American Univesity of Beirut

OSB research continues to impact the region

OSB faculty research, recognized as most impactful in the MENA region in global rankings, serves not only as a knowledge transfer vehicle, but also impacts policy and a community of business leaders in the region.

In 2016, the U.S. News & World Report ranked OSB #1 in the MENA region in overall research quality, research excellence, and research impact. With OSB’s strategic location, research hubs, and scores of synergistic business relationships, it is primed for research that crosses disciplines and covers a wide range of areas such as data analytics, family business, entrepreneurship, and corporate social responsibility.

The school constantly strives to transfer new knowledge and put academic findings into practice through innovation and entrepreneurship, advancing economic development, and transforming lives. AACSB International—the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) recognized OSB’s Knowledge is Power project (KiP) for innovation in leadership development that helped draft organizations’ internal policies and regulations on anti-sexual harassment within the Lebanese context.

“Despite the absence of a sufficient legal framework protecting employees from sexual harassment, this initiative is designed to lead participants through a critical journey of reflection on the intersection between local socio-cultural and legal parameters, relevant jurisprudence, and global standards of human rights protection so as to arm them with the tools they need to draft their own anti-sexual harassment guidelines and policies,” says Dr. Charlotte Karam, KiP Project Director. “Our aim is to bring together Lebanese industry leaders in small-to-medium sized companies and family businesses to help pave the way for safer workplaces - spaces where there is no tolerance for sexual harassment”. Together with the Lebanese League for Women in Business (LLWB) and Global Compact Network Lebanon (GCNL), KiP’s team has helped to push for legal reform in human rights protection. These efforts support draft laws submitted in 2011, 2014, and more recently the draft law submitted by the Ministry of State for Women Affairs criminalizing sexual harassment in 2017.  A related project by Dr. Fida Afiouni and Dr. Charlotte Karam outlined ways by which women can have more representation on corporate boards thereby facilitating better access to leadership positions.

In another study, Dr. Mohamad Mazboudi and Dr. Samer Khalil examined the role of social media in firm acquisitions. Based on analysis of acquisition communication on social media, they studied investor reactions to firm-initiated announcements on Twitter. Their findings provide important initial evidence that “Using Twitter, which utilizes the “push” technology, to announce acquisitions has positive market consequences for large acquirers,” noted Dr. Mazboudi. Their findings have significant practical implications for firms and regulators on how using Twitter in acquisition transactions can reduce information asymmetry leading to more efficient and transparent markets. Overall, their findings suggest that large acquirers can use Twitter as an investor relation channel to enhance stability in their stock.

Looking forward, OSB is continually being recognized as the center for research that is relevant, timely, and impactful. The aim is not only to demonstrate regional and global research excellence, but also to advance the development of studies that contribute to the prosperity of the region at various social and economic fronts.  

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