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Putting Recommendation into Action: Strengthening Global Initiatives

January 2014

By Patrick Cullen, Associate Vice President and Scholar in Residence, AACSB International

As we approach the three-year anniversary of the publication of AACSB International's (AACSB) Globalization of Management Education report, its recommendations provide a valuable resource for our member schools as they strengthen their global initiatives. The challenges for business schools in this area remain urgent as they work towards effective pedagogical approaches that will prepare students to manage and lead when faced with economic, institutional, and cultural differences. These issues continue to exercise the academic community with recent studies of management education highlighting the need to examine both goals and approaches to teaching globalization.1

With AACSB's first International Conference and Annual Meeting (ICAM) in the Asia Pacific region just a few months ahead of us, it is appropriate to reflect on the impact of the Globalization of Management Education report and its recommendations. In recent years, the strategies employed by schools and AACSB initiatives have been just as broad in focus and objective as the report itself, which covered curriculum development, cross-border partnerships, global business school branding, and international footprint strategies.

Consistent with the report's recommendation that curricular efforts should constitute a primary area of emphasis for business schools that aim to globalize, AACSB has expanded and deepened its program offerings to support schools developing curricula in the area of globalization. The report argues that schools "still have numerous opportunities to make globalization of their curricula more deliberate, less fragmented, and better aligned with the intended student population and program objectives. For all schools, improvements in curriculum globalization need to be material and meaningful" (page 108).

Examples of AACSB's greater emphasis on globalization range from conference sessions to a specific seminar. Whether at ICAM, the Deans Conference, the Redesigning the MBA symposia series, or the Redesigning Undergraduate Curriculum Conference, sessions regularly focus on curricular initiatives that respond to the new set of skills and levels of awareness required to gain a global perspective, and move beyond "knowing" to "doing" in unfamiliar settings.

Partly in response to the report's recommendations, AACSB has worked with faculty members at the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business to offer a seminar that helps schools build courses and programs to develop global management capabilities in students. The seminar provides insight into teaching models and methods that most effectively address complex global management issues. Instead of viewing the state, market, and society independently, the seminar is grounded in a multi-disciplinary approach that encourages students to connect economic, political, and social analyses of the business environment, as well as examining the skills and capabilities necessary to manage global enterprises successfully.

Learn more about the Curriculum Development for Global Management Capabilities Seminar.

A valuable resource for curriculum development has been offered to AACSB member schools by Professor Pankaj Ghemawat—the author of the report's chapter titled "Responses to Forces of Change: A Focus on Curricular Content." Syllabi and presentations developed by Professor Ghemawat for his "Globalization of Business Enterprise" (GLOBE) course taught at IESE Business School are available though the link below. The GLOBE course responds to the need identified by academic thought leaders for a course that introduces business students to a framework for thinking broadly, but systematically, about the differences between countries. It is not a course on international macroeconomics nor is it tailored to a particular functional area.

In addition, AACSB's Undergraduate Curriculum portal features profiles of several courses that that focused on developing global management capabilities.

We hope that AACSB members will explore these resources as they continue to strengthen their global initiatives, and we look forward to seeing you in Singapore for ICAM 2014.


Patrick Cullen
Associate Vice President and Scholar in Residence, AACSB International