Yale Faculty Discuss the Global Network for Advanced Management

Yale Faculty Talk Global Network

What happens when leading business schools join forces to increase their resources for students, faculty, staff, alumni and stakeholders? This is what the Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM) set out to discover in 2012.

GNAM is a collection of 29 leading business schools from around the world working together to connect their students, staff, faculty and alumni. The network goes beyond traditional partnership models, facilitating the development of innovative initiatives that leverage the comparative advantages of each member school. It was founded on the shared belief that management education stakeholders are global, that no single school can have a truly global reach, and that collaboration and exchange are tremendously valuable to schools.

The network helps participating schools by enabling:

  • Networked Learning: By organizing student competitions and opportunities such as the Global Network Weeks, which are for-credit courses offered by every school and open to all students, GNAM extends students’ learning opportunities outside of their home school.
  • Networked Inquiry: Through case studies, surveys and conferences, member schools can develop important global business insights.
  • Networked Education: Students can attend for-credit courses, join virtual teams and complete a Certificate of Excellence in Global Business—a 15-day non-degree executive program designed to accelerate professional growth—to enhance their educational experience.

For a school to become a member of GNAM, stakeholders schools must write a statement detailing why they want to join and how their institution will contribute. There’s not requirement for the nature of this contribution, as every school’s ability differs, but the key is engaging in GNAM activities. “Member schools are treated equally,” GNAM explains. “Links between Lagos Business School and FGV-EAESP São Paulo are as valuable as those between Tokyo’s Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy and HEC Paris.”

To be considered, business schools must be leaders in their regions, committed to globalizing management education, and have at least one graduate program that is taught in English. Schools who join accept a three-year term before renewal is considered.

The Power of the Global Network

The question is, “How successful is GNAM at accomplishing its goals?”

To assess GNAM’s effectiveness, three Yale School of Management leaders—Edward A. Snyder, David Bach, and Camino de Paz—decided to look into the power of networked management education. In an essay in BizEd magazine titled “Achieving Impact with an Exponential Alliance,” the authors looked back on the Global Network’s first five years to analyze the advantages and impact of the network.

First, the authors discussed the original goal of the network and why it was created.

“We believed that a network offered many advantages over the typical globalization strategies of joint degree partnerships, student exchanges and multiple campuses, which benefit a relatively narrow group of participants and often bear heavy administrative burdens,” they write. “Networks are flexible and efficient, leverage existing resources, are easily reconfigurable, can be joined and exited, can support multiple overlapping initiatives and require minimal bureaucratic oversight.”

That value is particularly obvious when in the Global Network Weeks. Last March, 694 MBA students visited one of 18 campuses around the world to study and learn from their peers and international faculty. Some students visited Israel’s Technion in Hafia to learn about Start-Up Nation—an organization dedicated to connecting government, NGOs and business leaders to innovative solutions—while others visited the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business to learn about green energy. Perhaps the most compelling aspect is that these events are free to participating schools and students.

Metcalfe’s Law, which states that the value of a network increases with the square of its nodes, captures other benefits of the network.

The authors note, “Each time a new school joins the initiative, the value increases exponentially because students at all participating schools have additional options for schools to visit and teams on each campus become more diverse.”

All of that said, the authors recognize that the value of GNAM isn’t immediately obvious to potential participants. New MBAs are typically more concerned with meeting their classmates and getting to know their immediate surroundings before visiting another school or continent, while faculty are sometimes more interested in their local colleagues. Still, the authors argued that GNAM offers many rich possibilities, even if the network, to date, has only achieved a fraction of its full potential.

“We believe that we have created an effective platform for innovative networked management education that positions all our members to thrive in the changing world of higher education,” they concluded.

About the Authors

  • Edward A. Snyder is the Yale School of Management’s Indra K. Nooyi Dean and William S. Beinecke Professor of Economics and Management.
  • David Bach is Yale SOM’s Senior Associate Dean for Executive MBA and Global Programs as well as a Professor in the Practice of Management.
  • Camino de Paz is Yale SOM’s Managing Director of Global Initiatives.

 

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