Tuesday, October 6, 2015

OU-C faculty member Greg Obi presents at international conference on tourism opportunity

By public relations student writer Leah Sternberger

Greg-Victor Chidi Obi, Assistant Professor of Business Management Technology at Ohio University-Chillicothe, recently presented a research paper at the International Academy of Business and Public administration Disciplines (IABPAD) summer conference in Vancouver, Canada.

Obi co-wrote the paper, entitled “International Tourism in The Gold Coast: A Vector Error Correction Study,” with his brother Pat Obi, professor of finance and director of the executive MBA program at Purdue University Calumet.

The IABPAD aims to bring together worldwide researchers and professionals through academic conferences for global scholars. The brothers’ work is also in review for possible publication with the International Journal of Tourism Research.

The study investigated the economic impact of tourism and currency valuation in the West African country of Ghana, formerly known as the Gold Coast. Ghana relies heavily on imports, as do most developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The import price inflation brought forth by the recent decline in the value of its national currency has significantly raised the cost of living for many of its citizens. With limited manufactured goods to export, the country is unable to take advantage of its weak currency to boost exports.

Obi’s presentation suggested the decline of the country’s currency presents an opportunity to develop a vibrant tourism industry. The economic situation is especially ideal for visitors seeking to stretch their tourism budget. The goal is also supported by Ghana’s tranquil political climate and rich cultural heritage. The study provided some support for this tourism-led growth hypothesis using a vector error correction model. The model predicts how certain variables cause outcomes in other variables with high reliability.

Obi, who teaches several business and economics courses in OU-C’s Business Management Technology (BMT) program, joined the school’s faculty this fall. He has been an adjunct faculty member in the College of Business at Purdue University Calumet and with the Ivy Tech College School of Business in Indiana since 2008. He has also been on the faculty of the Indiana Institute of Technology and a graduate aide/research assistant with the Purdue University School of Management.

Obi emphasizes a global perspective in his courses to better prepare students for a career in the rapidly changing and expanding business management field.

“Especially in today's increasingly interconnected global economy, providing my students with OU-C's mandate of the ‘best transforming learning experience in the country’ requires a global perspective and mindset,” said Obi.

“My role as a teacher is to equip my students with the knowledge and tools that would enable them perform better at their current jobs and grow in their organizational hierarchy, as well as help them find better jobs when they graduate from the BMT program.”

Obi frequently draws from his personal experience to help students understand concepts and theories through real examples.

“I often cite my life and professional experiences in Nigeria, where I was born; my brief stays in various European countries; and my life here in the United States. I also draw from my international consulting knowledge, and often introduce educational documentaries that are focused on the global economy,” Obi said.

“My hope is to work with my colleagues to graduate students who will not just make our local community and state greater, but to develop the next generations of leaders poised to take advantage of tomorrow's even more interconnected global society.”

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