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Business Education: At Home or Abroad

Posted By Guy Pfeffermann, Thursday, June 02, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Guy Pfeffermann

The article by U.S. News & World Report today, M.B.A. Programs Tackle Global Challenge, in which I am quoted along with several of my colleagues at member schools, does a fine job of discussing one major problem in the developing world. Namely, the brain drain of management talent who go to schools in the U.S. for top-notch educations, then stay to make their fortunes (and pay off student loans) instead of going back to their home countries where their management skills are sorely needed.

The efforts of M.B.A. programs to globalize education and encourage students to return home to apply their skills is laudable. However, this effort alone is not the solution to the problem of too few skilled managers for growing markets in the developing world.

Low and moderate-income countries saw their economic growth rate spike nearly 64% in the past decade. The need for management talent is great, and it is growing. Schools in the U.S. and other advanced nations do not have the capacity, resources or local knowledge to sufficiently educate all of the leaders that these nations will need to continue their rise.

That is why GBSN aims to improve management education at the local level for the developing world. Our network fosters the capacity building and faculty development that business schools in developing nations need to rise to the level of excellence that students demand. Our programs bring management education expertise to these emerging markets, providing opportunities for high-quality education in sectors where it has not been accessible before. Top US business schools are playing a major role in this effort, sharing knowledge and resources, collaborating on program development and joint research, and promoting student and faculty exchanges.

At GBSN, we work to advance management education that combines international best practice with local relevance. If students have the opportunity to get top-quality business education without leaving their home communities, the likelihood of their staying in these communities goes up significantly. In addition, local schools are better able to teach to the cultural and political realities that color the experience of doing business.

Ultimately, there is no one approach to the globalization of management education that will produce the pool of management talent needed for the developing world. It is important to continue to foster connections between schools in advanced nations and those in the developing world, as well as businesses, NGOs, and governments. Working together we can raise the level of management education across the globe.


Guy Pfeffermann is the founder and CEO of the Global School Business Network.

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