Friday, December 8, 2023

Coaching at the "Let's Talk About Service" Conference in Namur, Belgium

Wafa Hammedi invited me to be a part of the "Lets Talk About Service" conference hosted by the University of Namur in Belgium.  (Click here for the conference website.)  This was the 10th year of this event; I also participated during my previous sabbatical (in 2015).  The event focuses on bringing Ph.D. candidates and assistant professors together to discuss service research issues.

The 2023 LTAS Participants (almost 100 in total)

My role at the conference was to serve as a "coach" for a group of seven young scholars for the LTAS "Collaborative Workshop."  They were given the task to develop ideas for a project that could lead to publication in a leading journal.  My team (Team DigiTAS) worked together in designing a study that could be targeted to the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.

(Clockwise from upper left) Victor, Andreea, Samer, Lukas, Janice, Lisa, Dwayne, and Claire

Seven more "senior" scholars served as coaches for the various teams.  Wafa Hammedi (far left in photo below) and Linda Alkire (far right) were the LTAS organizers; Rebekah Russell-Bennett organized the "Collaborative Workshop." 
Wafa H., Jonas H., Anu H. , Jens H., Rebekah R-B, Matthew A., Andrew G., Dwayne, and Linda A.  

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Battling the Snow in Brussels, Belgium

My host, Bart Lariviere, had thought of several options for us to consider doing on Sunday afternoon, but the cold weather and threat of ice/snow caused him to revise his plans.  Instead we took the train into Brussels to see the Christmas market and eat some lunch.  Shortly after we left the train station we saw St. Michael's Cathedral.  This is where the king of Belgium was married. 

Brussels Cathedral

We went inside and saw beautiful stained glass windows and Nativity scenes from countries from around the world.  Bart purchased a candle in honor of my visit with him (as is his custom when entertaining guests), and so we took a picture of the two of us and the candle.

After a couple of hours walking around the Brussels city center, we went to Bart's house where he served a typical Flemish dish (a meat stew).  His wife Isabelle and one of his sons joined us for dinner.
Bart, Olivier, and Isabelle at dinner.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Enjoying the Sites in Dendermonde, Belgium

This trip was my third to Europe in 2023.  I selected this spot so that I could spend some time with a colleague from Belgium--Bart Lariviere (at the Catholic University of Leuven, or KULeuven).  We went to the Dendermonde city center to see the sites and have dinner. 

Stadhaus Dendermonde (City Hall)

We had a nice dinner at Grande Cafe Den Abazjoer, which sits on the corner of the Dendermonde Markt (city center).
Bart and Dwayne both had the seafood was excellent!
After dinner we had to cross back over the Dender river to get to our car.  The bridge we walked across is called Vlasmarktbrug.  (See below.)

Vlasmarktbrug (over the Dender River)

Earlier in the day, as I was walking around Dendermonde (in very cold weather) I came across this guy.  (See below.)  He looks happy to be in Dendermonde.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Meeting a Fellow Perrysburger in Vienna

Candy and I attended the "English Speaking United Methodist Church of Vienna" this morning.  It was about a 25 minute walk from our AirBnb apartment.  One of the first people to introduce themselves was Jerry Barton.  He asked us where we were from, and Candy said Ohio.  He then asked where in Ohio, and she said "Perrysburg."  He exclaimed, "Perrysburg?"  I started to explain that it was close to Toledo when he said he was a 1966 graduate of Perrysburg High School.  Actually, he grew up on Ft. Meigs Road, less than a mile from our house.

Jerry Barton and Dwayne 

He normally plays the organ for the church service, but did not do so today.  Candy was fascinated by the organ and took a picture:

Friday, October 6, 2023

Enjoying a Night Out in Vienna, Austria

After a productive work week, we joined Christina Sichtmann and her partner Tobias Proll for drinks and music at Cafe Amadeus.  The music included guitarist (and sometimes kazoo player) George Albert, who sang both German and U.S. songs. I only knew three of the U.S. of them, the last one he played, was "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz movie.

Tobias, Christina, Dwayne, and Candy

We were told this was NOT a place tourists would know about nor, we were able to have an authentic Austrian experience.

Working on My Sabbatical Project in Vienna

The primary project that I proposed working on during my Faculty Improvement Leave (known elsewhere as a sabbatical) was to collaborate on developing a program for assistant professors with Dr. Christina Sichtmann.  We spent several long days designing a program that we hope will provide some insights to this group as they cultivate a research pipeline.

Dwayne and Christina at work!

We did take some breaks during our stay, and Christina had several ideas about places to see.  Today we visited Schönbrunn Palace.  It and the grounds around it are quite impressive.  The three of us walked around for a couple of hours, and Candy photographed Christina and I so that we might have some pictures for promotional materials for our program.  Christina took the picture below of Candy and I in front of the Palace.
At Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria

Monday, October 2, 2023

Exploring the University of Vienna, Austria

I had the pleasure today of visiting the Faculty of Economics at the University of Vienna.  Of course, my primary interest was in their Department of Marketing.

Christoph Fuchs, the chair of the Department of Marketing, welcomed me when I first arrived.  Later he treated Adamantios Diamantopoulos and me to lunch.  Adamantios just retired (on October 1), so he was enlightening me on how that was working for him and providing me with some tips for when I retire.  

Christoph Fuchs is on the left and Adamantios Diamantopoulos on the right. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Returning to Hohenheim for Another "Publishing Scholarly Research" Seminar

I returned to the University of Hohenheim for the third time to deliver my "Publishing Scholarly Research" seminar.  (I previously came in 2016 and in 2020...just before COVID.)  We spent two full days discussing how to navigate the (academic) publication process.  I shared several stories about various research projects I have been involved with over the years, and 15 students asked several questions along the way.  They seemed to particularly enjoy picking apart my "Service Loyalty" paper (from my dissertation) and discussing why they thought reviewers recommended rejection.

The final step of the process, celebrating publication success, was the most appreciated session (based on their reaction when I discussed our "class participation" activity).  I treated everyone in the class to a beverage, as I wanted to be sure they had mastered the most important step of all.  (Some were much better at it than others.  All of them indicated they would like to continue to practice this step more.)

The seminar attendees seemed to have appreciated our time together, as evidenced by the comments on LinkedIn.  (Click here to go to that page.)

Monday, September 25, 2023

Visiting Our "German Daughter" and Her Family

Ten years ago Anja Class came to live with us for 10 months as an exchange student.  (Samantha left for college and Anja moved into her bedroom for the 2013-2014 school year.)  Since then, Anja and I have seen each other at least once in every calendar year.  (This year it was twice, as she was briefly in Ann Arbor, Michigan in April.)  Since I am on sabbatical, I arranged to be in the area of Stuttgart, Germany, to visit her parents Dieter and Helga.  Although we told Anja we would be in Germany, we did not expect to see her on this trip, as she is in graduate school in Hamburg (the far north of Germany).  Anja surprised us, though, by joining her (German) family to pick us up at the Stuttgart airport.  We spent two full days with the three of them (five if you count her sister Katherine and her fiancé).  Below is a selfie of Anja's two sets of parents.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Illustrating the Impact of (Good) Service Recovery at Hanken School of Economics

Robert Ciuchita asked me to share some thoughts to his Service Management class at Hanken School of Economics.  Nearly 30 students attended the lecture, which was based on the (4th) European Edition of our textbook.  The focus of the discussion was on the impact that effective service recovery can have on customers and we discussed how to both "fix the customer" and "fix the (underlying) problem" when service failures occur.

Apparently the students enjoyed the lecture, as several comments about the session were posted on LinkedIn.  (Click here to see these comments)

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Discussing the (Academic) Research Process at Hanken School of Economics (Helsinki, Finland)

My friend Robert Ciuchita invited me to share some thoughts on the publishing process to PhD students and faculty at the Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland.  This was my first time in Finland...and it was quite a treat to speak to such an eager audience.  More than 20 were able to attend the seminar in person, and another 8 joined via Zoom.

Our time together was brief, but hopefully the session provided some valuable insights into the process  of publishing scholarly research.  After the seminar ended, Candy and I explored Helsinki.  September seems to be a perfect time to visit...

I am not sure what to make of the sign I included below, which was posted just outside the elevator doors at the Presidentti Hotel we stayed at in Helsinki...

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Ensuring Celebration Skills as Part of the PSR Seminar

 We wrapped up the "Publishing Scholarly Research" Seminar in Liege today.  We then made a short journey (70 meters?) to The Shamrock.  There we all had a beverage and practiced our celebration skills (for the next journal publication).


Monday, June 12, 2023

Conducting Another "Publishing Scholarly Research" Seminar in Liege, Belgium

The second stop on our (late) spring 2023 tour of Europe included the second publishing seminar in the last two weeks...this time at HEC at the University of Liege, Belgium.  From June 8-13 we had a great group of 19 PhD candidates who asked many questions about the academic publishing process.

One of the highlights for seminar participants was discussing why the paper from MY dissertation was rejected by the Journal of Marketing 22 years ago.  They were really good at identifying (many) problems with the manuscript. 

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Exploring a German Village with Wafa Hammedi

My colleague from the University of Namur (Belgium) took us to the German village of Monschau (near the Belgian border) on Saturday, June 10.

Dwayne, Candy, and Wafa Hammedi

We walked around the city, saw two wedding parties, had lunch, and shopped for post cards. 

Dwayne & Candy in Monschau, Germany

Monschau is a beautiful village with a river running through it and lots of traditional German buildings.  We climbed many stairs to get to a castle overlooking the village.  I love the photo of the steps we saw at the top.  (See below.) 

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Dining with the HEC Marketing Faculty in Liège, Belgium

After the first day (of four days) of my "Publishing Scholarly Research" seminar, Candy and I were treated to dinner at Union Nautique De Liege, along the Meuse River.  (In the Netherlands it is called the Maas River.)  It was a nice evening with nice people!

(from left) Willem Standaert, Candy, Nadia Steils, Cecile Delcourt, Dwayne, and Laurence Dessart

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Conducting the "Publishing Scholarly Research" Seminar again at WHU in Vallendar, Germany

After conducting the "Publishing Scholarly Research" (PSR) seminar via Zoom in 2021 and 2022, I was back doing it face-to-face with eight very sharp and highly motivated PhD students at WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management.  

Eight eager-to-publish PhD students at WHU

We spend four days discussing how to navigate the review process.  They heard several stories about various research projects and asked many questions along the way.  The final step of the process, celebrating publication success, was carefully monitored, as I wanted to be sure they had mastered the most important step of all.  (They really did not need my input on this part of the process.)

Cheers!  (or, Prost!)

Monday, May 29, 2023

Back on the Road Again!

After having my international travels interrupted for a couple of years by COVID, we are back on the road again!   We are at the Detroit airport and will fly overnight to Frankfurt before taking the train to Koblenz.  We had a horrible (first) experience trying to use Lyft to get to the airport.  (It will probably be our last experience with Lyft, too.)  But, in spite of Lyft troubles we were able to make it to the airport with time to spare.

Dwayne and Candy waiting for the plane in the Detroit airport.