Category: Global Work

Brazil Field Seminar 2013

January 11th, 2013 in Brazil Field Seminar, Global Work, Graduate Students, News, PNP

Group of MBA students traveling to Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, and Rio De Janeiro

As part of the annual Brazil Field Seminar trip, a group of MBA students, led by Kristen McCormack, executive-in-residence, senior lecturer, and director of the Public & Nonprofit Management Program, is traveling around the country for two weeks this January to learn firsthand about issues of sustainability, social impact, and entrepreneurship. The group is also blogging daily from Brazil about their experience.

Thus far, the 2013 trip has included several unique company visits, including Cargill’s Food Innovation Center in Sao Paulo (Cargill is the largest privately held company in Brazil) and Estre, the largest and fastest growing waste management company in Brazil. The group also had an inspiring meeting with three microcredit clients, and spoke with former President of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

Of the meeting with the former President, student Ben writes:

On Brazil’s current leadership, President Cardoso offered his opinion on current President Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor President Lula De Silva, both of whom are members of the opposition party, the more liberal workers party. President Cardoso is a supporter of business and believes that the current leadership is intervening too much.   He described the popular Lula as a “pragmatic leader, who is flexible in his principles.”  When asked what makes a great leader, President Cardoso said that what the world needs for great change are giants, and what makes a giant is not someone who imposes his will on the people but rather someone who can persuade others to agree.

We asked if he was pleased with his own accomplishments and with the future potential of Brazil.  He said “We are making progress…my son and daughter will live better than myself.” He explained that Brazil truly can be a super power, with relatively strong growth, high exports, and huge economic potential, but the focus now needs to change from that quantity to quality: “Look at Denmark, it has a low GDP but a high quality of life.”

His final piece of advice, and my personal favorite quote of the meeting was: ”Be flexible in your behavior and be consistent in your principles.”

Follow the Brazil Field Seminar team blog through January 18, or learn more about the Brazil Field Seminar.

Pictured above is the 2013 Brazil Field Seminar group with Cargill staff at Cargill’s Food Innovation Center in Sao Paulo. Photo via the Brazil Field Seminar blog.

Professor Venkatraman on How Indian IT Can Achieve Global Recognition

December 7th, 2012 in Digital Technology Sector, Faculty, Faculty in the News, Global Work, Honors & Awards, Information Systems, News

“‘Guru’ of Guru Speak Decodes 5 Game-Changing Trends for t2”

In a profile featured in Times of India, David J. McGrath, Jr. Professor in Management N. Venkatraman presented his new framework to analyze the impact of IT on business performance. His model, referred to as The Venkatraman Framework, encompasses the so-called the “five webs” and offers a vision for the future of IT and Globalization 3.0.

Professor Venkatraman also discussed these topics during his talk in February at Guru Speak 2013, an annual advanced knowledge workshop organized by the IIM Calcutta Alumni Association and The Telegraph, who dubbed him “the ‘guru’ of Guru Speak.”

Excerpts from Times of India:

Professor Venkat N. Venkatraman’s interests lie at the point where strategic management and information technology intersect. The Boston University professor, who was recently recognized as the 22nd most cited scholar in management over the past 25 years, has created a new framework to analyse the impact of IT on business performance, referred to as the Venkatraman Framework.

“[The Venkatraman Framework] is about different aspects of how IT shapes and evolves business models. In the 1980s, I focused on how IT impacts internal processes. That was during the period where most companies saw IT as driving business efficiency. Then, in the 1990s, I focused on how IT allows firms to connect externally with suppliers and customers and change business scope. Then, IT became more strategic and CEOs began to take interest in how IT could become a strategic driver.

“As the Internet became more central and important in the early 21st century, I started focusing on the role of the web. Right now, my framework is focused on what I call five webs: mobile web, social web, media web, real-time web and machine web. These are not separate webs but are interconnected. They impact companies all over the world-although their effects may be different. I believe these webs taken together lay the foundation for the emerging digitally connected business infrastructure that could alter the basis of competition in the coming decade.”

Excerpts from The Telegraph (Calcutta):

Will BB10 be happy with fourth place? Will Bring Your Own Device become popular in India? Management strategy expert Venkat N. Venkatraman, professor in management at Boston University’s School of Management, has the answers [offered below]….

Samsung vs Apple

Both are focused on design and user experience. The key difference is software. Apple iOS is not yet big in India (despite the popularity of iTunes and iPods)….Google is well positioned in India and Samsung is positioned with TVs (and appliances). So, the combination of Google plus Samsung is unbeatable in India….

Blackberry 10

Just as IBM felt secure with their mainframe architecture, RIM (Blackberry) felt secure in the belief that they defined the enterprise mobile worker market with their mobile phones. The advent of two new entrants from outside the traditional industry boundaries –– Apple and Google –– has seriously challenged Blackberry and upset the industry equilibrium…The mobile game is now a two-horse race with Apple and Google. The jockeying for the third place is between Microsoft (Nokia) and BB….

Social media network

…I expect that more businesses in India will embrace social media more formally and aggressively as part of the marketing campaigns. Companies such as Facebook and Twitter should seek to find examples of application of social media in India that have broader applicability….

Read more coverage of The Venkatraman Framework and the professor’s talk at Guru Speak from the Business Standard (India)

Z.J Ren on Why U.S. Companies Fail, and How they Can Succeed, in China’s E-Commerce Arena

October 24th, 2012 in Digital Technology Sector, Emerging Research, Faculty, Global Work, News, Operations & Technology Management

Ren’s “How to Compete in China’s E-Commerce Market” Appears in Sloan Management Review, Fall 2012

Z. Justin Ren

Z. Justin Ren

In the most recent edition of Sloan Management Review (SMR), Xin Wang and Z. Justin Ren explore the world’s largest e-commerce market—and the failure of America’s most successful companies to crack it successfully.

Ren is an associate professor of operations and technology management and Dean’s Research Fellow at Boston University School of Management, as well as a research affiliate at MIT Sloan School of Management. Wang is an assistant professor of marketing at Brandeis University International Business School.

On the history of corporations reproducing their domestic successes abroad, Ren comments, “Big e-commerce companies often focus on scalability upon entering foreign countries and tend to undervalue or neglect local specifics that often clash with their business models at home.  It is a fine balance they have to strike.”

Ren and Wang address this challenge in their SMR article “How to Compete in China’s E-Commerce Market.” “With more than half a billion Internet users,” the authors write, “China boasts the greatest number of Internet users in the world. Its online shopping market hit 766.6 billion yuan in 2011,” while by 2012, its e-commerce market is expected to be worth 2 trillion yuan, the approximate equivalent today of $320 billion.

“Big e-commerce companies often focus on scalability upon entering foreign countries and tend to undervalue or neglect local specifics that often clash with their business models at home. It is a fine balance they have to strike.” – Z. Justin Ren

So why, they ask, have companies such as Yahoo!, Groupon, and eBay failed to create the same successes in China as they have at home, or in other international markets? “After years of effort and millions of dollars spent, armed with the most sophisticated technology and premium brand names,” the authors write, “these Internet giants have all failed to claim a leadership role in China’s e-commerce.”

Wang and Ren address this market mystery by combining industry analysis, case studies, and insight from leaders in China’s e-commerce industry, with an examination of high-profile entry players in the Chinese e-commerce arena. “We identified four key ways,” they write, “in which U.S. e-commerce companies proverbially hit the Great Wall when they tried to enter the Chinese market.”

These fatal blunders include:

  1. a failure to modify the business model for Chinese customers,
  2. insistence on a standard global technology platform,
  3. a habit of overlooking the competition, and
  4. an inability to address challenges from Chinese authorities.

Tapping lessons from their research, the authors then offer practical advice to counter these errors and build success in the Chinese e-commerce market.

Read more at Sloan Management Review online.

Banner image courtesy of flickr user

2012 Executive MBA International Field Seminar: India

March 15th, 2012 in EMBA, Global Work, Graduate Students, News, Students

The Executive MBA 24 cohort is currently traveling through India with the 2012 EMBA International Field Seminar

BU’s Executive MBA Program’s International Trip

Strategy & Innovation Professor and faculty director of EMBA Pete Russo discusses the global focus and international components of the program.

About the EMBA International Field Seminar

EMBA students get the opportunity to put the curriculum into action in a global context during the international seminar in Residence Week 3. The seminar provides hands-on experience making business contacts abroad, conducting research on countries and industries overseas, and pulling together — quickly and efficiently — a high-performing team. During the seminar, students have the opportunity to attend presentations and discussions, conduct site visits, and engage with local organizations in team assignments. More Information

About EMBA

Boston University’s Executive MBA program (EMBA) is designed for mid-to-senior level managers with 10+ years of professional experience. The program focuses on a cross-functional understanding of the interdependencies among organizations’ components. It also offers a strong global component through a concentrated international module and trip designed to provide an understanding of the many factors that frame the business context in a range of developed and developing economies. More Information

2012 Brazil Field Seminar

January 10th, 2012 in Global Work, News, School, Social Impact

About the Brazil Field Seminar

The Brazilian Field Seminar program is designed for MBA students who seek to understand the changing role of business in society, specifically as it pertains to corporate social responsibility and sustainable development. We will explore the potential for business to address sustainability challenges through technical innovations, business practices, entrepreneurial initiatives and new business models designed to alleviate social or environmental conditions, make more efficient use of energy and natural resources, provide adequate health and education services, lower risk, create value and cause less harm to society in both urban and rural settings.

Time spent in Brazil allows students to witness the development and application of sustainable business models and practices first- hand, through the eyes of managers, entrepreneurs, CEOs and consumers. More Information

About the International Field Seminars

International Field Seminars are offered to those graduate students who seek to learn outside the classroom and beyond the book. Students begin their studies in a Boston classroom with preliminary research and complete the program abroad, speaking with the CEOs and managers of the most relevant companies and organizations in the area. More Information

Regina Herzlinger on Problems in Global Competitiveness Caused by Our Multiple-Payer Healthcare System

July 6th, 2010 in Global Work, Health Sector, MediaWatch, SMG Hot Topics, Video

In this video, Regina E. Herzlinger, the Nancy R. McPherson Professor of Business Administration Chair at Harvard Business School, participates in the panel discussion Innovation and Health Sector Transformation.

Here, she explains the problems in global competitiveness, spread across the world economies’ major companies, caused by the “albatross” of our employer, multiple-payer healthcare systems.

Related Videos:

Clean Energy, the US, and China: Are We Falling Behind in Global Competition?

May 28th, 2010 in Digital Technology Sector, Energy & Environment Sector, Global Work, MediaWatch, Sectors, SMG Hot Topics, Video

Clean Energy, the US, and China: Are We Falling Behind in Global Competition?

Video from the event Smart Grid as a Business Platform: Innovation, Adaptation, and Systems Challenges in the Clean Energy Market, held at the Time-Life Center in New York and hosted by Boston University School of Management.

Video from the event “Smart Grid as a Business Platform: Innovation, Adaptation, and Systems Challenges in the Clean Energy Market,” held at the Time-Life Center in New York and hosted by Boston University School of Management.

Here, the panelists discuss the possibility of the US lagging behind other countries such as China in creating and supporting clean energy initiatives.

Louis E. Lataif, Allen Questrom Professor and Dean, Boston University School of Management

Nalin Kulatilaka, The Wing Tat Lee Family Professor in Management, Boston University School of Management
Kenneth Lutchen, Dean, Boston University College of Engineering
Brian Dumaine, Global Editor, Fortune

BU’s R. Albuquerque wins European Corporate Governance Institute’s “best finance paper” prize

March 17th, 2010 in Finance, Global Work, SMG Hot Topics

Winning paper titled “Agency Conflicts, Investment, and Asset Pricing”


Rui AlbuquerqueBoston University School of Management’s Rui Albuquerque, Assistant Professor of Finance, today was awarded The Standard Life Investments Finance Prize by the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) for best paper in their 2008 Finance series.

This annual prize is awarded to studies in various fields that have “appeared in one of the ECGI Working Paper series and [been] deemed to have made a substantial contribution to the knowledge of corporate governance in Europe.”

See more about the ECGI prizes

Related news story: Prof. Rui Albuquerque awarded one of finance field’s top honors, the 2008 Smith Breeden Distinguished Paper Prize

Professor N Venkatraman introduces “Globalization 3.0” the Institute for Global Work

March 15th, 2010 in Global Work, MediaWatch, SMG Hot Topics, Video

In this video series, Boston University School of Management Professor N Venkatraman, the David J. McGrath, Jr. Professor in Management,  discusses Globalization 3.0, a phenomenon that helped catalyzed the launch of Boston University’s Institute for Global Work (IGW).

Here, speaking at the Keane Institute, one of the major backers of IGW, Professor Venkatraman explains why the ideas and challenges of today’s networked economy—which he sums up as Globalization 3.0—are crucial topics for exploration both within the academy and in the management field at large.

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See also:

Professor Venkatraman on the history of globalization

Professor Venkatraman on how  Globalization 3.0 shifts the focus from economies of scale to economies of expertise

BU School of Management plans Institute for Global Work

March 15th, 2010 in Global Work, News, School, SMG Hot Topics

Funded by $1.67 Million Gift from the Keane Foundation

Boston University School of Management announced today that it has received a $1.67 million gift from the Keane Foundation intended to establish an institute for global work.

The institute’s mission will be to create thought leadership that shapes and guides more effective practice pertaining to global business processes.

The institute will design education and certification programs to help executives, managers, vendors, service professionals, consultants, and analysts create and foster high-performance global work teams.

“I commend the Keane Foundation and Boston University School of Management for undertaking this vital initiative….The institute will help the nation retain its preeminence in the world economy, and will give the next generation of our workforce a greater understanding of their economy and world.” 

Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Dr. Chris Newell, a pioneer in the knowledge and learning field and Keane’s Chief Collaboration Officer, will work very closely with Boston University as Senior Research Fellow and an executive of the institute.  He will be joined in providing leadership to the institute by Boston University Professor N. Venkatraman, as well as by Professors John Henderson and Kathleen Curley.

Research from these professors has shown that companies cannot achieve a competitive edge by simply taking advantage of new technologies to outsource or offshore business tasks.  More thoughtful management practices are required for businesses to achieve bottom-line benefits from tapping into global talent pools.

“The nature of work is changing…That’s why we’re excited about the establishment of an institute for global work at Boston University. We look forward to bringing the institute’s knowledge about global work processes and practices to our customers in New England and throughout the world.” 

Ted MacLean, Microsoft’s general manager for New England

During the last year, the faculty at Boston University, led by Professors N. Venkatraman and John C. Henderson, have worked with Dr. Newell and Keane executives to develop and conduct a program titled “Making Global Work Work.”  The collaborative effort—funded in part by the Department of Labor—focused on the key challenges facing software and service professionals in an increasingly global services marketplace.

Their initial research reinforced their beliefs that businesses aren’t optimizing returns on global work initiatives because of under-developed management practices, and the lack of uniform business processes.

“The founding of the institute will represent a transformational point in the study of global work. Keane’s deep domain knowledge in program management and global processes, and the incredible response from our executives to the internal Making Global Work Work thought leadership initiative convinced us that deeper study of global work would be of great benefit to Keane, to our customers, and to the business world generally,” said Sandeep Bhargava, Executive Vice President, Industry Solutions and Business Development at Keane.

“As the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, I believe the Global Work Initiative will provide new ways for small businesses and workers to compete and win in the global marketplace.  I commend Boston University and the Keane Foundation for their efforts to expand knowledge in this important area.” 

Senator John Kerry

“As our economy becomes increasingly more global in nature, it is critical that we learn to function more effectively by working in cross-border, multi-cultural teams,” said Jim Puthuff, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Keane, Inc.  “The Global Work Initiative is a significant first step toward changing the way businesses think about global collaboration, and will put in place a structure and methodology for both educating employees and evaluating specific capabilities in this area.”

The institute’s plan for certifying global work processes and practices is unique.  The School of Management believes it is important to create a framework to establish best practices for how individuals, teams and business units organize and operate to take advantage of the power of global work.