DCU Centre for Family Business are proud to present their first in a series of research seminars, Empirical and Theoretical Trends in Family Business Research, delivered by Dr. Clay Dibrell, in DCU Business School, on Wednesday 13th September.

The series, hosted by Professor Maura McAdam, Director of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Management at DCU, aims to explore different areas of family business, with a view to developing new ideas. Invited scholars will discuss their academic work and share their knowledge and reflections on various different research topics within family business.

Dr. Clay Dibrell is Professor of Management, Executive Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and holder of the William Gresham, Jr., Entrepreneurial Professorship at The University of Mississippi. He is also a US Fulbright Scholar.

This presentation will look at broad trends in family business, from the macro (e.g., strategic management) to the micro (e.g., organisational behavior, human resource management) perspectives, as well as a variety of research designs (e.g., qualitative, experimental, mixed-method, longitudinal). While considering the theoretical and methodological trends which are prevalent in family business research today, the presentation will also look towards future trends.

This event will include a presentation and interactive discussion targeted at family and non-family business scholars who are interested in conducting future research within the context of family business. Scholars from a non-family business background are also welcome.

A light lunch will be available on the day.

For further information and to register, please click the link below.

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Professor Patrick C. Flood, Co-director DCU Leadership and Talent Institute, has spent the last two months as an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. This experience has led him to reflect on the issue of global warming, which he speaks passionately about it in this piece.

I have been in New Zealand for the last two months as an Erskine Fellow at the Psychology Department at the University of Canterbury, hosted by my good friend and colleague, Professor Chris Burt. The fellowships are named after Jack Erskine, a scientist turned philanthropist and a University of Canterbury graduate. His contemporary and class mate was Ernest Rutherford- famous for his work on subatomic structure. Jack pipped Ernest in the university junior scholarship entrance exams. Abandoning science years later, to everyone’s surprise, Jack Erskine disappeared from view to many of his friends and colleagues. All the while however, Jack was playing the stock market, leading a frugal life and building up a fortune which he later willed to the University.

The Erskine scheme benefits visiting faculty from all over the world who come to teach and research at the university. This year alone 71 visitors have come to the university under the scheme. The University of Canterbury is a scholarly place, in the tradition of scholarly universities with an excellent faculty who are very welcoming and hospitable.

New Zealand has been a fantastic personal experience, not least because my family traveled with me to have a holiday before the fellowship commenced

Before I departed to NZ, Orla Delaney, Business Manager at the Leadership and Talent Institute asked me (told me, if the truth be known) that I was to write a blog while I was out here.

Finding a good topic to write about was the issue. That all ended when I saw Al Gore’s new film, An Inconvenient Sequel, which is an incredibly persuasive and moving film about climate change. The film lays out in vivid detail how the world is heating up causing sea levels to rise, wreaking destruction in its wake. Ironically, I found out that the climate accord in Paris was signed on my birthday and that the current President of the United States of America backed out of the agreement on the birthday of one of my children. In doing so he squandered the future for children all over the world in favour of the fossil fuel oligarchs who are his political backers. The links between climate change, geo-political conflict and mass migration are undeniable- at least for those of us who believe in science.

The early settlers came to New Zealand from Scotland and England seeking a better life. Climate change migrants move to survive. Many island communities will actually sink beneath the waves because of the rising ocean levels associated with the melting of the polar ice caps. Witness five of the Solomon Islands in the Pacific which have already disappeared, due to rising sea levels. Florida, Miami and New York have already experienced flooding associated with climate change. The writing is on the wall.

The links between war and resource scarcity are well known. There will be wars in the future about water. It is a dwindling world resource. Living on the unparalleled beauty of the South Island of New Zealand for two months has reinforced my appreciation of the beauty of nature and the shared interdependence of mankind on this planet we call Earth. We won’t be moving to Mars any time soon as Al Gore says in the film. Ireland and New Zealand are two beautiful countries which illustrate the delicate balance that can be nurtured between nature, the environment and people.

Christchurch, the city closest to the University of Canterbury, suffered a huge quake in 2011.  A second earthquake followed in 2012 which wreaked even deeper havoc. I often wondered how anyone could live on the slopes of a volcano or where earthquakes repeatedly happen. People stay because it is home. The bulk of migrants do not leave their countries for adventure. They leave because of war and oppression. Aleppo is the perfect example, a great city now razed to the ground resulting in forced migration of Syrian people all over the world, in the most perilous conditions.

People are resilient beyond belief. Christchurch, home to over 800 Irish builders during the recession is still being restored. The Cathedral has been temporarily replaced by a beautiful cardboard church donated by a Japanese designer. Everywhere, there are rebuilding projects underway, as people work to restore Christchurch to its original design and beauty. On the University of Canterbury campus alone, there is a NZ$1.1bn rebuild taking place.

It has been a great trip to New Zealand. Al Gore’s film, An inconvenient Sequel, has caused me to reflect deeply. I strongly recommend you see it while we still have time.

Professor Patrick C. Flood, Co-director DCU Leadership and Talent Institute



Congratulations to the winning team from the MSc in Digital Marketing who scooped 1st prize in the prestigious 2017 Marketing EDGE Collegiate ECHO Challenge. Conducted since 1986, the challenge provides university students with a real-world marketing project and challenges them to create and pitch a marketing campaign to a leading brand.  The team worked with a theoretical budget of $5 million for a guided travel company. There were more than 200 entries in this year’s worldwide competition, which was judged by over 50 seasoned professionals across the marketing industry.

The DCU team have been awarded $3,500 but also made history as the first international team to win the graduate category.
Pictured is the winning team: Conor Beglan, Niamh O’Shea, Claire Crumlish, Alison Morgan and Michael O’Dwyer. For more information about the challenge visit: www.marketingEDGE.org.


About the MSc in Digital Marketing

The MSc in Digital Marketing is designed to help participants understand how digital technologies are changing consumer behaviour and equip them with the knowledge to engage with consumers using digital channels.

Assessments include:

  • Complete a search engine optimisation (SEO) report for a chosen client
  • Design and run a digital advertising campaign
  • Demonstrate mastery of analytics techniques using large social media data sets
  • Complete Google Analytics, AdWords, Video Advertising Certifications
  • Develop websites using industry recognised content management systems

Graduates from this programme will have highly-developed competencies in communicating and marketing using social media, analytics and other digital and mobile technologies.

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The very first WordCamp Dublin is taking place at Dublin City University (DCU) across the weekend of  October 14th – 15th 2017.

A WordCamp is a not-for-profit conference that focuses on everything to do with WordPress. Even if you’ve never heard of a WordCamp or WordPress there’s a very good chance that you use it daily. WordPress is by far the world’s most popular Content Management System (which is the software used to create and manage websites). Right now nearly 30% of the entire web runs on WordPress. That includes everyone from household names like The New York Times, CNN, Reuters, Microsoft, Sony, Katy Perry, The Rolling Stones and The Sunday Times to your Mam’s recipe blog.

WordCamps are informal, community-organised events that are put together by local WordPress users. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.

To date, there have been over 740 WordCamps globally including a massively successful first WordCamp Belfast last October. WordCamp Dublin will bring together WordPress speakers, volunteers, professionals and enthusiasts from all over Ireland and overseas for two fantastic event filled days on 14-15 October 2017 in DCU. Tickets are on sale now https://2017.dublin.wordcamp.org/ but places are limited so early registration is advised.

For more information on the event please visit the event website. The organisers are currently calling for event sponsors, speakers and volunteers so if you are interested in getting involved, do check it out.

Doireann Sheelan, HR Manager at Irish Water has recently completed DCU’s two year, Executive MBA programme. As a recent graduate, Doireann provides a unique insight into what you can really expect from the programme as she reflects on the past two years and has some advice for anyone considering an MBA.

I’m writing this through the rose tinted glasses of someone whom has just managed to get through the MBA. Basking in the satisfaction of being finished, I will try to give you an objective view of the two year journey through my MBA at Dublin City University (DCU). Hopefully, it will give you a flavour of the reality of doing an MBA at DCU; not just the stuff from the brochure!

Second year will test you! There is no getting away from it. First year was a walk in the park by comparison so enjoy it. Second year is designed to test your resilience, endurance, capability and patience. It starts in September, finishes at the end of July and it is hard work. On our first night of the MBA, a recent Graduate of the course pointed this out to us, and of course I scoffed at the time. Silly me!

Good news then to find that the lecturers are actually sound. They’re not immune to the fact that the majority of the class is working full time and the deadline for an assignment can coincide with a major incident/crisis/workload increase back at the office. They are accommodating, and they are there to get you through the work, but you do need to show that you are putting in the effort.

Your gut means nothing in the MBA, so get over the thought that you are an intuitive genius for the two year period! As an MBA level student, you are expected to take the academic research and apply the learnings to your work life/experience. You have to apply it to the real world context and extract relevant meaning, and understand the implications of the research for real organisational and working life. So while you may not agree with everything that’s in the research, it is data driven and there is always something to be gained by understanding it.

Don’t get me wrong though; your personal journey through the MBA is important and there is a module dedicated entirely to your personal growth as a leader. Here, it’s all about you!! If you put the effort into your own self development through this module, you will gain real insight into your leadership behaviour and you will see real tangible improvements. This module, combined with the career skills day and the assessment centre activities you are put through are incredibly beneficial, real life interventions that will stand to you over the course of your career.

Lastly, and most importantly, remember that your classmates are not your competition. (If you are one of those that believe that life is a competition, I salute you, but this bit is not for you). You will spend 7 hours each week with your class; you’ll have a weekend away; you will have an epic international week together; you will work in groups on assignments, and you will have endless conference calls about how best to tackle them (a word of advice, don’t get too lost in the details). You’ll eventually figure out how to work best together, most efficiently and effectively, to get through each module. The diversity of the class will mean that every week you will learn something new, not just from the lecturers, but from your classmates who I have to say were a really inspiring, intelligent, professional cohort, not to mention great craic!

So, if you are sitting on the fence about committing to 2 years at DCU for an MBA I’d say do it! You will get through it and when you are out the far side you’ll look back and realise that while you’ve got a lot of time back in your life, you’re really going to miss those Thursday classes for the laughs and the learnings with the group.

PS. Thanks to my husband Gary, my family, and everyone at Irish Water for being so supportive of my MBA journey.

Doireann Sheelan, HR Manager, Irish Water

About the DCU Executive MBA

The DCU Executive MBA is a two-year part-time programme, delivered one day per week, for executives with ambitions of becoming Senior Managers/CEOs. At DCU Business School we believe that the Executive MBA should be a transformative experience at a personal level.

The DCU Executive MBA is built on four foundational pillars;
  1. Shape individuals to become effective business leaders
  2. Help transform organisations to cope with complex change
  3. Support an integrated approach to business across the enterprise
  4. Influence the sustainable and ethical approach to business within society

For more information visit The DCU Executive MBA, or download the course brochure below.

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Happy Scribe is the audio transcription tool that has been making headlines after becoming a hit with journalists and researchers. André Bastié and Marc Assens, both students of Dublin City University, created the platform three months ago while working on a college assignment. As the popularity of the platform quickly grew, so too has the media coverage with Happy Scribe being featured in The Irish Times, Tech Crunch and many more.

As a Masters in Electronic Commerce student, André was looking for an easier way to transcribe a series of interviews he had been working on as part of a research assignment. He discussed the issue with his flatmate (and soon to be co-founder) Mr Assens, a final year undergraduate student in computer science at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, who is completing his final semester at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics in DCU’s School of Computing. This conversation sparked the initial idea which led to the pair coming up with Happy Scribe.

 “Basically, I was too lazy to transcribe them, so that is how it started.” André jokes.

What stands out most is the simplicity of the entire process. You go to the website, you enter your email address, you upload the audio, you pick what language it’s in, and then press submit. When it’s done transcribing, you will receive an email with a link. The link takes you to another section of the Happy Scribe website where you can listen back, edit and export the transcript.

Overall, the tool works very well and despite the background noise and some punctuation errors, it transcribed this interview in about 5 minutes. However, the pair are not satisfied yet and see plenty of room for improvements.

“There is a lot to be done! What we have now does have traction and the users that are visiting are remaining so in that sense, it is already working but we are still working hard to make improvements and we also have some really cool features coming up.

“We are also working hard to improve the accuracy and punctuation. We have been testing the punctuation for the English American setting and it is working quite well so we hope to extend this to more languages very soon.” 

Having initially outlined researchers as their target users, André and Marc both acknowledge that this has developed and changed as the website began to gain traction.

“We started with researchers at first but we then discovered that there was a big demand from journalists. We were in touch with the Poynter Institute in the US and they wrote two articles on us which help us to reach and confirm this market. However, more recently we have discovered a much greater opportunity and a larger user group which we hadn’t expected; the medical sector. So that is something we plan to look at and focus on in the following month.”

The question of  ‘What has been your biggest challenge to date?’ is followed by a laugh from both André and Marc.

“Well, we had the amazing and really smart idea of starting the business during our final exams. The first Poynter article, which generated a huge amount of traffic to the site, also came out during this time. So it was an extremely busy time. So, time has definitely been our biggest challenge, especially since it is just the two of us”

Despite the heavy college workload and ongoing work involved in the new venture, André and Marc are keen to continue to improve the online tool and have big plans for the future.

 “Our focus at the moment is creating awareness about the product but also developing the features that our users really need. We are constantly looking for ways to improve and one of the main ways we do this is through feedback from our users. We are constantly exchanging with them and have been doing 1-2 customer interviews per week. We also recently added a chat feature to the website. From this, we have had over 700 conversations with our customers in three months so we are constantly receiving feedback and using this information to improve.”

“Once the college assignments are finished we plan to take a short break. Then in September, we will be going to the countryside in France. We want to be away from any kind of distraction so we can really focus on product development of Scribe for one month. After that, we will be based in Barcelona as Marc is going to do his Masters there.”

You can follow Marc and André on their journey via Twitter and keep up to date with company news and developments via @_getscribe. We wish them all the best on this exciting journey.