|Photos courtesy of IBS Corporate Launch|
A little business school with big dreams
Since September last year it has been this author’s dream to see everyone participate in book production of one kind or another. By everyone he meant those ranging from the laity to institutions of higher learning and the government and private corporations alike.
Last Thursday, August 12, at IBS (Institute of Business Studies), he discovered that he was not alone in that dream. There were others, such as the director of IBS, Mr. Mick Nades, who felt that although their dreams would not be likened to Reverend Martin Luther King’s, they had their dreams nevertheless which were intent on inspiring as much as enlightening many minds throughout Papua New Guinea, particularly those at universities, colleges, various boards of business enterprises, research organizations and even small scale government and non-government project set-ups here and there. Besides, pointed out Mr. Nades, these would be the sort of dreams that were bound to, at a quick glance over the shoulders, see a fair number of following – evidence of which was seen by the number of people from various important organizations in the city turn up to witness the school’s launching of the first issue of its IBS Journal of Business and Research.
That journal now becomes, as one of the contributors to its pages had remarked, the first of its kind to hit the markets of educational and research industries. This is an exciting venture indeed into journal production.
Now journals do not usually survive in any given institution in our country due to lack of readership and inevitable lags in subscription rates, thereafter causing a good number to call it a day. But when we see a journal being produced by a business school we find ourselves thinking extra, because these are the very places where we find not only promises of sustenance but evidence of them. There’s your reason to dream not just about journals but about books in general.
Such dreams in journal and book production were supported by some inspiring words on the principles and practice of research writing by Dr. William Tagis, the Director General of the Office of Higher Education. It is quite a challenge for a researcher to gather data and have these properly worded, even if all this has to appear in a predominantly academic or social science fashion, for the benefit of the consumer whose ambition might be to discover, to learn, to translate and to further implement that which is discovered as new knowledge into a workable social as much as policy-targeted environment.
This remark was further stressed by Mr. Simon Kenehe, the Chairman of the Commission of Higher Education, by pointing out that a research paper on its own might not be as noticeable as when it should be forming a kind of direct link with those who carry on with the business of policy making and implementation. Talk to our policy makers (was what the chairman was stressing shortly before officially launching the journal), our politicians, our social and economic engineers that what we intend to do with research publications such as this is to better improve the quality of life of the people we profess to be serving and working for. Moreover, he remarked at one point, if I so much as occasion to read the Harvard Business School journal two or three times a year then I don’t see why I should not look forward to seeing its equivalent in Port Moresby an equal number of times.
The implications drawn from the remarks of both men are clear. That in every institution of higher learning in our country there is a certain obligation that we must all take up, particularly in the areas of educational services, support for various projects imposed on communities by the government, certain awareness programs that need visiting and re-visiting, and so on. How often, for example, and as pointed out by Dr. Anere during one of these speeches at the launch, do we hear about LNG and its umbrella agencies without being made sufficiently aware of the policy making processes that go with them. All these details need to be compiled and presented, through formats such as this one of IBS’s.
That should not, on the other hand, mean that we spend so much time printing periodical journals that we forget our teaching duties, but rather that as much as academically answering the needs of our respective student populations we should just as much take time out to tell the world what we are actually offering in the knowledge market for the community at large. This particular point was, again, made earlier by the director of IBS when suggesting that the school, should it continue with the publication of this journal, would most certainly become the central reference point in business studies and research not only in Papua New Guinea but within the region. Here, of course, the reader might want to be mindful of the fact that IBS is one of those schools that set their sights upwards, always in search of greater things to come by way of scholarship. We commend the school for taking that stance.
Speakers at this official launch include: Mr Nick Nades (Director, IBS); Professor Mark Solon (MC, IBS); Dr. William Tagis (OHE); Dr. Raymond Anere (NRI); Mr. Simon Kenehe (OHE); and Mr. N. Sadiq Ali (Deputy Director, IBS). Other official guests included the journal’s editorial board, among them Mr. Ivan Pomaleu (Managing Director, IPA), Mr. Tony Witham (Managing Director, Fincorp) and Mr. James Robins (NRI).
Coming back to the question of sustenance in such journal and generally book productions, which was a poser offered by Dr. Tagis, Professor Mark Solon, the chief editor of the journal and also serving as the MC at that official launching, assured everyone that aside from that pilot issue IBS Journal of Business and Research will be published twice yearly, one in January and the other in June. There was something else Professor Solon said about this that this author found pleasantly amusing: words that sounded as if he was gently nudging the other like-minded institutions of higher learning in the country and to the same effect as, “Gentlemen, ladies – I have a good editorial team in place. Please, consider submitting articles.”