Nobel International Business School (Ghana) attempts Bridging Gap between Academia and Industry

One key factor hampering gains being made by today’s managers is the lack of evidence for proper decision making. The starting point for evidence-based management is that management decisions should be based on a combination of critical thinking and the best available evidence. And by ‘evidence’, we mean information, facts or data supporting (or contradicting) a claim, assumption or hypothesis. Evidence may come from scientific research, but internal business information and even professional experience can count as ‘evidence’.

Building on this notion the 1st NiBS Doctoral Research Conference (EDRC), themed, Applying Evidence-Based Research to Effective Management was hinged on advancing practicing research while sharing ideas and solutions based on evidence. The Doctoral Research Conference (EDRC) – a doctoral meeting place that brings together not only Doctoral students, Researchers and Academics but also other key stakeholders was held at the British Council in Accra on November 2 & 3, 2017. The conference has become a preeminent venue for sharing and gaining in-depth knowledge into business and management research issues tailored made for practitioners and researchers alike.

The yearly conference aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and doctoral students to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of business and management. The maiden occasion provided a premier interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the field especially from Africa.

Keynote speakers: Professor Kwaku Atuahene-Gima – President and Executive Dean , Nobel International Business School, Minister of Business Development (Ghana), Hon. Awal Mohammed Ibrahim, CEO of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Dr. K. K. Sarpong and the Honorary Chairman of NiBS, Mr. Kwasi Atuah.

The conference addressed a variety of topics relevant to the theme. Practical research findings conducted by doctoral students were presented to participants on various themes in the areas of marketing, strategy and innovation, business sustainability, management and entrepreneurship, system, leadership and corporate governance, culture, occupational health, digitization and finance. Panel discussion was focused on the theme: evidence-based decision making for tomorrow’s business.

Conference Highlights

Professor Kwaku Atuahene-Gima, in his delivery emphasized the need for executives with advanced cognitive leadership skills to discover the limitations of current management practices, develop deep insights into what works and what does not work, and conduct rigorous practical research for new knowledge and next practices suitable for the African context. He called on business executives to make decisions based on evidence.

In an interview, he further reiterated that in most cases, managers think their experience and intuition is more important than academic work and so even when it is useful, it is disregarded. He registered his displeasure about decisions made by executives both in the private and public sectors as intuitively driven which do not reflect the realities on the ground, attributing it to the collapse and low growth of most companies. He further explained that there is the need for executives of companies in both the private and public sector to undertake research on every action that needs to be taken stating that “If you base your decisions on intuition and experiences, most of them are not going to be right and good for business. A lot of countries have undertaken such programs and have grown their economies. Their executives have made evidence based decisions and they were able to predict outcomes. You should be able to predict that if I do this, that will happen, because the world is changing and the people you dealt with five years ago are not the same as today”

Mr. Kwasi Atuah consented that ‘evidence’ was not commonly applied in management, but the situation is different now because in our contemporary business environment, “evidence” is very important in every decision making process and affects the quality of manager’s decisions to enhance growth and increase productivity.

The Minister for business development (Ghana) gave assurances that government will be collaborating with academia in making vital decisions for the country to contribute to the growth of businesses in the country. He opined that the collaboration would help provide them the fact and figures. He also indicated that SMEs face lots of problems, and some of these problems are lack of credible information that would help them grow, adding that the business development ministry is working towards assisting them.

Some topics presented at the conference included:

  • The rise of evidence-based decision making in companies.
  • Investments in digital banking as a catalyst for service quality improvement: a case study of the Ghanaian banking industry
  • The impact of education on developing IT entrepreneurs in Nigeria, focusing on the Customer Purchase Journey in the Service Industry
  • Adoption of E-Banking Systems in Ghana: What really matters?
  • The role of fiscal discipline in the growth of firms, how do firms apply knowledge and skills from external sources to improve business processes?
  • How knowledge contributes to innovation performance in the Ghanaian fashion and apparel industry?
  • What is the evidence on good governance and corruption?
  • Sustainable public procurement practices in government institutions: Effect on private enterprises
  • How internal audit affects firm growth and performance
  • Examining the effects of job training-fit on employee creativity and performance
  • How Psychosocial Safety Climate enhances occupational health and safety?
  • Adoption of financial innovation as a competitive strategy for organizational effectiveness
  • Banking the Unbanked, Trust and Self-Discipline of the Entrepreneur: Preconditions for Capital Attraction and Business Success

Panel Discussion EDRC 2017

Some speakers at the EDRC 2017