'The Bridges to Birmingham Seminar Series showcases world-leading research from the University of Birmingham and features academic faculty commenting on current issues, their research and important world events.

Dubai Provost's Distinguished Lecture Series - Lord Bilimoria - Sunday 20th October 2019

Lord Karan BilimoriaLord Bilimoria’s lecture examined the role of universities, their ability to impact on the world around us, to be a driving force for collaboration, influencing policy and contribute to tackling global issues.

Listen to the lecture podcast here 


Corporate Governance at the Very Top - Professor Amon Chizema - Wednesday 30th October 2019

Amon ChizemaAgency theory emphasizes the importance of an independent board chair in balancing CEO power and controlling management’s self‐interest (Krause, Semadeni and Cannella, 2014; Krause, Semadeni and Withers, 2016; Withers and Fitza, 2017). Such has been known to be the key reason for separating the roles of the CEO and the board chair (Finkelstein and D’Aveni, 1994; Lorsch and MacIver, 1989). The working relationship between the CEO and the board chair is, therefore, important and could determine the success or failure of the firm.

However, despite the fact that the leadership roles of the CEO and the board chair form one of the most important dyadic relationships in large firms, anchored on goal interdependence, we know very little about it especially on how this relationship develops and indeed on its consequences. For example, under what circumstances is this relationship likely to be stronger or weaker? What is the impact of this relationship on firm performance? Drawing on social interdependence theory, this lecture explores these questions, contributing to the theory and literature of corporate governance, in general and board dynamics, in particular.

Listen to the lecture podcast here 


Getting Inclusion Right - Prof Julie Allan - Monday 4th November

Professor Julie AllanThe Dubai Disabilities Strategy articulates a clear and unequivocal commitment to creating a fully cohesive and inclusive strategy and places inclusive education at the heart of an effective education system.

There are, however, challenges associated with becoming inclusive that arise from conceptual, structural and systemic factors and which have slowed down countries’ progress towards inclusion. In this lecture, Prof Allan will reflect on some of the global challenges and report on four instances of where these challenges have been overcome, leading to successful inclusion. These ‘successes’ have been achieved by a school (in Sweden), by parents (in Kazakhstan) and by students (in the United Kingdom) and reinforce Dr Abdulla Al Karam’s contention that it is teachers, parents, leaders and other professionals who hold the power to create change. Prof Allan ends with some reflections on the prospects and possibilities for inclusion in the UAE.

Listen to the lecture podcast here