As a premium management academic institution in the country, the Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Colombo, strives to contribute towards creating a thriving research culture by promoting high quality research. Towards this end, the 9th International Research Conference on Management and Finance – 2014 (IRCMF-2014) organized by the Faculty has set the stage for various conventional, contemporary as well as competing theories, methodologies and issues to be discussed and debated in a single platform with the presence of academia and the industry. Over the years the Faculty has had many successful conferences and IRCMF-2014 is a continuation of this research endeavour. This year IRCMF is co-chaired by
Dr. Tharusha Gooneratne and Dr. Arosha Adikaram, Senior Lecturers at the Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Colombo.
Unlike in the past, there is a renowned interest in research in the country with not only the academia, but practitioners engaging in research for business and academic purposes. Yet, it is often alleged that academic research is divorced from practitioner perspectives, while practitioners’ research lack academic rigour. Further, it is commonly said that academic research is rarely used by practitioners and that real practitioner issues are not researched by academics. Such concerns are addressed through IRCMF by emphasizing and providing opportunities for active and constructive engagement of practitioners as well as academics. IRCMF strives to promote participation of research students, both undergraduate and post graduate, specifically when there is heightened interest in post graduate studies among the practitioners, where research is part and parcel.
IRCMF-2014 presents an array of interesting research papers under the areas of Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Small Business Management, Finance, Human Resource Management, Business Economics, International Business, Management, Organizational Studies, and Marketing. Ensuring quality was a top priority throughout the process of paper reviewing, and this collection of papers will certainly be insightful and open new vistas for future inquiry and further research. The keynote address by a world renowned Management Accounting Academic, Professor Zahirul Hoque (Head, Department of Accounting, La Trobe Business School, Australia; Executive Director, La Trobe University Centre for Public Sector Governance, Accountability and Performance) will be a special highlight of the conference. His speech under the theme ‘sustainable business transformation: opportunities and challenges’ will undoubtedly grab the attention of the audience.
This year’s new addition to the IRCMF is the industry dialogue, where academic and practitioner perspectives are shared on ‘business, society and nature: building interconnectedness’, where sub-themes such as sustainability (economic, social and environment), ethical conduct and profits and professionalism will be discussed by four experts (panelists) from different areas of management. The panelists are, Hiran Cooray (Chairman of Jetwing group of companies, an alternate member of the UNWTO – World Committee on Tourism Ethics and holds over 50 directorships in various hotels and related companies), Hasitha Premaratne (Chief Financial Officer of Brandix Lanka Ltd, Director of many subsidiaries of the Brandix group, including listed company Textured Jersey Lanka Ltd, and a winner of many prestigious awards), Melanie Kanaka (Head of Finance and Administration at the World Bank in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, serves on the CIMA Sri Lanka Governing Board and represents the South East Asia region on the CIMA Institute’s Global Council) and Franklyn Amerasinghe (Attorney-at-Law, former CEO of Employers’ Federation of Ceylon and Senior Employers’ Specialist for East Asia in the ILO). The moderator of the Industry Dialogue is Dr. Pavithra Kailasapathy, Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Colombo.
This prolific combination of academic sessions, keynote address, and industry dialogue will add value to the participants of the conference, whether it is academics, researchers, or practitioners.