Das Portal von Handelsblatt und WirtschaftsWoche

Harvard Business School

Christopher A. Bartlett - Daewoo Professor of Business Administration (endowed professorship)
Globalization has put enormous strains on management tasks, and today's manager must be able to manage effectively across the barriers of distance, language, time, and culture.
1. The (business) world is changing rapidly. Does globalization mean, too, that we need a new kind of "global" manager?

Globalization has put enormous strains on management tasks, and today's manager must be able to manage effectively across the barriers of distance, language, time, and culture.

Die besten Jobs von allen


2. If so, what does he look like? Is the manager of the future a sort of global nomad, working with his laptop in hotel rooms and airport lounges, living some years at one place on the earth, some years at another?

This does not mean, however, that we have a group of itinerant managers living in airport lounges and hotel rooms. Individuals still have families and responsibilities and companies still have bases from which they operate. However, it does mean that managers have to be sensitive and responsive to market differences, sensitive to host country requirements, and flexible enough to adapt to different cultures.

3. What are the qualifications of the Manager of Tomorrow? His talents, language skills etc.?

This means that the manager of tomorrow must be culturally adaptive and globally sensitive. The qualifications should be defined, however, less in terms of language capabilities than cultural adaptability and a global understanding that comes from spending time in different countries around the world, understanding consumer preferences and host country requirements.

4. Will we have a very tiny elite of truly "global" top managers and a more "national" middle management? In other words: Do we tend towards a two-class manager system?

This probably means that there will be a small group of senior managers whose key role is to provide the integration across the barriers of distance, language, time, and culture. It does not require all managers to spend their lives on airplanes. This group should not become a "global elite," but instead should become the integrating glue that binds together the organization's operations, sensitively adapting to different market requirements around the world.

5. As a business school, how do you see your role in shaping the world of tomorrow?

At Harvard Business School we have made globalization one of the three core priorities in our development over the next decade. There are a number of initiatives that have been built around this priority. For example, we have set up research centers in Asia abd Latin America (with Europe to come soon) to provide the resources and incentive for faculty to do their research and course development around the world. We believe this has much more profound effect on our educational program than simply sending students overseas for a couple of months. It reflects our belief that globalization has to be built into the curriculum and into the faculty's expertise. In addition, we have created a number of programs specifically aimed at responding to the need to create global sensitivity in management. One of these is the Program for Global Leadership. PGL is a 6-week program that meets for three weeks in an Asian location (last year in Singapore, this year in Tokyo). It then engages the participants in a two-month distance learning project from their home bases on which they build on and apply the learning obtained in the first three weeks. Finally, the participants come together for three weeks at the Harvard Business School campus in Boston, where the distance learning is solidified and provides the base for a final layer of learning about the global complexities and knowledge required to operate in today's changing environment.

6. If you wish to add something relevant to this subject, please feel free to do so.

Harvard Business School is dedicated to educating business leaders by means of a transformational experience that enables them to lead organizations around the globe and to make a real difference in the world.
Dieser Artikel ist erschienen am 23.02.2001