The Role of B-schools in Global Learning

My previous posts dwelt on prepping you up for entry into a business school. Except for the process of applying into one, I have loaded you with the things necessary to make it successfully into a business school’s roster of students.

I thought I need to tell you one more thing.

There’s more to earning an MBA than to prop up your career, achieve your goals and objectives in life. With the global face of business, anything you do with your MBA will have a ripple effect in every corner of the world – business wise. Don’t let it scare you. It is a reality.

Borrowing from a famous line from Spiderman, the movie: “With much power comes much responsibility.” Your MBA is power. Let me expound it.

A month ago, I was in a cousin’s birthday dinner. The guests were basically cousins and close relatives. With a guest profile like that, talk was loose and more informal.

When the ladies have gone off, the men left behind with bottles of beer cluttering our table, talk invariably led to politics. One of my cousins, a doctor, expressed fear over China’s growing financial might. He fears that China might feel so strong and start invading some neighboring countries.

I told him it will never happen. He persisted to the point of expounding “stretching the imagination to the limit” and bringing into the discussion our conflict with China over the Spratly Islands.

With finality, I told the group this story:


“There was a time when China exported revolution. It earned her fear and animosity from her neighbors, not to mention that it made her poorer. I admit that the Spratlys is a point of contention between us and them, but in the scope of geopolitics, it can sink into the ocean and it would not even cause a ripple.

Anyway, hear this story.

One day, Deng Xiao Peng, the Communist Party chairman to succeed Mao, was watching his granddaughter playing an American-made doll that has seen better days. Remember, even for a Chairman, importing products into China was practically impossible then.

With resolve in his heart, he said, ‘I will make dolls the world cannot refuse.’

So he allowed Mattell to put up its largest Barbie doll factory inChina.”


Of course this story is not true. But it illustrates that China has long realized that it makes better business sense to export dolls than weapons.

Now she is awash with cash and snapping up large farmlands in South Africa and Australia like you and I buy dolls from, where else but China.

And how did China become so rich in such a short time? Definitely not from an abacus-mentality. While the entrepreneurial bent of the Chinese is a given, but running businesses with world-wide implications need a lot more than entrepreneurs. It needs the best global business savvy.

It needs grads the from the ivied-walls of U.S. business schools. And that, China did. She sent her best and brightest to the country she used to call imperialistic and decadent to get their MBAs.

Chinese students is just an example. For all we know there could be children of Somali pirates trying to get MBAs as well. And this has not escaped the attention of business schools either. They are reaching out to these students.

Here is an example


The Harvard experiment:

For the first time in its 103-year history, Harvard is sending practically all its MBA students overseas to “equip them for business in a global world.”

To do this, the school has lined up more than 150 meaningful projects with 140 multinational companies, small businesses, and non-profit organizations.

Samples of these projects are to create flood insurance in Vietnam to be used by Vietnamese prone to flooding; in China, a team will work to develop a new kind of automobile tires and in Ghana, students will work with L’Oreal to redesign a hair product for the local market.

The project is a huge logistical undertaking. It has to arrange for visas, air travel and accommodations for almost 1,000 travelers who would be dispersed in such places as Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo in Brazil, Accra, Cape Town, Ho Chi Minh City, Istanbul in Turkey, Chongqing in the wilderness of the China, Shanghai, Mumbai and Chennai.

But Harvard being Harvard, there are no difficulties that cannot be surmounted.


There was a time when the world was divided by ideologies, i.e., the west and east, left or right, iron Curtain and Bamboo Curtain or Banana Republics and what have you. Now they are known by their GDPs, per capita incomes, what they export or import, their currencies and time zones.

In this atmosphere of globalization, business schools play a very important role.

About Joseph Dabon

I am a retired engineer with half of my life spent in corporate corridors of multinational companies. My last job as that of Process Engineering Manager for the Far East of a large watch-manufacturing company based in the U.S. Currently I am an article and freelance writer and a blogger. I blog about Online Business, and happiness and fitness, I guest post in some online business blogs and hold the level of Expert Author, Diamond with Ezine.


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