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UNCG Bryan School PhD in Business Administration students present research at Academy of Management conference

Students from the Bryan School’s PhD in Business Administration program recently attended the Academy of Management conference in Seattle where students presented their research in pursuit of submitting it to academic journals.

Students from the PhD in Business Administration program at UNC Greensboro’s Bryan School of Business and Economics recently attended the Academy of Management (AOM) conference in Seattle, Washington, where four students presented their research in pursuit of submitting it to academic journals. 

Presenting at the AOM conference is just one of many paths students in the PhD program can take to get their findings published in academic journals. The Bryan School’s presence this year was strong, according to Dr. Aichia Chuang, professor and director of the PhD program within the Department of Management. 

“Our students put in a lot of work to get them accepted because it’s a high-quality conference,” Chuang said. “Plus, conferences like AOM are great opportunities for them to join a community, receive feedback, and network as scholars.”

Some of the students presented research they conducted solo or derived from their dissertations, according to Chuang, while others co-authored papers with classmates, professors within the Department of Management, or outside scholars. PhD candidate and AOM conference attendee Karen Lynden took both routes, presenting two papers at the conference: one on a qualitative typology that she co-authored with management professors Dr. Arran Caza, Dr. Brianna Caza, and classmates Mark Grambo and Susan Szasz Harker; another on a quantitative investigation that she co-authored with Chuang, management professor Dr. Vasyl Taras, Dr. Hui Liao of University of Maryland, and lead author, Dr. Joo H. Han, Rutgers University. 

Lynden credits Bryan School professors for helping her navigate the submission and presentation process as mentors. 

“Our professors are really generous people,” Lynden said. “They collaborate with us as co-authors and colleagues, developing us through the many stages of the program.”

Like Lynden, Grambo also presented two papers at AOM — research on career advice with Lynden, and another on applied theory and blockchain that he derived from both an independent study inspired by management professor Dr. Nir Kshetri and his dissertation. The AOM presentations served as somewhat of an introduction to “the intricacies of academia” for Grambo, who currently works in finance. 

“When I found out I had both papers accepted, I didn’t realize it was such an achievement, but as time went on, I realized it was a terrific honor and opportunity,” Grambo said. “I found the entire submission process to be informative and worthwhile, so even if my papers didn’t get accepted, this wouldn’t have been a waste of time for me.” 

With three concentration areas — International Business, Organizational Behavior, and Strategic Management — the Bryan School’s PhD in Business Administration program enrolls about a dozen students a year. Most students are instructors, lecturers, or tenure-track professors at academic institutions, while the rest are industry professionals. They are genuinely interested in doing research and looking to obtain a PhD to either advance in their career in academia or switch to academia.

“The PhD program is a research-oriented program designed to prepare students for careers as faculty in academic institutions and as professionals in research organizations and government institutions. Our program is a PhD in Business Administration, not a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). We focus strictly on theoretical research,” said Chuang.

Though the conference is over, Chuang’s work as a mentor, professor and director is not. She’ll be continuing to work with her current cohorts and future ones to ensure the Bryan School’s presence at AOM is strong again next year. 

And as for Lynden and Grambo? Lynden is in the process of submitting papers to academic journals, while Grambo is busy continuing his work on blockchain. 

“I know I wouldn’t have been able to attend without the support of the Bryan School, and I’m very grateful,” Grambo said. “As someone transitioning out of industry and into academia, having the opportunity to be in that environment and meet other academics was really important to me.”