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Albany Seminars


School of Communication, Journalism & Marketing, 
Wellington Seminar Series, Semester Two 2013

Venue: Room 5E18, Block 5, Massey University, Wellington
OR Online at:
Time: 12 - 1pm (NZT)

22 August
Ms Evelyn Wang
“Homecoming: Foreign-educated returnees’ experience of re-entry into Chinese universities in Yunnan Province, China”

Evelyn Wang talks about China’s reform and opening up policies have given Chinese students more chances to study overseas, but China has been becoming concerned by the problem of brain drain since historically the most Chinese students and scholars who have studied in overseas institutions have not returned. The Chinese government has realized the seriousness of the problem of brain drain and since the mid-1990s, has adopted various measures to reverse it, especially programs to attract foreign-educated Chinese students, such as One Hundred Talent Program, Chuihui Program, and Thousand Talents Program. In more recent times, foreign-educated returnees (haigui) have been returning in greater numbers following the development of China’s economy. However problems surrounding re-entry such as returnees experiencing difficulties in re-adjusting to the local culture have emerged with the increased number of returnees. The project is to investigate the re-entry experiences of foreign-educated returnees who have been employed in higher education institutions in Yunnan Province, China. It aims to investigate the nature of their re-entry experiences and how they manage the process of re-adaptation into the home culture by examining the academic, social, cultural, psychological and political challenges they face in their cultural re-adaptation.

19 September
Dr Kane Hopkins
“What do PR Managers do? Mapping the role of senior public relations practitioners in New Zealand organisations”

View the recording of this seminar here:

26 September
Miss Paya Hsu
"A research journey of consumer green purchasing behaviour, and beyond"

Paya’s research started with the purpose of exploring the factors that influence consumers’ green purchasing behaviour only, but evolved into a journey explored not only these factors and possible directions for future research but also became a personal journey of self-discovery.  Her research supported the notion that attitude and intention have a positive influence on the behaviour, and discovered that people who did not tend to follow the majority were more likely to engage in green purchasing behaviour.  She also discovered an unexpected finding, which was beyond the research’s hypotheses.

10 October
Dr Ian Goodwin
“Flaunting it on Facebook: Self branding and everyday celebrity in mediated youth drinking cultures”

Many young people are involved in normalized drinking practices that they view as pleasurable, involving having fun and being sociable. Such 'drinking cultures' are related to the creation of youth identities and contribute to the maintenance of valued social relationships. While drinking cultures, including the telling and re-telling of drinking stories, have traditionally been locally bounded, they are now increasingly mediated through online social networking practices. Young people now routinely share and celebrate their drinking practices online on sites like Facebook, primarily through posting and discussing drinking photos. 

Ian Goodwin is interested in the social, political, and cultural dimensions of new media. The presentation relates to his involvement in a broader, team-based project entitled Flaunting it on Facebook: Young Adults, Drinking Stories and the Cult of Celebrity. This project is supported by the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden Fund.


17 October
Prof Malcolm Wright, Prof Damon Teagle, & Ms. Pam Feetham
“Geoenginnering the climate: How will the public respond?”

Atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase, with CO2 passing 400 parts per million in May 2013. To avoid severe climate change and attendant economic and social dislocation, existing energy efficiency and emissions control initiatives may need support from some form of climate engineering. Because climate engineering will be controversial, there is a pressing need to inform the public and understand their concerns. To date engagement has been exploratory, small scale or technique-specific. Here we draw on methods used by corporations to evaluate brands to develop a systematic, quantitative and comparative approach to evaluating public reaction to climate engineering. 

Not available online

24 October
Dr Judith Bernanke
“Perspectives on art journalism/writing as field(s) of practice”

This presentation examines the subfield of arts journalism in relation to the dominant journalistic field. Applying aspects of a field analysis framework developed by sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, the results of surveys of arts journalists in New Zealand and the United States are compared to identify unifying and distinguishing characteristics of arts journalism practice. The impact of alternative arts writing approaches and environments on arts journalism is considered as well.

Not available online

31 October
Thelma Solomon, Dr Raja Peter and Dr Barbara Crump
"Measures of the Strategic Marketing Practices of ICT firms in India."

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector operates in a highly competitive environment. This paper identifies a set of parsimonious variables that contribute to the measures of the Strategic Marketing Practices (SMPs) of these firms. Exploratory factor analysis of survey data revealed ten factors that were indicative of the SMPs. Interestingly, some of the items used to assess Social Media practices loaded in factors such as Relationship Marketing and Market Research. Cronbach’s alpha obtained from reliability analysis of the composite measures ranged from .752 to .920. It provides a basis to explore the influence of these SMPs on firm performance.


7 November
Dr Ming Li
“Internationalizing the curriculum in higher education and pedagogical challenges”

Internationalizing the curriculum is high on the agenda of higher education internationalization around the globe.  An internationalized curriculum incorporates international perspectives and intercultural knowledge into universities’ degree programmes and pedagogical activities to better prepare students, domestic or international, to operate as global citizens in an increasingly interdependent world.  However, in spite of the high-sounding rhetoric of the internationalization discourse, there emerge many challenges in introducing and developing internationalized curricula and teaching pedagogies. To meet these challenges, it is important to embed internationalization in the university’s mission statement, policy statement, governance, programme development, curriculum design and development, professional development, and research orientations.  

View the recording of this seminar here:

14 November
Dr Ravi Balasubramanian
“Investigating customer profitability in business markets – A soft modelling approach”

Investigations into customer profitability in business markets studied in various contexts have shown a wide variation in profitability and contribution to overall profits of an organisation. A previous study by the author attempted to develop a model to explain this variation and tested it using covariance based structural equation modelling. This resulted in a parsimonious model, but some of the theorised constructs had to be dropped to meet model fit criteria. This led to the question as to whether an alternate approach to model building and analysis would have enabled evaluation of the complete model on customer profitability. This seminar will provide the initial results of analysing the same data using partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS – SEM) on a customer profitability model with formative constructs. 

4 December (Wednesday, 1:30 – 2:30 pm)
Ms Sara McBride 
“Telling a shaky story: Lessons from recent earthquakes in New Zealand to inform better public education models in Eastern Washington State, USA”

 Sara McBride is an experienced disaster information manager.  Her PhD project is evaluating public education campaign efforts before the Canterbury earthquake sequence and examining lessons learned from the outcome of those campaigns. Combining those lessons with qualitative and quantitative data from emergency managers and members of the public, Sara is developing a new public education approach.  She has been funded to trial this new approach with a pilot community in the United States where seismic risks and current preparedness levels are similar to pre-quake Canterbury, in order to create an evidence-based best-practice communication framework for seismic risk. It is intended that this framework will inform public education design and delivery in other areas globally with similar seismic profiles.

Research as Conversation
School of Communication, Journalism & Marketing, 
Wellington Seminar Series, Semester Two 2012

Venue: Room 5E18, Block 5, Massey University, Wellington
OR Online at:
Time: 11am - 12pm

September 13
Dr. Grant Bollmer, Dr. Elspeth Tilley

Panel discussion on communication studies at Massey

The recording of this seminar can be viewed here:


September 20
Professor Frank Sligo

From the solitary world of the literate learner to collective orality: What we learn from people with liminal literacy


The term adult literacy often refers to measurable individual competencies in reading and writing, separate from the context in which they are employed.  Much government investment in adult literacy is based on survey-based tests of adults’ print literacy and numeracy, especially the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) and the follow-up Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALL).  While IALS and ALL have contributed to understanding about shortcomings in people’s individual abilities in print literacy, importantly, the voice of those who are the target and consumers of adult literacy training has seldom been heard in the policy debate. This study reports on interviews with 88 persons with liminal (threshold) literacy undertaking adult literacy training and describes their insights into their actual literacy needs.  In contrast with the policy emphasis on functional skill development derived from IALS and ALL, our research participants told us that their needs were around more complex and holistic areas such as communication or life skills, or abilities such as computer literacy. Interviewees were clear that the literacy skills required to undertake particular tasks had to be integrated within a broader personal framework of capabilities and attributes.  They provided an account of literacy development needs that was more balanced than that available just from analysis of IALS and ALL. Their focus was clearly on what they wanted to achieve as communicators within oral-experiential cultures of the workplace, and as communicators in their everyday lives.  Respondents did not dismiss the more mechanical aspects of literacy such as reading and writing, but rather saw such competencies as a means to broader ends.  Adult literacy policy with its narrow focus on people’s deficits and its promotion of individualistic skills training looks deprived alongside respondents’ more holistic perspective.  Adult literacy policy needs to be rethought and refocused in order to serve the needs of the whole person within work (and life) contexts that remain oral-experiential in important ways.

The recording of this seminar can be viewed here:


September 27
Dr. Ravi Balasubramanian, Janet Webster, Deborah Cumming, Dr. Raja Peter

Second-hand clothes shopping: Consumer perceptions

The third seminar of the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing Wellington seminar series, Research as Conversation, will reflect on a cross-college research collaboration between Dr Ravi Balasubramanian and Dr. Raja Peter of the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, and Janet Webster and Deborah Cumming of the Institute of Design for Industry and Environment.

Recycled fashion has gained increasing acceptance in New Zealand with the proliferation in the number and variety of retail outlets for used clothing being one of the indicators.  Overseas studies have investigated the reasons for the growing popularity of recycled fashion, but no study has investigated the New Zealand consumers' perspectives. To fill this gap, an exploratory study was conducted and preliminary findings on New Zealand consumers’ perspectives on recycled fashion will be presented.

The recording of this seminar can be viewed here:


October 4
Dr. Elspeth Tilley

I would be concerned if I thought that was how you thought about what we do”: Heretics, “shushing”, and media-bashing in discussions of public relations ethics

The recording of this seminar can be viewed here:


October 11
Dr. Donald Matheson - School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Canterbury

“When the war photographer returns: 
Exploring reflexive moments in photojournalism”

When the war photographer returns: Exploring reflexive moments in photojournalism

When photojournalists return to conflict zones, and particularly to sites of powerful images they took, their relationship to the real and to the people in those conflict zones changes. In this paper I explore the nature of those changes in an attempt to cast light on aspects of the contemporary cultural and political status of the war photographer. The act of return makes the photographer visible. When she or he seeks to take another image, the authority and power to know embodied in the original image may come into question, as well as the ethical status of the outside observer and the economics of the relationship between image taker and image subject. In some of the situations discussed in the paper, the photographer and others who have made use of the image become themselves interpreted and made accountable. Yet the return of the war photographer is also a moment when some of these tensions can be addressed. The paper argues that studying these reflexive moments can teach us much about what photojournalism is able to mean and achieve in the contemporary world.         

The recording of this seminar can be viewed here:


October 18
Dr. James Hollings, Dr. Ravi Balasubramanian, Dr. Cathy Strong, Dr. Thomas Owen

Panel discussion: Four recent PhD graduates from the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing discuss their future research plans.

The recording of this seminar can be viewed here:


October 25
Dr. Grant Hannis

When the conversation ends: The New Zealand Press Association 1879-2012

This paper considers the rise and fall of New Zealand’s co-operative news agency, the New Zealand Press Association. The main newspapers existing near the end of the 19th century established and ran NZPA, allowing them to reduce the cost of obtaining national and international news and to monopolise the supply of agency news in New Zealand. NZPA’s dominance continued largely unchallenged throughout the 20th century. But early this century NZPA’s existence was imperilled with the advent of two national newspaper ownership chains, Fairfax and APN. NZPA finally closed in 2011, with the newspaper chains now effectively replicating NZPA within their own stables of newspapers.

The recording of this seminar can be viewed here:

November 1
Dr. Sally Riad

Varieties of national metonymy in media accounts of international mergers and acquisitions

International mergers and acquisitions (M&As) often invoke national identification and national cultural differences. The seminar examines metonymy as a central linguistic resource through which national cultural identities and differences are reproduced in media accounts of international M&As. The study draws on media representations of two acquisitions: the acquisition of American IBM Personal Computer Division (PCD) by the Chinese company Lenovo, and the acquisition of American Anheuser-Busch (A-B) by the Belgian-Brazilian company InBev. First, the forms, functions and frequencies of national metonymy are identified and presented through a typology that classifies varieties of national metonymy in international M&As. Second, the seminar examines the ways in which metonyms combine with metaphor to generate evocative imagery, engaging wit, and subversive irony. Our findings show that national metonymy contributes to the construction of emotive frames, stereotypes, ideological differences, and threats. Combinations of national metonymy with metaphor also provide powerful means to construct cultural differences. However, combinations of metonymy with wit and irony enable the play on meanings that overturns and resists national and cultural stereotypes. This is the first study to unpack the deployment of metonymy in accounts of international M&As. In doing so, it also opens up new avenues for research into international management and the analysis of tropes in management and organization.

The recording of this seminar can be viewed here:

November 8
Dr. James Hollings

Reasonable restriction or moral panic? The evidence for and against censorship of media reporting of suicide in New Zealand

New Zealand is the only country in the OECD, and possibly the world, that prohibits media reporting of all suicides, without official permission. The ban is based on some research showing that media reports of suicides may lead to an imitative or copycat effect. However, some research also suggests the ban may be  counter-productive, and possibly ineffective with the advent of social media. This paper considers the arguments for and against this ban and suggests an alternative approach. 

The recording of this seminar can be viewed here:

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