Category: Global Work

Soft Landings for International Startups

March 15th, 2010 in Global Work, Podcast, SMG Hot Topics

Carol Hoopes

Carol Hoopes

Soft Landings for International Startups

Prof. N. Venkatraman on How “Competing in the Global Economy” Helps Firms Re-Think Operations

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

In this video, N. Venkat Venkatraman, the David J. McGrath, Jr. Professor in Management, and the 22nd most-cited management scholar across the globe, discusses the executive program “Competing in the Global Economy,” developed by the Institute for Global Work at Boston University.

He explains what makes the program unique, from its experiential nature to its timeliness to its goal of helping participants rethink the geography of work and the whole concept of globalization.

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Prof. Kathy Curley on Who Should Attend “Competing in the Global Economy”

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

Kathy Curley, Professor of Information Systems, discusses who can most benefit from the executive program “Competing in the Global Economy,” developed by the Institute for Global Work at Boston University School of Management.

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Dane Bedward of Genzyme on the Program “Competing in the Global Economy”

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

Dane Bedward, Senior Vice President at Genzyme, discusses some of the challenges that a global biopharma company faces building success–and supporting peoples’ well-being–around the globe and within disparate health systems.

He also touches on how the program “Competing in the Global Economy,” developed by the Institute for Global Work at Boston University School of Management, helps Genzyme meet some of these challenges. 

Particularly given the economic downturn, cost-efficient ways to enhance communication within a world-wide company are becoming increasingly important but “more and more difficult,” Bedward says, and this is “really what the program is all about.”

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Reuters talks to Prof. A Yan about US-China economic talks

March 15th, 2010 in Global Work, Organizational Behavior, SMG Hot Topics

 

Aimin YanFor the Reuters article “U.S. aims for long-haul gains in China talks,” journalist Glenn Somerville consults Aimin Yan, Professor of Organizational Behavior at Boston University School of Management and Faculty Director of the International Management Program.  Somerville reports,

Immediate gains from the latest U.S.-China economic talks appear limited, but U.S. officials argue the two sides are making strides towards the goal of getting real results out of complex negotiations.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said from the outset of the “strategic economic dialogue” he initiated a year ago that identifying and relating to key players was the first step towards putting increasingly entwined U.S.-China ties on a new footing that would keep inevitable tensions in check….

Analysts like Aimin Yan, a professor at Boston University’s School of Management, broadly agree with Paulson’s approach, given that the United States needs China’s low-cost production as much as Beijing wants America’s needy consumers.

“Confrontation and threats won’t work unless you have the dominant bargaining chip,” Yan said. “In business dealings, and international politics alike, you don’t get what you want, even what you feel you deserve. You get what you negotiate.”

Aimin Yan discusses the Olympic protests, boycotts, and negotiations

March 15th, 2010 in Global Work, Organizational Behavior, SMG Hot Topics

Aimin YanAimin Yan, Faculty Director of the International Management Program and Professor of Organizational Behavior at Boston University School of Management, addresses the protests of the Beijing Olympics.  Here, he compares strategies of business negotiation and corporate boycotting to shed light on his opinion of the protests’ efficacy:

A Game That Has No Winners

“Protests” and “boycotts” are two most frequently read words in recent reports about the Beijing Olympics. The Beijing government was fiercely ambitious to showcase the fast Chinese economic miracle to the world.  They thoroughly enjoyed the glory until recently, when they began facing the widely spread protests. In addition to other costs–economic and political–they have lost face, which is extremely important in the Chinese culture.

But now it’s the turn for the multinational companies to lose, as a result of boycotts of their products by Chinese citizens.  They started with Carrefour and Body Shop but will target more companies.  In fact, there are at least two other groups that have suffered no less significantly.  That is, the Olympic athletes from all over the world and the equally widespread sports fans.  To many athletes, this is a game they have waited for their whole lives to play; to others, it’s a last chance at the Olympics during their lifetimes.  These athletes don’t want to go to a tainted event.

For the sports loving public, the costs are less visible but significant: many have begun to lose their interest in the Olympics altogether.  Some have argued to get rid of the Games.  Arguably, these are the two groups that have the largest stakes but feel quite helpless.  For both the athletes and the public, someone is gambling with their money.  Finally, the protests are not costless to the protesters, either.  The boat is rocked.  They are losing, if they’ve not already lost, the most effective channel to leverage their direct influence on China.  If they don’t see this now, they will find it soon after the Games.

In business and international politics alike, the best negotiators are not those who bargain hard or threat the most, but those who trade well.  For a trade to happen, you got to know what you want and what they want.  If you work hard to block them from getting what they want, they will work even harder not to let you get what you want.  The net outcome?  It’s a game that has no winners.  You all lose.

Enough is enough about protests and boycotts for all the parties involved.

Email Professor Yan and let him know your opinion, or read more about his view on the Olympic protests from BU Today’s April 25, 2008, article “Is the World Against China?”

The Boston Globe asks Professor Aimin Yan about business and cultural aspects of Chinese-hosted Olympics

March 15th, 2010 in Global Work, Organizational Behavior, SMG Hot Topics

Aimin YanFor their reportage on various business and cultural aspects of this summer’s Olympics in China, the Boston Globe has repeatedly turned to Aimin Yan, Faculty Director of the International Management Program and Professor of Organizational Behavior at Boston University School of Management.

On July 29, 2008, in a Globe article “Staples has a Games plan: Firm hopes to ride office furniture to China gold,” journalist Jenn Ableson reports,

Howie Wu…known as Mr. Furniture around Beijing, has spent the last two years in a rush to complete [Staples’] massive undertaking: supplying furniture for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Under Wu’s direction, 200 employees have helped design, deliver, and assemble more than 250,000 items: judges’ tables, chairs for doping-test stations, red rope dividers at Beijing National Stadium, and hand-carved bamboo cabinets for the chairman of the International Olympic Committee.

Wu’s intensity illustrates how seriously Staples takes its status as the first official office furniture supplier for any Olympic games. The company wants to establish a firm foothold in China’s fast-growing $30 billion office products market….”Price is really what matters,” said Aimin Yan, a native of China who directs the International Management Program at Boston University. “It’s a more complicated market here with different shopping habits, a more cutthroat price environment, and little widespread brand loyalty.”

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On August 3, 2008, for the piece “Pride mixes with worry at being misunderstood,” Patricia Wen writes,

[S]ome scholars of China do not think the nation’s rulers will take lightly any political protests – however isolated or mild – that are broadcast on national and international television. Even worse in the eyes of government, they say, might be a technical glitch during the Olympics’ fireworks display, a doping scandal involving a Chinese athlete, or even a lack of bright blue skies – given the government’s intense efforts to reduce air pollution through temporary factory shutdowns and limits on using vehicles. Aimin Yan, a Boston University business professor who runs US-China student exchange programs, said government officials remain prickly about issues of “face,” which he said relate to the traditional concept of achieving status through public displays of competence.

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Professor Paul McManus Blogs from, and Post, Copenhagen Climate Summit

March 15th, 2010 in Energy & Environment Sector, Global Work, School, Sectors, SMG Hot Topics, Social Impact, Strategy & Innovation

“A Climate of Change: Copenhagen and Beyond”

 

Paul McManusClean energy expert Paul McManus, executive-in-residence and lecturer at the School of Management at Boston University, joined the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Conference, blogging from, and then beyond, the event.  McManus is director of International Programs for the Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship & Commercialization (ITEC) and a steering-committee member of the Boston University Clean Energy and Environmental Sustainability Initiative (CEESI).

Latest Post–February 21, 2009: The New Business Agenda (2): The Need for New, True Pricing Paradigms

Check out his entire blog,  ”A Climate of Change: Copenhagen and Beyond,” for his impressions and perspectives about the conference as a whole, as well its potential impact on global sustainability.

Human Resource Executive Online Interviews Fred Foulkes on International Experience at Global Firms

March 15th, 2010 in Global Work, Organizational Behavior, SMG Hot Topics

Which global companies truly understand the value of global representation?

 

Fred FoulkesFor an article assessing the top contenders on Human Resource Executives’ “Most Admired” list and “how they’re successfully tackling global-leadership challenges,” the magazine interviews Fred Foulkes, Boston University School of Management professor of organizational behavior and the faculty director of the School’s Human Resources Policy Institute. They report,

Most admired companies….pride [themselves] on sending high-potential executives to posts outside their own countries…. [But] not every global company gets it, according to Fred Foulkes, director of the Human Resources Policy Institute at Boston University’s School of Management. Some corporations still haven’t recognized that international experience and diversity can provide a competitive advantage.

“It’s very risky to take a global assignment in some companies,” he says. “Out of sight, out of mind. There’s a joke: In some companies, it’s better to get your global experience standing next to the globe outside the president’s office.”

Foulkes suggests a simple litmus test to determine which global companies understand the value of global representation: check passports. “If we take the top 100 executives of a [global] company, how many passports are represented?” The companies that get it, he says, will show a wide variety of passports from Europe, Asia, and other locales.

“Some companies are really working hard to make sure that diversity means [they] have lots of people of different nationalities in senior positions and in the pipeline,” says Foulkes.

Gaining that sort of representation in senior leadership means establishing the corporate culture and business practices, training on the local level, and creating a strong succession strategy for employee engagement.

From the article “Beyond Borders,” by Paul Gallagher, Human Resource Executive Online, December 1, 2009.

Students Embark on BU’s Brazilian Field Seminar: Global Sustainability

March 15th, 2010 in Energy & Environment Sector, Global Work, Graduate Students, School, Sectors, SMG Hot Topics, Social Impact, Students

Salvador, São Paulo, Paraty, & Rio de Janeiro

 

Participants on a previous Brazilian Field Seminar site visitJanuary 2 – 14, 2010

As the new decade begins, a group of Boston University MBA students are embarking on the Brazilian Field Seminar, exploring  how business can use technical innovations, management practices, and entrepreneurial initiatives to address challenges in sustainability.

Students will visit the following organizations, among others—putting them face-to-face with issues of economic development and sustainability in agribusiness, the arts, the financial services industry, and more:

  • Mucambu Association, Salvador
  • Project Via Magia, Salvador
  • Odebrecht Foundation, Salvador
  • Natura, São Paulo
  • Prosperity Investments, São Paulo
  • Ocean Future Society / Dow, São Paulo
  • Pinheiro Neto, São Paulo
  • International Paper, São Paulo
  • Bradesco Foundation, São Paulo
  • Vale do Rio Doce, Rio de Janeiro
  • 2016 Brazil Olympic Committee, Rio de Janeiro

The goal—to allow students to:

  • Develop a basic understanding of current global sustainability challenges
  • Compare and contrast different approaches to corporate social responsibility in Brazil
  • Understand the opportunities and challenges of a variety of Brazilian sustainable business models and practices
  • Learn how to identify business opportunities for sustainable development that meet the needs of emerging markets
  • Experience the social and cultural context within which businesses and NGOs operate
  • Explore and develop a personal framework related to the role of business in society

More about Boston University School of Management’s International Field Seminars