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OIS Professor Starts Busy Sabbatical in Middle East

Motiwalla a Visiting Scholar at Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

Luvai Motiwalla leads a faculty seminar in Saudi Arabia Photo by courtesy
Manning School of Business OIS Prof. Luvai Motiwalla leads a faculty seminar on research at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia.

04/04/2019
By Ed Brennen

Manning School of Business Prof. Luvai Motiwalla has a lot on his plate during his current six-month sabbatical.

In addition to devoting time to his research, Motiwalla is reengineering his Operations and Information Systems courses and updating his 2008 textbook “Enterprise Systems for Management.” He’s also developing industry partnerships for the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program’s capstone course, which he is still teaching this semester.

“You can accomplish a lot of long-term projects during a sabbatical that are difficult to do during a regular semester,” says Motiwalla, who began his sabbatical in January with a two-and-a-half-week trip to Saudi Arabia.

Mousa Albashrawi, a member of the Manning School’s first Ph.D. cohort in 2017 and now a faculty member at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran, invited Motiwalla there as a visiting scholar.

“It was good to see that Mousa is doing well back in his home country,” says Motiwalla, who had started a research project with Albashrawi on mobile banking usage and adoption while he was pursuing his doctorate at UMass Lowell.

Luvai Motiwalla poses for a photo at the KFUPM campus Photo by courtesy
Prof. Luvai Motitwalla spent two weeks at KFUPM, an English-speaking institution that's home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

They used Motiwalla’s visit as a chance to collaborate face-to-face on the final stages of their research. Their paper, “Understanding privacy-personalization paradox in continued usage intention of mobile banking,” is slated for journal publication in the forthcoming Information Systems Frontiers.

KFUPM, an English-speaking institution that will begin admitting women for the first time this fall, does not have a doctoral program. While there, Motiwalla led a faculty seminar on research and journal publication, as well as a business analytics seminar for master of business administration students.

Motiwalla also met with the school’s dean and discussed a potential student exchange. KFUPM currently collaborates with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northeastern University.

This is Motiwalla’s third sabbatical in his 21 years at the Manning School. During his first in 2005, he wrote his “Enterprise Systems for Management” textbook. In 2012, he worked on research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

“The last two sabbaticals were very fruitful,” Motiwalla says. “I felt rejuvenated when I returned.”