Welcome to the 11th issue of i-MBA SCOPE! In these turbulent times of geopolitical conflicts, stressed supply chains and shaky financial markets, the human factor in business operations and decision-making is increasingly brought forward. This comprises challenges that span from how to motivate and reassure people facing uncertainty and precariousness, to how to deal with the exponentially increasing speed (see also i-MBA SCOPE, issue 10) with which Artificial Intelligence transforms job roles and maybe even the very destiny of humanity as a whole.
The latter might sound dramatic, but it is not without reason that since late March 2023, close to 30.000 individuals (end April) have signed a petition to pause large AI experiments for 6 months. Initiated by scientists and business leaders, this call has been triggered essentially by the recent breaking point in the progression of AI, namely the boom of ChatGPT, an AI chatbot by San Francisco-based OpenAI. ChatGPT can be seen as a decisive step towards AGI, Artificial General Intelligence, as it uses both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques in combination. For many, ChatGPT has been the first real contact with a highly advanced form of AI, that penetrates the very heart of what we hitherto have considered unique and unthreatened, namely human’s ability to creatively, logically, and stylistically elegantly compose factual texts or prose, or perceive and understand what a series of images mean and how they relate together.
The three articles in this issue of i-MBA SCOPE all deal with the human factor and technology, from quite different, yet complementary angles. Professor Ioannis Nikolaou, Professor of Human Resources Management & Organizational Behaviour at the Department of Management Science & Technology, AUEB, presents the recent development of the use of technology in talent acquisition. Exemplifying how and for what benefits technology can be used in the different phases of talent acquisition, e.g., attraction, screening, and selection, he concludes that GPT-4, the latest release (March 14, 2023), of the ChatGPT series will most probably also quickly be adopted in HR processes, as the previous versions already have entered in full force in applicant tracking systems.
In the second article, Anastasia Marinopoulou, an International Lean Change Management and Business Development Consultant and Trainer, and Dr. Emmanuel Alexandrakis, Health Economy Global Strategist at WifOR Institute and Adjunct Professor, MBA International, showcase how the Belbin team roles, which is a behavioural approach to management improvements, contribute to mitigating risks and making better decisions in turbulent and fast changing contexts. Focusing on how the Belbin methodology helps to build trust, they present two case studies where the Belbin approach provided significant benefits in team performance creating competitive advantages.
Assistant Professor Konstantina Tzini, CUNEF, Madrid and i-MBA Graduate, Class of 2009, discusses in the third article whether technology facilitates or conditions our choices. Departing from the omnipresence of technology in our lives, she highlights that besides spurring innovation and progress, technology might create anxiety for how to keep up with the rapid developments and redundancy of job roles, feelings that are grounded in humans’ paradoxical tendency to feel inherently attracted to, yet, at the same time threatened by novelty and change. She provides advise on how to cope with this paradox by shaping our own priorities and expectations related to the use of technology and extract the most out of any human-technology interaction.
In the Career and Alumni Corner, Laura Logotheti, Recruitment Consultant at kariera.gr focuses on Virtual Reality, and how VR can enhance the offering and the immersion of customers for better understanding of their needs, which, in turn, will lead to more innovative and better products and services being developed. She concludes that the companies that lead the digital transformation in their sector, and are hiring the relevant profiles to enable this, will thrive.
Moreover, we are happy to announce the recent election of the new i-MBA Alumni Association Board and present a short note laying out their visions and plans for enhancing the networking and community-building among alumni, and between alumni and students.
As always, the newsletter also contains program and alumni news as well as suggested links related to the human factor and technology.