The world – if not growing smaller – is certainly more interconnected than ever before.
To that end, it’s incumbent upon today’s business leaders to embrace both the challenges and opportunities associated with 21st century globalization. That is no small task. In order to serve their customers and their communities, these managers, presidents and CEOs must negotiate myriad forces – including technological advances and the free market – with skill and alacrity. How best to prepare today’s students to enter this marketplace is a question at the forefront of the minds of business school deans around the world. At Le Moyne College's Madden School of Business, administrators and faculty members are preparing tomorrow’s executives in part by tapping into the network of nearly 200 Jesuit colleges and universities around the world.
“Our aim is to develop men and women with an entrepreneurial spirit, a deep commitment to the highest standards of ethics, and the capacity to think beyond traditional borders,” said Jim Joseph ’83, dean of the Madden School. “We are striving to reach that goal not just through our coursework, but through a number of innovative new collaborations.”
Joseph was recently elected to the board of the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools (IAJBS), a global network that supports teaching, research, service and social activism. This summer, he will travel to the organization’s world forum in Montevideo, Uruguay, for the formal launch of the Global Jesuit Case Series (GJCS) and its first advisory board meeting.
The GJCS is a growing online repository of real-world business cases from as far away as St. Aloysius College in Mangalore, India. Easily accessible to students worldwide, the GJCS emphasizes the ideals espoused by Saint Ignatius Loyola, including moral leadership and social responsibility. In 2013, the Pedro Arrupe S.J. Program of Christian Social Ethics in Business moved from the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, where it had been located for nearly 20 years, to the Madden School. The Arrupe Program invites educators, theologians and corporate leaders from across the globe to come together to explore moral questions related to business. Beyond that, it serves as the home of one of the Madden School’s flagship initiatives, the Woodstock Business Conference (WBC). Because the cases highlight many ethical dimensions of conducting business in the 21st century, there is a natural synergy between the GJCS and the WBC.
With 14 chapters around the world, including two in Europe, the WBC and its members are dedicated to exploring ideas related to the integration of faith and work. The chapters link local business leaders with business school deans to strengthen the connections between study, research and practice. In addition, they provide opportunities for mentoring, teaching, and programming, as well as internship and employment prospects that benefit both graduates and local employers. Regular chapter meetings allow like-minded attendees to engage in sustained conversations about how to conduct business in ways that align with their ethics and values.
Last year, the Madden School launched its Madden Everywhere Tour. Its purpose is manifold: to prepare students to work across cultural and geographic boundaries, to forge connections between Le Moyne and other Jesuit business schools around the world, and to promote the Madden School and its mission abroad. To date, Madden Everywhere has featured lectures by Fernando Diz, Ph.D., the M.J. Whitman Professor of Finance at Syracuse University. Le Moyne faculty members, including Martha Grabowski, Ph.D., the McDevitt Chair in Information Systems, have utilized the tour to form collaborations with prominent business, community and university leaders on three continents. In addition, Jinhu Qian, Ph.D., director of the finance program, will soon teach in Shanghai, China, as part of the tour.
The Madden School’s emphasis on globalizing education goes beyond these partnerships and can be seen daily in the work that undergraduate students are doing. They are conducting research projects in places as diverse as Chennai, India; Seattle, Washington; Trondheim, Norway; and Fairbanks, Alaska, on topics as varied as the uses of Google Glass and wearable computing; logistics and supply chain modeling for oil spill response; risk advisory services in financial systems; white collar crime in government accounting systems; and Big Data analyses for cybersecurity systems.
To further cement the connection between Le Moyne and other colleges and universities worldwide, this summer, 31 students from Indonesia will spend several weeks working at the Syracuse Student Sandbox, a business incubator that aids aspiring entrepreneurs in bringing their ideas to fruition.
“As we know, St. Ignatius instructed the first Jesuits to ‘go forth and set the world on fire,’” said Joseph. “Before our students are able to do that, we must prepare them to think globally and appreciate other cultures, and encourage them to think in ways that are reflective, adaptive and emotionally intelligent.”