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Johnson Graduate School of Management (Cornell University)

Shannon Dortch - Interim Media Relations Officer
We live in a dynamic business world, and we expect that the rate, complexity, and magnitude of change will continue to increase dramatically. Preparing leaders for that dynamic world is what the Johnson School is all about. Globalization is one of the powerful streams that are changing the fabric of the modern business school. The issue is not one of a "global manager," who is distinguished from other managers; rather, all managers will be global managers.
1. The (business) world is changing rapidly. Does globalization mean, too, that we need a new kind of "global" manager?

We live in a dynamic business world, and we expect that the rate, complexity, and magnitude of change will continue to increase dramatically. Preparing leaders for that dynamic world is what the Johnson School is all about. Globalization is one of the powerful streams that are changing the fabric of the modern business school. The issue is not one of a "global manager," who is distinguished from other managers; rather, all managers will be global managers. All managers in a global economy and market place must size-up fast changing situations and mobilize resources to get results.

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For example, I know a Johnson School MBA who is responsible for the worldwide production, distribution, and marketing of a consumer product. The product is designed in Germany, manufactured in the United Kingdom and Italy, and distributed throughout the world. The MBA manages a worldwide organization from a single office in the United States. The MBA monitors production, shipments, and inventories daily, and works with marketing and advertising firms around the world. The MBA quickly assesses fast-changing situations-agility and speed are important. The MBA mobilizes resources from around the world to get results. Information technology enables the MBA to manage this worldwide organization and to change and flex as circumstances change.

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?

"Global managers" will be representative of the global economy and market place. They will reflect rich diversity. they will reflect different backgrounds, interests, and cultures. They will reflect the changing demographics of the world economy. The "global manager" does not need to act like the traveling sales people of the past. Rather, successful leaders will learn how to be effective using information technology and communications to build and maintain relationships around the world. Many MBAs speak several languages and have traveled extensively or lived in various regions of the world. They are comfortable in different cultures and adapt to surrounding circumstances. They have the interpersonal skills to thrive in the global market place.

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

The business world is looking for leaders. I believe that the most successful MBAs not only master analytical foundations in key areas, they also are highly effective in working with and leading others. They exhibit a consistent pattern of taking initiative and engendering change. They size-up situations to see how to make them better, wherever they are. They balance professional and work-related activities with activities outside of work. They are comfortable taking calculated risks. They have a genuine desire to leave a legacy that lasts beyond their involvement in an organization, often by actively engaging others. The leader of tomorrow needs to have it all-technical competence, interpersonal effectiveness, and long-term vision.

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?

I do not believe that we will see a two-class manager system. Many companies in the United States have promoted or chosen leaders from global operations-i.e., operations outside of the United States. The companies find that these managers have led highly integrated companies. Global experience has prepared them to manage the whole enterprise, more so than segment or division managers. I doubt that companies are going to be willing to build layers of management when recent experience suggests that they need more flexible and dynamic organizational forms and arrangements to deal with a rapidly changing world. Organizations want agility rather than rigidity.

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

MBA education today is intense-the curriculum, programs, and related activities are innovative, dynamic, and intellectually demanding. Studying for an MBA education today is highly interactive-there are few situations in which you can succeed as a lone ranger. To be an effective leader, you need to understand yourself and others. Our MBA program at the Johnson School fosters interactions, teamwork, and collaboration through leadership assessment and experiential activities, as well as team-based projects.

And MBA education today increasingly prepares leaders to hit the ground running. Immersion learning at the Johnson School is a new model of management education that provides integrated, experiential, just-in-time learning. MBAs work on real-world problems under real-world time pressures and are evaluated as they would be on the job. A sound theoretical background is combined with hands-on practical experience to prepare leaders to get results from day one. In sum, we educate in an environment that represents what MBAs will encounter in the future-a business world that highly diverse and informationally rich.
Dieser Artikel ist erschienen am 23.02.2001