WITS Business school, Harvard partner

Published: 31-AUG-04

As part of its international program offering, the Wits Business School (WBS) has partnered with both Harvard Business School and INSEAD University this year to offer two international business programs.

The Managing Young Global Enterprises course conducted in conjunction with INSEAD, the number one business school in France and one of the world’s leading business schools, offers a unique executive education program that will focus upon leading an organisation in the global arena. Similarly, the Making Markets Work program in partnership with Harvard Business School incorporates various international case studies focusing upon the factors required in the creation of successful economies; the workings of a thriving company and those characteristics needed for effective leadership.

The first half of the Managing Young Global Enterprises program held at the Wits Business School in early July was lectured by both WBS and INSEAD faculty and was aimed at helping participants to develop a comprehensive understanding of international business and the particular challenges of internationalising from the perspective of a South African enterprise.

To this end topics covered in the program related to key issues of marketing, finance, strategy, operations, international trade and the local regulatory environment.

The second module of the course was held from 23rd – 27th August on the Europe Campus of INSEAD and was presented by INSEAD faculty. This section of the course will focuses upon important issues facing new entrants into the multinational scene such as structuring multinational enterprises, raising capital on international markets, developing global brands, managing dispersed teams etc. The teaching approach employed during both segments of the program is problem-focused and highly interactive with participants learning through case studies based upon the pioneering international business research initiated by INSEAD.

Lee-Anne Bosman, Marketing and Export Manager at Morgenhof Wine Estate, participated in the program. “The program is a fascinating course that really opened my eyes to a far larger scope of business than the local South African market and I have found it to be very applicable to the industry in which I work. Of particular value was the case study method of teaching as it allowed for a great deal of interaction and discussion amongst the course members.”

Abdullah Kajee, Senior Manager at Telkom, also found the case studies to be of value,” The case studies were very informative and it was fascinating for me to be able to apply the case to the particular theory and vice versa. I thoroughly enjoyed the International Economic aspects of the course which covered exchange rates, interest rates and other international economic fundamentals. I think My Globe is incredibly relevant to South African organisations operating in an African context and looking to increase future trade in Africa.”

Geoff Bick, Project Director at Wits Business School, says the program is perfectly suited to senior managers who are leading their firms in addressing the challenge of how to become a globally competitive enterprise. “This includes CEOs and other senior managers from all functional areas, who will take on ever-increasing responsibilities as their organisation’s geographic scope expands.”

Adds Professor Adele Thomas, Director of the Wits Business School, Executives who complete this world-class program will be able to take advantage of a deep understanding of the local South African market and broader emerging market context as well as global best practice as offered by INSEAD.

INSEAD University is one of the world’s leading business schools internationally recognised as a leader in Global Business programs. With over 30 years’ experience amongst the world’s leading international enterprises from all corners of the globe, INSEAD has developed concepts and insights that have not only influenced the world’s top multinationals, but also formed the basis for global business courses in some of the worlds top schools.

Each year they offer executive programs to over 6400 executives working in more than 90 countries. The university has an additional campus in Singapore and several partnership alliances in countries as far afield as Pakistan, India, Brazil and the Philippines.

The Making Markets Work course, which took place in conjunction with Harvard in May, is based upon relevant case studies all of which provide an insight into the intricacies and workings behind a successful market.

The majority of these studies is international and stem from Harvard but, with the collaboration of WITS Business School, some local South African studies were also incorporated together with cases from Mozambique, Uganda and Rwanda. Topics covered by the program includes The State and the Market; Democracy and Development; Trading across Borders; Entrepreneurship in the Developing World; Leading in Turbulent Times and Managing Corruption.

Wits Business School Director, Partnership in African Development, Jonathan Cook, says WBS has had a very positive response from participants, both from the private and public sector. The class included a strong contingent from elsewhere in the African continent with executives from as far afield as Nigeria and Cameroon in the program. “These kinds of cross-border interactions make a valuable contribution towards constructing effective economies across the continent as the participants enter into dialogues about their home-country experiences.

Similarly the interaction between public and private sector, even in a setting as small as our classrooms, is invaluable as it is known that countries with successful economies have a strong working relationship between the two sectors.”

Course delegate Nazmi Adams from Afrox found the presence of government delegates in the Making Markets Work course extremely positive, as it showed a desire to better understand how markets can be made to work. “Current South African government institutions are rich in vision, but leaner on implementation skills whilst the private sector is richer in implementation skills. Government institutions need to tap into private sector experiences by creating “talk shops” and encouraging managers and leaders to network to a greater extent. The Making Markets Work course is one such interaction that offers this valuable exchange of information.”

We are obviously extremely proud of our association with both INSEAD and Harvard Business School, as such relationships are imperative in the maintenance of our standards of academic and research excellence says Prof Thomas.

Similarly it is important for us to extend these initiatives to market them into Africa and the high number of executives from the African continent who participated in the both courses is hopefully an indication of our ability to cater for that market.

Parties interested in participating in next year’s international programs may contact Wits Business School on (011) 717 3500.

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