East meets West in rich new cultural exchange

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 11:23pm


EMBA-Global Asia
School of Business, HKU

Success in business depends to a large extent on interpersonal skills and understanding others, particularly when operating in an international environment with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

For this reason, the EMBA-Global Asia programme at the University of Hong Kong's (HKU) School of Business ensures that students in each intake represent a wide range of industries, expertise, nationalities and experience.

The programme, designed for senior executives in fast-moving businesses, includes modules which deal specifically with the more psychological aspects of business, such as leadership, conflict management and personal motivation, to give an all-round appreciation of what it takes to hit targets.

'What we try to do in the programme is bring together students who want to be 'global citizens' and show them what it takes to be successful anywhere,' says Randall Peterson, professor of organisational behaviour at London Business School (LBS), which runs the course in partnership with HKU's School of Business and New York's Columbia Business School. 'That means learning about different perspectives and, in the longer run, realising there has to be a fusion, blending best practice and ideas from Asia and the West.'

For Vincent Wong, a recent EMBA-Global Asia graduate, this gave the programme an extra dimension. More used to the North American style of business interaction, he gained new insights by mixing with classmates from countries such as Brazil, France and Vietnam.

The course had other benefits too. 'I found that with the LBS professors, you get a different viewpoint and a European way of thinking,' says Wong, who joined Oracle in Hong Kong earlier this year as director of sales consultancy responsible for Asia-Pacific and Japan.

'The professors also gave us the perspective of Chinese business owners, making it a lot easier to understand where they are coming from.'