WESTERN WAYS FOR EASTERN MBAs
IN SEARCH OF NEW MBAS TO MODERNIZE ITS ECONOMY, China is ready to import the hallowed case-study method of Western business education to its universities. Educational authorities have decreed that the ''top-down'' Confucian and communist-style schooling, where students sit quietly for endless lectures, no longer cuts it.
So the University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business has joined with Tsinghua University in Beijing and Fudan University in Shanghai to train Chinese B-school professors. No longer will there be a ''right'' answer that students have to memorize. Instead, says Ivey professor Paul Beamish, students will engage in lively debate. A sample case study: the challenge China's Huaneng Power International Inc. faced in 1994 with its IPO. Students will be asked whether to scrap the deal and delay funding new power plants in a poor IPO market. The 2,500 Chinese teachers who will teach the case method need to master it fast. Beijing says it wants to graduate 200,000 MBAs annually by 2000--up from only 5,000 now. So the cases--25% of the curriculum--must be put into place quickly to produce that many Western-savvy business leaders.
Updated Sept. 17, 1998 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1998, Bloomberg L.P.