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Taking the Lead in Meeting the Global Need for PhD Faculty

Posted By Guy Pfeffermann, Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Guy PfeffermannDeans and senior faculty of GBSN member schools first came together first at Tuck School of Business in 2006 for what turned out to be our first annual conference. They met to discuss "Nurturing Business Education in Developing Countries”. Then as now, attracting, growing and retaining quality faculty was the Number One challenge for emerging markets schools.

Umeå School of Business presented the collaborative Ph.D. program they ran with the University of Dar Es Salaam. In this "sandwich program” funded by the Swedish aid agency SIDA, doctoral candidates alternate between Tanzania and Sweden, and so maintain ties to the home school, which ultimately awards their degrees. The approach encourages locally relevant research while reducing the chances of "brain drain.”

The scarcity of Ph.D. faculty persists in the developing world, and limits the growth of local talent pools. Not only multinational, but also fast-growing local companies, are compelled to retain and to continue "importing” very expensive expatriate managers. Unless the local business schools turn out increasing numbers of high quality graduates, national competitiveness will suffer. In turn, the ability of local business schools to supply local demands depends a good deal on the quality and number of highly qualified faculty.

I am thrilled to announce that GBSN is taking the lead in meeting this global challenge. We are working on a collaborative online PhD program that would be open to a large number of students in the developing world. By tapping the collective faculty resources of member schools we will be able to offer a comprehensive program which no one business school would have the resources to provide on its own. The program will make full use of online technology, starting with the model provided by University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business’ online MBA program. We plan to partner with member institutions around the world to design a pilot program which will tap their collective educational experience.

The collaborative PhD program is a tremendous opportunity for business schools and funding partners to make an investment that has a lasting, measurable impact on people’s lives. If you are interested in getting involved in this exciting venture, please let us know so that we can include you as we move forward.


Guy Pfeffermann is the CEO and founder of the Global Business School Network.  Email him at gpfeffermann at if you would like to learn more about the collaborative PhD initiative.

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