Professor Alnoor Bhimani gave a plenary address at the tenth AMRC conference held at the UAE University in Al Ain. He spoke about whether “Global turbulence impacts research paradigms”. He outlined the main research paradigms conventionally used in business research and suggested that digitalisation offers new avenues for conceptualising research and drawing conclusions from empirics. Professor Bhimani commented on how changing demographics, the confluence of physical, digital and biological planes, and the information focus of younger generations of workers spell different management and control implications for researchers which requires scholarship to move away from a sole reliance on traditional epistemological perspectives to guide research.
He stressed how, for instance. digital financial products, via their integration and inter-connections, offer possibilities for network and other effects to be created for data users and producers triggering novel possibilities for assessing the functioning of new enterprises. Professor Bhimani also spoke about the potential of machine-learning based semi-automatic theory discovery and ways of accessing unstructured data to aid researchers to draw out issues that past paradigms have been unable to encompass. He discussed the move from prediction to prescriptive analytics and ultimately to autonomous analytics possibilities. He identified key differences between human and machine generated actions which rest on fundamentally different premises and that thus require new conceptual frames of reference to be posited. Professor Bhimani spoke also of the research possibilities which abductive reasoning offers.
The day before Professor Bhimani delivered a plenary talk at the McGill University conference on 4 October 2022 held at the UAE University. He spoke on “How digitalisation is changing entrepreneurship”. He noted the changing definitions of entrepreneurship at the start of the computer revolution in the 1950s and how start-ups have since altered their premise in the face of digital transformations businesses are currently seeing. Professor Bhimani commented on the notion of creating digital value through digital enablers and the consumption of digital information to find voids in markets. He spoke about the growth of diverse forms of data that are now part of small enterprise processes that can be curated to crowd out large established businesses. He noted the way start-ups mobilise interactions between both people and machines and machine to machine interactions placing both data creation and digital learning on steroids. He further discussed ways in which data travels enabling services and products to transition to novel platforms with relevance for decision making not encompassed within business hypotheses development in the past.