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School of Business Conference explores new trends in business


Miri - 9 December 2008 - Delegates attending Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (CSM)’s recent School of Business Year-End Conference from 3 to 4 December 2008 spent two insightful days exploring the latest global business trends and ways of effectively addressing them.


True to its theme ‘Trends in Research Towards Modern Business Development’, the conference focused on the contribution of academics and researchers towards assisting businesses stay ahead. There was lively deliberation of key business research issues, challenges and opportunities in new business development, and the commercializing of research output, such that each delegate came away better informed and equipped to address challenges in today’s volatile marketplace.


“In today’s unpredictable marketplace, one has to be prepared for numerous challenges and be able to manage change seamlessly in order to stay afloat. In order to meet these challenges, it is worthwhile to look at the new trends in business and examine new ways to meet the global challenges,” said Shamsul Kamariah Abdullah, director of CSM’s School of Business, when addressing the delegates.


Pro vice-chancellor Professor Dr John Evans in his speech touched on innovation and cross-disciplinary research within humanity and the sciences, and addressing problems in society today, particularly sustainable development. He called for a partnership between the government and Curtin Sarawak to address such issues, and provide viable business solutions towards tackling society’s problems and needs. He said CSM could contribute greatly to such efforts, including seeking research funding and using the expertise of its academics and research linkages across universities and industries.


Keynote speakers at the conference were Professor Dr Duncan Bentley, pro vice-chancellor of the Curtin Business School (CBS) at Curtin University of Technology, Australia, and Professor Dr Faridah Haji Hassan, director of the Centre of Business Excellence at University Technology MARA (UiTM)’s Faculty of Business Management. Professor Dr Faridah, in her keynote speech, spoke of efforts to establish a research university and apex university in Malaysia so that sustainable university-industrial research leading to commercialisation of research output can be realised.


Other issues discussed included accounting and finance practices, education and culture, trends in information systems, challenges in marketing trends, and stakeholder and corporate social responsibility.


The Year-End Conference, which has been held for the last two years, aims to inculcate a culture of research and build research capability within CSM’s School of Business. It is not specific to any discipline; rather it is generic and encompasses diverse disciplines such as accounting, finance, economics, marketing and management, and mass media.


According to Shamsul Kamariah, the School of Business is building strategic links with other tertiary institutions for greater collaboration in research and development, and perhaps joint funding as well. The school has formed a 7-member research and development committee to coordinate its research efforts and build such strategic partnerships.


She also disclosed that the School of Business will be organising the first Curtin International Business Conference in Miri in collaboration with the Curtin Business School next year. For more information on the conference, contact Dr Goi Chai Lee at 085–443939 or by e-mail to For information on Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia, log onto its website at


Keynote speaker Professor Dr Duncan Bentley delivering his

address to the conference.