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Saturday, November 11, 2017

CEIBS Alumni Reunion: New Faculty Research

November 11, 2017. Shanghai – While others may have been taking full advantage of the annual Double 11 shopping frenzy, some knowledge-thirsty CEIBS alumni turned out for the first morning session of CEIBS Alumni Reunion 2017. They were not disappointed.

CEIBS Vice President and Dean Professor Ding Yuan showed how the school, which celebrated its 23rd anniversary three days ago, has changed along with the needs of the Chinese and global economies. In presenting examples of how the school has charted its own course Dean Ding spoke of how CEIBS had expanded its presence from its Beijing origins as CEMI to an organisation that spans three continents; as well as an innovative solution (the Dishuiquan Project) launched to fill the gap left by bank’s unwillingness to provide loans to MBA students. “A business school must find its own model in satisfying the external environment and constantly evolve with the latter,” he said. He credited CEIBS’ success with being established at the right time, in the right place, and with the right structure.    

With next Saturday’s graduation ceremony, CEIBS will have 20,400 alumni across 88 countries and regions and its full-time faculty now stand at 72 after a record 11 new hires this year. Two of the new faculty members, Jane Lu and Richard Carney, presented aspects of their research this morning.

For Professor of Management Jane Lu, her time at the podium was a bit surreal as she was attending the event both as a member of faculty and as a CEIBS MBA 1996 graduate. She touched on one area of her past research, Globalisation and Firm Performance, a timely issue as many Chinese firms are looking beyond the country’s borders. She cautioned that firms going global need to ensure they are doing so for the right reasons, not merely following in the path – or listening to the advice – of others. Fully embracing her role as an academic, she used a series of graphics to show that internationalisation will be costly in the beginning as companies learn their new environment, will then reap rewards as they apply what they have learnt, but at some point the benefits plateau and continued expansion abroad will be costly.

In his lecture, Assistant Professor of Strategy Richard Carney focused on providing answers to the question of how to boost the odds that a new innovation-related acquisition is a good deal that adds value for the acquirer. He also looked at how China can create a more innovation friendly environment at home.  He told the audience that by understanding the types of innovation (radical versus incremental) and the existing regulatory and organisational framework available in different countries, managers and investors would be better equipped to make strategic decisions. These include questions about whether or not to invest in/buy a company and whether or not a country is the right location for an R&D centre. This understanding, he added, would also be useful for policymakers tasked with boosting innovation.

The key, Prof. Carney said, was in understanding and working with the institutional ecosystem in which a company is located; and promoting innovation policies that align with and strengthen the institutional ecosystem.

Both presentations were followed by lively Q&A sessions. A session on Entrepreneurship and Corporate Social Responsibility was slated for the afternoon. CEIBS Alumni Reunion 2017, which began with a Gala Dinner on Friday night, continues tomorrow.


Charmaine N. Clarke