Visiting Scholars in 2004 Strengthen International Business Understanding

Visiting International Scholars at TAMIU Strengthen International Business Understanding


Dr. Ana Rosa Del Águila Obra and Dr. Antonio Padilla Melendez, associate professors in management at Málaga University in Málaga, Spain, have spent the Fall semester conducting post-doctoral research at Texas A&M International University's Department of Management Information Systems (MIS) and Decision Science, and interacting with TAMIU students with the goal of helping them develop a global mindset.

Dr. Obra's current research interest is Internet adaptation. She helps students make the connection in MIS with the management area in the way businesses use technology to sell, change the organizational structure, and develop electronic commerce.

Obra finds general strategy, an aspect of management, especially intriguing.

"I find it interesting how strategies have changed with the development of Internet in order to have better, different facilities," said Obra.

Obra and students in the TAMIU Ph.D. program identify the way in which companies need to compete globally.

"Now that the business environment is global, companies have to develop advantages in relation with other companies. You have to use the technology tool but you need more things. Technology is not enough. You have to have better programs and better services. You just have to be better," explained Obra.

Obra has co-authored books and contributed to journals and textbooks including topics such as electronic commerce, organization forms, and business strategy among others.

According to Obra, Laredo's culture and weather are not that unique. She said people in southern Spain are very much like Laredoans. She also mentioned the similarities in spicy food and diversity in Mexican cuisine.

Spain's educational system is working to change its structure to mirror that of the U.S. standard, Obra explained. This change is not only happening in Spain. The European Union is looking to make this change between 2005 and 2007. Obra pointed out that the alteration in the educational structure will lead to the accreditation of degrees throughout Europe, as a result promoting the mobility of students and teachers.

Dr. Melendez's main research interests are e-business strategies, academic entrepreneurship, and trust in electronic markets and he focuses on the study of telecommuting structure in business.

He agrees technology simply is not enough. Melendez advises the Ph.D. program students that in order to make technology useful, tangibles and intangibles are needed in the structure of the business.

Melendez said TAMIU differs from Spanish schools in that students here are culturally diverse and most speak more than one language.

"Variety is interesting for Ph.D. programs. In some cases in Spain, some programs only have students from the same city or maybe the same state. I think for our experience it is very good," said Melendez.

He said it is important that students and teachers experience that international flavor.

Melendez pointed out that he and Obra have gained a good professional experience through Dr. Ned Kock, associate professor and interim chair of the Department of MIS and Decision Science, and other faculty at TAMIU thus far.

For more information on MIS, please contact Dr. Kock at 326.2521 or e-mail nedkock@tamiu.edu.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu