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Asia's Best Business Schools
As the ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky astutely noted, one should "skate to where the puck will be, not where it is now." In management education, the puck is moving rapidly toward Asia. Western business schools that do not figure out how to play the Asia game effectively run a serious risk of ending up as regional players.
Consider a few facts: Asia today accounts for over a quarter of the world's gross domestic product and is growing at more than twice the pace of other regions. Within two decades it will constitute almost half of the world's GDP and be larger than the U.S. and Europe combined. Asia is also becoming more Asian. Intra-
Importantly, too, the composition of the world's 500 largest corporations is changing rapidly. In 1995. companies headquartered in China or India accounted for only five of the 500 largest corporations in the world. By 2009 the number had grown to 44. It could easily reach 150 by 2025. Add to this the large number of corporate giants headquartered in Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, and West Asia, and it is not unlikely that by 2025, half of the world's 500 largest corporations could be headquartered in Asia. Note also that, in the case of many non-
smarter to partner up
Most business schools are analogous to diversified companies with multiple product lines related yet distinct in terms of target customers, value propositions, and value-
In the case of programs that involve large numbers of students over a multi-
The right approach for these programs is to stay confined to the home campus, attract a reasonable proportion of bright Asian students, and transform the learning content and format with the goal of making graduates "Asia smart." One of the best ways to do this is to require that every student undertake immersion field visits to at least two Asian countries preceded by intensive classroom learning about the country to be visited and capped by systematic debriefing and analysis of the lessons learned. Field visits, however, cannot be the sole strategy to transform the content of learning. Business schools also need to invest in helping their faculties become more knowledgeable about Asia so the content of regular on-
For a growing number of business schools, the executive MBA has moved from the periphery to the center and is rapidly becoming one of the core programs. The short duration (typically 18 months) and modular format (four to six consecutive days once per month) of the EMBA program makes such offering extremely amenable to globalization.
How Western Business Schools Should Play Asia
Asia is where the growth is, so B-
By Haiyan Wang and Anil K. Gupta