Kellogg World Alumni Magazine, Spring 2004Kellogg School of Management
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Global Kellogg: Learn from your peers
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Here, there and everywhere
Kellogg partnerships and alliances create a shared culture on which the sun always shines

Dean Emeritus Donald P. Jacobs recalls that, when he set about building the Kellogg School's network of global pairings more than two decades ago, other MBA schools were establishing their own clear precedents for forging international partnerships.

"East Coast business schools looked to Europe and West Coast programs looked to Asia to build alliances. Midwestern MBA programs were supposed to look to the cornfields," says Jacobs, who shunned that notion and instead set a goal of partnering with the top business school in each region around the world.

Kellogg alum Steve DeKrey '84  
Steve DeKrey '84

In their quest to build an international system of affiliations, Jacobs, current Dean Dipak C. Jain and other administrators adopted as their motto "the sun always shines on Kellogg."

"We wanted to extend our global reach from Europe to the Middle East to Asia and back," remembers Jacobs.

These days that vision has become reality, thanks to pairings with schools on almost every continent. These collaborations have built an international network of MBA students, all fluent in the common Kellogg language of academic excellence and team leadership that draws upon the power of diversity.

Over the past 10 years, the Kellogg School has established joint executive MBA programs with the Recanati Graduate School of Management at Tel Aviv University in Israel; the WHU-Otto Beisheim Graduate School of Management in Vallendar, Germany; the School of Business and Management at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in China (HKUST); and the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, Canada. Graduates of the programs earn joint degrees from Kellogg and the partner school, gathering for International Live-In weeks at the James L. Allen Center, where they complete joint classes in crisis management and negotiations and collaborate with their international counterparts including U.S. students in Kellogg's Executive Master's Program (EMP).

Another facet of this global connectivity is the Kellogg School's formal alliances with schools around the world, including the Sasin Graduate School of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Guanghua School of Management in Beijing, and the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, as well as its newly formed alliances with the Graduate School of Business Administration at Keio University in

Tokyo, and Solvay Business School in Brussels.

These partnerships allow both institutions to share faculty and resources, and provide students with additional chances to study management in some of the world's most vibrant economies.

Says Stephen Burnett, the Kellogg School's associate dean of executive education: "As a professor of strategy, I often talk to my classes about how difficult it is for organizations to achieve synergy. With our international partners, synergy is dramatically evident — by combining the faculties of the Kellogg School with our sister schools, the programs we deliver are uniquely tailored to the needs of our executive students. They truly get the best of both schools: a global perspective with deep insights into local business conditions. It is impossible for a single school to create such an experience."

Find out more about The Kellogg School's joint-degree partners

Global strategy, regional partners
The Kellogg School's groundbreaking efforts to make connections with other top schools around the world reflect the strong need for an international perspective in management education.

Global corporations demand executives who are familiar not only with the business practices of their own country, but with those of countries around the world. And managers increasingly are called to work in teams with their counterparts in other countries to solve companywide problems.

But knowing that this global economy exists and being prepared to navigate the cultural divide are two different things.

Dalia Megiddo chose the Kellogg-Recanati joint executive MBA program to help her better understand business partners abroad.

"My work involves intensive interaction with American and European businesspeople," says Megiddo, a member of the Class of 2000. "I felt that I needed a deeper understanding of their business culture and a common language I could share with them."

In Canada, the Schulich School of Business uses the tagline "In a Class by Itself," to reflect its unique status as the only MBA program in its area to partner with an American school, says Andrè deCarufel, executive director.

"The United States is Canada's largest trading partner, and many of our students work for companies that either do business in the United States or are headquartered there," deCarufel says. "Exposure to U.S. business practices and the recognition of the Kellogg School brand on the joint degree is an important factor in recruitment."

Similarly, the Kellogg School brand is at an all-time high throughout Asia, says HKUST Associate Dean and Program Director Steven DeKrey '84, thanks to positive press and stellar international rankings. The Kellogg School's efforts to build bridges in Asia were rewarded with HKUST's top 10 ranking in the Financial Times' 2003 listing of executive MBA programs, including a mention as the "top-ranked new entry."

DeKrey says, "The partnership model is compelling in that Kellogg benefits from local knowledge and facilities while accessing different markets worldwide. Each partner is unique and occupies leadership positions in its respective markets."

To borrow a popular saying, Kellogg School alliances allow each partner to "think globally, act locally," deCarufel says, by combining intellectual resources and knowledge of local culture and companies.

"There is a body of business knowledge that transcends the context in which it was researched, but the application of it requires local knowledge, even in a country as similar in some ways to the United States as Canada," he says.

Stefan Kayser, acting dean and program director at WHU, divides business principles into what he calls "hard factors" and "soft factors." The hard factors — an example might be basic accounting or finance principles — don't change at all across cultures. On the other hand, the soft factors, things such as behavior in organizations, do change.

Variations also exist in the way individuals of different cultures behave in teams, interact with subordinates, solve disputes and ethical problems and negotiate with business partners.

Such differences, rather than similarities, might provide more of a reason to embrace international affiliations. The differences, after all, often provide students the greatest opportunity to learn something new.

Says Megiddo: "There are some business principles that transcend cultures; however, the most important contributions of joint academic programs are their ability to bring forward the differences in business cultures and help to understand, respect and function within these differences," she says.

Erica Kantor, assistant dean of administration for executive education, says International Live-In weeks provide a significant way for participants to learn from cultural differences.

"The courses taught during Live-In Week, negotiations and crisis management, allow for powerful exchanges between students, between cultures," she says. "These interactions during class time continue during breakfast, lunch, dinner and a variety of outings. The Allen Center becomes a type of United Nations. Participants leave with new insights and many new friends."

Recanati Program Director  
Orit Mendelson-Shoham  

Same values, distinct flavors bring unity with local strengths
Pairings between the Kellogg School and its collaborators work like a good marriage — both personalities complement one another and each contributes equally to the greater whole.

EMP Assistant Dean and Director Julie Cisek Jones says part of the key to success is choosing institutions that share the same values — academic rigor and a global understanding of management, for example. But at the same time, each school must be able to preserve its unique cultural identity.

Finding this balance can prove one of the most difficult things about forming such a bond, says Professor Toemsakdi Krishnamra, director of the Sasin program, a Kellogg alliance now more than 20 years old.

"Sasin values and reinforces all aspects of the Kellogg brand and philosophy," Krishnamra says. "Kellogg's 'Learning, Opportunities, Values, and Ethics' framework, its emphasis on teamwork, and its informal student-centered culture are also evident at Sasin. At the same time, we try to maintain the distinctive Thai and Asian quality of our school."

Kellogg and its partner schools each contribute half of the faculty to their joint programs, but the true value of partnership runs much deeper. At HKUST, DeKrey says, the Kellogg School philosophy is also evident in a student-centered approach to administration and a strong focus on teams.

Like all of the school's partnerships, the Kellogg-HKUST pairing works because HKUST is able to leverage the Kellogg Schoolís academic strengths, combining them with its own prowess. This teamwork results in a combined curriculum more powerful than individual schools would be able to accomplish alone.

Recanati Program Director Orit Mendelson-Shoham sees another advantage to this network; namely, that each school contributes its own international flavor to create what is truly a global mix. The Recanati student body, for example, is very much characterized by the region's high-tech economy.

"I'm sure that each of the programs represents in many ways the character of the industry or of the specific country they represent," she says. "The added value of combining all of them together is huge."

Paolo Dell'Antonio, a 1999 graduate of the Kellogg School-WHU joint program, says he benefited from the exchange of ideas and experience with program participants from different countries. "Interaction with alumni enables students to build a network of contacts spanning the globe that will continue to be of benefit," he says.

In addition to their partnerships with Kellogg, or "the Mother School," as some international program directors have called it, schools also enjoy strong links with one another. This year marked the first time students in WHU's EMBA program were offered an elective Live-In Week at the Recanati School in Tel Aviv. And in May, for the first time since the program's inception, all students will spend a Live-In Week at HKUST, where they will study aspects of management specific to the Asia-Pacific region.

Beginning in January 2005, U.S.-based Executive Master's Program students will be able to choose an additional Live-In Week at Recanati.

Expect these types of relationships to intensify in the future, Cisek Jones says, as the Kellogg School activates additional links in its global partnership network.

"To take our partnerships to the next level," Cisek Jones says, "we're webbing together all these different affiliations into a network of global students."

The 'One Kellogg' challenge
Perhaps the greatest challenge for administrators is combining diverse parts into a unified whole known informally as "Global Kellogg," where program participants are assured the same standard of quality and a philosophy of management education that binds all the parts together.

This coordination between collaborators demands a tight connection between faculty and administrators in Evanston and abroad. This is accomplished through regular meetings, which enable administrators to pore through feedback and recommendations from international executive MBA participants, and to decide how to make the best use of each school's academic resources.

Additionally, the use of a core curriculum means all students learn important basics, but allows each school the flexibility to make some tweaks, adding material appropriate to the local economy and culture. The Recanati program, for example, incorporates Middle East-specific issues into its macroeconomic course, and has included many electives related to the region's burgeoning high-tech economy, Mendelson-Shoham says. And at HKUST, students take three required courses specific to the China region and study the Asian perspective in a law course, so every graduate has a firm grasp on regional issues.

The challenges to building a shared culture can be enormous, as program participants and staff contend with global issues on the order of the SARS health crisis, war in Iraq and a volatile political situation in Israel. But joint-degree students quickly bridge differences when they meet face-to-face with their peers in Evanston — a homecoming of sorts for students who already have much in common.

Mendelson-Shoham says she's surprised at how quickly students become "one big Kellogg family" during international Live-In Week.

"When we take the classes to the Live-In weeks in Evanston, it always amazes me how fast the newly created groups of all the international programs start working as if they were part of one big melting pot," she says.

"That melting pot is Kellogg culture— the way classes are held, the honor code, and the similarities in culture."

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University