Authorized under Title VI, part b of the Higher Education Act

The University of Pennsylvania

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The University of Pennsylvania


(proposed for 2002-2006)

Programs and Partnerships for International Business Education and Research

The century rode in on a horseless carriage and rode out on the information superhighway. It spoke first through crackling landlines and uttered its last words through instantaneous global satellite communications. It began with bricks-and-mortar department stores and ended with virtual malls. It was a century in which business moved to center stage, and the Wharton School played an important role in shaping its course. As the nation’s first business school, Wharton started the previous century out front. Now in a new millennium, Wharton is striving to maintain that position.

The University of Pennsylvania seeks to establish a Center for International Business Education and Research (Penn CIBER) to create the means for Wharton’s otherwise superior but private initiatives to accrue more to the benefit of external constituencies, including other Colleges and Universities and practitioners. The Penn CIBER will enable Wharton to become a national resource center for the global aspects of business education. The establishment of Penn CIBER will harness the resources of Wharton for service to the nation and other schools of business in some of the areas deemed most critical by the U.S. government. It will make what Wharton is doing more accessible to a broader audience, including peer CIBER institutions and the regional business community. It will enable Wharton to serve more effectively as a national resource for teaching business with an emphasis on its international and global context and for training future U.S. global business leaders.
The mission for Penn CIBER is to provide the structure and opportunity to bring together elements of the school and the university; to unify resources and create synergies directed toward providing internationalized business education, training, and research for the benefit of students at all levels within the institution; and to provide seed money for new initiatives and innovative programs in areas critical to the advancement of the U.S. position in the global economy. The grant will provide the initial means and structure to bring together disparate initiatives within Wharton (and Penn) to comprehensively internationalize business education, training, and research.
From discussions with key faculty and administrators and its Advisory Council, Penn has developed a proposal for programs and partnerships that target six key areas of national need. All are areas in which Penn possesses special expertise, knowledge, or experience and seeks to share these with a broader audience. The common goal is to make the U.S. economy and its businesses more effective and more competitive in the global economy of the 21st century.
Teaching Language and Cultures Critical to U.S. Business
To meet the national need for Arabic speakers, Penn CIBER will design and implement an advanced-level Arabic Track Program following the model of the Lauder Institute’s seven other advanced-level foreign language programs for the joint-degree MBA and MA in International Studies. The need for business personnel who are professionally fluent in Arabic and trained to conduct business effectively within the Middle East region has become even more compelling in the wake of recent tragic events. Once implemented and refined, beneficiaries of this program will include students across the University and beyond, particularly as modules for survival skills in business Arabic are developed.
To meet the need for more business practitioners who have basic professional competency in the languages of key U.S. trading partners, Penn CIBER will develop course modules and methodology for teaching Survival Language Skills for Business Practitioners. The modules will focus on teaching the repertoire of business speech situations (self-introductions, presenting at meetings, communicating by e-mail), including the repertoire specific to particular industries, such as consulting or investment banking. Course modules will be developed for Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, and Chinese. These will form the basis for instruction in business languages at Penn. Web-based versions will be distributed nationally.
To meet the need for better trained-teachers of business language, particularly at the advanced to superior proficiency levels, Penn CIBER will develop a three-tiered program to train language faculty in the four basic functional areas of business, advanced applied language teaching methodology and curriculum design, intercultural communication, and socio-linguistics. The program will consist of a one-week summer institute, a three-week summer institute, and a year-long course of study that will enable participants to earn a Certificate in Teaching Languages for Business from Penn’s Graduate School of Education.

Teaching International Business and Its Context

To expand the course offerings in international business and its context, Penn CIBER will coordinate and support faculty development of new international courses in business fields and other international studies fields. It will also support the development of international modules for existing courses. Penn CIBER will facilitate the development of expanded opportunities for business students, undergraduate as well as graduate, to study or conduct research abroad. The various projects proposed for this area include courses and programs for undergraduates, MBA students, and other professional students. Penn CIBER will also provide funding to Ph.D. candidates who add an international dimension to their thesis through international research and travel. Finally, Penn CIBER proposes to develop its model for effective distance learning via Internet 2 through its Methodologies for Effective Distance Learning Project. This model requires the design and implementation of a complete business simulation module over Internet 2; and it involves the faculty and students of partner institutions (one domestic, one international) who co-produce the curriculum and methodology. Templates for these videoconferences and course modules will be made available to other CIBER institutions.

Training and International Business

With Penn CIBER’s collaboration and partial sponsorship, Wharton’s Sol Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center and Small Business Development Center will design and implement a new program, the China-focused Advanced Study Project and Field Application Project, to offer web-based consulting services to small and medium-sized U.S. businesses. The project will involve the creation of an online learning community with a number of collaborative educational and developmental activities. The project will focus initially on firms seeking to initiate business in China; but after refinements based upon research and participant feedback, the program will be expanded to companies seeking to initiate business in Brazil, India, and Eastern Europe.

Penn CIBER will also collaborate with Wharton’s Entrepreneurial Programs and help sponsor a program to develop a course of study on private equity in emerging markets, the Emerging Markets/Private Equity Course and Internship Program, that will culminate in summer internships with private equity funds. Penn CIBER will support the academic preparation of the course—guided by faculty sponsors from Wharton and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies with the collaboration of the International Finance Corporation (IFC)—and the management of the program in its initial years.
Under Penn CIBER’s leadership, Wharton will design and implement a program of Training for Global Consulting Teams that will provide applied language training for participants in its Global Consulting Practicum and will conduct a research project to study global consulting team contexts in order to develop more effective educational and training support. The results of the research and the educational materials developed in support of the Practicum will be widely disseminated and shared through the Penn CIBER website. In addition, web-based versions of the language course modules, designed to address the practical needs of international consulting teams, will be developed for dissemination nationally through the University of Maryland’s National Foreign Language Center’s Lang Net portal for Survival Skills Language.

Research in the International Dimensions of Business

Penn CIBER will organize and coordinate several research projects that will address several key needs for the conduct of international business. One project will conduct an ethnographic study of global consulting teams (see above) in order to identify significant speech events and critical areas where a breakdown in communications and effective consulting happens as a result of cross-cultural differences. The results of the research, observation, and analysis will be turned to practical use through the development of business language course modules and cross-cultural training for these university-based consulting teams. Another project will study the cross-cultural forces at work in cross-national negotiations, specifically the role that differences in language, cognitive styles, and culture play in international negotiations. The results of this research project will be used to design and implement a new course on international negotiations will focus as much on how these forces are in play as on how differences in legal systems affect the negotiations. Through the provision of competitive travel and research grants to Wharton faculty and Ph.D. candidates, Penn CIBER will actively support the inclusion of an international dimension in research and, ultimately, teaching.

Reaching Out to Students and Faculty of Other Institutions

Penn CIBER will collaborate with other institutions of higher education, both within its region and nationally, in the development and implementation of several key projects. These include the Certificate in Teaching Business Languages and summer institutes program mentioned above. Penn CIBER will work with Professor Cheri Micheau from West Chester University, a leading regional school of education, to develop the curriculum; the programs will be open to faculty participants from the region and across the country. The Methodologies for Effective Distance Learning Using New Technologies project will be developed through the collaborative efforts of faculty from partner institutions. Penn CIBER will make the materials and methodology available online to faculty and students at other institutions, including other CIBERs. Penn CIBER proposes to collaborate with other CIBERs on three existing initiatives: the annual CIBER language conference, the Michigan State University International Business Roundtable consortium, and the Michigan State University International Business Institute for Community College Faculty. Penn CIBER will support the Wharton MBA student-organized annual Global Business Forum and will provide travel funds for MBA students from CIBER institutions located on the east coast. Finally, a major thrust of Penn CIBER’s activities will be to coordinate disparate research projects in various fields of international business, to capture relevant working papers on its website, and to channel appropriate pieces for dissemination more broadly through Wharton’s Knowledge@Wharton portal.

Reaching Out to Business and Other Organizations

Penn CIBER has planned several projects that involve collaboration with business and other professional organizations. The Survival Language Skills for Business Practitioners Project and its product—web-based course modules—reach out to U.S. businesses across the nation. The China-focused Advanced Study and Field Application Project will connect Penn CIBER with regional small and medium-sized U.S. companies. The Emerging Markets/Private Equity Course and Internship Project involves collaboration with the International Finance Corporation and reaches out to private equity funds. Penn CIBER will also co-sponsor events with regional organizations, such as the Philadelphia World Affairs Council and Global Interdependence Center, as well as with important national public policy organizations and think tanks, such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Banking Institute, and the Brookings Institution.


The University of Pittsburgh launched its Center for International Business Education and Research (known as the International Business Center or IBC) in January 1990 as a joint venture of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business (Katz School) and the University Center for International Studies (UCIS). Since its inception, the IBC has been funded continuously under Title VI, part B, of the Higher Education Act. This funding has contributed significantly to the Center's ability to achieve international education program goals by leveraging the international resources of UCIS, the Katz School, other units of the University, and those of a number of national, state and regional service organizations. The University of Pittsburgh has a continuing commitment to developing programs that encompass international perspectives, and maintains a global reputation for the array and strength of its international academic resources. Without CIBER support, the Center would not be able to mount a program extensive enough to meet the statute’s far-reaching objectives.

As we will show, the IBC continues to add value by sustaining and enhancing previous initiatives and launching important new initiatives that address America’s need for international business expertise—including cross-cultural business relationships, knowledge of a diversity of regional politics and governments, and an understanding of the international marketplace.

Since its formation, the IBC has responded to all basic purposes of Title VI-B through systematic and long-term focused efforts, creating relevant programs that continue to have impact even after IBC funding support ends. The IBC has specifically developed its ongoing programs and activities to conform to the six requirements outlined in Section 612(a) of the Title VI-B legislation, which also serve as IBC’s core objectives:

  1. Be national resources for the teaching of improved business techniques, strategies, and methodologies that emphasize the international context in which business is transacted

  2. Provide instruction in critical foreign languages and international fields needed to provide an understanding of the cultures and customs of the United States trading partners

  3. Provide research and training in the international aspects of trade, commerce and other fields of study

  4. Provide training to students enrolled in the institution, or combinations of institutions, in which a Center is located

  5. Serve as regional resources to businesses proximately located by offering programs and providing research designed to meet the international training needs of these businesses

  6. Serve other faculty, students and institutions of higher education located within their region

In addition, as part of its commitment to continuous improvement, the IBC has developed these objectives for the next funding period:

  • Support projects, programs and activities that increase the IBC’s reach to more students, businesses and institutions regionally and nationally

  • Increase the IBC’s impact on the University of Pittsburgh undergraduate community

  • Focus increasing attention on affecting small and medium sized enterprises in the region

  • Provide significant support to targeted research programs consistent with the IBC, CIBER, UCIS and University priorities, offering opportunity for a large, high profile international impact

Our nation lags behind others in international competence of businesses and managers. In its role as a national resource for enhancing global competitiveness, IBC has identified a need to prepare more students, faculty members and businesses to perform in a global economy of interdependent world regions. In addition to broadening our offerings with new programs, we will leverage the depth of content, knowledge and quality programming already in the University’s portfolio to enhance the international awareness, understanding and competence of students, faculty and business people, structuring much of our activity around particular content areas.

As emerging markets become more integrated into the global economy, they present new competitive challenges for American businesses, and as technology continues to change the way business is conducted, they present new growth opportunities as well. But American business can deal effectively with neither international competition nor international opportunity unless it is globally competent. The rapid transformation to a global economy has led to a critical need to promote U.S. competitiveness, as well as to provide present and future U.S. managers in all fields with international training. In the new funding period, the IBC will respond to this challenge with a focus on Economic Integration—examining regional economic markets and how they connect to established markets, to each other, and to the global economy. Economic Integration will provide a focus for IBC research and other activities, with attention to topics such as how managers make decisions on an increasingly global workforce, how firms in emerging markets compete with firms from established markets, etc. The IBC focus is directly aligned with the University’s focus on global studies.

IBC’s implementation strategy has been to act in three capacities: as a catalyst, an incubator and a partner. As a catalyst, IBC brings together organizations—both within and outside the University—to form alliances and mobilize resources to create innovative new international management education programs and related services. As an incubator, IBC develops and creates new programs, then supports and administers them in their start-up phases before handing them off to appropriate entities once they are fully operational. This approach has allowed IBC to ensure new program success, by granting them absolute focus and adequate start-up resources. This approach also makes efficient use of CIBER funding as the programs often continue to be improved and enhanced in their new homes—and are sustained with other resources. As a partner, IBC provides expertise and resources to other entities and organizations whose purpose supports IBC objectives and vice versa.

Notable IBC past accomplishments include implementation of an ambitious international course/curriculum development grant program at the masters and undergraduate levels, which has directly affected approximately 50 courses and many more indirectly; implementation with other University units of three intensive dual degree programs—MBA/MIB, MBA/MA and MBA/MPIA—which provide students the opportunity to develop significant depth of knowledge and international competence; and development of relationships with foreign schools and institutions in emerging and established market countries, especially in Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America, for the purposes of exporting Katz School program offerings—specifically the development of the International Executive MBA program in Prague and Sao Paulo, which attracts business practitioners from all over Eastern Europe and Latin America—and providing our American students opportunities to interact with our students in international programs, and to study, work and travel abroad through arrangements with these international partners.

With these accomplishments, the groundwork has been set for bringing in new innovations that expand and enhance programming—bringing more breadth to the University’s international business education competency. New programming planned for the next cycle has been conceived to reach more audiences and tighten the regional network of organizations and individuals involved in international business research, education, support and promotion, and includes the following:

MBA Signature Program in International Business: IBC will broaden its reach to more students by allowing full-time MBA students to declare a complementary emphasis in international business. The program focuses on Economic Integration by examining the activities of multinationals in emerging markets.

Language and Culture “Survival Skills” Module: This program prepares graduate students to travel in numerous countries in the MBA International Research Course, through a module that covers several different countries. The Czech module prototype was created and implemented in the last funding period; French and Italian have recently been developed. Modules will be created in the next funding period to prepare students for trips to Latin America and Asia.

Undergraduate Certificate Programs: We are increasing the international competence in a large group of CBA students by offering a Certificate Program in International Business, allowing students to bring an international focus to their majors; a Certificate Program in Global Studies, which provides students with “global competence” – ability to work effectively in different international settings, awareness of the major currents of global changes and issues, knowledge of global organizations and business activities, capacity for effective communications across cultural and linguistic boundaries and adaptability to diverse cultures; and a Certificate in Area Studies, which involves achieving foreign language proficiency and depth of understanding in one particular world region (Asia, Latin America, Russia and East Europe or West Europe).

MCE+1, a program introducing undergraduate students to study abroad and international research in the freshman year, through a one-credit optional add-on to the required business overview course, Managing in Complex Environments. MCE+1 includes a foreign trip to the Czech Republic or Germany and a research paper focusing on Economic Integration.

Semester at Sea/Certificate Program in Global Studies/Course Development Grants: The University will offer the Undergraduate Certificate Program in Global Studies program to all 700 students, from any university, on each of the fall and spring voyages of the University of Pittsburgh’s Semester at Sea program each year. This is a unique option for students interested in pursuing comparative global studies, combining course work with travel. In addition, each Semester at Sea voyage involves 30 faculty members from universities throughout the world. Through grants, IBC will encourage faculty to develop course materials geared toward the certificate.

Course Development Grants for Collaborative Teaching: IBC will encourage Katz School faculty to develop linkages with other faculty members across university boundaries, and teach joint courses using communication technology. The courses can be in any business discipline, but the collaboration must involve international dimensions of business—especially Economic Integration—and must involve linking the classes through communication technology.

MBA Essentials Program Scholarships for Faculty: IBC is initiating a program to increase language and Area-Studies faculty members’ business knowledge. This will provide faculty who work with business students outside of business school courses with a broad-based, multidisciplinary understanding of the students’ program of study, enhancing their ability to create new offerings related to language and culture studies. It includes 60 hours of instruction in accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, operations, information technology and strategy.

Global Executive Forum: This program brings together all 100 Executive MBA participants from the Katz School’s three locations—Pittsburgh, Prague, and Sao Paulo—in a 4-day intensive experience, forming cross-site teams to work on an international business problem dealing with Economic Integration.

PRIDE (Pitt Regional International Data Entity) website: IBC will expand its existing Western PA International BusinessNet into PRIDE, in partnership with the PA Office of International Business Development, the U.S. Department of Commerce Commercial Service and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance. PRIDE will be a web-based central data source about international business activities of the Pittsburgh region.

K-12 Initiatives: The IBC is developing local programs and collaborating with other CIBERs to extend international awareness, understanding and competence to students at a younger age, by participating in the following K-12 initiatives: CBA International Business Mentors, a joint project with the Pittsburgh Area Cultural Communications Alliance, in which a University of Pittsburgh CBA undergraduate mentor teams up with a Bayer Corporation mentor to make presentations on foreign language and its connection to global business at a regional high school; and a Conference on K-12 Exploratory Global Awareness and Business Language Initiatives to better understand the range of issues; six collaborating CIBERs are planning a conference on K-12 Exploratory Global Awareness and Business Language Initiatives, tentatively scheduled for spring 2003.

Faculty Development in International Business (FDIB) in the Transitional Economies of Central and Eastern Europe: The IBC is collaborating with the South Carolina CIBER (with cosponsors the University of Memphis and Texas A & M University) to develop this FDIB program specific to the East European world regions. Participants will visit a subset of the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia. The program focuses on Economic Integration (for example, economic linkages among and between countries, connections between these markets and world markets, and connections to other regional markets, such as the European Union. Each trip will involve lectures on economic and business conditions and company and governmental visits.

Global Academic Partnerships (GAP) Research Projects: During the 2002-2006 grant period, IBC will cosponsor three GAP projects that deal with aspects of global economic integration, with two to four years of support for each project. Each GAP project will involve a Katz project leader teamed with a faculty member from another University unit; this team is responsible for pushing the research agenda forward and organizing a major, authoritative conference including experts from government, industry and academics. The project leaders will seek a journal or book publisher for papers presented at the conference and seek additional outside funding for the project.

With IBC as a resource, the University has achieved national significance through the development of several model programs. The IBC’s success springs from its strategy to leverage relatively modest levels of federal funds by tapping into the existing endowment of international resources at a comprehensive teaching and research university, and through collaboration with a variety of University units and regional service organizations in the undertaking of joint activities and the pursuit of shared objectives.


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