Global perspectives (market leadership through cross-cultural diversity)

Schools must provide students with the chance to appreciate and understand the complexity of international commerce, gaining the ability to perform in a diverse context alongside colleagues who offer diversity of thought and experience. This global focus should be part of every course, since one cannot discuss business today in provincial terms. Classroom experiences should be augmented with excursions that put students face to face with practitioners.

A course that achieves this is a global practicum combining a quarter/semester of intensive classroom preparation and research with a couple of weeks of fieldwork in one of several countries. Students meet with leaders from business and government, going behind the scenes for a look at how commerce works.

Increasingly, schools are recognizing the need to provide students with a chance to study abroad for part of their MBA experience.33 More fundamentally, the network of faculty and students in the modern business school should be expansive, reflecting the cultural diversity of a global business community, with resources directed toward attracting international students. One way to achieve this goal is by recruiting the best international students and ensuring that they make up a significant part of the student body. Increasingly, we are discovering the importance of diversity and studying it scientifically to understand how it functions within global business. The work of organizations in the twenty-first century will be conducted across continents by culturally diverse teams that form (and dissolve) rapidly, and are expected to deliver results instantly. Preparing students to compete in this environment is among the objectives of top business schools.34

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