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College’s Fulbright Scholars study and share expertise worldwide

Fulbright StoryThree College of Business professors have joined the ranks of scholars from across the nation selected for grants to study abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

Ruby Lee (marketing) currently is in Finland doing research on “frugal innovation,” Bruce Lamont (management) heads to Ireland in September to conduct research on corporate acquisitions, and David King (management) will take off for Austria in the spring to research and teach on mergers and acquisitions.

Lee is one of five 2016-2017 Fulbright grant recipients from Florida State University. Lamont and King are among six FSU faculty members and nearly 600 U.S. faculty members and administrators traveling abroad through the Fulbright program this next school year. All are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievements.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the international educational exchange program promotes understanding between the United States and the more than 160 participating countries. Since its beginnings in 1946, more than 360,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the program.

Lee, director of the college’s international programs, received one of the most prestigious Fulbright awards – the Fulbright-Hanken Distinguished Chair. To be considered, candidates must be eminent in their fields and have a significant publication and teaching record. Only 40 scholars in the United States received this award. The award is allowing her to spend seven months at Hanken School of Economics interviewing managers of various companies and collecting data for her research on how Nordic firms react to the growing trend of frugal innovation. 

“The term ‘frugal innovation’ is a result of rising worry about resource-constrained environments and the global concern at the bottom of the pyramid,” Lee said. “The Fulbright-Hanken Distinguished Chair award allowed me to broaden my understanding of firms from different economic regions in terms of their strategic choices in forming alliances and the factors behind the formation of alliances with firms from emerging economies as opposed to developed economies for frugal innovation.” 

Lee also believes that living and working in Finland will provide her with valuable opportunities to develop new research questions and teaching materials. 

Lamont, the Thomas L. Williams Eminent Scholar of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, will conduct research on corporate acquisitions at the Dublin City University Business School. He’s an expert on how to effectively integrate and manage those purchases. He said Ireland is an ideal location to pursue his research.

“Many multinational corporations have headquarters in Dublin, and a significant amount of all the acquisition activity in Europe occurs in Ireland due to favorable tax incentives there,” Lamont said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for me to make significant progress on my research agenda while learning more about Ireland, its business education and corporate acquisition process.”

King, who joined the college in July as chair of the management department and Higdon Professor of Management, will conduct research and teach at the Management Center Innsbruck (MCI). He has multiple research projects in in the works with faculty members at MCI and Innsbruck University, who annually survey managers of firms making acquisitions in German-speaking countries.

According to King, whose research productivity and impact has been ranked among the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) researchers worldwide, $3.6 trillion was spent worldwide in 2016 on M&A – a value that exceeds the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Korea and Brazil.

“Still, research suggests M&A do not improve firm performance and that lower-than-expected M&A performance is consistent over time,” said King, explaining his interest in the topic. “Meanwhile, even small improvements in M&A performance would have significance, as a 1 percent improvement on the annual value of M&A activity is comparable to the GDP of either Wyoming or Vermont.”

While his classes at MCI and Innsbruck University will be taught in English, King says he expects to gain valuable teaching experience in a different culture that can help him better understand and refine his teaching for international students whose ranks are increasing at U.S. universities. 

By Barbara Ash

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