Programme evolves with business shifts
Forty years after his death, two of Bruce Lee's siblings reminisce about their famous brother's life and a legacy that is inspiring a whole new generation of fighters. Jo Baker reports.
For faculty members and students, being part of the Kellogg-HKUST EMBA programme provides both a welcome challenge and the chance to develop new paradigms.
It obliges them to re-examine existing and evolving forces shaping the world of international business. But in parallel, there is also a need to emphasise and explore ways for leaders and managers to play a more active part in promoting positive change in their communities.
'Business is the dominant social institution of our day, and we must encourage our business leaders to take civic engagement seriously,' says Sally Blount, dean of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. 'We believe in educating our students to be deep thinkers and global citizens who understand how private enterprise, government, free markets and other social structures intersect in a global society.'
Blount stresses that the EMBA curriculum is designed to offer more than just a breadth of general management topics and functional depth. It goes further by also marrying the study of financial and operational analytics with the latest management insights.
For example, courses and seminars consider the impact of innovation and technology on the evolution of private enterprise. Many of the group discussions focus on the issue of people, such as their performance and expectations.
'Our mission is to ensure students have a deep insight into value creation in markets, and the architectures of collaboration that guide and transform organisations,' Blount says. 'Building on this balanced foundation, the [EMBA] evolves as the landscape for global management education changes.'
The partnership with HKUST offers the best of both universities in terms of courses, faculty experience, and contacts with the business community. Even so, the guiding philosophy is to push for continuous operational improvement. Because of that, relevant teams are in the midst of a nine-month strategic planning process, aimed at charting a bold vision for the programme's future development.
'The process aims to strengthen the distinct culture and brand [of the Kellogg-HKUST EMBA] and to identify three to five core intellectual themes that the world will know us for in 2020,' Blount says.
Expanding on this, Professor Leonard Cheng, dean of HKUST Business School, notes that the partnership and programme will continue to prove innovative in the field of executive education.
The key is to give students the advantage of expertise in North America and Asia, comparing theory and practice, and providing previously unconsidered points of reference. A clear benefit in a diverse class drawn from different sectors is the chance to discover what works elsewhere and why.
'Good executive education combines knowledge and academic theory with practical, real world application,' Cheng says. 'It enables executives to gain global business knowledge and industry insights, sharpens management skills, and helps them to meet the challenges of a fast-changing world.'
For that to happen, faculty and support staff must be 'world class', adept in their subjects and at stirring debate. But students must also see and seize opportunities. '[We have] a diversified group of outstanding students,' Cheng says. 'The links established among the alumni bring long-lasting and valuable benefits and provide a truly global network.'