Students in novel three-nation Global MBA program examine American business

Weatherhead School of Management class brings together 60 students from India, China and United States

mapAfter semesters in China and India, 60 Global MBA students from management schools in the two countries and Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management are now in Cleveland, studying American business management, cultures and practices.

The new Global MBA program brings together 20 students each from China, India and the United States in a two-year, full-time program. The novel partnership between Tongji University’s School of Economics and Management in Shanghai, China; Xavier School of Management in Jamshedpur, India; and CWRU features:

  • Integrated program design
  • Extensive exposure to three varied cultural, economic and political settings
  • In-depth experience in three of the world’s most important economies
  • Interaction with top faculty from all three institutions
  • Opportunities for project work in all three countries
  • Class and project experience in multinational teams

The goal is to prepare managers and leaders to compete and interact in the global marketplace, where there is an increasing need for exposure to various cultural, political and social settings, said Simon Peck, associate dean for Design & Innovation and associated dean for MBA programs at the Weatherhead School.

The Global MBA provides a full-time MBA program in four semesters. After this semester at Weatherhead, the students return to their home countries to complete their degrees.

The program supplements core MBA curriculum with customized courses. For example, Visiting Assistant Professor Michel Goldberg is guiding the student teams through hands-on projects at local companies, such as:

  • Helping greeting-card company American Greetings with international prototyping.
  • Working with Jumpstart, a Cleveland-based business startup organization to expand internationally.
  • Working with Wireless Environment, a suburban Cleveland company, to build a market for its wireless LED light fixtures in India.
  • Helping the Cleveland International Piano Competition improve its international marketing strategy.

The program requires students to work on projects in small groups, usually two from each country, to encourage them to bond and learn from each other.

“There is a tendency for people of any nationality to stick together,” said Jittu Singh, Xavier’s Global MBA program director. “This curriculum is such, and all the group work is such, that they have to interact. So they are always together in cross-cultural groups.”

And learning first-hand how business approaches and cultures can vary by country.

“I feel so much more improved than I would by just staying in the U.S., especially since I want to be involved in international business. So it’s been invaluable,” said American student Christopher King, part of the group working with the piano competition.

The experience has also allowed King to grasp the prevalent management styles of each country.

“The hallmarks of each style,” he said, “are as follows: China, unquestioning loyalty to superiors; India, willingness to go above and beyond the stated limits of a project; U.S., high tolerance for failure, or understanding of failure as a learning experience.”