Two major thesis awards, including the "TSC Thesis Award" and "Fubon Life Management Doctor and Master Thesis Award", have successively announced the award winners this August. The students of the College of Management, National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) won a total of 23 awards, which is the school that won the most awards in both competitions. The College of Management won 16 and 7 awards in the two competitions respectively. Among them, Pei-Chi Chen, a doctoral student of the College of Management, NSYSU, took back four awards. In the newly added PhD category in the Fubon Life Management Doctor and Master Thesis Award, she won the Award for Fine Work and the Award for Best Practice at the same time, which is truly outstanding.
Pei-Chi Chen said that because she had worked in the industry, she always tried to combine research theory with practice, contributing to practice and maximize the effectiveness of research. The Best Practice Award is the award she was set out to win. She was truly happy to have achieved that goal. In addition, she won the Best Presentation Award in the TCS Thesis Competition, which is especially meaningful for Pei-Chi Chen who is looking for an academic job. In addition to demonstrating her ability to clearly articulate her research to the judges in different fields of expertise. Her spontaneity and composure were greatly commended.
Her doctoral desertation, "Rearticulating an old brand or selling its past? The effects, dual mechanisms, and boundary conditions of the brand revitalization/retro branding strategies”, focused on how a historic brand, which is defined as a brand that has lasted two or more generations or at least sixty years of branding, adapts to the trend of the times and transforms. She recalled that she came up with this topic because she observed the prosperity of Yancheng District, Kaohsiung City in the past. Many old and famous stores ended up dividing into separate businesses. "It is obviously the same product, but it has adopted different business models,” she commented, noting that it was a particularly interesting phenomenon. Pei-Chi Chen pointed out that historical brands differ from general brands in their long-standing core values, as well as consumers' established impression and emotional connection. How do marketers choose between new and old, and give products and brands new values? How to incorporate innovative elements into an old brand, create a new image completely different from the past, or should the historical emotional connection between the brand and the consumer be emphasized, in order to increase the customer's preference for the brand and customer spending? This paper can help business owners better understand the precautions when choosing a transformation strategy and adjusting brand personality, consumer characteristics, and product orientation in order to obtain better outcome.
For Pei-Chi Chen who has completed two master's degrees and a doctoral degree, coming up with a research theme has become a kind of enjoyment. Once something has aroused her interest, she would observe if the same phenomenon is happening in another country when she travels overseas. "I hope my research is a study that can be applied most countries,” she said. The experience of serving as a marketing manager for a multinational company over the past six years has made her even more sensitive to phenomena and trends, and more concerned with the practical application value of a research.
When she was earning a doctoral degree, besides coursework, she also had to attend to livelihood and her family. Pei-Chi Chen said that back then time allocation was very important. Fortunately, NSYSU provides abundant resources for students. In addition to the incredible research energy that offered by many excellent professors, the departments and the College of Management also provide full-time doctoral students excellent scholarships, etc., which can help remove economic burden of the students. Professors at NSYSU also strongly encourage students to participate in top international conferences. In addition to being able to learn about the latest research topics and trends, students can also get to train their courage, eloquence, and English fluency by publishing papers. At the same time, they can also make their research known to other international scholars and receive various recommendations from experts.
Last, Pei-Chi Chen especially thanked her two advisors: Professor Shu-Juan Yeh of the Department of Business Management and Associate Professor Hsuan-Yi Chou of the Institute of Marketing Communication for their abundant encouragement and full support. Professor Shu-Juan Yeh is conscientious both academically and in her daily work, which is exemplary. Associate Professor Hsuan-Yi Chou is dedicated and detail-oriented. When Pei-Chi Chen reached a bottleneck when writing her paper, Associate Professor Hsuan-Yi Chou always lent a helping hand in a timely manner. Associate Professor Chou always tirelessly helped her revised her paper, and offered many advices and provided directions. "My gratitude for the professors cannot be put down in words," she said.
Associate Professor Hsuan-Yi Chou pointed out that Pei-Yi Chen was the first doctoral student he advised. Her attitude towards perfecting her paper is worthy of praise. Whether it is about literature research and experimental design, she showed her diligence and keen observation. She did not only conduct research at a real store, but also collected samples from foreign countries, putting more efforts than others and making her paper very practical. Associate Professor Chou believed that the affirmation of these four awards put a perfect ending to Pei-Chi Chen’s doctoral studies, and also wished her best of luck in finding a teaching that can make use of her academic research skills and practical experiences, allowing her to shine on the road of research and teaching.
Note 1: The TSC Thesis Award is also known as the Oscar Award of Management Science. This year the competition received a total of 757 papers from 72 universities and colleges, competing for the Best Thesis Award that needs to pass through 4 review sessions. This year, 137 papers stood out, and 7 of them won the Best Thesis Award. One of the 7 winners is a student from the Department of Finance Management, NSYSU, Teng-Yuan Yeh(葉登元). On the other hand, among foreign students, Mayya Achyldurdyyeva from the English-taught master program in human resource management was selected as the only winner of the Excellent Award. Simultaneously, he also received the Award for Outstanding Performance in the Category of Human Resource Management and Organization Theory in the Fubon Life Thesis Competition.
Note 2: In 2019, the Fubon Life Management Doctor and Thesis Award especially added the doctoral category to encourage and affirm the long-term investment that doctoral students put into working on their theses and researches. The former President of NSYSU and the Chairman of the Chinese Management Association, Wei-Chi Liu pointed out that the total number of annual submissions had grown 22%. The number of submissions reached 748, but the acceptance rate was only about 10%. Eventually, 82 awards were given, including 11 Excellent Awards, 62 Honorable Mention Awards, and 9 Best Practice Awards.