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“ Put simply, you cannot be a leader without followers.” ROB GOFFEE, PROFESSOR OF ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR AT LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL London Business School offers a range of programmes designed to transform today’s senior executives into tomorrow’s effective leaders. Whether you join a two day or an 11 month programme, you will benefit from the diversity of high calibre peers and the latest thought leadership from our world-class faculty. Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy 11 months full-time degree programme, commencing January 2010 Senior Executive Programme Four week modular programme, commencing February and June 2010 Executive MBA 20 month degree programme, commencing January 2010 London Business School Regent’s Park London NW1 4SA United Kingdom Tel +44 (0)20 7000 7475
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Visit: www.london.edu or call: +44 (0)20 7000 7475 London experience. World impact.
18 6 Strength Through Knowledge:
An International Approach to Business Education Excellence Howard Thomas
8 Choosing an MBA George Bickerstaffe
Global MBA Review
14 The Innovatorâ€™s DNA Hal Gregersen
18 EMBAs in the United States Jason Price and Orit Sklar
22 The Growing Value of the Executive MBA Program
>> CEO | 1
“ Put simply, you cannot be a leader without followers.”
33 24 Innovation at Work Dr Francis Petit and Mary Kate Donato
31 Neighbor Networks
ROB GOFFEE, PROFESSOR OF ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR AT LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL The Emergence of the KSU Health Care MBA
London Business School offers a range of programmes designed to transform today’s senior executives into tomorrow’s effective leaders.
Prof. Robert Krampf
38 Responsible Leadership
Ronald S. Burt
Whether you join a two day or an 11 month programme, you will benefit from the diversity of high calibre peers and the latest thought leadership from our world-class faculty.
Dr John R. Wells
Leadership Today: More Charisma, Less Consensus
Senior Executive Programme Four week modular programme, commencing February and June 2010
Executive MBA 20 month degree programme, commencing January 2010 More
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Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy 11 months full-time degree programme, commencing January 2010
London Business School Regent’s Park London NW1 4SA United Kingdom Tel +44 (0)20 7000 7475 www.london.edu
Visit: www.london.edu or call: +44 (0)20 7000 7475 London experience. World impact.
CEO | 3
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44 The Lisbon Advantage
The bank of custody services
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has serviced institutional securities for 85 years and counting
Setting the Standard
assigns an expert who specializes in your unique market
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manages a global agent network so you can work with a single source
52 Shaking up the MBA Landscape Dr Andreas Charitou
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Putting The Value In Value Added
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62 A School on the Move Dr Arthur Keiser
66 Future Step Susan Meyer
72 4 | CEO
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CEO | 5
Strength Through Knowledge
An International Approach to Business Education Excellence »Howard Thomas, AACSB
Neither rankings nor the flexibility “ of academic structure should be the
sole indicator of whether or not a program meets your needs.
In an increasingly complex global market, the value of management education has grown exponentially, and today more than 11,000 schools worldwide offer business degrees in response to growing demand. As a result, competition for business schools to recruit the ‘best’ students has become a global endeavor. Faced with a multitude of options, most executives considering completing a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) find themselves asking how to appropriately measure quality, reputation, and value to make an informed choice. For some, a master’s degree will be a corporate purchase, and for others a personal expense. In either circumstance it is important for both the employer and employee to be critical consumers and look beyond a program’s marketing appeal for strong, valid indicators of quality. Understand Your Options
Understand Your Options
Lifelong learning is important for successful executives to stay on top of issues, deal with the changing needs of employees, adapt to technological advances, and cope with the newest economic challenges. Given the flood of advertisements for MBA or Executive MBA (EMBA) programs, it is not surprising that many executives have a difficult time discerning the significant differences from one school to the next. At face value most academic programs sound similar, but take caution – some are motivated more by a thirst for your money than by a focus on delivering quality management education. There are numerous factors to consider before making a choice, but there is one essential difference a prospective student should consider – the business program’s accreditation. 6 | CEO
Accreditation is a review process used by colleges and universities as a way to evaluate and monitor the quality of an institution’s degree programs. A business school’s accreditation by the right accrediting body, such as AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), can make a difference in both the quality of instruction and the value of the degree received. Accreditation Matters
For business schools, AACSB International is considered the world’s leading authority for accrediting quality business management programs. Representing the highest standards in the world, AACSB accreditation is an achievement earned only by business programs of premier caliber. As of September 2009,AACSB has granted business accreditation to 570 schools in 33 countries – or less than five percent of the world’s business schools. Choosing an AACSB-accredited business school helps executives sift through the noise and confusion of the business school marketplace. It provides executive level decision-makers with a strong indicator that the school has met internationally recognized thresholds for performance and continuous improvement. Accreditation provides a level of confidence in one’s program choice by helping narrow down numerous options to a smaller set of schools that have earned a mark of distinction for the quality of their programs. In order to effectively compete for top students, business schools must consistently identify new ways to distinguish themselves from competitors, and for the world’s premier business programs, AACSB International accreditation is the most widely-recognized and sought after form of quality assurance. Benefits of AACSB Accreditation
Students are not the only ones who seek business schools that have earned AACSB accreditation. The world’s best faculty members pursue opportunities to teach at AACSB accredited institutions. Employers and business recruiters around the globe recognize the value of an education
at an AACSB accredited business school. This internationally recognized symbol of excellence informs all stakeholders of the quality of education and graduates delivered by the school’s business programs. How so? Institutions that earn AACSB-accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement. By choosing to enter into this voluntary process, AACSB schools make a public statement that their leadership, faculty, staff and students choose to be held accountable for higher expectations and educational quality. Furthermore, they must demonstrate their program quality through a rigorous internal assessment and a recurring peer review process conducted by teams of global management education experts. Once confirmed, accreditation stands as an externally validated hallmark of excellence for five years, until the school again undergoes the review process with a particular focus on continuous improvement. The curriculum at AACSB-accredited institutions is one area where demonstration of continuous improvement is particularly important. In a rapidly changing business world, MBA students need and should expect courses to be relevant to the business environment of the day, to incorporate discussion of current issues and events, and to provide them with access to the latest tools and research. AACSB accreditation ensures that the academic curriculum is routinely updated to include the latest knowledge of business trends and techniques. Equally, employers can be assured that graduates from an AACSB-accredited institution come from a business program where the content
and quality have been rigorously evaluated by a team of reviewers from peer institutions, and that the curriculum appropriately prepares students for the global business world. This process determines that programs at accredited schools are current, provide relevant knowledge and practices, and reflect an understanding of today’s complex business environment. Choose Wisely
Executive education is an investment, which is why it is critical to understand everything about a prospective MBA or EMBA program. Before you enroll at a particular school, do a needs-assessment to determine what objectives you’re ultimately looking to attain through the educational experience. Neither rankings nor the flexibility of academic structure should be the sole indicator of whether or not a program meets your needs. More important is whether the program has the specialization and expertise that fits your professional business needs at the executive level, and the level of accreditation that corporate executives worldwide trust most. Dig deep—whether it’s through the AACSB Web site BestBizSchools. com or other sites that offer descriptions of programs and comparisons. It’s a big investment, so the choice should be made with as much advance information and insights as you can gather. ■ Biography Howard Thomas is the Chairman of the Board for AACSB International, and Dean of Warwick Business School, University of Warwick.
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an MBA »George Bickerstaffe, EFMD
With over 100,000 people gaining an MBA somewhere around the world every year and about 1,000 MBA-awarding institutions in the US alone, taking an MBA certainly offers plenty of choice. In fact, that is part of the problem. Choosing an MBA is one of the important decisions any individual will make -and one of the most daunting. The good news is that there is a lot more information available about MBAs than there was a decade or so ago. Guidebooks, newspapers, magazines, websites and the rest all have plenty of it. Every MBA has its own Internet site. The Internet is definitely the place to start to get some general information about the subject. But you have to make the decisions yourself and the first question you have to answer is what type of MBA do you want to take - full-time, part-time or distance learning. Full-time means you will have to give up your job (and salary) for at least a year or so if you go to a European school and probably two years if you go to the US. Add in the tuition fees - $46,150 a year at Harvard Business School, €51,000 at INSEAD and £45,500 at London Business School - and do not be surprised if you, or your father, end up with debts approaching £100,000. Part-time is cheaper because you keep your job, but think hard about whether you really want to put in one or two evenings of hard work every week after a long day. Distance learning programmes are a good bet for many people and are the cheapest option, but working at home on your own can be difficult. Once you have decided the kind of programme you want you need to make up your mind where to take it - Europe, the US or in Asia, Australia or New Zealand, all of which have good schools. 8 | CEO
Studying for an MBA is hard enough already and doing it abroad only adds to the stress. However, there is little doubt that most students find that, though it increases the pressure, studying in a new place increases their personal development. Now you can start to narrow down the process and look at the business schools and MBA programmes that really interest you. By all means study the rankings. They provide valuable information and insights. But do not be ruled by them. What may appear the best school or programme may not actually be the best for you. And remember what one American business school dean reportedly said: “Anyone who decides to apply to us solely based on our position in the rankings is unlikely to be suitable.” Make sure your school is “accredited” - it is a basic measure if quality - either by the AASCB (www.aacsb.edu), EQUIS (www.efmd.org), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) (ww.mba.org. uk), or preferably two or all three of them. You can get a good first “upfront” look at business schools by visiting one of the many MBA fairs. These are organised in many cities around the world and schools usually send senior faculty members, recent graduates or current students to talk to visitors. There are many such fairs but the largest organisers include The World MBA Tour (www.topmba.com), The MBA Tour (www.thembatour.com), GMAC (www.gmac.com) and, in the UK, AMBA, which organises spring and autumn fairs in central London. Now you can start to put together your own portfolio of your “top” schools. Experts suggest this should not be more than five schools and
that you should apply to no more than three - the applications process is long-winded and can be expensive. You should apply first to the best school you could possibly get into – and be prepared to be turned down. Because the selection process is quite lengthy you should apply to your number-one school first, then your second and so on. Do not go for a scattergun approach. You should, if you can, visit all the schools on your short list before you apply. Business schools are very different and the only way to get an idea of their “culture” - that indefinable mix that comes from their history, teaching approach, faculty and staff, and students - is to get onto campus, talk to students and professors and sit in on a class or two. Most schools are very welcoming about this and some will arrange private visits in addition to their regular open days. A couple of final things to look at: make sure the faculty are good teachers - star names and “gurus” often don’t teach on the MBA so don’t be fooled by that - and have reasonable business experience; try to work out from your research whether the school’s culture is cooperative or competitive; and, finally, make sure your fellow students will have at least as much work experience as you do and come from a varied background - you’ll learn far more from them than you ever will from the academics and they’ll be your network for the rest of your life. ■
Biography George Bickerstaffe is author of Which MBA, published by the Economist Group.
Corporate Profile EFMD is an international membership organization, based in Brussels, Belgium. With more than 700 member organizations from academia, business, public service and consultancy in 82 countries, EFMD provides a unique forum for information, research, networking and debate on
innovation and best practice in management development. EFMD is recognized globally as an accreditation body of quality in management education and has established accreditation services for business schools and business school programmes, corporate universities and technology-enhanced learning programmes.
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Your market is changing. Your competition is changing. Your organization is changing. And you? What are you changing?
The Columbia Business School Executive MBA Program The decision to pursue an MBA is a defining moment in the life of high potential executives looking to enhance their expertise without interrupting their careers. Learn how the Columbia Business School Executive MBA program’s innovative curriculum, collaborative learning environment and outstanding faculty will give you cutting-edge ideas and practices and take your career to the next level. Visit us www.gsb.columbia.edu/emba or call us at 212.854.1711
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2010 Global MBA Rankings The benefits attached to an MBA qualification are significant. Career progression, networking opportunities and salary increases are just some of the reasons why application volumes have been increasing. » Having made the decision to pursue an MBA, deciding upon a school is not easy. Many factors need to be considered, including location, reputation and teaching methods. However, preparing a short list of schools is perhaps the most difficult task given the plethora of schools offering an MBA option. Therefore, in order to simplify the decision-making process, CEO Magazine has assessed the performance of EMBA and online MBA providers based upon certain key performance indicators:
Key Performance Indicators • • • • • •
Faculty Tuition fees International reach Innovation Delivery methods Career progression (where possible)
Those schools, which have been identified for inclusion into the tables below, are considered by the CEO Review Panel (CRP) to be of tier-one status. Typically, these schools demonstrate a high level of innovation and thought leadership; class sizes tend to be moderate, senior faculty are used and the make up of students is diverse.
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MBA Rankings •••
Executive MBA Rankings: Tier-One
Executive MBA Rankings: Tier-One School
Columbia Business School
US / UK
Bangor Business School
City University: Cass
Duke University: Fuqua
Copenhagen Business School
Fordham University GSB
Georgetown University: McDonough
Kent State University
IE Business School
IESE Business School
UC Berkley: Hass School of Business
France / Singapore
University of Arkansas GSB
London Business School
University of Chicago: Booth
US / UK / Singapore
Manchester Business School
MIB School of Management
University of North Carolina: Kenan-Flagler Business School
Warwick Business School
University of Pennsylvania: Wharton
Global Part-time MBA Rankings:
Global Full-time MBA Rankings:
Carnegie Mellon: Tepper
Harvard Business School
Georgia State: Robins
IE Business School
HKUST Business School
IE Business School
France / Singapore / Abu Dhabi
Northwestern University: Kellogg
Northwestern University: Kellogg
Stanford Graduate School of Business
The Lisbon MBA
Europe / US / South America
The Lisbon MBA International in partnership with MIT Sloan
Portugal / US
University of Chicago: Booth
University of Pennsylvania: Wharton
Online MBA Rankings: Tier-One School
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Jones International University
Colorado State University
Manchester Business School
Pennsylvania State University
George Washington University
Rochester Institute of Technology
Thunderbird School of Global Management
Grand Canyon University
University of Liverpool
University of Phoenix
IE Business School
University of San Francisco
CHICAGO BOOTH HAS BEEN CALLED THE TOP BUSINESS SCHOOL IN THE WORLD. WE ASKED WHY? WHAT’S THE PROOF? The fact that we question every answer and test every result is what put us in this position in the first place. Our rigorous approach and free market thinking teach people how to think, not what to think. It’s an approach that has led to some pretty amazing results, including our consistent presence among the world’s most highly ranked business schools. Of course, we intend to stay at the top of the field, but our more serious commitment is to our unrivaled philosophy of stimulating and educating the next generation of innovative minds. Chicago Booth—more than just a business school, a business force.
CHICAGO LONDON SINGAPORE CHICAGOBOOTH.EDU
CEO | 13
»Hal Gregersen, INSEAD Knowledge A major new study involving some 3,500 executives has highlighted the key skills that innovative and creative entrepreneurs need to develop. The six-year-long research into disruptive innovation by INSEAD professor Hal Gregersen, Jeffrey Dyer of Brigham Young University and Clayton Christensen of Harvard, outlines five ‘discovery’ skills you need. But, says Gregersen, you don’t have to be ‘great in everything.’
takes notes and pictures, writes down in a journal things that he or she sees, constantly asking questions -- ‘What if ? Why not? How could? What might? How might? Those sorts of things. Which of those identical twins is likely to get the creative ideas?”
The five skills, Gregersen says, are ‘a habit, a practice, a way of life’ for innovators. Although Gregersen and his co-authors use the DNA metaphor, innovative entrepreneurs are actually made or developed, rather than born. “We each have unique, fixed physical DNA,” says Gregersen, “but in terms of creativity, we each have a unique set of learnable skills that we rely on in order to get to the ideas that will give us some insight.”
“It’s the one out there doing the creative actions,” Gregersen says. “They might get a bit of a boost from genetics but that’s not the core of what delivers the results.” The Five key Discovery Skills ❶Associating Creative entrepreneurs ‘connect the dots’ to make unexpected connections. They combine pieces of what may seem disparate pieces of information until “surprise - you’ve got this innovative new idea.” Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, was interested in calligraphy and this eventually led to his company producing user-friendly, graphics-based Macs. “Several years later, when Jobs was trying to figure out the Macintosh screen, and the ‘what you see is what you get’ (WYSIWG) sort of image, he connected the dots back to what he had learnt in calligraphy to what might be on the screen and it was a key component of making that whole computer work.”
Research involving identical twins suggests that only about 20-25 per cent of our creativity ability is geneticically driven. “This means the other 75-80 per cent comes from the world we live in,” Gregersen says. “So even if I took those identical twins and you have one twin who sits at home, watches the television, doesn’t do a whole lot trying to generate a new business idea, and you’ve got a second twin who talks to 10 different people from 10 different diverse perspectives, who goes out and maybe observes the world systematically,
❷Observing Some of the most innovative entrepreneurs are “intense observers,” Gregersen says. Take for example Scott Cook, the founder of Intuit: “When we interviewed him, we talked about how he got the initial idea for Quicken software. He watched really carefully in terms of how his wife was very frustrated doing their finances. Manually it was frustrating and irritating. She purchased some software that was equally frustrating and irritating.” It was at that point that Cook thought he
Some well-known business leaders such as Apple’s Steve Jobs and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos rely on their own particular strengths since innovative entrepreneurs rarely excel at all five discovery skills. For example, Scott Cook of Intuit is strong in observational skills. Marc Benioff, founder of Salesforce. com, does a lot of networking, he says. As for Bezos, “experimentation was his forte,” while Jobs is “incredibly strong at associating.”
14 | CEO
might be able to develop a product that could help his wife “solve that problem more effectively.” After a ‘sneak preview’ of an early Apple computer, Cook got a “rich sense of what it might look like to have a user interface and a mouse and so on, and be able to have things like checks on the screen that looked like what they should be.” And from this observation, Gregersen says, sprang Quicken. ❸Experimenting When Jeff Bezos, the founder of internet retailer Amazon, was growing up, he used to spend time on his grandfather’s farm in the summer. When machinery broke down on the farm, his grandfather would try to fix it himself, with some help from Jeff. They would “experiment, trying this and that, until it would finally work again.” If the animals on the farm got sick, his grandparents wouldn’t call the vet, but rather experiment and try to fix the problem themselves. “So Jeff grew up with that kind of attitude and mindset, that if I am confronted with a challenge, I can figure out a solution,” Gregersen says. “That kind of experimentation spilled over into Amazon.” At first, the idea had been to sell books via the internet without inventory. “That was the initial idea. We sometimes forget that it took him seven, eight, nine years of experimentation to build the capacity to have warehouses full of books.” As a consequence of his experimentation, Bezos “built this business model that we now call Amazon today.” ❹Questioning Questions are at the core of what we do. We can be observing the world or experimenting, “but if I have no questions in my mind, I’m pretty unlikely to get any observations or insights or ‘ahas’ that I never saw or thought about,” Gregersen says.
“And this kind of questioning attitude and mentality is just rampant in these folks.” Some may be better than others in observing, but when it comes to questioning, “all were powerful.” “I’ll never forget when I sat down with A.G. Lafley (the former CEO of Procter & Gamble) to talk with him about his world of leadership. I had a series of questions related to research about global leadership and I swear he asked me far more questions in that interview than I asked him because he was just simply curious about what was going on in the research.” Another was Michael Dell. “I had the naivete to ask Michael if he had any favourite questions he likes to ask when he wanders around the world. And he instantly responded with a quizzical look, like ‘That’s a dumb question.’ Then he said : “Hal if I had some favourite questions, everybody would know the answers. Instead, when I’m wandering the world, I try to construct a question for every conversation that might generate information that I never had before’. And for most of these innovative entrepreneurs, that’s just how they think.” ❺Networking Typically, when we think of networking, we think of this in terms of jobs, a career or maybe social life. But when it comes to creativity, it takes on a different meaning. “Innovators are intentional about finding diverse people who are just the opposites of who they are, that they talk to, to get ideas that seriously challenge their own,” Gregersen says. Creative and innovative entrepreneurs look for people who are “completely different in terms of perspective” and regularly discuss ideas and options with them “to get divergent viewpoints.” There could be differences in gender, industry, age, country of origin, or even politics. “If I’m on the right, they’re on the left, that kind of notion. And those sorts of diverse inputs in terms of conversations enabled them to get new ideas,” he says. “Now it doesn’t come instantly. Sometimes the conversations provide their own insights.” David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airways and now CEO of Azul Airlines in Brazil, got the idea for paperless ticketing or e-ticketing, Gregersen says, by talking to one of his employees about the frustration of having to carry around paper tickets in order to give them to passengers flying on their planes. “So that conversation then led to a new idea and a way of doing things differently.” CEO | 15
Disruptive Innovation Another of the co-authors of the study, Clayton Christensen, is an expert in disruptive innovation and this led Gregersen to wonder what the origin was of “those disruptive organisations that changed whole industries.” They then drew up a list of the world’s most innovative companies based in part on BusinessWeek’s ”Most Innovative Company” ranking and began interviewing the CEOs or founders. They got access to the likes of Dell, asking him and others: “Tell us about what was going on when you got the initial idea that led to this innovative business called Dell computer (or Amazon in the case of Bezos).” They then realised, when looking at the responses to this question, that innovative entrepreneurs are “doing a lot of the same things -- there’s a little bit of variation but a lot of the same things.” At that stage, they developed a self assessment and 360 degree survey based on the concepts of experimenting and so on, and assessed ‘thousands of executives and entrepreneurs.’ “And what we discovered was that those engaging in these behaviours and this thinking pattern, were actually the ones who delivered breakthrough processes, new products and services, new business lines within companies, corporate entrepreneurship, and new businesses outside of companies -- all of which were financially profitable and successful.” “At the core of this, all these folks were driven by a fundamental bias against the status quo. They were absolutely uncomfortable with things being the way they are. They wanted to make things change ... They wanted to change the world. And they’re going to risk failure in order to make that a reality.” 16 | CEO
Corporate decision-making, he says, does “not usually value or support innovative actions.” Yet, some companies do. P&G’s marketers, for example, spend more than 12 hours on average each month just observing customers. “They value the behaviour and they get the innovative results. So one of the surprises for me is that even though these are relatively straightforward things that we could do, most of us have lost the capability to do them.” Practising and Developing the Skills Gregersen says the five discovery skills may seem ‘intuitive’ but when it comes to the actual practice, “doing them is counterintuitive.” That’s because the adult world in which we live “does not value these actions.” Gregersen’s advice? Start acting like a child again: “Not 100 per cent of the time, that would be absurd. We’re adults and we have to run businesses. But 20 per cent, 25 per cent of our time, act like a four-year-old again,” Gregersen told INSEAD Knowledge. “Because all these skills are what four-year-olds do. They ask thousands of questions: ‘Why?’ ‘Why not?’ This and that. They’re always asking those questions ... They observe intensely and they’ll talk to just about anybody.” “These are the things that we all did as fouryear-olds. We all did this stuff. And if we happened to attend a Montessori-type school like many innovative entrepreneurs did, then we still might be doing this stuff. But most school and corporate systems consistently say: ‘Don’t do it, stop doing it’ ... and we lose our innate creative capacity.”
But this ability is not lost forever. “We can get it back and that’s where, if I want to become better at questioning, I start asking more questions.” His suggestion is to get a journal and, if you’ve got a problem, take a few minutes each day to write down questions about that problem. After a month or so, “your questions will change and it’s by changing the question that we change our fundamental understanding about the problem that leads us to a solution that we never thought of before.” Take notes when observing others. “Step back from (the problem or situation), talk to people: ‘What did you learn? What surprised you? What was interesting?’ If you like to talk to people, talk to somebody different: maybe on another floor, a different building, a different office, another country, but talk to somebody who’s 180 degrees different from you. These are things that we can do and they don’t take a lot of time to do them.” “Innovation is a habit,” Gregersen says. “And for these innovative entrepreneurs it’s a way of life. It’s the fabric of who they are. And for others who aren’t that way, they could be: if they choose to act different to think different.” ■
Biography Hal Gregersen is an affiliate professor of leadership at INSEAD. The co-authors of the study are Jeffrey Dyer, a strategy professor at Brigham Young University, and Clayton Christensen, a professor of business administration at Harvard.
North America & Global MBA Review
Acknowledgement Article courtesy of INSEAD Knowledge.
CEO | 17
EMBAs In The UNITED STATES »Jason Price and Orit Sklar, EMBA World
afterglows of Wall St. may have dimmed “butThe business graduates have found an invigorating entrepreneurial spirit. ” As the world grows flatter economies integrate further. Preparing a workforce for these challenges has never been greater, particularly in our “new normal” business climate. Leading the charge are business schools and their Executive MBA programs. It is here where the potential to show leadership and corporate responsibility is at its greatest and where global expansion is taking place. Tarnished Luster
vigorating entrepreneurial spirit. Competition to get into business schools in North America remains competitive and this goes for applicants of the Executive MBA. The new mantra in MBA programs these days is building corporate social responsibility while schools look to further penetrate the globe by exporting the business school brand. Excitingly, much of it can be seen in the Executive MBA. A Global Perspective
The recent recession has turned all fundamental economic laws upside down. Everything is now being questioned. However, business schools are best suited to lead the way with new curriculums and a stronger emphasis on corporate and personal ethics. Education must not be seen as a function of the old economy but a living, breathing product that continues to evolve and act responsibly. The afterglows of Wall St. may have dimmed but business graduates have found an in18 | CEO
If EMBA students weren’t globetrotting prior to their enrollment, that certainly will not be the case after completing a U.S.-based EMBA program. Now, more than ever, EMBAs in the United States are expanding their reach by offering degrees independently overseas or through partnerships with one or more international business programs from South America and Latin America to Europe and Asia. Building international bridges highlights the university brand, exports U.S.-based business teaching CEO | 19
methods, and draws in the best and brightest from around the world – all of which simulates the real world business environment and establishes an additional appreciation and understanding of the markets’ impact on individual lives and communities around the world. Some schools rise above others. “Unlike other schools that seek to establish a virtual or ‘bricks and mortar’ presence in other countries, our partnerships are built to provide our U.S. students with comprehensive global immersion experiences,” says Jim Bradford, Dean and Ralph Owen Professor for the Practice of Management at the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management. Xavier University has partnerships with numerous schools overseas, and prides itself on placing a strong emphasis on the international experience from day one. “As one of the oldest EMBAs in the nation our inclusion of mandatory international study was pioneering,” remarked Jennifer Bush, senior executive director of the MBA program. “International is no longer an option for an EMBA, it has to be mandatory. Business is global. EMBAs have to be global. That is the perspective that they have to have no matter what their role and what their industry.” Globalization has played a large role in determining the path of EMBA programs. “In 2004 we transformed our EMBA programs, which were offered in three locations as separate programs, into EMBA Worldwide, with one cohort, one selection process, one curriculum and approximately 35% of the content offered in a global context in our unique Global Executive Forums,” said Anne Nemer, Assistant Dean, Executive Director, EMBA at the University of Pittsburgh, which graduates approximately 90 students from the EMBA Worldwide program per year, and 25 from custom EMBA programs. The University of Pittsburgh uniquely shines with its tri-continental setup, operating independently, and not in concert with any institution, except in the case of the custom EMBA program in Prague, which is offered in partnership with U.S. Business School Prague. TRIUM, a three university collaboration bridges universities from the U.S., France, and England together. 20 | CEO
So as curriculums are rewritten and personal and corporate responsibility are emphasized, the struggling economy has left some EMBA programs certain about their future enrollment and left others guessing. According to Bush, Xavier EMBA applications and admissions are on the rise, since candidates are encouraging the timeliness of the degree to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead as a result of the downturn. However, the financial support once relied upon has declined pushing the financial cost on to the student notes Francis Petit, Assistant Dean of Fordham University’s EMBA. James M. Parker, Executive Programs Director and Adj. Assoc. Professor of Marketing at the Pace University Lubin School of Business predicts that there will be “a record number of applications, and of higher caliber.” But Parker also expresses concern that “some accepted students may decide to wait another year before enrolling due to worrying about being able to pay their tuition.” Thunderbird School of Global Management has ruled out the art of speculation and has already felt the recession’s pinch. “It has caused a decrease in applications from the past several years, as prospective students are more hesitant to take on large financial obligations and their employers are cutting tuition reimbursement programs,” said Barbara Carpenter, Associate Vice President, Executive MBA programs. Outside of admissions, another indicator of a struggling economy is class size and focus. At Washington University in St. Louis class size for the previous five intakes has decreased from 50 to 30. And, Rutgers University has completely re-engineered its courses. EMBA Outlook
Questioning the market value of an MBA is common, but EMBA programs are quick to dispel general thinking and instill a broader context for the use of an MBA. “Growth markets have been the traditional employers of MBA students, but MBA graduates offer equal, if not better, value to emerging markets as well,” states Bradford. All organizations – small or large, established or start-up – face similar types of challenges. The life cycle of an organization and economic cycles of world markets demand talented and educated individuals who can and do
provide the analytical abilities and judgment needed to guide businesses successfully.” And, when it comes to employability of the EMBA, the tracking of graduates has yielded impressive results. Of Vanderbilt’s Class of 2009, which confers 50 EMBAs annually, 22% received a promotion after the first year of the program, 52% reported salary growth and 74% gained greater managerial responsibility. “In the past year, the Olin Business School [Washington University in St. Louis] has had six current EMBA students lose their jobs through down-sizing. Four found work after looking less than two months,” said Arelia Jones, Executive MBA Program Coordinator. Part of their success lies with their skill set, but one cannot underestimate the network available to Executive MBA students who consciously develop their connections with classmates and faculty.” While the standard profile of an EMBA student remains constant (avg. age 38; 10-14 years of work experience), financing is the overwhelming factor. According to Washington University in St. Louis, 30% of the most recent class is not receiving any financial support from employers compared to 1819% for the two preceding classes. Even though the cost of an EMBA is significantly less than its counterpart MBA, there is a noticeable shift in the economy and, therefore, the ability of prospective students and companies’ to be able to afford it. Is this one more area where EMBA programs can demonstrate their market readiness, or will they take the wait-and-see approach? In the past, EMBA programs have answered the demands of a dynamic global economy on many fronts, and now affordability is knocking at their door. ■ Corporate Profile EMBA World, founded in 2004, is a New York Citybased organization dedicated to helping employees and employers understand options regarding graduate level business education and the Executive MBA. Biographies Jason A. Price, MS, MBA, is the Director of EMBA World and author of The Executive MBA: An Insider’s Guide for Working Professionals in Pursuit of Graduate Business Education.
Quality leadership starts with a quality business education Succeeding in business is about being the best. And preparing for a career in business is about choosing the best business school—a school with top faculty, driven students, innovative curriculum and the highest standards of quality. But how do you truly measure quality management education? That is where AACSB International steps in. Since 1916, AACSB International has set the benchmark for business education. Earned by less than five percent of business schools worldwide, AACSB accreditation ensures that a school is committed to delivering the best management education in the world—preparing graduates to excel from day one of their careers. Learn more: visit www.aacsb.edu/aacsb-accredited.
AACSB Accreditation— The Benchmark of Excellence in Management Education
Orit Sklar is EMBA World’s Content Manager.
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As a result of these trends, Columbia Business School has seen an increase in self-sponsorship amongst Executive MBA students. 30 percent of students in the incoming class are fully-sponsored by their employer, the remaining 70 percent are either self or partially-sponsored. Regardless of financial sponsorship, all the students’ employers were willing to let their employees devote time to classes that generally fall every other Friday and Saturday. Overall, our current students seem more committed to the degree program than previous classes in that they have had to overcome the obstacles executives face during a recession. Executive MBA students are willing to pursue this education despite the hurdles of funding for a variety of reasons. A rigorous management education from Columbia Business School faculty gives mid-level executives the opportunities to prepare for the challenges of the economic downturn in real-time. Students can practice what they have learned in the classroom at the workplace the next day. Executive MBA students also benefit from the diversity of the classroom. At Columbia Business School, Executive MBA classes include healthcare (hospital and pharmaceutical), nonprofit, finance, technology and manufacturing executives that have managed a wide-variety of problems in order to excel within their company. Faculty and students alike frequently report that one of the most rewarding aspects of Executive MBA classes is the real-life examples that enliven classroom discussions and enhance the learning experience.
The Growing Value of the Executive MBA Program “
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The workplace is forever evolving. The most significant shift we’ve witnessed over the past decade is the move away from a single-employer career track to one in which individuals manage and plan their own careers, even if this means taking them outside of their current organization. As a result, at Columbia Business School, we see Executive MBA
degree programs becoming increasingly popular with highly motivated mid-level executives who are looking to expand their professional networks and shift the directions of their careers, either inside or outside of their current organizations, while still earning salaries and valuable workplace experience. We’ve seen the recent economic downturn further reinforce the educational value of the Executive MBA Program. Organizations are now leaner; as companies have cut back on layers of management; younger executives are being tapped to lead teams at earlier stages of their careers. While these younger executives are experts in a certain area, such as technology, they are being asked to tackle problems that require knowledge of areas they are less familiar with, such as finance and management.
There is no better example of the value of the Executive MBA than testimonials from recent graduates as well as CEOs that support Executive MBA candidates. To illustrate, Mike Kendzierski ’09, worked for a large technology and consulting firm and had strong technical experience. However, at a certain point in his career, he was unable to advise clients on certain matters as he did not have the necessary financial expertise. During his time as an Executive MBA student, Mike was able to build a financial model for his clients’ expansion in the Middle East, a task he directly attributes to his Columbia education. Today, Mike’s clients’ frequently tell his management team that he is a great asset to their business, given his astute understanding not just of technology, but business models as well. Glenn Stevens ’94, CEO of Gain Capital has testified about the effectiveness of the Executive MBA program. Now, if he needs his employees to help expand Gain’s business, he encourages them to pursue an Executive MBA education. Glenn said that the executives “…come back with broader resources that we can’t teach…I get to deploy that person at another level without looking outside” of the organization. ■
Biography Ethan Hanabury, Senior Associate Dean for Degree Programs, oversees the administrative units that serve master’s-level degree programs at Columbia Business School, with a particular focus on student service.
Take the Nottingham MBA and give your career prospects a lift. We specialise in Finance, Entrepreneurship, Corporate Social Responsibility and Healthcare. Offering authoritative approaches to theory and practice in a stimulating learning environment.
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We’ve seen the recent economic downturn further reinforce the educational value of the Executive MBA Program.
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As mentioned, the current Executive MBA classes reflect a variety of fields. They also reveal a variety of job functions. The growth of industries reflected in the program (for example, only 30 percent of the program at-
tendees include finance executives) reflects how a management education is becoming more important to executives from a variety of fields.
UK - China - Malaysia - Singapore
MBA Elevator China Ec Rev 180x116 v3.indd 1
Ranked in the 2009 Financial Times MBA and 2008 Economist Intelligence Unit global top 100.
The new language of business 06/08/2009 15:52
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At Work »CEO Magazine talks to Dr Francis Petit and Mary Kate Donato
All business students should be exposed to risk management now more than ever given the new business climate.
Kindly define your MBA value proposition? Our goal within Fordham,
the Jesuit University of New York City and our Executive MBA Program, is to instill the following:
our students with the knowledge, skills and the necessary tools for the functional areas of business (i.e. finance, marketing, information systems, etc.), now and in the future.
the Executive of the Future who is conscious of, and sensitive to, ethical, social, and environmental concerns within our world and planet.
executives who have the right balance between The Mind, The Body and The Soul and who are “centered” and “proactive” within the changing business paradigm.
The Jesuit Philosophy of Education focuses on the respect and dignity of the individual and our goal within the program is to instill these traits in an environment that is collegial, caring, cooperative and civil to all. How is this accomplished? The Fordham Executive MBA Program is very intense in nature. Our students have high powered, professional positions and are able to complete the Fordham Executive
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MBA Program (which is a Full MBA in Management Systems) within twenty two (22) months. Therefore, in order to achieve this goal within the Fordham Executive MBA value proposition, the following is done:
Executive MBA students travel the entire academic journey together as a cohort. Throughout the journey it becomes very intense as a lot may be going on in the context of work, home and school. However, our students develop a wonderful camaraderie and bond throughout the program and act as a powerful support system for one another through collaboration, team building and mutual respect.
• In addition to a rigorous academic pro-
gram that has a global, management development and strategy focus - it creates, delivers and sustains value - the Fordham Executive MBA Program offers a variety of non-academic initiatives, which help to round out each student’s personal portfolio of skills. These initiatives include the following:
Residentials - Three overnight residentials are required during the program, again building on the camaraderie between classmates. There is a focus during these weekends on com-
ing together to achieve one common goal in a collegial, caring manner.
Culture - Fordham Executive MBA students conclude their academic journey with an international trip. The aforementioned trip is a student consulting experience for a specific company within a region. The trip is structured as follows: 40% academic, 40% cultural, 20% free time for exploration. The “cultural immersion” focus and component of the trip is a powerful and life changing way to conclude the program.
Wine Tasting Seminar - In order to set the “desired tone” for a specific business lunch or dinner, executives must know what wines go with what specific foods. It is an acquired skill! This initiative not only allows Fordham Executive MBA students to learn a great deal about wine, it also brings them together as a group.
❹ Golf Clinic - Since business relationships have a long history of being nurtured on the golf course, the students within Fordham’s Executive MBA Program participate in a Golf Clinic. Research also indicates that if you are “good at golf ” you are probably “good at business” as it is all about strategy and risk taking. The Golf Clinic is lead by a visiting Professor of Management within Fordham who is also a “Master Golf Instructor”. The goal is to introduce all Executive MBA students to golf, teach them how to swing, and the “strategy
the end, our goal within Fordham’s Executive MBA Program is “notInonly to create future business executives who are equipped with the
“functional skills” in business but, more importantly, to develop innovative individuals of character and integrity who utilize fair play, creativity and generosity as key value drivers within leadership and business.
and tactics” of golf. Students that play regularly enjoy the Clinic because it allows them to pick up “pointers” and play better golf. Students that have never picked up a golf club before enjoy it as well, because it allows them to develop a new skill in a supportive and encouraging environment.
❺ Management Jazz Simulation - The Fordham Executive MBA Program has partnered with the world famous Jazz at Lincoln Center to develop a Management Jazz Simulation for our Executive MBA students. The premise of the exercise is rather simple. Within a Jazz performance, there are a lot of things going on simultaneously with the end product (the music) being “beautiful”. There are many similarities between jazz and managing/
leading organizations. As a “manager” and “leader” there are many things going on simultaneously within an organization with the goal of creating a product and/or service of value to the market. Fordham Executive MBA students are not only introduced to Jazz at a world famous institution, they also develop an appreciation and respect for “Jazz” from a management and team building perspective.
Weekend at the Rose Hill Campus - The Fordham Lincoln Center (Manhattan) Executive MBA Cohort as well as the Westchester Executive MBA Cohort spend a weekend session at the Rose Hill Campus in the Bronx. The goal of this weekend is to further instill in the Executive MBA students the
Jesuit identity, an essential part of the Fordham experience.
Meditation - Fordham Executive MBA students are introduced to meditation as well as other “spiritual exercises”. The goal of this initiative is to create future executives who are able to remain centered, clear thinking and rational in an increasingly high pressured business paradigm.
International Basketball Game - As part of the international trip, we organize a “basketball game” between Fordham’s Executive MBA students and a local university. The purpose of the game is to serve as a cultural experience in how the sport of basketball can be used as a universal communicator and bonding tool. CEO | 25
If we do accept a student under the age of “thirty (30) we make sure that this individual is
so unique and so committed to our program that this person can add value for the entire class.
trends and master the requisite nuances of management, is something that Fordham University does very well. How often do you update your MBA programs?
Every five (5) years the curriculum is formally reevaluated. However, I work very closely with the Area Chairs to “informally” reevaluate the curriculum. This includes the topics currently covered within each course as well as discussion about the topics that should be covered within each course as a result of the changing business landscape. It also includes a reevaluation of elective offerings to ensure that Executive MBA students at Fordham have the opportunity to take timely electives that are on the cutting edge and can be applied to their workplace immediately. Furthermore, at the conclusion of each semester, detailed evaluations are completed by the students that assess the professors, learning material, subject matter, and overall relevance to the workplace. The aforementioned student input/feedback is highly valued in the process of evaluating the EMBA program. Can you talk about the features and benefits attached to the World Wise Network? The World Wise Network provides
Has this worked? The Fordham Executive
MBA Program has witnessed unprecedented growth over the past five (5) years. In 2006, there were only forty five (45) Executive MBA students enrolled with two cohorts running concurrently at the Lincoln Center (Manhattan) Campus. There are now one hundred six (106) Executive MBA students enrolled within four (4) cohorts (2 at Lincoln Center, 2 at Westchester) and applications, inquiries and student referrals are growing exponentially each year. This growth represents a 135% increase in Executive MBA students enrolled at Fordham within a four
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(4) year period. In addition, on September 30, 2008, the Fordham Executive MBA Program was ranked as the 25th Top Executive MBA Program Worldwide by The Wall Street Journal. The Program was also ranked 20th domestically by The Wall Street Journal, in December 2008, for return on investment. Some schools prefer to use senior faculty members when teaching courses. Is this something that you advocate at Fordham University? As the Dean and Director of
Fordham’s Executive MBA Program, my charge is to assign the right faculty for the EMBA audience. I work very closely with the Area Chairs within the Graduate School of Business Administration to ensure that each faculty that is assigned to teach in our program knows our audience and can perform very well in front of this audience. With that said, we use “Fordham Business” faculty to teach in our EMBA Program. It is not always the senior faculty member with the most prestigious research record. It could be a more junior faculty member who
is first and foremost a great teacher for this audience and who may be doing interesting consulting work that can add value to the EMBA student experience. We are also open to using adjunct faculty on occasion, provided they are practitioners in their field and we believe they can, once again, add value to this audience. In essence, our goal is to secure the “top faculty” for the Fordham Executive MBA Program. Combining theoretical training with practical business skills, thus allowing students to keep abreast of current
Fordham Executive MBA students with a platform to network, collaborate and increase contacts for professional development and career management purposes. Our goal is to provide our Executive MBA students with multiple opportunities for networking with a vast array of successful Fordham MBA graduates. Alumni receptions, speaker sessions, and alumni events facilitate such opportunities, together with the growing social networking sites (LinkedIn, etc.) for the Fordham MBA, EMBA and Jesuit EMBA institutions.
The Admissions Process Do you foresee the MBA admissions
process becoming more simplified over the coming years? The admissions process
for EMBA programs has already become more simplified as many institutions are dropping the GMAT requirement. Increasingly, academic institutions take the view that, if a competing school in their market drops the GMAT requirement, they have to eliminate it as well in order to compete for students. We at Fordham’s EMBA Program require the GMAT for admissions and will continue to do so. The reason is simple. Students in the Fordham EMBA Program receive the same “MBA Degree” as students in the Full-Time or Part-Time Program. Therefore, since the students are receiving the same degree, we believe it is critical that they go through the same admissions requirements. Also, within our market, Columbia and NYU require the GMAT exam and we at Fordham want to remain associated with these institutions. The majority of prospective students have not been in the classroom environment for some time. Committing to the GMAT prepares them for the discipline needed once accepted to the program. Are you at liberty to discuss Fordham’s admissions process? We take recruiting
very seriously. Our goal is to recruit a professionally diverse class with a wonderful spirit where many industries/functions are represented. When this is achieved, the overall learning as well as the classroom camaraderie and bonding are second to none. We meet prospective students through a variety of methods which include information sessions, World EMBA Tours, referrals, phone inquiries, etc. We then introduce them to the Fordham Executive MBA Program and our “EMBA Community”. If they are serious, we invite them to sit in on a class each spring. There is no better way to “taste” the Fordham “EMBA Product” than to sit in CEO | 27
and networking opportunities attached to the MBA qualification? This is a concern
and the goal of the Fordham Executive MBA Program, as I mentioned earlier, is to keep the average age of each cohort at thirty three (33). If we do accept a student under the age of thirty (30) we make sure that this individual is so unique and so committed to our program that they can add value for the entire class. Often times a younger student in the cohort may feel that he or she has more to prove. Consequently, they will work very hard with the goal of “proving their worth” within the cohort. The great thing about our program is that hard work among classmates is not only appreciated, it’s recognized and almost always the “younger candidate” will acquire the utmost respect because of their “work ethic” and “overall spirit”.
In your opinion, is there a definitive correlation between a school’s supposed educational standards, rankings, reputation, and/or size and the average number of work experience years of its students? No, there is not necessarily
and witness it firsthand. Once the prospective student firmly believes that the Fordham EMBA Program is right for them, which is of utmost importance, we then encourage their application. The application process requires transcripts, two references, one essay, a resume and the GMATs. Each applicant is also interviewed. The mutual goal is to determine whether or not they can add value to the program and cohort structure and whether the program provides them with the right fit. By and large, work experience and an applicant’s overall spirit are the key drivers within the admissions process. We are looking for energized students, all with unique journeys, who can add value to the cohort. Our goal is to recruit thirty five (35) of these individuals. When this is achieved, each member of the cohort can take away a great deal of value from the experience. To what extent does your Pre-MBA Program facilitate admission into the Business School? Does Experience Matter? The Pre-MBA is not recommended
for the Fordham EMBA Program given
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that none of the Pre-MBA coursework can be transferred into the EMBA since it is a “cohort program”. Overall, if an EMBA applicant completes the Pre-MBA Program successfully, it illustrates that this candidate can handle graduate level work, which is a plus. For a more junior candidate, this could be looked upon favorably in terms of admission to the EMBA. However, the PreMBA is not recommended to prospective students if their ultimate goal is to enter the Fordham EMBA Program. Overall, professional experience is extremely important within the Fordham EMBA admissions process. Given that Fordham is located in New York City, there is always the possibility that a cohort might be “top heavy” in terms of representation from the financial industry. Therefore, our top priority is to recruit a professionally diverse cohort. This said, we have had many industries and interesting individuals represented within all of the cohorts. Examples of the latter include, high-level surgeons, deacons, former professional athletes, small business owners etc. Each student brings something unique to our
program and all of our students learn from one another.
Does Experience Matter A number of business schools have been accepting younger applicants in the war for talent. Is this something that Fordham will be doing? Our goal to keep
the average age of our EMBA students at thirty three (33). We work very hard to recruit a professionally diverse class with many industries and functions represented in each cohort. Given that students learn so much from one another, our goal is to professionally diversify the group while keeping the average age at thirty three (33). Lowering the average age per cohort below this number can adversely impact the level of classroom discussions and intellectual capital that makes our EMBA Program shine. Naturally, the diversity and age range of one’s cohort impacts the collective experience significantly. By accepting younger applicants, are business schools diluting the learning experience
a correlation between a school’s supposed educational standards, ranking, reputation, size and average number of work experience years as the industry is evolving and getting younger. However, there may be a potential correlation if the Deans of Executive MBA Programs come under immense pressure to “fill seats” at any cost. If this is the case, schools will dip below their traditional admissions standards in order to fill the class. Overall, if the Dean of an EMBA Program adopts this strategy it will eventually come back to hurt the program. Current students who meet the criteria for admission will resent the fact that some of their classmates are below the school’s and the brand’s standards. Such a perspective will not play well when it comes to rankings, surveys and the overall reputation of an institution.
Responding to the Downturn Should business schools take any responsibility for the economic crisis?
Executive MBA Programs are in a unique position as the students enrolled in these programs have positions of responsibility and influence within their organizations. That said, we at Fordham’s Executive MBA Program are always reevaluating our role in terms of the economic crisis and more specifically the
unethical behavior of executives and senior leadership. The corporate scandals of Enron, Adelphia Communications, Tyco, Arthur Anderson, Global Crossing and WorldCom, in addition to the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, the subprime mortgage fiasco and the executive compensation controversy have portrayed individual executives and entire corporations as greed hungry predators with little or no regard for their primary stakeholder, their customers.
What role does the student culture of the business school play in building ethical MBA graduates? Executive MBA
Programs should play a major role in building the “Ethical Executive of the Future” with this being a top priority within Fordham’s Executive MBA Program and culture. Should business schools be placing greater emphasis on risk-management?
There are many required courses within an MBA and EMBA curriculum. All Consequently, the Fordham Executive MBA business students should be exposed to risk Program is constantly reevaluating the role management now more than ever given the our Executive MBA Program can play in ad- new business climate. dressing this situation as well as this “para- The Next Chapter digm shift” that is gaining momentum. As a Jesuit institution, the Fordham Executive MBA Program has a required “Contemporary Ethical Issues in Business” course that is designed to make all of our Executive students sensitive to potential ethical issues existing in business. In addition, we schedule guest speakers who have spoken in this area. Most recently we have had Mr. Chris Lowney, author of Heroic Leadership (Loyola Press) and Heroic Living (Loyola Press) address our students on finding purpose and meaning in their work and life beyond the bottom line. In the end, our goal within Fordham’s Executive MBA Program is not only to create future business executives who are equipped with the “functional skills” in business but, more importantly, to develop innovative individuals of character and integrity who utilize fair play, creativity and generosity as key value drivers within leadership and business. Will the aforementioned crisis lead to lasting changes in business school curriculums? The crisis will lead to lasting
changes in business school curriculums for many reasons. First, the economic crisis and credit crunch have left individual consumers more cynical than ever before, lacking trust in institutions and organizations. Furthermore, from a demographic perspective, potential Executive MBA students are now what they call “Millenials”. Socially responsible behavior as well as structure and family support are critical attributes to this demographic. Therefore, business schools and Executive MBA programs must accept that it is no longer “business as usual” as the key stakeholder (the student) has significantly evolved and changed.
Moving forward, what can new and existing students expect from Fordham University over the next twelve to eighteen months, in terms of program innovation? We will be launching a Wellness
Program this year. The Executive MBA industry has always assumed that prospective and current Executive MBA students are well and healthy. We cannot make this assumption any longer given the various societal indicators including increased rates of adult obesity, type II diabetes and other health ailments. The Wellness Program will include yoga, nutrition and other helpful tips to healthy lifestyles. Overall, our aim is to constantly innovate the Fordham Executive MBA Program and to make it part of the souls of our students. Just like the “Harley enthusiast” who tattoos the “Harley logo” on his or her body, our goal is to develop that type of passion for the Fordham Executive MBA Program and our “EMBA Community”. ■
Biography Dr. Francis Petit is the Assistant Dean and Director of EMBA Programs at Fordham University and has established executive programs in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Dr. Petit holds a Doctorate in Economics and Education from Columbia University. Mary Kate Donato is a graduate of Fordham’s Executive MBA program (2006). She has a marketing role with the Graduate School of Business, with a focus on expanding the Westchester campus and the EMBA programs.
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Neighbor Networks Understanding the Power of Networks »Ronald S. Burt, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
People think of their network as something they can expand, or buy a new “version of, or change in some dramatic way as if it were clothing that you can take off and put on. ” A surprising finding on the value of colleague networks leads to an even more remarkable revelation of how networks truly work. Is it who you know rather than what you know that really matters? People hope that they will be rewarded for their ability and effort, but fear that rewards actually go to those with well-connected friends. That suspicion does not seem so far-fetched. Look around the office. Those who are doing well tend to be colleagues who know people who have an extensive network of contacts. Thus, it would be quite reasonable to assume that the success of a well-connected neighbor could somehow spill over to them. Just how much of an advantage a neighbor’s network provides is the subject of Neighbor Networks, a thoughtprovoking book by University of Chicago Booth School of Business professor Ronald S. Burt. The answer turned out to be not quite what Burt expected: There is no advantage at all to having well-connected friends. Although Burt found a strong correlation between the performance of managers 30 | CEO
and their affiliation with well-connected colleagues, the relationship disappears when the manager’s own network is held constant. That is, if two people have well-connected friends, then the person who is herself wellconnected performs well and the person who does not have her own network of valuable contacts does not do well. Wellconnected people have their own interests and need not associate with those who contribute nothing to the relationship and only seek to use them. What really matters for performance is a person’s own network and not that of her friends.
This finding has strong implications for business policy and for understanding the process underlying the value of networks. Information and behavior are almost never observed directly and so are inferred from the way relations are structured. In particular, those who were accustomed to thinking of networks as pipes through which information travels between people might be disappointed. “We seem to have misunderstood how networks work,” Burt says.
Bridging Structural Holes
People tend to cluster into groups and communicate more frequently within rather than between groups. As a result, people within the same group develop similar views. They tire of repeating arguments and stories explaining why they believe and behave the way they do, so they make up shorthand phrases, jargon, and a whole system of phrasing, opinions, symbols, and behaviors defining what it means to be a member of the group. Over time, the tacit knowledge that is meaningful to insiders becomes more complex, making knowledge more difficult to move to other groups. Information becomes “sticky,” such that holes tear open in the flow of information between groups. These holes in the social structure of communication are what are known as “structural holes.” Structural holes present two opportunities for networks to affect the productivity of individuals and groups: brokerage and closure. Closure is about staying on one side of the structural hole, such that the members of a CEO | 31
In other words, networks are a way to develop human capital. Instead of better glasses, networks give people better eyes. Networks change who you are in the sense that a manager becomes more experienced and skillful over time at working across people with diverse views and behaviors. In the course of managing contradictory relationships, the manager develops cognitive skills of analogy and synthesis, and emotional skills for reading, engaging, and motivating colleagues. The manager comes to have an advantage in detecting opportunities to productively combine ideas and practice across groups, and an advantage in seeing alternative ways to bring the opportunities to fruition.
group keep to themselves and are not exposed to variations in opinion and behavior. As a result, members of such a closed network think less about alternatives but are able to focus more on getting better and becoming even more efficient at the one thing that they already know how to do well. Brokerage is the opposite. Unlike closure, network brokerage is about building connections across structural holes and taking advantage of a person’s exposure to variations in opinion and behavior. In a corporate organization, for instance, the staff of one department typically talks more to people within their group than it does to people in other departments, such that structural holes tear open between departments. A manager who seeks to connect these diverse groups by maintaining contacts in a number of departments will be able to quickly see alternative ways to go, synthesize new ways to go, and find a broader range of ways to support an initiative, thanks to his exposure to diverse ideas and behaviors. The ability to do these things is what is correlated with higher salaries, better evaluations, and faster promotions. Before these recent results on neighbor networks were known, researchers presumed that the benefit from bridging structural holes was driven by information flowing to managers from different people in their network, allowing managers to see various ideas and opportunities that others do not. This is an image of networks as glasses, says Burt, because they improve limited vision. 32 | CEO
If this explanation of how networks work were correct, then it would also be true that a person could benefit by associating with wellconnected colleagues, even if she herself is not, because she could easily obtain valuable information through the well-connected colleagues. However, if there is no benefit at all to having well-connected friends—as the new evidence shows—then it no longer makes sense to say that access to information is the basis for network advantage. Seek to Be Worth Knowing
At cocktail parties, people often work the room looking to make contacts. They look at the crowd and carefully choose who to start a conversation with, hoping that this effort to “network” will yield valuable information. That is the wrong way to get benefits out of a network. “The way networks have their effect is not by getting information from people, but rather by finding people who are interesting and who think differently from you,” says Burt. Networks give people a “vision advantage” in terms of seeing and developing rewarding opportunities. But the lack of spillover from a neighbor’s network implies that this advantage comes not from having access to new information, but rather from having to juggle diverse bits of information. This is the key shift that Burt emphasizes in his book. “It is not being in the know, but rather having to translate between different groups so that you develop gifts of analogy, metaphor, and communicating between people who have difficulty communicating to each other,” says Burt.
This argument implies that one cannot hope to get ahead of others just by finding the “right” network. “People think of their network as something they can expand, or buy a new version of, or change in some dramatic way as if it were clothing that you can take off and put on,” Burt says. A network does not give added competitive advantage independent of your effort. Rather, it allows a person to become more skillful at managing various connections so that he gains greater competitive advantage. It is what a person does with his network that counts. In light of Burt’s findings, business programs based on the belief that associating with wellconnected people brings about substantial benefits ought to be revisited. For instance, employees are encouraged and even expected to network through colleagues. Mentoring programs call on well-connected senior people to facilitate the recognition and development of promising junior people. “Onboarding” programs use well-connected insiders to ease the social integration of new hires. Businesses need to ask whether there is a value to these programs beyond the hope that benefits will spillover between adjacent colleagues in a network. Indeed, it might not be who or what you know that creates advantage, but rather more simply, who you become by dint of how you hang out—the disadvantaged hang out with folks just like themselves, while the advantaged engage folks of diverse opinion and practice. ■ Biography Ronald S. Burt is Hobart W. Williams Professor of Sociology and Strategy at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
The Emergence of
The KSU Healthcare MBA While we don’t try and compete “ with the prestige of Ivy League schools, I believe we provide a comparable standard of education.
CEO covered the launch of KSU’s Healthcare MBA last year. How has the program been received and how has it developed in the short time since its start? With our first year completed, overall the re-
sponse has been very good. We started with 20 students and they are still excited by the program. Part of the excitement for them is that they know it is a fairly unique course and they want to see it grow and become at least a regional offering if not national prominence. While national coverage might be harder to achieve, local coverage is attainable in the short term. There have been some initial start-up problems, which we would expect with the roll out of any new venture. The principal initial issue has been that we expected too much work of the students; the assignments were more demanding than they had anticipated. When we looked back we probably were giving them more work than they could handle. We’ve tried to change the model from a reading and paper writing approach to more a debate and discussion based emphasis. We encourage the students to listen to the lectures and participate in on-line discussions at home, while time in class is focused on challenging each other as well as the professors. The course runs for 21 months and began in 2009, so in around 12 months time the class will have graduated. The school will conduct the exit interviews, and we will have recruited our second group of students so it will be easier to gauge lessons from the experiences of the first cohort. While there are still some unknowns, there have been many positives from which we can learn. The healthcare MBA was initially intended to provide for ‘local’ participants covering an easily commutable 100 mile radius from the
university’s campuses, has this been the case? Has the program already stretched beyond Northeast Ohio? The first group was re-
cruited from around Cleveland, Akron, and Canton; there are very good hospitals in all three of those areas. We focused on these areas when we launched the program. We were getting the course off the ground quite rapidly and didn’t have the luxury of an elaborate marketing strategy, we employed very traditional methods of recruitment including going into hospitals, conducting information sessions, as well as talking to hospitals CEO | 33
Student Reflections While CEO focuses on bringing comment from Business schools faculty, some might say that it only provides part of the story. What do the students themselves think? What is significant for them? CEO invites KSU’s first healthcare EMBA cohort to speak for themselves... “The excitement and sense of honor in being a pioneering participant in this program has never waned. As with every life passage it requires perseverance, commitment, hard work and self-management...I have never regretted the decision to take this journey and view it as one that will be among the most important in my lifetime.” Rosalyn Harris, Production Support Manager, University Hospitals of Cleveland.
“When I saw...[KSU] were starting a new EMBA with a concentration in Healthcare it really caught my attention and I immediately signed up. I am participating in the inaugural year of the program and have been very impressed with the University’s responsiveness to our suggestions.” Linda Hetson, Director of Nursing Administration, Akron Children’s Hospital.
“To succeed in today’s health care environment, you must not only be a good steward of health care, but you must also understand the business side of medicine. Kent’s program includes health care content in every course.” Diane Pretorius, M.D., Diagnostic Radiologist Summa Health Systems.
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executives and managers. We managed to recruit people from a good variety of institutions, and most of the hospitals in this region. Our aim is to get people within the industry talking about our Healthcare MBA; if recruitment can be by word of mouth as well as being traditionally marketed, that’s where we’d like to be. We are going to try and extend our coverage to the 100 miles around Kent for the second class. The program was initially to be based out of Stark campus of KSU, but is now run from Akron Children’s Hospital. With Akron being midway between Cleveland and Canton its location means it can serve as a perfect hub. With other prominent business schools recognising the value of a focus on healthcare within their MBA programs is KSU positioned to exploit the marketplace with its bespoke offering? Could the program expand on its IT platform to make it the healthcare MBA both nationally and internationally? That is certainly our goal; if we
have a vision it is, if not to be the healthcare program, one of the healthcare programs. We have looked at prominent schools offerings in regard to healthcare, and while other providers have supplied similar components, they usually come at a much higher price. While we don’t try and compete with the prestige of Ivy League schools, I believe we provide a comparable standard of education.
The New Horizon: Healthcare Reform in the US Healthcare is estimated to employ more than 15% of US GDP with MEDICAID/CARE thought to figure within state budgets at 16% building to an equivalent of 22% when federal subsidies are factored in. Given that MEDICAID/CARE is the largest single provider of health care in the US how much focus is accorded to it within KSU’s Healthcare MBA? We will certainly be looking at developments
with MEDICAID/CARE, and the schemes are already quite powerful in the setting of reimbursement rates. While we would never provide a course specifically on such provision, we integrate those topics into existing courses, for instance including the development of health care records systems into the course on Information Technology. The beauty of the program is that we have professors with expertise in healthcare, but we also consistently have external lecturers coming in, and we would bring in experts to supplement courses that touch on new developments, whether that is economics or marketing. This last year reimbursements came up in the managerial accounting class, and we had two executives from the Cleveland Clinic co-teaching the class with the professor. That was what we call a ‘home run’ both with the students, but also well received by the two executives involved. As we address the new environment we will continue to incorporate it within the course structure, but will not introduce standalone content. With the enacting of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 2010 and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act 2010 has a specific healthcare MBA become more pertinent within the US context? There can be no doubt that it has become more pertinent, and
we are well prepared to address that. The question is ‘how do you do it?’ I think you have to bring experts into the classroom. We have an economic class where GDP and GNP are core issues, and the course has the involvement of the VP of public relations at the University Hospitals in Cleveland. She will be coming in, interpreting the bills for the students and relating it to economics and other subjects touched upon by the professor. The external expert and the professor discuss the issue between them, preparing a session on the topic to be provided.
While the US is unlikely to attempt to model itself upon the welfare states of Europe, will the KSU healthcare MBA look to lessons taught by European models and/or policies. Can costly bureaucracy be avoided but effective practice adopted by MEDICAID through federal and state funded institutions? Can the US have the best of both worlds? We definitely want to be cognisant of what
is going on in the rest of the world. We want to incorporate what’s happening in Asia as well as Europe. We believe we’re well situated to achieve this; we have a presence in Geneva with the WHO also based there, in fact they are just across the street from the KSU affiliate campus. One of our professors has worked with the WHO and will be bringing considerable experience relating to international issues. Her
expertise pertains to Europe although she also has knowledge developed from her time in Taiwan. While I’m not an expert on the new healthcare acts, the issue of cost effectiveness of healthcare will be a key issue. I have a feeling that the intention with the new law is to make healthcare market driven, to try and drive some cost from the system. The issues will be open to rigorous debate which we encourage and this will be complimented by bringing in panels who can discuss the subject from different perspectives. As much of the course is conducted online we have the opportunity to bring people in electronically so it would be desirable to include people from locations such as London, and Geneva, or Shanghai to address healthcare in those different countries. CEO | 35
deliver. The MPH is a new program starting next year, and there are plans to introduce a doctoral program in public health. We are expecting there to be a good crossover between the business and the public health schools, with some faculty used by public health from business and vice versa. With other disciplines, including Anthropology and African studies, diversity of people and perspective is valued at KSU. In regard to industry links the Healthcare Steering Committee (HSC) and multidisciplinary involvement with the healthcare MBA from across KSU have any interesting prospects arisen? People on
the committee have participated in the program, or have been recommended for involvement by the committee. One of the initial benefits came from a member of the HSC who was from the philosophy department at Kent who was there because of her interest in medical ethics; she has become involved in the Legal and Social Impacts course addressing the ethical component. Another member of faculty we’ve discussed during the interview as having international experience came to us from the nursing school, and is becoming more involved concerning healthcare delivery.
The Past and the Future KSU is synonymous with the student activism of the 1960/1970’s. Has the university and by extension the business school retained some of this character it its innovative approach to learning? Inno-
An International Perspective Last year you spoke of a desire to ‘internationalise [the] healthcare MBA program’. The EMBA at KSU involves international trips within Asia and Europe featuring locally provided seminars. International healthcare administration challenges are perennial with adaption and innovation often occurring at the local level. Does the College of Business envisage healthcare MBA cohorts engaging in such trips? It was the belief of the steering committee that only one hospital
in the area might derive benefit, so we did not include it the first year. However, we have now concluded we should provide such a component. We will probably initially provide it on an optional basis. While there are some students who might wish to take up the option, there may be others who feel that their hospitals are unlikely to be internationally oriented. What we have to try and teach is that some international orientation is of practical benefit; learning what other countries are doing and bringing it into US practice is advantageous. KSU has enough international affiliations to facilitate the trip and we very much want to cover international healthcare; it will be introduced and figure as an important part of the Healthcare MBA.
A Broad Base of Skills across the School and University KSU Graduate School of Management is one of a small number of business schools to provide a PhD program. KSU also hosts graduate studies in a broad number of classic and progressive disciplines as well as MPH degrees hosted by the university’s College of Public Health. Does this wide variety within the academic and student body foster your multidisciplinary and innovative approach? The business doctoral program at Kent brings experts to the
field that we might not benefit from without it. In technology, marketing and finance the PhD has a definite impact on the material that we 36 | CEO
vation has been a historic characteristic of Kent State, and more recently it is a culture that the president, the provost, and the dean of the business school have very much encouraged, with both administrators and faculty supported to be pioneering. It goes back years, previous administrations have allowed for ground-breaking initiatives. For example the liquid crystal institute, as well as bio and social sciences within the university. The College of Business has been innovative also but it is a feature across Kent State. The business school was one of the first accredited, one of the first to offer an EMBA, as well as integrating an ethics course, and also early in introducing international trips.
With such a new program development will happen organically; however has an approach for the future suggested? What can be expected from the school over the coming 12-18 months? We have
covered some of these developments through the course of the interview. There will be a number of developments that derive just from us addressing issues that the students raise. As discussed we hope that knowledge of the MBA will spread by word of mouth, which will mean that savings we can make will be fed back into the program; one of the things we give great importance to is value for money for our students, whether from healthcare, or with our corporate MBA offerings. We teach leadership, management, and administration and these are the keys to effectively run organisations, specifically in this context relating to healthcare. International exploration will be a key development from taking students to different countries to offering the healthcare MBA in countries outside the US. There is some talk to establishing a link with Shanghai International Studies University to land a program in that region. It might take two to three years to establish, but it would fit in with our goals for innovative offerings. ■
European MBA Review
Biography Prof. Robert Krampf is the Director of Kent State’s EMBA programs.
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RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP Getting the right results the right way “
»Dr John R.Wells, IMD
Successful enterprises focus on where they can create the most value and rely on outside suppliers for anything else
The recent turmoil in financial markets is ascribed by many to be a failure of leadership and the calls for more responsible leadership continue to grow. But what is responsible leadership? There is a danger in taking too narrow a view and simply bowing to critics demanding more corporate social responsibility. Responsible leadership is more than this; it is a balance of between getting the right results and getting results the right way.
Getting the right results The goal of any enterprise is to deliver superior sustainable performance. “Performance” is a measure of the value created per unit of resources consumed. For companies, we might look at return on investment; for a charity like Operation Smile1, the number of hair lip operations done for every dollar donated. “Sustainable” means over the long term rather than to meet the next quarterly earnings targets. A firm might do well to remember that, unlike its employees, it could live forever and should encourage its managers to make decisions that reflect this long term view. “Superior” means better performance than others competing for the same resources. Success attracts more resources and therefore provides greater sustainability. It also generates a greater surplus to share amongst the many stakeholders who feel they are entitled to a return. Society benefits because it is the more profitable companies who can afford to be socially responsible; and in a resource-constrained world, is it not our moral responsibility to deliver greater value from limited resources?1 What does it take for an enterprise to deliver superior, sustainable performance? The foundation is always a good strategy - the integration of choices about where and how to compete. Successful enterprises focus on where they can create the most value and rely on outside suppliers for anything else. Second, it takes good execution and the integration of actions to deliver on the strategy. Both of these require good leadership to ensure that the right choices are made and the actions are taken. But many enterprises with solid strategies and execution still fail eventually because, in a changing world, they fail to adapt. They are felled by inertia, a 38 | CEO
most fatal disease. As Jack Welch pointed out, “I’m convinced that if the rate change inside the institution is less than the rate of change outside, the end is in sight. The only question is the timing of the end.” Responsible leadership demands agile strategy and an agile structure to support it. But the capacity of an organization to change is ultimately limited by the willingness and commitment of the people in the organization to change. Responsible leadership requires encouraging agile minds and attitudes.
Getting results the right way Many enterprises, when evaluating their people, have come to the view that delivering results is not enough; how you deliver them has a profound effect on the long term health of the enterprise. Companies must respect the simple principles of fairness and honesty, and encourage a long and broad view.
Be fair, build trust The rather simplistic, traditional capitalist view of a firm is that its purpose is to maximize shareholder returns and minimize the cost of “constraints” such as customers, employees, suppliers and regulators. The danger of delivering the absolute minimum is clear. Customers will switch to another provider as soon as they find better value. Instead, firms aim for a more loyal, stable customer base by “delighting” customers through offering them more than they expected for their money. Regarding employees, paying them a pittance does not create loyalty and commitment; and with suppliers, aggressive purchasing techniques to drive prices down to a minimum are increasingly being discredited. Why should suppliers share their latest ideas on product design or cost reduction with customers who bully them? Minimizing cost constraints may make economic sense in a one-off negotiation, but business, like life, is a multi-round game, where relationships of trust are crucial. If trust fails, transactions don’t take place; just look at what has happened in the financial securities markets. In practice, few companies really operate on this model. Most executives pre-
fer to pay more than the minimum to the “constraints” since this creates trust and loyalty, drives more innovation and creates more options for the future.
neled by enlightened self interest – the pursuit of superior sustainable performance.
Be honest - Don’t steal assets from the balance sheet
Firms can make high returns while showing concern for society. Whole Foods offers a wide range of sustainably-produced products, a great shopping experience for its customers and an excellent work environment for its employees while also providing high shareholder returns. Patagonia is equally successful in outdoor clothing. There are a myriad of companies generating profits from renewable energy and water purification. Other companies have discovered the benefits of serving the bottom of the pyramid while improving the lives of the poor. These are all examples of enlightened self-interest.
A core value in delivering results the right way is honesty, but some firms discourage this by presenting their employees with moral hazards. Consider the plant manager who gets promoted for achieving greater profitability by deferring important equipment maintenance. This is tantamount to “stealing” from the physical asset base. Firms must ensure that assets are handed to the next generation in the same excellent condition as they were originally. The same holds for human assets. In professional service firms, there are those managers who exploit young professionals, working them to exhaustion and doing little to develop them. This is stealing from the asset base and from the firm’s future. Brand assets may be devalued by breaking the promise that the brand implies. One example is an insurance company that improved its profitability (for a time) by not paying claims. There is also stealing from the financial balance sheet. CFOs have a great deal of discretion over how profit is defined, so they can hide profits in the balance sheet in good years and scrape profits from the balance sheet in the bad years. This is called earnings smoothing. It all starts to go wrong when earnings collapse and suddenly there are no assets left to scrape. Painful changes follow, which might have been avoided had its executives practiced more responsible reporting. The challenge for firms is to create incentive systems which discourage members of the firm from stealing from the asset base. It is less of a problem in firms where executives spend entire careers, since they are more likely to be “found out”. This is also true of family businesses where the stigma of “stealing from family” is high. However, in a world where CEO and employee tenures have shortened dramatically, the moral hazard is clear. It is imperative that we instill these values and closely monitor them.
Take a broad, long view The benefits of honesty and fairness become more apparent when taking a long, broad view of performance. We are part of a complex, dynamic system. We would do well to reflect on how our current decisions might affect performance, both today and tomorrow. The reality is that firms have many stakeholders, and it is dangerous to consider any of them as costs to be minimized. We are in this for the long run.
Whenever there is value to be created from solving a problem, the efficiency of private enterprise is a fast and effective way of realizing that value. So I would encourage firms to be concerned in profitable ways.
Responsible leadership at the national level Nations, too, should strive for superior sustainable performance while being fair and honest with other nations, taking a broader, global, long term view. A regulatory environment that encourages enterprises to seek superior, sustainable performance is a must. The nation state by itself cannot effectively regulate huge global corporations, which are larger than many small countries and reside in many corners of the world. Equally important is that nations provide the necessary infrastructure to support competitive enterprises. Superior national performance comes largely through superior enterprise performance. Trade policy that focuses the nation on doing what it is best at and relying on other nations to focus on their comparative advantages is also key. Responsible nations should invest in competitiveness, not protectionism. By doing so, they will ensure a fairer distribution of global wealth, more inclusive growth and less chance of conflict driven through inequity. And with the democratization of information via the internet, populations are watching and increasingly demanding fairness. Each nation cannot, alone, deal with the challenges this planet faces over the next 50 years. The sooner our species wakes up to this, the more we increase the chances we will survive into the next millennium. 1 Profitable firms have the luxury of being more socially responsible; social responsibility by itself does not automatically generate superior profits. ■
Corporate social responsibility
Biography Dr. John R. Wells is the President of IMD.
Corporate social responsibility had just a brief mention at the beginning, but this is not to say that it is not an important part of responsible leadership. The concern for social responsibility is probably best chan-
Acknowledgement Reproduced courtesy of IMD.
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Partnerships in Learning & Development EFMD Excellence in Practice Award 2010 Call for submissions The EFMD Excellence in Practice Award recognises and promotes outstanding partnerships between companies and learning and development providers (business schools, executive development centres, consultancies).
Case studies of best practice and collaboration in leadership, professional, talent and organisation development are submitted for review to an international judging panel. The best short-listed cases chosen by the panel are then invited to present their partnerships at the EFMD Annual Conference (6-8 June, 2010– Frankfurt, Germany), when several sessions are devoted to the Excellence in Practice Award.
Presentations need to be made by both partners – to ensure a balanced view and differing perspectives. Following the presentations the jury panel makes a final decision and the winners will be announced on the 7th June during the EFMD Awards Ceremony. The winning case will be featured extensively across the EFMD network and all of the short-listed partnerships will have their case studies published by Emerald Group Publishing.
All cases will be presented to an international jury composed of representatives from EFMD Corporate, Business Schools and Executive Development Centres. Selection criteria will take into account:
Operational Excellence: – Sustainable partnerships – Appropriate learning environment – Vigorous programme profile – Consistent participant match
Business Impact: – Alignment with corporate strategy – Embedding in wider HR processes – Visible corporate sponsorship – Positioning in L&D portfolio – Financial Aspects of Programme / ROI – Impact for the company
Submission Process Expression of interest to: Florence Grégoire: email@example.com
Deadline for submission of full cases: 1 February 2010
Case presentations: 7/8 June 2010 For submission guidelines visit: www.efmd.org/eip
Further information Florence Grégoire Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +32.2.629.08.10
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Less Charisma, More Consensus »Shellie Karabell, INSEAD Knowledge
When you think of words to describe good “leadership, ‘charisma’ usually comes somewhere near the top of the list. ”
When you think of words to describe good leadership, ‘charisma’ usually comes somewhere near the top of the list. After all, all the good ideas in the world won’t get anywhere if you aren’t compelling enough to get people to listen to you. But not all successful CEOs are charismatic and today’s complex and profound economic crisis has created a real challenge both for executives and for the professionals who train them. INSEAD’s Leadership Initiative staged a Leadership Development Conference last month entitled ‘Developing Leaders: Challenges to Concepts, Practices and research’ to identify some of the issues faced today in the field of leadership with the aim of sparking more research into training programmes. “Leadership development is at a crossroads today,” says conference organiser Gianpiero Petriglieri, Affiliate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD. “At a time of crisis the temptation is enormous to put all our hopes in the hands of a few charismatic individuals, and leadership development can be co-opted to reinforce this illusion that a handful of well-trained great leaders are all we need. But we have to ask ourselves what kind of systemic cultural drivers led to some of the crises we’re facing today.” Therein lies the rub, and so some 50 academics and professionals gathered for the INSEAD conference: scholars of psycho-dynamics, of cognitive sciences, ethics; leaders from industry and the military. Today’s leaders face challenges cutting across all of these disciplines, and the old ways of training are becoming less and less effective. “The model based just on the acquisition of theories and reasons and skills, which are obviously very important, has proven itself to be very limited,” says Petriglieri. “What we need is both deeper and broader forms of leadership development.” CEO | 41
BANGOR BUSINESS SCHOOL
The Management Centre, Bangor Business School - a leading-edge residential executive development and conference venue, located in one of the UK’s most scenic areas of outstanding natural beauty
THE BANGOR EXECUTIVE MBA Experience a prestigious Executive MBA in the wonderful scenic location of North Wales. Deeper and broader because at the same time leaders today face far-flung governing responsibilities and in order to direct such complexity they first need to understand their own motivation, or fall victim to the temptations of pride. “If you think of the word ‘charisma,’ Petriglieri says, “it comes from the Greek and refers to a gift from the gods, and when gods endow individuals with that gift, they can also take it away. And we’ve seen many such examples of that in excessive amounts in recent years, in dramatic fashion.” “I think it is extremely important for us to go the opposite way,” he continues. “Not to say that the individual doesn’t matter, but as we develop the individual to become more sensitive, skilful and responsible, to also create forms of leadership development that empower communities to take on the challenges we face.” That means combining several streams of research and tearing down pedantic barriers. “Separate disciplines are not so helpful if we have to understand the parameters of leadership development,” Petriglieri adds. “We need to review the actions of leadership -- how can we help leaders become more ef42 | CEO
fective at what they do? Then there’s the meaning of leadership -- how can we help leaders become more mindful, more aware of what they represent, of how they articulate and embody a set of values for their organisation? Some of us are going to be focused on the ethics of leadership -- how can we help leaders develop a moral compass for this day and age?” When you consider the expanded realm of responsibility for today’s leaders -- industrial or political -- given globalisation and instant interconnectivity, you realise the challenges. Petriglieri adds: “It’s the amount of information (the leader) has to deal with, the emotional intensity, the sheer complexity of some of the challenges we face. All this does not lend itself to any one individual, no matter how smart or capable or morally-grounded he or she is, to come forth with a solution and then persuade others of its soundness.” And due to organisations expanding across the globe, this person may not even have met the company’s representative in another part of the world or share the same culture. Leaders today also find themselves in a field of “enormous collective anxiety,” says Petriglieri. And that puts strains on their performance as leaders.
“They’re asked to provide greater visibility and at the same time foster significant change; to act decisively but also inclusively; to take a stance but to take into account the values and needs of a diverse set of constituencies; to be self-confident but also question themselves.” Are we echoing the last Caesars, trying to rule an empire that has grown too big to manage? Or, in this case, too complicated to cover? “What we need to develop,” says Petriglieri, “are what I’d call leadership communities, rather than great leaders. Therefore, the question we need to ask is, what do we need to know and how can we provide opportunities for these kinds of leadership to be developed? The sheer cognitive complexity and emotional intensity of the challenges that leaders face today mean that they need a different kind of leadership development. It’s very important that we move leadership development from just an application of a body of knowledge to a more central place as a field of inquiry.” ■ Acknowledgement Article courtesy of INSEAD Knowledge.
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The Lisbon advantage »Jamie Wood talks to Belén de Vicente
The Lisbon Milieu Could you delineate the Lisbon MBA value proposition? The Lisbon MBA was born in an
environment of competition when the two top business schools in Portugal, FCEE Católica and NOVA, joined efforts to offer a top international programme under the The Lisbon MBA brand. The current portfolio includes two programmes targeting different types of applicants. The Lisbon MBA Part Time is a two year programme with flexible schedule and compatible with the student´s professional life. This programme integrates a solid curriculum with a strong focus on personal development, global access through an international study trip and the opportunity to expand the network with the extensive Alumni members from Católica and NOVA. The Lisbon MBA International is a 12 month full time programme in collaboration with MIT Sloan School of Management. This programme integrates an innovative curriculum where the students develop the core competences in the business area while training the soft skills through the Friday forums. The Friday forums are designed to explore students´ talent and soft skills through creative and unconventional ways such as singing fado, acting on a Shakespeare play, creating a promotional video among others. This programme also includes a summer immersion at MIT Sloan and an integrated summer internship. Do you feel that ‘triple crown’ accreditation accurately places the Lisbon MBA within the top one percent of executive educa-
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tion providers globally? The Triple Crown
accreditation is a prestigious recognition and a guarantee of quality for the students. However, only AMBA looks specifically at the MBA programme whereas EQUIS and AACSB assess the overall quality of the schools. Less than 50 schools worldwide have received the triple accreditation, putting NOVA and FCEE Católica among the top one percent Worldwide. The fact that these two schools are part of such an exclusive group of top schools obviously places The Lisbon MBA as a top programme as we benefit from the prestige, the excellent faculty and the facilities of both schools. Both Catolica and Nova have a strong showing in the Natural and Social Sciences, Engineering, and Architecture. With the Lisbon MBA comprising almost 75% of these disciplines, was MIT an obvious partner with whom to become associated? The
association with MIT Sloan was part of a large scale collaboration involving MIT and the Portuguese Government to develop education and research programmes across several areas such as engineering and business. This collaboration involved the creation of an international MBA in Portugal and both NOVA and Católica were the key players to participate on this initiative. Internationalism sans l’Internationale Portugal is sometimes perceived as a peripheral nation within the context of the EU. Given the cultural influence on the emerging economies of Latin America via Brazil and Africa through the Chinese de-
velopment for trade ‘Angola Model’, are the Lisbon MBAs well placed to service a globalised market? An International perspective
on people and business is a hallmark of the programme. Portugal has a geo strategic position as a gateway to America, Africa and Europe while the language and cultural influence is also important for students who want to have access to some of emerging markets like Brazil and Africa. Lisbon, with its twenty centuries of history, it is a city that sails through time, remaining forever vibrant and cosmopolitan and attracting 600,000 students every year. Yes, Lisbon’s strategic geographical position is used as one of the attraction points for foreigners that want to approach the Portuguese speaking countries and to learn Portuguese while developing management skills. The International Lisbon MBA offering from Catolica and Nova is a collaboration with MIT Sloan. With the summer period spent at MIT, in effect an additional semester, what benefit are students able to derive from their North American experience?
Over three weeks in the month of June, students will pursue courses that tackle global issues in management and technological innovation and entrepreneurship at the Sloan School of Management. While at the MIT campus, students have access to MIT faculty, prolific libraries and learning centre. The Lisbon MBA International gives the students a chance to discover the culture and business practices of the fast-paced northeast of the United States. They have also access to company speakers and to some social events to complete their immersion period.
Both programmes have an international faculty, trained at the world’s best “schools, deeply involved in high quality research and in tune with the latest developments in management theory and practice. ”
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most of the MBA curricula before the crises and that now are just getting more visible and increasing their importance in the global offer What in fact is the real challenge is changing attitudes: Competition vs. Cooperation, creativity vs. Plagiarism, etc.
in and of themselves. However, how important will your ever expanding alumni network become? The Lisbon MBA commu-
Core and Electives Would you outline the core components of your offerings? How may the learning experience be supplemented by elective pathways? Our core curriculum focuses on
corporate finance, marketing, general management and organisational behaviour. During their MIT immersion they also focus on global management issues and technological innovation and entrepreneurship. The elective courses give the students the flexibility to choose some pathways and built on the core competences developed during the core courses. It’s What You Know And Who You Know The Lisbon MBA offerings are value adding,
The MBA cohort comprises of 62% Portuguese nationals and 38% foreign nationals, while the EMBA consists of 98% Portuguese nationals and 2% foreign nationals. Do the offerings serve the dual purpose of consolidating Lisbon as an international business hub as well as providing world class Portuguese leaders able to operate in and situated across continents? Both pro-
grammes are aimed to leverage leadership talent and prepare future leaders for a globalised market. Both programmes have an international faculty, trained at the world’s best schools, deeply involved in high quality research and in tune with the latest developments in management theory and practice; Both programmes depict an innovative curriculum, stimulating rigorous analysis, the use of emotional intelligence skills, socially responsible behaviour and hands-on learning; both programmes benefit from strong ties with the corporate world, with major companies closely involved in its governance and sponsoring providing a network of 46 | CEO
internships and connections. The difference is the way, the pace and the locations in which the learning experience takes place. These differences are closely related to the programme format and to the students’ mental and physical availability to learn in different ways. The Current Climate Ethics, Transparency and Accountability are keywords internationally. How is Corporate and Social Responsibility deployed within the Lisbon MBA programmes? The Lisbon
MBA promotes the generation and development of actions with social impact within the programme while creating a sustainable contribution for better social conditions in the community and society at large. Both the Part Time and the International Program can share their talent for a positive change through the Business Sustainability and Business Consulting Lab where the students
can work in projects under the sustainability topic and also by undertake their summer internship in the 3rd sector. The programme also creates social or environmental value through an ideas contest open to both programmes. In addition, students discuss and generate ideas with social entrepreneurs during a Friday Forum. In additional, some of the students take a role on The Social Responsibility Club, an initiative where they collaborate with different institutions and use their skills and tools to help the society. Have the challenges facing the global economy legitimised subjects and curriculum areas that might have once been considered indulgent? The way the global
economy has influenced the MBA curriculum is more in the way the messages are reinforced and in the examples that are provided than in the introduction of new areas that were not covered before. Ethics, governance models and sustainable business were subjects covered by
than 50 schools worldwide have received “theLess triple accreditation, putting NOVA and FCEE Católica among the top one percent Worldwide. ” nity is driven by the creativity and diversity of current students and alumni. The Alumni Club encourages current students to connect with the extensive network of Católica and Nova Alumni that counts with some top executives and entrepreneurs. Alumni actively participate in the Lisbon MBA community as guest lecturers, professional mentors and corporate contacts. Alumni are a key issue in every MBA programme, since they are the ambassadors that represent “the voice of the experience”. The International Programme has allowed us to start developing a global network of alumni that is becoming a cornerstone in the dissemination of The Lisbon MBA brand. Who better than the ones that have taken the programme to talk about it from all the corners of the world?
The Future For The Lisbon MBAs What are the strategic short to midterm objectives for the Lisbon MBA? What are the knowns for the next 12-18 months?
To launch new products under The Lisbon MBA brand to increase our portfolio addressing targets that we do not reach now, to develop South America connections to increase brand awareness in the countries that can have an advantage of taking an MBA in Portugal, to finish the integration of NOVA and Católica Alumni networks and to strength our relationship with the market making the bridge between the talent and the opportunities. ■
Biography Belen de Vicente is the Programme Director of the Lisbon MBA.
Future Leaders have an appointment in Lisbon
Experience The Lisbon MBA The Lisbon MBA Experience is a unique event where candidates have a chance to learn more about the program and engage with faculty, staff and current students. 11th of September at the NOVA Campus in Lisbon Register now at: www.thelisbonmba.com To ﬁnd out more on how to participate contact the Admissions Team:
• Prestigious Faculty • Boston MIT immersion • Summer Internship • 12 months, Full-time
Classes start in January 2011 Applications will be open between the 15th of February until the 31st of October 2010
+351 213 822 720 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Standard »Dr Julie Hodges talks to CEO Magazine
Certainly our applications have risen, but it is “ interesting to note that the quality of applicants we are getting has risen as well. ” Durham Business School What sets Durham Business School (DBS) apart from other b-schools? At DBS, we
focus on research led teaching. This means using our up to date thought-leadership research to influence our teaching, thus ensuring students really obtain cutting edge research in every class. Linked to the foregoing, on the academic side, we look for practical applications of the theory and encourage students to think along the same lines. It’s absolutely vital that they are able to put in to practice the concepts they learn in the classroom. Looking now to another strand of the programme, we aim to enhance the skills, knowledge and confidence that students need as well. Some students may already have a significant skill base; however, it’s a question of enhancing the aforementioned: helping students to feel more confident, whether through networking, how they sell themselves, or how they influence others. The diversity of our cohort also sets us apart. We achieve this through our recruiting policy by ensuring that we have students from different countries. Consequently, our teaching has a significant global dimension to it. Developing strategic partnerships with businesses is also integral to our success If we include your partner MBA programmes, you offer five in total. However, which is the most popular and why? Our
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full time MBA is the most popular. There are several reasons for this. Students are completely immersed in learning for 12 months. This enables them to develop networks and friendships with other students on the programme and with the academic staff. We also offer them an opportunity to visit our international partners. For example, we have had students this year who spent a week at Stellenbosch Business School in South Africa and a week at Fudan University in China. On these trips the students get the opportunity to learn in a different environment, share their learning with other students and develop their networks In terms of career management, how much support does DBS offer? We have a
career manager on site who provides advice on everything from CV enhancement through to development centres. Workshops are also available for the full-time cohort of students; there are networking events where we invite various business leaders to the school; we also offer students the opportunity to attend career fairs, for example, students attended this year’s fair in Edinburgh. We don’t of course guarantee students a job at the end of the programme, and I don’t think any business school can do that, particularly in light of the current economic climate. However, we do provide them with a significant amount of strategic guidance and advice. We also organize Q&A sessions with businesses from a variety of different sectors, such as management consultants.
Most b-schools like to talk about the big issues when promoting their MBA programmes. However, you talk about the importance of soft skills like strategic thinking and communication. How much emphasis do you place upon said skills and why? Let me say at the outset, we do
not use the terminology ‘soft skills.’ We tend to think in terms of interpersonal skills, for example, critical thinking, communication, influencing, networking and managing relationships at work. The question is how we integrate all of this into the academic programme. Well, to this end, all students have their own personal development portfolio; they can consider which programmes they want to join and which are the most advantageous for them. We believe it is of paramount importance to make sure that, in terms of the skills, our personal development programme is linked to the academic programme. For example, we offer a workshop on leadership skills, which is linked to the academic elective on leadership In addition, we also consider the most appropriate interpersonal skills for each cohort. This year there has been a great deal of focus on risk management and governance. Therefore, consideration has been given to the integration of those facets into the programme.
DBS is certainly very innovative. One such innovation, your boardroom activity, illustrates this point very well. Can you expand upon this and other such innovations that DBS brings to the table? Yes, the board-
room activity is very innovative and very good for the students. They do this during the first term.
There are a number of objectives that have to be achieved. For the exercise to be completely
It’s absolutely vital that they are able to put in to “practice the concepts they learn in the classroom. ” meaningful we choose real life companies. Students visit these companies, analyze selected data, and make recommendations based upon that data and it is carried out within a boardroom environment. Teams comprise of people from different countries, so the students have to become accustomed to the way in which different people from different countries make decisions and work as a cohesive unit. Out of necessity they are also required to apply some of the theoretical models which they have learnt about at the end of the exercise they present their strategic recommendations to a Chairperson. It is then
up to the Chair to say whether or not they will be accepted. So, it’s not role play, it’s about applying their learning to a real life situation. Fact or Fiction Given the growing number of graduate business programmes that are conferring MBA degrees, some say that the qualification has lost its appeal. Do you concur with this? Some may say that but we cannot. As
far as we are concerned the qualification has lost none of its appeal. On the contrary, our applications this year have shown consequential increases. Feedback from employers suggests that they still want to recruit MBAs; in
fact, interestingly enough, this year’s cohort are already beginning to get interviews with different companies and being offered jobs. But, I think what’s key, in terms of the MBA, is what students are learning and how they apply it in the real world. Although a specialized MBA may take longer to complete, does it make you more marketable? From our point of view, employ-
ers recruiting MBA students are looking for MBAs from a reputable, accredited business school. We are accredited by the three principal accrediting bodies, the AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. Employers know that our curric-
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A unique opportunity for
Leaders with Vision
ulum is focused on excellent academic teaching, up-to-date research and that the learned precepts are also applicable in different businesses. When the economy is in decline, application volumes tend to increase. With this in mind, have admission standards risen?
Certainly our applications have risen, but it is interesting to note that the quality of applicants we are getting has risen as well. Although applications are fuelled, to some extent, by a recessionary economy - a countercyclical paradox - I believe that there are other dominant factors at play as well. As mentioned above, having three accreditations has helped: reputation and the word-of-mouth of students are also very important. With the plethora of social networking sites out there, students are able to talk across the globe about their experiences on business courses. As a business school are you more interested in applicant quality or quantity? At DBS,
it’s the quality aspect that interests us. When we recruit quality students we see the impact that they have on the programme and how they
50 | CEO
benefit from it as well. It’s not a degree mill we have here at Durham. It’s about having applicants who are going to add to the programme and in turn get the best out of it. This year we were obliged to close our applications because we had such an increase, not only in terms of numbers but in quality as well.
Return on Investment Does the amount one spends on an MBA determine the quality of the qualification?
At Durham we aim to create a quality MBA, whatever that might cost. We charge a fee that reflects the quality we provide through teaching and research, student support and high quality partnerships, all of which are absolutely vital. Given the current state of the global job market, graduates are finding it increasingly more difficult to simply walk into certain fields and/or jobs. Therefore, when considering ROI, should applicants be trying to identify business schools that are more keenly priced? I think that students
come to Durham because of our reputation and influence and relevance, and would still come
regardless of cost. Doing an MBA at any time nowadays is expensive. Ultimately, I think students want to know that they are getting value for money, In terms of pricing, your MBA programmes are very competitive. How you do maintain quality, in terms of faculty, delivery methods etc. given that your tuition fees are considerably lower when compared to other business schools, both domestically and internationally? We aim to recruit the
best faculty and regularly monitor the quality of the teaching on the MBA programme. We also review it to ensure it is innovative and provides relevance and impact. Our fees are geared towards providing value for money, quality attracts quality. ■
Biography Dr Julie Hodges is the Director of the full-time MBA programme and a senior teaching fellow in Organisation Behaviour at Durham Business School. Julie is also an Honorary Fellow at Glasgow University.
For information please call +357 2289 2400 or visit our website www.mba.ucy.ac.cy Application deadline: April 15, 2010. Scholarships available.
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Shaking Up The
MBA Landscape » CEO Magazine talks to Dr Andreas Charitou
Introduction Kindly define your unique MBA value proposition? In so far as concerns the
University of Cyprus our mission is to create leaders of vision. We believe our MBA programme provides a unique experience for our students. We have a stimulating environment here at the University of Cyprus that encourages the transformation of ideas into business realities; and this is one of the major components of our programme. As will be shown later, we offer a faculty which we can justifiably claim is second to none.
Despite the fact that your MBA offering is fairly new, your reputation precedes you. To what do you attribute this? Yes, we are fairly
new. However, we have already have gained quite a reputation. Most of our faculty members come from abroad, bringing a wealth of experience gained from other universities and leading schools, both in Europe and North America. They bring with them new ideas which we have included in formulating our MBA programme. We try not only to emphasize research and teaching but also look to establish worthwhile contacts with the business world, both here in Cyprus and abroad. The facilities here at 52 | CEO
the University of Cyprus are state of the art and include a large library, which is first class, with several databases that not only allow the students to access information but also get in touch with other research facilities which contribute to their work.
We often talk about the quality of the professors at the leading business schools; however, your faculty is truly impressive. Has this been the key to your success, thus far?
As previously mentioned our faculty come from prestigious schools in Europe and North America, such as Harvard, Stanford, Cornell, Cambridge, Yale and so on. There are about 20 fulltime faculty members here in our business department and another 20 in our economics department. We also have visiting professors that, again, come in from leading universities in North America and Europe. These individuals tend to have several years of experience in MBA programmes. Can you walk us through the programme options available at the University of Cyprus?
We have two options, namely, the fulltime and the professional MBA programme. The latter is a twoyear, evening programme. Offered in Greek and English, it is geared towards professionals who are currently working and want to enhance their
We prepare our students to be able to meet fierce competition and be “ able to react to the bad times. It’s a programme for all seasons. ” leadership and effectiveness in the organizations in which they’re working, whether in the public or private sector. They have, on average, 10 years of work experience. The average age is around 35. The fulltime programme is offered in English only and geared to individuals who are committed to improving their management and leadership skills and decision-making abilities in this highly competitive environment. They have to work in groups on an applied business project and they have to cooperate
with a real business, either here in Cyprus or abroad, and in so doing solve a real problem, which is then submitted to the faculty for final assessment. Are you at liberty to discuss your admissions process? We evaluate each application
thoroughly. Three faculty members perform the evaluation and invite those who show potential for an interview. An applicant’s academic qualifications and personality are assessed in order to determine whether, upon
graduation, they will be able to add value to the market moving forward. All candidates who come for an interview take an extra examination, which includes an aptitude test; this is unique to our university, at least I don’t know of any other university who uses this kind of test. For overseas candidates, interviews are carried out by phone. Given that it would be impractical for these applicants to perform the aptitude test, their interview is far more in depth and carries a lot more weight.
Unlike many programme providers operating in the MBA space, you are non-profit organization. To what extent does this benefit new and existing students? I would say the fact
that we are nonprofit benefits the student in the sense that we are able to keep our fees relatively low. The MBA Qualification Today
Following the collapse of the global economy and the negative press business schools
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These are just some of the factors that should be taken into consideration prior to selecting a programme. Of course the quality of the faculty is also an important factor.
It’s a brand new business world.
Certain business schools feel it’s imperative that candidates know exactly what they wish to get out of a programme in order to define their professional goals and target future employers. Whilst this makes sense, given the state of the global job market, can one still afford to be quite so rigid? I
will state categorically that universities that are not forward looking will not succeed in today’s climate. Here at Cyprus University we are forward looking. We try to prepare the student in a stringent, competitive environment so that they learn to not only consider their own performance as an individual but also realize that, to some extent, their performance is also dependent upon external factors, such as the state of the economy etc. Again, the student must recognize how fierce the competition is out there. So, we prepare our students for turbulent times; we don’t say, ‘it’s easy, you’re going to succeed no matter what.’
have received, has the MBA qualification lost some of its luster? It depends on the
institution. In general I believe that during turbulent times the MBA qualification becomes more important. Naturally, it is of paramount importance that the school one selects has a solid base: and I would venture to say that here at the University of Cyprus we do have a solid base. We try to prepare our graduates not only for the good times, but for the bad times as well. It’s easy to perform when things are going well, but in turbulent times, such as during an economic collapse; the good schools are those with solid foundations. Hence, we prepare our students to be able to meet fierce competition and be able to react to the bad times. It’s a programme for all seasons.
Is the MBA still an indispensable step for business professionals wanting to enhance their careers and move ahead in the international community? No doubt. If a
student wishes to advance internationally, there is no better passport than an MBA from a solid school.
Given the state of the international job market, does an MBA provide the same career
54 | CEO
boosting qualities it once did? Our MBA
programme has the same goals as heretofore. The truth is, if one is going to do a good job, he must be a leader and not merely a follower. Again, I point to solid foundations. Schools with such foundations will be able to develop tomorrow’s leaders. We emphasize leadership qualities, entrepreneurship and communication skills with a multicultural awareness that you wont find in many schools. We also emphasize corporate social responsibility, sustainable development and all of the hot button issues, which will stand our students in excellent stead when they get into the market. Choosing the Right Programme
Some say that candidates should evaluate a programme based upon the following criteria: the quality of its academic specialization, its educational environment, and its career placement programme. Do you concur with this? I do indeed. As far as our university is
concerned, I would reiterate that we offer a new programme with fresh ideas, creativeness, entrepreneurship and multicultural awareness.
Looking Ahead What can new and existing students expect from the University of Cyprus, in terms of programme innovations, over the next 12 to 18 months? Our slogan is, ‘creating leaders
with vision’. We are trying to develop our students and, at the same time, make them more practical in terms of their outlook; we want them to understand from the outset how difficult the business environment is.
We are trying to include in our curriculum issues that reflect the real world. Therefore, ethics and corporate social responsibility are just two of the hot button issues we will be emphasizing and covering in great depth moving forward. Finally, given that we are a new school, we are working hard to establish an alumni network as this will assist our students greatly when they get out into the marketplace. ■
The Bristol Executive MBA Future proof your career at Bristol Business School with our AMBA-accredited MBA programme. We understand it’s not about thinking you have all the answers but about knowing the right questions to ask. You’ll learn to meet changing demands in the global business world while gaining practical skills you can apply immediately. We run two programmes: the full-time MBA and the part-time Executive MBA, both with specialist routes in Entrepreneurship, Finance and Global Operations. Get set for tomorrow today.
Biography Dr Andreas Charitou is the Director of the MBA programme at the University of Cyprus.
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In Value Added » Robert Smith talks to Jonathan Calens
This is truly a fabulous “environment that is highly
conducive to learning. To this we can add the reputation of the Business School and the University, offering well developed programmes taught by first class in-house and adjunct faculty who are all highly experienced practitioners.
Bangor Business School You have achieved a great deal in a short space of time. What are you doing that other business schools are not? I suspect the
fact that we are relatively new may have helped us to avoid some of the obvious pitfalls highlighted by the recent turbulent times. The Management Centre, part of Bangor Business School, was established in 2007 after £14m grant funding; the University provided the buildings. I came on board in 2008 and immediately embarked on a strategic marketing programme for the new Executive MBA programme. Initially, in 2007, there were just 6 students, but in the 2008 cohort we recruited 12 students and with able assistance from Siân Evans who joined us in 2009, as Executive Education Manager, we have once again doubled the previous year’s intake. This achievement is partly the result of careful assessment of our target market, so in the first year we focused on North Wales almost exclusively. It’s pertinent to note that our budget for marketing purposes is small and this means we must look very closely at what we do and how we do it, but there are other pluses. Our product is of the highest quality in terms of content and venue and of course it emanates from a highly respected University, offering a University and Business School awarded MBA.
56 | CEO
Kindly define the Bangor Business School (BBS) MBA value proposition? In first coming to the University, I asked this very ques-
tion; the answer I received was what might be expected from almost any university anywhere. Now after 20 months in situ, I can say very confidently our UVP is based on the twin factors of product quality, and location. We are situated in a very nice part of the world, and housed in a high quality establishment with a gold award from ‘Visit Wales for business facilities’ and four star for accommodation facilities. The cost of the latter, along with full catering, is included in the fee for the Executive MBA. We are now attracting people from further afield, who tell us they love the feeling of quietude, well away from their daily and sometimes frenetic hurly burly of city life. This is truly a fabulous environment that is highly conducive to learning. To this we can add the reputation of the Business School and the University, offering well developed programmes taught by first class in-house and adjunct faculty who are all highly experienced practitioners. You offer one of the more cost-effective MBA programmes in the country, whilst still maintaining exceptional quality. How do you achieve this? And Why do other schools struggle to offer the same value? As mentioned, our accommodation and catering is all onsite
whereas other schools may be obliged to obtain catering from external sources, and may also need to use external accommodation. Having these resources as it were, right at our fingertips enables us to keep costs low whilst not skimping on quality. We can also access the Banking, Accounting and Finance expertise in the Business School, which has recently scored No. 1 in the UK in the Government’s RAE. While our EMBA offering is broader, it does mean that for our Banking and Finance and Economics offerings we can draw on faculty that is literally on our doorstep with commensurate savings of otherwise heavy travel costs etc for faculty. It also means that when we use adjunct faculty, any overriding cost is balanced off and thus the quality is passed on to the students. In this economic climate we are keen to ensure that the EMBA is affordable and that companies place appropriate value on the offering. We examine very carefully the cost consequences of everything we do, so for example we tend to handle many aspects in-house that perhaps might be farmed out by other schools.
We are striving to adopt a protean approach to ensure that our MBA reflects the “needs of the business world today. ” At a time when applications seem to be in decline, your numbers are increasing. To what do you attribute your success?
To recap, our first intake back in 2007 was six. Subsequently we increased from that number to double, and doubled it again to 24 for the present cohort. Building on the knowledge gained from year one, we embarked on a strategic marketing approach, choosing carefully which publications suited our purposes, and which organisations to approach, as well as improving our Web presence. However the potency of word of mouth cannot be underestimated. A number of students have expressed the view that they like to do a part-time programme close to home, and it has helped to have the word spread by an alumni body. In summary, I would say that by maintaining a constant presence in the market place, we have managed to engender a great deal of attention. This is witnessed by the fact that in March of this year we had already received 18 expressions of interest, compared with three at the same time last year; we have yet to start our advertising campaign. Apart from your Executive MBA programme, how many study options do you offer? The objective of the Business School is to deliver
professional part-time and business oriented courses on behalf of The
Management Centre. The School offers a full suite of full-time MBAs and MScs, including banking and finance. As said, in December 2008 the School was ranked No. 1 in the UK in the fields of accounting and finance. In January this year, we launched a Distance Learning suite, offering an MBA in banking and finance. It’s a blended version of the already successful on-campus MBA in banking and finance and will have a global reach. It means that people who for one reason or another are unable to take the EMBA can still achieve a Bangor degree. We intend to explore this theme further. Some schools prefer to use senior faculty members when teaching courses. Is this something that you advocate at BBS? Yes ab-
solutely. The quality of the teaching is of paramount importance to us. Apart from our resident faculty, we employ adjunct faculty comprised of highly qualified people who hail from a business background, practitioners, consultants and so on. So this blend of senior and adjunct faculty enables us to work holistically, an approach we are constantly seeking to develop further. We strive to get the best from them; we talk to both our internal and adjunct staff, to ensure that there is an excellent combination of the academic and practical. On the practical side, the Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation module culminates in a Dragons CEO | 57
In January this year, we launched “ a Distance Learning suite, offering an MBA in banking and finance. It’s a blended version of the already successful on-campus MBA in banking and finance and will have a global reach.
In order to better anticipate the next cycle of crisis and, therefore, avoid repeating history, we need to re-think the way we educate future leaders. Does this also mean that, in your opinion, business schools need to change the way in which they recruit their MBA candidates? As far as Bangor Business School is concerned, we have
certain tested criteria for entry. For the EMBA the candidate needs to have a degree and a minimum five years experience in a relevant and appropriate position; we sometimes accept promising applicants without a degree but in this case, they need a minimum seven years experience in a relevant position. The personal interview is also key. I know that from my own experience I can sit down with a potential candidate and in a very short time have a very good feel for his or her suitability for acceptance, based on his background knowledge, motivation, and application. In addition, we are obliged to conform to the admissions criteria laid down by the University. Notwithstanding we must always remain mindful that we are living in a global environment; in a world full of cultures, where every individual coming from his own individual context, who has the right to dictate an applicant’s suitability based solely on some particular culture? I like to think we are open and accepting of all cultures here. Anybody who wants to apply can do so, but then we assess that application which comes through me initially but is then vetted by a number of people comprising the Executive Education Manager, the University Admissions Assistant, and the Academic Director.
Some schools feel that by adding an ethics course or devoting a few extra minutes in class to current events they are somehow addressing the challenges that business leaders face in the 21st century. Is it not about learning to ask the right questions, challenging the status quo and tracing the intricate web of connections between events, cultures, nations and disciplines? Observ-
Den Style presentation with a panel made up from participants from the business community.
Business Schools, the Economic Crisis and Recruitment
In terms of career management, how much support does BBS offer? Needless to say the University offers a comprehensive careers and
In many respects the recent economic crisis has stemmed from a failure of leadership and corporate responsibility. What can the international business community do to help prevent a similar disaster in the future? I think there ought to be a governance system in place
opportunities advisory service. The Business School utilises this service, enabling its students to access the full suite of careers advice and that’s not only during the time of study here; the service remains open to all graduates of the university within three years of their graduation. The dedicated careers team maintain useful links with businesses some of the facilities on offer include a jobs web site, employment workshops and interview workshops. 58 | CEO
within organizations that is accountable to stakeholders. Some companies may argue that such a system already exists, but if you look at the RBS situation as one example, the claim is easily refuted. Responsibility and accountability need to be emphasised and addressed. It would appear there is a tendency for high-ranking executives to protect themselves and
hide from the consequences of responsibility, or should I say irresponsibility. I believe these occurrences will happen again, they happened in the past throughout history, and will recur unless there are changes in corporate responsibility. How does this change come about? It must come from the top level, and there must be a mechanism in place that ensures the people in top positions behave responsibly and accountably. If we really look at all the implications it is clear that most of this situation has been brought about by greed. It will take a brave person to change it but it must be done at the highest echelons. As educators, we have a duty to the students to inculcate in them a desire not to just accept, but to question, always looking at the way things are done, and not to be afraid to say ‘actually I need more guidance’.
ing the events of the past few years, a number of ethics courses have popped up; I believe this to be the proverbial ‘knee jerk’ reaction to a contemporary situation. While business schools need to stay with and be ahead of the game wherever possible on all of these thorny issues, I do believe we need to consider very carefully and responsibly the methods we employ. Merely saying ‘Ok there’s an ethics problem let’s put a course on’ simply won’t achieve the desired result. I believe a more appropriate route would be to embed an ethics culture within each of the modules. We are going to address this within faculty for appropriate courses, whether it’s marketing, accounting or organizational behaviour, which is a hot button issue particularly in light of recent events. I think this approach would be far more effective than a mere bolt-on. The concept is to introduce a behaviour change. This is evolutionary, it will not happen overnight. The achievement of an MBA changes people because it happens over a long period. It’s a process of building on knowledge and my belief is that if you structure this as a theme throughout all CEO | 59
The ethos of the Management Centre as a whole both for our staff and students “remains one of continuous development. ” modules, then that desired behavioural change will become part of what they do. To what extent is BBS equipping its managers with the skills necessary to be effective and responsible leaders? We are striving to
adopt a protean approach to ensure that our MBA reflects the needs of the business world today. Whilst our electives can teach our students to become more effective managers, we also recognise the need for a course enabling them to develop themselves as leaders. To this end we have introduced a module entitled Strategic Leadership. It’s based on the ILM’s and CMI’s structures as we are an accredited deliverer of both. ILM and CMI are about recognizing who you are now, and then moving forward and acquiring the skills to develop. While a part of this comes naturally to some people, some of it can be nurtured; in this particular module we are developing their skills, we are stretching them and encouraging them to become more effective both for themselves and within their companies.
accordingly. Remember however, a new programme cannot come on stream immediately; it takes time to go through the necessary channels for approval so we are possibly talking 12 months down the line. With Bangor Global we are bedding in our first distance, blended learning MBA offering in Banking and Finance, and within 12 months time we will be launching a second programme in the same format, which will be accounting and finance. We will also be looking at some of our traditional on-campus programmes, in particular some of our evening programmes which can be adopted by the Business School, using the same format as the Bangor Global. In this way, we can utilise all of our technology. The ethos of the Management Centre as a whole, both for our staff and students, remains one of continuous development. Biography: Robert Smith is the Director of Bangor Business School’s EMBA. Prior to joining the Bangor Business School team in 2008, Robert was a business coach and consultant specialising in marketing, business planning and development. ■
The Next Chapter Moving forward, what can new and existing students expect from BBS over the next twelve to eighteen months, in terms of programme innovation? We aim to create greater choice for the students
coming through. So if they want to follow a specific route or specialism we are prepared to develop new ideas that will enhance our programme 60 | CEO
Biography Robert Smith is the Director of Bangor Business School’s EMBA. Prior to joining the Bangor Business School team in 2008, Robert was a business coach and consultant specialising in marketing, business planning and development. Robert also holds an MBA (Distinction).
Online MBA Review CEO | 61
Online MBA •••
in the United States, the number “ Iofthink, people in graduate programs equates
On The Move
»Jonathan Calens talks to Dr Arthur Keiser
to approximately 9% of the population. Therefore, it’s only a very small, elite group of people who get to that level.
the economy softens students “oftenWhen make the decision to go back to
school. Naturally this makes them more competitive and better prepared to deal with the challenges ahead.
Traversing National Borders Keiser University (KU) is one of the great success stories of academia. You make education accessible to all via your online platforms and your desire to make a difference. For those students that work remotely, how do you make them feel part of the KU family?
Keiser University’s system is interactive. Therefore, even though our students may be separated by geography, they feel very connected to one another. At the beginning of every course the faculty will ask the students to talk about themselves and each other. By the end of month one the very same students are not only communicating with each in the classroom, but independently, via email and by telephone as they get to know each other. It’s amazing; graduation really is a reunion for our students. In relation to Keiser’s online platform and the environment that we create, there’s more interaction between faculty and student and student and student than in most classrooms. Also, given that 83% of our students work, their lives are incredibly busy to begin with. Therefore, loneliness is simply not an issue. In relation to your graduate programs, are online students able to interact with on-campus students and how do you facilitate this?
Some of our on-campus students do take online courses because of scheduling or as an elective. Naturally this facilitates interaction between on-campus and online students. However, generally, the two are separate. The reason that we offer online courses is so that students that work remotely don’t have to visit a campus. 62 | CEO
The marriage of online study and technology seems to be a perfect match. Are you surprised that other schools have not followed in the footsteps of KU? Well, there are a number that have. However, in
many cases, traditional universities are married to the on-campus environment and therefore find it difficult to make the change. I know that the University of Illinois spent a great deal of money trying to create a global university but were unable to recruit the students. Certain schools have chosen to outsource their online graduate programs to a third party; however, this is not something we do. Consequently, we are able to control the process from start to finish. Given the current economic climate, do you foresee there being an upswing in the number of self-funded MBA stu-
dents attending KU globally? I agree, I think the number of self-funded MBA students has increased. However, we still see a lot of tuition reimbursement. In fact, our student intake has increased significantly.
When the economy softens students often make the decision to go back to school. Naturally this makes them more competitive and better prepared to deal with the challenges ahead. KU has significant brand recognition in North America and Asia. However, as a school on the move, we know that your plans are not limited to the aforementioned territories. Are you at liberty to discuss your plans for Europe, and the rest of the world for that matter? Presently, we’re working on a lot of different opportunities.
We want to start an operation in Serbia and we’ve had people in Costa Rica and Panama this week looking at opportunities over there. However, Serbia will be our immediate goal with respect to developing a program, both on-campus and online. The Growth and Quality of Online MBA Programs The number of schools offering online MBA programs has grown exponentially over the last six years. Has the market reached saturation point? No. I think, in the United States, the number of
people in graduate programs equates to approximately 9% of the population. Therefore, it’s only a very small, elite group of people who get to that level. CEO | 63
Online MBA •••
When you study online is not just simply a series of emails, “reading and testing, it’s a learning process. How that learning process is managed is the critical part. ”
The level of work experience required by many schools seems to be in decline. Whilst this may boost enrollment, what impact does this have on the quality of one’s program? As you open the
The whole concept of business ethics and social responsibility is at the forefront of higher education, especially at the graduate business level.
qualification up to a wider number of students’ things become a little more diluted. However, this will vary from school to school. The market from which you try to attract students will also have an impact on the aforementioned. Ultimately, some programs are more demanding than others.
Our feeling is that if you take care of the students, the students will take care of you.
Is the learning experience of more qualified students adversely affected by the aforementioned development? I think that when it
comes to learning, motivated students will derive as much as they need to from the experience. Ultimately, it’s about the student’s application and how willing they are to push themselves. Top students will always do well no matter where they are. The bottom line is, you need a high degree of discipline at the graduate level. Unfortunately, not all programs are created equal. Therefore, program selection is incredibly important. What do potential students need to consider when identifying, assessing and selecting a program provider? It depends on the country of origin. Schools in
the United Kingdom will differ to schools in say, Asia.
What steps have you taken in order to forge alliances with socially responsible firms? Every program, and specifically our
MBA program, has a very elaborate advisory committee made up of thought leaders, internal (local institutions) and external firms. The aforementioned individuals and organizations play a very important role in helping us to shape and mould the curriculum. Consequently, we seek to forge alliances with socially responsible firms and individuals who are concerned about the future of business education, both at Keiser and in the community. Naturally, the internships that we are able to promote, locally and nationally, tick all of the right boxes. The campuses which facilitate MBA activity are also geared towards helping the community. We achieve this by setting up community development programs and, in so doing; hope that we can say that we too are socially responsible.
Accreditation is certainly very important. This tends to be a good benchmark in terms of quality assessment.
Do you feel that today’s graduating MBA student is more likely to take a reduction in salary in order to work with an employer that shares their values, in terms of corporate responsibility? It’s a very
When it comes to online programs one has to question whether the program is outsourced, as some of them are. Also, I think the learning platform is critical. When you study online is not just simply a series of emails, reading and testing, it’s a learning process. How that learning process is managed is the critical part.
good question, and a difficult one to answer. I can’t say that I have seen much evidence of this. One of the major benefits attached to the MBA qualification is remuneration.
I think it also worth mentioning that one needs to consider the number of years an online provider has been in operation; those that have been around for a while will have worked out the problems and the bugs. Ultimately, unless you select an elite school, business and industry are interested in what you know, not necessarily which school you went to. Ethics and Social Responsibility
According to a number of recent studies, future business leaders rank corporate social responsibility high on their list of values. KU’s MBA program is second to none. However, to what extent does business conduct factor into your curriculum? Do we teach
ethics? Yes, we do. Part of our training deals with the business of making ethical and appropriate decisions that are not just correct for the institution but also for the communities it services, which I think is especially important today. 64 | CEO
KU’s Next Step The number of programs and campuses you manage seems to be forever growing. Will KU take a break in 2010? We will continue
Choose the Winning Business Strategy
to expand in 2010. We are opening new campuses in Fort Myers and North Tampa. Although the aforementioned are already operating they will not start admitting students for another six months. We will also be adding a new campus in Port St. Lucie to supplement the one we have in place currently. This will take place in March. Finally, we will be launching a number of doctoral level programs once we receive final approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. So, 2010 will be a big year for us. A business cannot stand still; you must continue to move forward. Part of the problem a lot of universities have is that they get comfortable. ■
Biography Dr Arthur Keiser is the Chancellor and CEO of Keiser University.
Looking to make your next move? Choose a career-focused curriculum that prepares you for greater leadership responsibilities in as few as 14 months. Whether you take classes on campus or 100% online, Keiser University’s MBA program immerses you in a comprehensive learning environment that prepares you to face the economic challenges of today’s global environment.
KeiserUniversity.edu/GraduateSchool CEO | 65
Online MBA •••
Future Step »Jonathan Calens talks to Susan Meyer
CSU does not focus heavily on interviews; “ interviews for MBA programs are not dissimilar
to job interviews, everyone is on their best behavior and you really don’t “see” the person for whom they are. We find references as well as the career progression, depth and breadth of someone’s background and experience to be more of an indicator of success in an MBA.
Return on Investment Kindly explain the ROI expectations a typical corporation has from an executive MBA program. An MBA program, be it an Executive
or traditional MBA, meets many expectations for corporations from their respective graduates. A typical corporation would consider the shortterm return of their educational benefits and the long-term investment of overall development and nurturing of future managers and leaders. Let’s look at this from a variety of perspectives. Companies need employees who can:
Journey quickly up a learning curve to increase productivity and efficiencies, and decrease costly mistakes. An MBA provides the necessary tools for transitioning from one position to another and allows for a quicker acclimation – because a good MBA is comprehensive across the business disciplines, an individual becomes very adaptable and flexible as their career escalates.
Translate ideas, concepts and theories into practical applications that can be immedi-
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ately applied to the organization’s environment, again, decreasing costs, increasing revenues, and/or impacting net income. Transfer their knowledge and understanding across the companies’ departments or divisions (accounting, finance, HR, marketing, production, manufacturing, etc) to bring the organization’s goals and objectives into focus for each of these areas and to make their respective objectives and goals congruent with the overall organization.
Manage and lead horizontally across an organization versus being a contributor along a vertical path, like that of engineering, purchasing or sales.
An MBA from an academically sound institution provides a company with a bridge for their employees who are targeted for leadership positions to understand and manage across the five disciplines of business (accounting, finance, marketing, management and CIS) and, further, to be able to take these five disciplines and bring them together into the management or leadership of a successful organization.
Managers and leaders with MBAs are not held hostage by disciplines unrelated to their area of expertise. A manufacturing engineer with an MBA is effective in meetings or projects interfacing with accounting or marketing because he/she understands that discipline’s scope of responsibilities and can ask the questions needed to gather the required information. More importantly, he/she knows and understands the information provided and its value to the organization as a whole.
A corporate manager who has the technical/ analytic knowledge, experience and education of his/her specialty coupled with the comprehensive foundation of an MBA with its business acumen is a powerful corporate asset. An MBA graduate that performs well can anticipate certain opportunities. However, what can graduates typically expect from CSU’s MBA programs, in terms of ROI?
The MBA at CSU has an average of 12 years
of professional experience and is typically fully employed while they are in the program. These individuals tell us time and again that they are able to take the classroom material and immediately apply it to their own business environments demonstrating to their employers that they are having a positive impact and providing a return on the educational dollars invested. Because a good MBA program is application based and not focused only on concepts and theories, a student may demonstrate
what they are learning early and often as they go through the program. Students in the CSU MBA continually report promotions, raises in salaries, ability to cross disciplines within their industries or to branch out into other industries specifically because of the knowledge, skill sets and problem solving capabilities they have gained through the MBA. However, these reports are not just after the degree is conferred but during the CEO | 67
Online MBA •••
program as those who can influence their careers see the impact their new found knowledge has on their own work outcome and the company’s overall attainment of their goals. As for corporations, they can positively influence their ROI through Colorado State University’s Corporate Partnership Program (CPP). CPP is a partnership between a company and the College of Business. How much emphasis should be placed upon the return that one obtains from a lifetime of networking with a group of smart, successful professionals? Networking for the exchange of
ideas and for problem solving as well as from a social perspective is quite valuable. Admissions
Do you foresee the MBA admissions process becoming more simplified over the coming years? The processing will be simplified from an
operational standpoint, but the scrutiny for admission purposes will not. Admissions processing is heading rapidly toward a heavily electronic approach, which will be more convenient for the applicant and provide a faster turnaround for decisions. The admissions process at Colorado State University includes the College of Business, University Admissions and CSU’s Graduate School. The future simplification will come in the form of scanned documents so all involved in the admissions decision can “see” the credentials simultaneously; reference letters submitted through web interfaces and transcripts scanned and sent directly from the institutions.
How much emphasis do you place upon face-to-face and telephonic interviews? The
primary emphasis is placed on credentials, past academic performance as well as references. CSU does not focus heavily on interviews; interviews for MBA programs are not dissimilar to job interviews, everyone is on their best behavior and you really don’t “see” the person for whom they are. We find references as well as the career progression, depth and breadth of someone’s background and experience to be more of an indicator of success in an MBA.
look further down the path, “weAsseeweproviding lecture content via iPhones, iPods, and other handheld devices. It is the College’s intent to have a presence in the same technological space as our students.
In relation to CSU’s student body, how important is diversity? Extremely, diversity is
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Online MBA •••
Business experience “is tantamount to
successfully navigating the MBA program at Colorado State University. It is our philosophy that an MBA, being a professional degree, must have students with good professional experience.
not just about age, gender, national origin and ethnic backgrounds; although they are very important. Diversity is also about industry background, functional areas of experience, countries within which business is conducted, business acumen in various cultures and so on. The CSU MBA student body is diverse in all of the aforementioned areas; this diversity is particularly important from a problem solving perspective and the various perspectives a person uses when tackling a business issue. With respect to your Distance MBA program, how much emphasis do you place upon business experience? Business experi-
ence is tantamount to successfully navigating the MBA program at Colorado State University. It is our philosophy that an MBA, being a professional degree, must have students with good professional experience. We do not accept applicants with less than four years of full time professional experience and prefer our students to have at least six to eight years of experience. The average experience level of the students in our program is twelve years. Emphasis is heavily placed on business experience, because the MBA curriculum is most valuable when applied not conceptually or theoretically but through the use of business situations, past and present. The CSU MBA student knows that they are encouraged to bring their business issues and problems into their class assignments; this grounds the MBA curriculum in what matters most to the student – their career. Additionally, employers receive an immediate ROI on their educational benefits because students are applying their newly gained knowledge and insights immediately – they do not have to wait until graduation to begin seeing value to the organization.
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Would it be fair to say that admission into a leading business school is attainable for anyone with a compelling background?
Yes and no. Institutions tend to have different admissions policies based on their governing bodies’ directions, the history of the institution and their competition from other schools. The culture of the institution also plays a part in how admissions are conducted and what exceptions to the policies are allowed. While many institutions consider experience as a compelling component in the admissions process, the background alone, without being accompanied by a strong academic degree program, may or may not stand alone. Colorado State University’s MBA programs have a limited number of opportunities for individuals to gain admission without the requisite undergraduate degree. Selection Tips Some say that reputation is the most important factor when choosing a school. Do you agree with this? Again, I would say “yes”
and “no.” Reputations are very important (reputation is a continuum going from really, really lackluster to really, really sterling) and should be factored into an individual’s decision making process as they evaluate various institutions and programs. However, reputations are earned over time and may not be relevant at the current time; investigations should be conducted to see how the institution is currently perceived. Interviews with faculty, students and alumni can help to establish this baseline. In choosing a school and program the following should be considered in addition to the institution’s reputation: ❶ Does the curriculum offer the types of classes that the applicant is interested in? ❷ Does the program have the outcome desired by the applicant – degree, learning objectives, course of study with specialties or certificate areas? ❸ Does the program fit pedagogically (the way it is taught) with the appli-
cant’s learning style? ❹ Does the program have the accreditations desired by the applicant? Your alumni network is very strong as is your relationship to local business. To what extent do the aforementioned stakeholders affect program design? In the case of our MBA pro-
gram, the business stakeholders go beyond those in the local area because our program has students in all 50 states, most of the Canadian provinces and 30+ countries. The business community (regardless of where they are) and the alumni are very valuable stakeholders and their impact on our program is significant. Alumni are valuable feedback sources for programmatic revisions and return on investment – making the program more relevant to current business practices through course changes; instructor/professor feedback and effectiveness; perception of the value of their MBA once graduating from the program and from an employment perspective (transfers, promotions, crossing industry lines). Employers are our barometer for what the market place demands in MBA graduates – this allows us to make programmatic changes like course offerings, specialty areas and desired certificates. It also allows us to reposition our degree for a different type of applicant.
Research is of course important because it demonstrates that academics are innovative leaders in their discipline. Naturally, this helps the university’s brand name and that of the MBA.To what extent is CSU’s faculty engaged in relevant and cuttingedge research? Colorado State University is
a Carnegie I Research Institution; this means that research is a very high priority for all tenure-track faculty. Their ability to advance within the University is tied to the quality and acceptability of their research by the prominent journals, associations, and organizations associated with such scholarly work. The College of Business is particularly vigilant in its require-
ments for research among its faculty in the relevant areas of today’s business like sustainability, global enterprise, corporate stewardship and social issues (enterprise) within business, supply chain management, corporate citizenship, financial risk management and many other important business fronts. How can prospective students assess the research qualities of faculty? All MBA stu-
dents have access to their professors to discuss research of interest; additionally, all professors include their current research interests on their College of Business web pages. Looking Ahead
You continue to innovate, what can we expect from CSU in 2010? CSU has taken
steps in 2010 to increase the video quality of its DVDs by moving from a limiting 4x3 format to one that gives better clarity on computer monitors. Additionally, as CSU continues its attempt to “connect” its distance MBA student with the on-campus programs, students are being issued Microsoft’s LifeCams and Communicator interface in order to facilitate many-to-many communications using both video and audio connections, it has the added benefit of synchronous document participation. This means that our MBA teams around the world can work in real-time on the same document or project while engaging each other not only through audio communication but also via video. The days of not personally interacting with your classmates is coming to an end. As we look further down the path, we see providing lecture content via iPhones, iPods, and other handheld devices. It is the College’s intent to have a presence in the same technological space as our students. ■
Biography Susan Meyer is the Director of Colorado State University’s MBA Programs.
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List of Contributors A
Bangor Business School
Colorado State University Columbia Business School
Fordham University GSB
Georgetown University: McDonough
IMD International University in Geneva INSEAD
London Business School
Nottingham University Business School Newcastle University Business School
The afterglows of Wall St. may have dimmed but business graduates have found an invigorating entrepreneurial spirit.
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Keiser University Kent State University
Simon Fraser University
The Lisbon MBA
Union Bank of California University of Arkansas GSB University of Chicago: Booth University of Cyprus University of the West of England: Bristol Business School
Itâ€™s all about access... Fordham Graduate School of Business-Executive MBA Offered at Lincoln Center (Manhattan) Campus and Westchester Campus (Harrison, NY) Meets one weekend a month Professionally diverse student group and world-renowned faculty International capstone trip combining practical business analysis skills with diverse cross-cultural experiences
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to Colorado State University’s
The CSU Distance MBA Program • NEW! Corporate Partnership Program • Two- or four-year programs • Flexible and convenient schedule • No residency requirement • Course content delivered via DVD and streaming video
AACSB internationally accredited since 1970
www.CSUmba.com | Contact Matt Leland at 800-491-4622 x1 74 | CEO
The definitive guide to MBAs