BY KEVIN MOE
One of the ways the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at the Carlson School pursues its goals is through a new initiative—”Honors Research Circles.” Begun last year, the groups are designed to support undergraduate honors students who focus their theses on international business topics.
“Our goal is to generate student research that contributes to the understanding of global business or has implications for organizations operating in a global environment,” says CIBER Director Abby Pinto.
Every three months or so, CIBER convenes an informal meeting for students to share progress on their research with both their peers and faculty, including Work and Organizations Assistant Professor Colleen Manchester. “Honors Research Circles provide a unique forum for getting timely feedback on the student’s thesis research from a diverse perspective of faculty, students, and CIBER staff,” she says.
Lisa Clinton, ’12 BSB, (pictured) was one of the student participants. She met with the group regularly to share her research on how individuals from different cultures solve problems, an important issue given the increase in globally diverse teams. “She compared American students to newly arrived visiting students from Asian cultures, and found interesting differences in how groups approached a business scenario and interacted to solve it,” says Manchester.
Another student, Adam Lueck, ’12 BSB, took part in the circle for help with his research analyzing the efficiency of the Kiva.org microfinance interface. He ended up receiving the Dean’s Award for Best Undergraduate Honors Thesis and was recognized at the 2012 commencement ceremony.
This year, CIBER will add its own award to the mix by sponsoring an Honors Research Award for the best global business thesis. “Every year honors students do great work to generate new knowledge. We want to support their contributions toward understanding the global marketplace,” says Pinto.