A globalized world: International management MBA programs

A globalized world: International management MBA programs main image

The QS Global 200 Business Schools Report 2012

MBA education evolves with the changing needs of a competitive economic environment, and over the past decade, international management and the need to understand management within a global context has grown significantly in importance.

Top business schools have seen the necessity of creating international MBA classroom environments that reflect the ever increasing international working environment. A number of leading business schools have designed their curricula to focus on international management, while other schools have launched specialized MBA programs in this area.

Mark Crosby associate professor of economics and associate dean at Melbourne Business School says that “international management is increasingly becoming an integrative part of the curriculum as opposed to a standalone concentration featured in MBA programs of the past.

“Understanding the vital role that international trade plays in the world economy and the resulting implications for business is a key objective for an MBA student. Accommodating globalization, dealing with the world financial crisis, and achieving sustainable development are among the major challenges facing the world economy.

“The international trading system for example, is central to successfully addressing these and other global challenges,” he adds.

Many students who pursue a specialization in international management are driven by the desire to gain global exposure and work within a diverse and international team. Often they have international work experience and look to both study and work in a different country to their own. “The internationalization of business demands a sound working knowledge of the principles of international finance and the operation of international financial markets,” Crosby highlights.

Employers who responded to the latest TopMBA.com Jobs and Salary Trends Report strongly agreed that screening for language skills is an important part of the hiring process. The same employers also consider inter-cultural communication skills to be of significant worth, unsurprising therefore that 14 European business schools feature in the rating.

With its diverse mix of home nationalities, close international ties, and a strong global perception of MBA education, European business schools prove extremely attractive to international applicants, translating to internationally diverse classes. The international make up of the European business school’s full-time MBA programs that feature in the top 10 are impressive:

US business schools also do very well in this rating – six US business schools take up positions in the top 10, and overall 24 US business schools are featured in the international management specialization rating. Those vying for the top 10 spots are schools that are globally renowned and have a long-established reputation, particularly in developing graduates with solid global business credentials. As a result, graduates from their programs are particularly attractive to employers. For example, Harvard Business School has featured in the top five in this rating for two years running, most likely due to its reputable ‘global initiative’ framework developed in 1996. The initiative builds on global engagement and encourages a global outlook in research, study, and practice.

The Wharton School has also featured in the top five for the last two years. The school encourages a cross-cultural approach to business and provides advanced-level language training. Students are encouraged to integrate their learning across disciplinary, linguistic, and regional boundaries. At Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, students have the opportunity to develop international management skills by studying abroad in vastly different countries, such as France, India, and Japan.

Schools rated highly in the international management rating tend to have multiple campuses across the world. INSEAD’s MBA for instance runs in a dual campus format, where students are able to study at either of their campuses in Singapore or France; while Thunderbird School of Global Management has locations in Switzerland, China, Russia, and Mexico, in addition to its main campus in the US.

By contrast, business schools based outside of North America and Europe do not perform as well in the international management rating. This is mainly due to the huge interest in MBA programs amongst local applicants from countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa and the Middle East. In turn, this makes it difficult for schools to attract international applicants, as those applicants become concerned that after graduation they might have difficulty finding employment outside of the country or region that they studied their MBA in. As a result, many MBA students attending local MBA programs in these regions do not receive as much international exposure as their counterparts in Europe and North America, and so are less experienced in management at an international level.

Written by QS Blogger
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