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News & Events

New leadership book showcases Kellogg expertise on Asia

School’s global perspective continues to strengthen with latest innovation insights

By Rebecca Lindell

7/6/2007 -

Steve DeKrey ’85 understands the unique challenges that face business leaders in Asia.

Multiple languages, cultures and customs, all set against an exploding global economy, create a nuanced and complex environment that can stymie those from the West. But once mastered, the management lessons of Asia can be applied anywhere in the world.

DeKrey, associate dean of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and director of its joint executive MBA program with the Kellogg School, has compiled those insights into a new book co-edited by Kellogg Professor David Messick.

Leadership Experiences in Asia: Insights and Inspiration from 20 Innovators, was inspired by the business challenges confronting students in the Kellogg-HKUST program, DeKrey says. Alumni of the Kellogg School and the joint program contributed much of the text.

“This book is a composite of experiences,” DeKrey said. “The impetus for writing it was similar to what inspired us to offer the EMBA in the first place: We wanted to provide a forum to share leadership experiences with the people who are doing it.”

The book highlights the importance of “multiple cultural leadership skills,” which DeKrey notes are needed not just in Asia but increasingly in the West. “In Asia, particularly, it’s critical for leaders to accept cultural differences across borders,” he said. “The result is a more flexible and persuasive leadership style that is typical in Asia and necessary for success.”

The book includes chapters by several Kellogg alumni with extensive leadership experience in Asia. They include:

  • Cassian Cheung ’78, a partner with Cairnhill Consultants and an HKUST adjunct professor, discussing Asia as the “world’s factory”;
  • Scott Summerville ’88, president (Asia-Pacific) of Rockwell Automation, addressing talent development in Asia;
  • William Johnson ’88, managing director of KONE Elevators in China and a former managing director for three Chinese companies, writing about the challenges of human resources in China;
  • Shailendra Jain ’06, director of client solutions for Moody’s KMV in Hong Kong and a graduate of the Kellogg-HKUST program, discussing the “Indian perspective” on business and leadership in Asia.

Messick, the Morris and Alice Kaplan Professor of Ethics and Decision in Management, wrote the book’s three chapters on ethics. He will have taught every EMBA class in the joint program’s 10-year history.

All book proceeds will go toward a scholarship fund that will enable nonprofit managers in Asia to attend Kellogg-HKUST. The goal, DeKrey said, is to increase the diversity of an already diverse program.

“We want more NGO leaders in the classroom,” he explained. “We want to balance motives in the classroom and give these people the same leadership development opportunities that for-profit leaders have. Their input is important in our classroom, so that everyone can learn how other entities are being led.”

Leadership Experiences in Asia is published by John Wiley & Sons and is available online and in bookstores.