VOLUME 31, NUMBER 14 THURSDAY, December 2, 1999

MBA presence to expand in China
Motorola selects SOM to offer executive program to its employees in Beijing

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Motorola has selected the School of Management to deliver an Executive MBA program to customers and employees from the company's operations in China.

The two-year program will be offered in Beijing at Motorola's in-house university, Motorola University. The global communications-and-electronics giant is a pioneer in the development of the "corporate-university" concept, by which companies establish internal training-and-education programs as a way to improve employee performance, satisfaction and retention.

About 40 students are expected to be enrolled in the Executive MBA program when it begins Dec. 16, says John Thomas, associate dean of international programs in the School of Management, who will administer the program. The students will include managers from Motorola's wireless-telecommunications division in Beijing and executives from two of China's largest telecommunication companies, China Mobile and China Unicom.

"The goal of the program is to develop future business leaders who can help Motorola compete in the very dynamic market," says Thomas. "Motorola views this as an important part of its strategy to grow and expand operations in China."

The program will be tailored to meet the management-development needs of Motorola, with an emphasis on the telecommunications industry, says Thomas, and will be delivered in 16 highly concentrated courses. Faculty from the School of Management will travel to China to teach the courses.

During the program's final semester, the students will travel to Buffalo for instruction and will visit Motorola facilities throughout the United States. Graduates of the program will be awarded MBA degrees from UB.

According to Thomas, Motorola selected the School of Management to develop and deliver the program because of the school's reputation and past successes in Asia. From 1984-91, the school operated the first and only U.S. MBA program on Chinese soil until the program was terminated in the political aftermath of the Tiananmen Square incident.

The school re-established its MBA program in China last year, in cooperation with Renmin University of Beijing, and has enrolled 50 Chinese executives from various private and public organizations. In addition, the school operates an Executive MBA program in Singapore, in cooperation with the Singapore Institute of Management, which has enrolled more than 100 managers since its establishment in 1996.

This spring, U.S. managers from the school's domestic Executive MBA program in Buffalo will travel to China to visit industries and government agencies as part of the program's new international-residency requirement.

The alliance with Motorola marks the first time that the School of Management has been contracted by private industry to offer an MBA program to employees. Under Dean Lewis Mandell, the school hopes to further penetrate the corporate-university market to develop specialized MBA and continuing-education programs for private and public organizations.

"Emerging global markets and new technologies are creating a demand for highly trained employees at companies throughout the world," Mandell says. "This is opening up a whole new arena for business schools that possess the expertise and entrepreneurial attitude needed to respond to those opportunities."

According to Mandell, development of the Motorola program is part of a larger strategy to export the talents and expertise of the school's faculty and is a way for the school to further contribute to the growth of Buffalo's economy.

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