts which might not have been applicable to the context of Portugal. All these fears disappeared as soon as I went to the classroom, saw students and started teaching. Both UG and PG students were extremely engaged with the content. In fact they were complimentary of visual images and infographics.

with final year BA (Hons) Marketing students

Students engaged in discussions as they could easily apply theory to practice and share examples of social commerce or search engine marketing from personal experiences. In fact, I experienced what I could call a teaching co-creation process that benefited both I and students. Students learnt from my UK-based examples and I have learnt so much from students on how digital marketing is done in Portugal. Together we debated nuances of newly implemented GDPR – this sparked so much interest. Being an advocate of digital pedagogy via extending classroom engagement to social media spaces, I had to offer an opportunity to UBI students to connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Many of them were surprised and connected immediately. Strangely UBI academics were asking me about this as they were surprised how quickly I persuaded students to engage. I shared with UBI academics few links to BU’s TEL videos and they were quite intrigued by an institution wide initiative to encourage use of educational technology to enhance student experience.

Having spent five days within UBI’s walls (28.05.2018-1.06.2018), I managed not only to deliver teaching but also network with UBI’s academics, present my research (in particular recently accepted research paper on deployment of mobile technology by creative B2B SMEs and its impact on service innovation practices) and deliver a session on netnographic methodology to UBI’s academics and PhD researchers (some of whom came to Covilhã from Brazil).

with the UBI academics and PhD researchers

Moreover, the visit was a fantastic opportunity to promote the upcoming 17th International Annual Congress on Public and Nonprofit Marketing that takes place in Bournemouth on 6-7 September 2018. Deadline for abstract submission was extended to 2nd July, so if your research covers public and nonprofit contexts, then hurry up and submit your abstract via: https://www1.bournemouth.ac.uk/about/our-faculties/business-school/department-marketing/international-congress-public-nonprofit-marketing/theme-submission-details

Finally, as somebody who now lives and breathes Fusion my visit could not be all about teaching. In relation to a joint BU-UBI research, Dr Arminda do Paço and Dr Helena Alves are now working with me on two projects, (1) trust and communication, linked to the Faculty of Management QR-funded project on Trust Repair; and (2) circular economy – a comparative study of consumers’ perceptions in the UK and Portugal. Work on both projects is at the conceptualisation level with the team planning to seek an ethics approval in July and commencing data collection by end of July 2018. To keep up to date with developments connect with me on Twitter or read my work on ResearchGate. In relation to professional practice linked to future research and education, I was privileged to visit the UBI’s Wool Museum.

It has been an amazing experience to hear all about sustainable manufacturing and business practices adopted by wool making factories, practices which are challenged by fast fashion and postmodern consumerism. Sustainability is one of the UN’s, EU’s and the UK’s key research areas. Dr Arminda do Paço and I are now discussing potential to work on joint research involving industrial partners as well as opportunities to organise international field trips for BA Business Studies, BSc Marketing and BA Retail Management students.

In conclusion, this week in Portugal was busy and at the start nerve wrecking, but overall extremely positive and led to many more exciting opportunities for BU and UBI to foster our partnership, work on international research, share best practice in teaching and learning and meet again in a sunny Bournemouth this September.

If you wish to experience something new, share and enhance your teaching practices, I would highly recommend to apply for the Erasmus+ Staff Mobility Teaching funding.

Elvira Bolat, Global Engagement Lead (Department of Marketing), Senior Lecturer in Marketing (The Business School), e-mail: ebolat@bournemouth.ac.uk

 

ICB’s 1st Research Sandpit generates interest across faculties

This year the Influences on Consumer Behaviour (ICB) cluster that sits within the Department of Marketing (The Business School) is celebrating its 5th birthday and in this timeframe it has managed to establish its core strategic themes and projects. These projects include:

Professor Juliet Memery is presenting Food Waste project

(1) Food waste – this project has received a BA Leverhulme research grant to explore consumer-led strategies for combating the problem of overstocking food. It is astonishing to see some facts and figures around household food waste and learn that the UK is one of largest offenders in this domain. Led by Professor Juliet Memery this research project seeks to understand what consumers do and can do to minimise food waste.

Dr Julie Robson is discussing Trust Repair project

 (2) Trust repair in the services context – this project, led by Dr Julie Robson, Associate Professor in Marketing, explores how consumers have reacted to recent transgressions that have affected different service providers, and how businesses in these cases have responded to scandals. Several outputs are in development with numerous conference presentations delivered and journal papers in the pipeline. Moreover this project, in addition to a substantial internal research funding, has secured external funding from the Academy of Marketing.

Dr Elvira Bolat introduces the B2B marketing challenges

(3) B2B marketing – is the research field led by Dr Kaouther Kooli. She, together with Dr Elvira Bolat, leads the B2B Special Interest Group of the Academy of Marketing. B2B businesses are the greatest contributors to economic prosperity and in fact the majority of businesses work within complex ecosystems of multiple business players. Interestingly B2B research is hardly covered by the majority of marketing journals and represents an area of enormous research potential that can generate much needed impact for practitioners. This particular project that discusses challenges faced by B2B firms due to digitalisation and ‘poor’ or non-existent branding practices has delivered two special issues with Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing and Journal of Customer Behaviour. Bournemouth University’s academics are now working closely with creative industries practitioners, Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing, and Regent’s University in London to initiate and drive change in B2B branding.

All three projects have attracted internal and external funding and have a series of outputs which will lead to impact case study conversions.

On 16th May ICB kicked off its small series of research sandpits to seek further expansion of the three research projects’ impact.

Academic attendees at the ICB 1st Research Sandpit

First an overview of the current projects was presented. Next, academics from the Faculties of Management, Science and Technology, Media and Communications together with a few local practitioners split into three roundtable (research teams) discussions – to elaborate on potential future research agendas across the three strategic projects. Two-three research directions and suitable external funding opportunities as well as research dissemination plans were identified by each roundtable research team. We are planning to monitor progress of each research team and communicate success stories.

At this point we are planning the second ICB research sandpit – please keep an eye on the Research Blog for further details.

Upcoming conference: Rethinking the Business to Business (B2B) label

B2B marketing is an important sector in social sciences and relevant to many academics and practitioners. The B2B label has become out-dated; lacks focus, clarity and accuracy as a descriptive classification; and fails to inspire interest and enthusiasm. This event calls on marketers to rethink the B2B label by engaging relevant stakeholders: researchers, practitioners and educators, in an in-depth conversation on what B2B means today.

4th B2B colloquium – welcome talk by Dr Kaouther Kooli

Led by Dr Kaouther Kooli academics from the Department of Marketing, Faculty of Management (BU) and Professor Merlin Stone from St Mary’s University are co-organising a conference aimed at rethinking the Business to Business label. This event calls on marketers to rethink the B2B label by engaging relevant stakeholders: researchers, practitioners and educators, in an in-depth conversation on what B2B means today.

4th B2B colloquium – parallel session

The conference is taking place on 18thDecember 2017 at St Mary’s University Twickenham. The half day event will engage the B2B community (researchers, practitioners and educators) in an in-depth conversation on B2B marketing with the aim to define what B2B is and exchange new ideas about how to advance academic and practitioner thinking in this area.

Guest speakers include Professor Merlin Stone, Professor Len Tiu Wright (University of Huddersfield) and a senior B2B practitioner.

Round tables will be facilitated by Dr Kaouther Kooli, Dr Julie Robson and Dr Elvira Bolat, all of Bournemouth University and specialists in B2B marketing. A detailed programme can be downloaded in here.

Attendance is free. We are welcoming all academics, PhD candidates, UG and PG students as well as practitioners.

If you wish to attend, please confirm your attendance via email at merlin.stone@stmarys.ac.uk

Location: St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London. For instructions about getting to St Mary’s, see https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/contact/directions.aspx.

In that past three years, the B2B SIG (Academy of Marketing) has published two special issues in Journal of Customer Behaviour and Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, featuring academic and practitioners’ research. At the moment Dr Kaouther Kooli is preparing new special issue for the Journal of Business to Business Marketing. If you wish to benefit from such amazing publishing and networking opportunities, do become a member of the SIG by emailing at kkooli@bournemouth.ac.uk or ebolat@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Business Consultancy Pop-up store was a great success!

Business Consultancy pop-up store was a 1-day event, organised to aid SMEs in realising their potential and growing their businesses.

Morning sessions enabled individual attendees to have 1:1 consultancy with four academic experts:

  • Dr Parisa Gilani (leadership)
  • Dr Sara Hourani (dispute resolutions)

    Dr Parisa Gilani consulting businesses regarding the leadership agenda of SMEs

    Dr Parisa Gilani consulting businesses regarding the leadership agenda of SMEs

  • Dr Nasiru Taura (entrepreneurship)
  • Dr Elvira Bolat (digital marketing).

Afternoon sessions included quick-fire talks for all attendees:

  1. Maximising the impact of leadership development for your business – Dr Parisa Gilani
  2. Business failure: real options for finance and running your business – Dr Nasiru Taura
  3. Online dispute resolution: more efficient ways for resolving customer disputes – Dr Sara Hourani
  4. (Re)energising your business with digital: six essential tips – Dr Elvira Bolat.

Both parts of the event were well attended by students, staff and primary local businesses, among which are Creatful, Kindred, Eat Pho Ltd. BU academic experts are now in conversation with individual SME owners to see how BU can further support these businesses in desire to grow. Most businesses are now considering to work with BU’s Student Project Bank to allow students to work on individual assignments that will greatly benefit both businesses and students.

In addition, during the event we have organised tombola. The winning number is 2 and now local Vietnamese restaurant, Eat Pho Ltd, is going to receive 1 hour 1:1 consultancy with all four academic experts.

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Signature dish of Eat Pho, source: https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/08/36/07/20/highly-recommended-our.jpg

Signature dish of Eat Pho, source: https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/08/36/07/20/highly-recommended-our.jpg

Congratulations to Eat Pho Ltd and we are looking forward to making a difference for your truly amazing business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We would like to thank BU Events and RKEO teams as well as BSc Marketing students (Molly Oven, Danielle Hearn, Annaik Mackel, Andrew Herschtal) for supporting the event and organising it to such high standard.

Faculty of Management academics are keynote speakers at MEAconf

Two Faculty of Management academics, Dr Mohamed Haffar and Dr Elvira Bolat, are selected as keynote speakers for the 6th International Conference on Modern Research in Management, Economics and Accounting, which is held on 15th November at London South Bank University.

Dr Haffar from the Department of Leadership, Strategy and Organisational Behaviour is presenting on the following topic, ‘Guidelines for organisational sustainability in an era of radical change: The vital role of employees readiness and commitment to change’. Dr Bolat from the Department of Marketing is talking about ‘Digital transformation and its implications for academia and practice’.

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The MEAConference aims to pave an international way for leading academics, active researchers, experts, industry leaders and interested scholars to communicate and exchange their viewpoints on latest scientific findings and practical experiences in the fields of Management, Economics and Accounting. Besides, the Conference attempts to examine the scientific and practical challenges in their application process across all geographical regions as well as at diverse local, national, regional and international levels.

 

New Publication: Businesses and mobile social media capability

Bournemouth University’s, Dr Elvira Bolat and Dr Kaouther Kooli, and Professor Len Tiu Wright from University of Huddersfield have published new article in Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing.

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“The study is amongst the first to provide insights into B2B firms’ practices of using mobile social media. This paper found that marketing and advertising firms use mobile social media for branding, sensing market, managing relationships and developing content. Mobile social media is treated by businesses as a strategic firm-specific capability that drives firms’ competitiveness, where imitation of such capability by competitors is limited because mobile social media skills are specific to individuals within organisations and mobile social media routines are manifested as a result of firm-specific mobile social media skills’ interactions.”

Access full article by clicking on the image below.

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